For as long as Tablet PCs have been on the market, I’ve been lamentinting that they’re a very cool idea. They just cost too much. At first they were in the stratosphere. Eventually you were only paying a $1000 premium over a standard laptop. Now the differential seems to be down even more, but it’s still in the range of a couple of hundred bucks.
I was flipping through the latest HP catalog and opened it up to the page showing their range of business laptops. It starts at $663 for their low end model up to $1663 for (you guessed it) their Tablet PC. To be fair, it looks like the price difference is lower than I’ve ever seen it. The next model down is a nc8230 with a Pentium M 740 and a 15.4 inch widescreen at $1463. The Tablet PC (tc4200) has the same processor, memory, and hard drive, but comes in a smaller lighter package (12.1 inch screen).
So really, there is no apple to apple comparison of Tablet PCs and laptops. A laptop isn’t a Tablet PC and a Tablet PC isn’t a straight laptop.
Come to think of it, I probaby wouldn’t buy a Tablet PC unless I could install Ubuntu on it. It’s been well over a year since I had Windows as my primary boot partition on my aging HP ze4430us. I keep Windows around on a small partition for those times that you need to work with software that only runs on Windows or those freaking websites that you really need to use that only support (and only work in) Internet Explorer. Aside from a monthly or bi-monthly boot in to Windows, my primary laptop has been run by warthogs, hedgehogs, and badgers for the past year and was run by red hats, green lizards and a cast of others before them.