Share your tablet history - if you dare!

For my ten-year TPCR anniversary I posted a list of devices I owned. Figured some people might enjoy sharing theirs. Here’s my tablet history:

I got the tablet bug in 2007 when I got my first Wacom device, an IBM X61 Tablet, four years before I found TPCR. Since then I’ve tried out many, but like any good TPCR member I was never satisfied. Still searching for that perfect device. I haven’t even received my latest impulse buy yet, and I already know it’s not portable enough! :slight_smile:

X61t - Amazing all around, died of old age
iPad 1 - Mind blowing awesomeness, had to use capacitive stylus though
Samsung Series 7 Slate - This is so cool… and runs so hot! (returned to MS store)
X220t - First main work laptop with SSD. Loved this thing, just a bit low res (768 vertical)
Samsung ATIV 500T - Atom processor. Incredible battery life, incredibly slow.
Surface Pro 2 with battery cover - Amazing all around, but a bit small (10.1")
iPad Air 1 - Incredible at the time, how do they make it so thin?!
Dell VP8 - Bought for novelty, used about five times. It happens.
ThinkPad tablet 10 - Quite nice, but a bit slow, and huge bezels
ThinkPad Yoga 12 - Awesome, a tank of a device, kept it for almost four years
Surface 3 - I’m shocked to say I kind of don’t remember owning this!
iPad Pro 12.9 - Incredible, beautiful, loved inking on this, but at tad too big
Surface Pro 4 m3 - Impulse purchase, dang you Best Buy ($625 with pen iirc, so I had to)
X1 Yoga 3rd gen - Replaced my venerable TPY12. A worthy successor, but runs hot (still got it)
Surface Go - Super cute and fun, but washed out screen and slowish. Sold it in a few months to get…
Galaxy Book 2 - One of those odd early eBay deals, $500, still use it for the great OLED screen
iPad Pro 10.5 - Love this thing, still use if for the music apps and media, news consumption
X1 Tablet 3rd gen - Irresistible outlet deal ($900 for i7/16GB/1TB), love it. My main machine
Surface Laptop Studio - Oops. TPCR did it again! Presumably in the mail, let’s see how long it lasts!


Ha! My husband keeps threatening to make a list of all the tablets I’ve had. I’ll have to see what he has, because I’m sure I’ve forgotten a bunch. This is a fun game.


Hmm! Let’s see, got introduced to PCs rather late (around 2001), and my very first tablet PC was the HP TX 2000 with its resistive screen around 2008. Ntrig pen, but I was still awed at the ability to ink on a digital device. And after that, it’s been only penabled tablet PCs for me.

Asus EP121 - That was a brick. Wonder how I managed to tote that thing around with its KB. First Wacom pen experience, but inking at the edges was a nightmare
iPad 3 - My only Apple device. Great device, but the lack of active digitizer was disappointing. Got it for free though for signing up with an ISP.
Asus VivoTab TF810C - First detachable device. Asus was really innovative. Kinda slick, but inking issues at the edges persisted.
Galaxy Note 8.0 - Great little android tablet. Enjoyed the S pen goodness but not the inferior quality of the device.
Surface Pro 3 i3 - Started the Surface line journey. Terrible inking, but a huge advancement in my tablet journey.
HP ENVY 8 Note - Quite handy device. Still loved the Wacom AES pen. But boy was the weak Atom 2gb ram/32 storage a crime against humanity.
Dell Venue 8 pro - Got this to replace the HPEN8. Sturdy device, loved it, but it was still Atom.
SurfaceBook OG i5 - Great device, didn’t use the slate as much as I wanted. Still hated the inking experience especially coming from Wacom.
GalaxyBook 10.6 m3 - Was great to be back to Wacom, but Sammy cheapened out and did a great disservice to this device
Surface Go OG - Loved the form factor and size. The kickstand made the switch worth it.
Galaxy Tab A 2019 with S pen - Great but weak processor and lack of features compared to its siblings hobbled the experience. But, hey! can’t complain; got it for under $300. Got it on the dining table for quick search and connected to the house tel/fax for reading fax messages digitally. Yes, fax is still a thing here in Japan.
SurfaceBook 2 i7 - Great device, handles my fav games like a champ. No complaints.
Surface Go 2 m3 LTE - Loved it!
Surface Go 3 i3 - An impulse buy thanks to ITSavvy. Sold it already.
Surface Pro 8 i5 LTE - Great thanks to @Hifihedgehog and ITSavvy for this. However, I still don’t have it because of the sloppiness of the USPS. Returned it to sender (my brother) without any reasonable excuse. He’s going to try to send it again. :smiling_face_with_tear:


That’s quite the collection! It’s almost enough to make me feel like I’m not overdoing it. :smiley:


Ooh, I can play this game! … I think. Though it kinda makes me feel old, now.

ThinkPad X41t Loaded with bloatware and so slow, but despite that fell deeply in love with tablet PCs and never looked back

ThinkPad X61t Also developed diehard loyalty to ThinkPad, I took this one apart to ‘fix’ it and then couldn’t put it back together again >_<

Motion Computing I don’t even remember the model but it was to tide me over until I could find a ‘real’ tablet PC again (I spent a lot of time on TPCR during this horrible in-between time); it had one of those Intel Atom processors and had such crappy performance I refused to give it to my dad when I finally replaced it

Surface Pro [1] The ‘real’ tablet PC I’d been looking for! Loved the writing surface, the display quality, the form factor

Surface Pro 4 You’ll notice a pattern now

Surface Pro 8 I am very ashamed to admit on this forum that I no longer use the pen much anymore but the Surface Pro hits the perfect point in the trade-off curve between form factor and functionality for me …


I would have forgotten to copy my old signature from old forums if I haven’t seen this thread. Mine is mix of tabletPC and drawing screen, hope you don’t mind:

Current devices:

-Samsung tab S7 FE: 12.4" 16:10 so it was quite roomy. Full sized S-pen included, Wacom EMR nicely calibrated in usual Samsung standard, 6 month free CSP, free Krita and Tvpaint for drawing on the go. Super Display works as well over USB 3.1 as a native HDMI drawing screen at 2k with touch as a plus, and is currently my main drawing screen connected to PC.

-XP-Pen 12 Pro: 11.9" laminated screen, good accuracy and pressure curve, IAF is not as good as Gaomon, lots of buttons and a wheel. Driver support is bad so I mostly use in Windows ink mode. My main backup in case Super Display stop working.

-iPad 9.7 (2018) with Apple Pencil: Pencil is a bit wonky so currently using to consume media. Paper like screen protector is essential to get my pencil to behave.

-Ugee UM16: first cintiq alternative with battery free pen. Screen not laminated, no scroll well, lines are a bit wavy. Now use as secondary display.

-Samsung Galaxy note 10.1 2014 edition: a bit slow for media consumption but older art Apps still run well. Cheap, light, the screen size and battery good enough for outdoor drawing sessions without worrying about accidents. Stock OS too old to run CSP and Krita but it will probably struggle to run them anyway.

-Samsung Galaxy tab note 8.0:battery went bad, put on a tablet arm connected to the bed, use as a wireless super display monitor to control my PC from bed.

-Asus Vivotab Note: use to play old x86 games portable now, or bring outside when I really need windows on the go and carry light.


-Gaomon PD156Pro: the best Cintiq alternative I tried so far ( great IAF and pressure curve, laminated display, lots of buttons and a wheel), until it developed 2 horizontal blue lines in the middle of the screen after 8 months of use.

-HP X2 612 G1 (256G SSD, 8 GB RAM i5 4302y): Wacom EMR with 12.5 inch display. The EMR application wasn’t very good with wavy lines. Lack port if you don’t buy the power keyboard (only a single USB3 port on the tablet). Pass it off to my sister after I got a better drawing screen.

-HP2760p: Also pass off to sister due to the 612 G1 upgrade. 1280x800 is too low res for 2022, VGA connection only

-Yiynova MVP20U+FE: 20" drawing screen developed yellow spots at four corner, pass off to sister

-Jumper EZpad 5SE: 10.6" Wacom EMR X5-Z8300 tablet. got sluggish after so many Win 10 updates. Pass off to my mom so she can write some docs.

Unfortunately, most of the retired devices on this list were Windows tablet PC. Each of them got problems that wouldn’t be able to keep up long (HP2760p have outdated specs, Hp 612 G1 got great spec on paper but badly applied EMR and lack HDMI port to connect to other screens,Jumper Ezpad got amazing EMR calibration but got set back by the Atom chip after M$ gave up on low power devices)

My longest keeper were surprisingly Android devices, thanks to the creation of Super Display, and ports of professional Desktop drawing app like CSP, Krita, Tvpaint to Android. Many native Android app have gotten great, too. And the battery life basically solved all my mobile drawing needs. The iPad were a keeper for same reason. The Asus has an advantage of size, battery life, Wacom in a silo, and staying Windows 8.1 32 bit kept the performance from being compromised.

I’m currently settling with a budget gaming laptop (16/256 GB, Ryzen 5 4600H, Gtx1650, upgradeable two RAM slots and two SSD slots) for 750$ with a 450$ tab S7 FE. That got me a 2K touchscreen with Wacom EMR dual screen and a reasonable powerful, upgradable rig for 1200$, a better deal than any tabletPC on the market right now.


I’ve been evaluating and testing these little machines since they were introduced at CES 2001 :slight_smile:

2002 - Tested all the 1st Gen Tablets for the Government IT Team I was on - (HP, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Acer Travelmate, Panasonic)
2004 - Toshiba Portege M205 - Swivel Convertible, It had a dGPU :slight_smile:
2006 - Toshiba Portege M400 - Upgrade
2008 - Fujitsu U810 Mini UMPC
2009 - Lenovo ThinkPad x61t - My first ThinkPad since leaving Government IT
2010 - Lenovo ThinkPad X200t - upgrade, personal device Toshiba Libretto w105
2011 - HP Slate 500 - Fun times with the HP product team involved in the forum thread
2012 - Samsung Slate S7 and Microsoft Surface RT
2013 - Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2
2014 - Microsoft Surface Pro 3
2015 - Microsoft Surface 3
2016 - Microsoft Surface Pro 4
2017 - Microsoft Surface Pro 5 (aka 2017)
2018 - Microsoft SurfaceBook 2 and Surface Go, One Netbook Mix Yoga 7" (I also had the Samsung S6)
2019 - Microsoft Surface Pro X, and One Netbook Mix Yoga 8"
2020 - Microsoft Surface Pro X (Gen 2) and Surface Duo (I also played with the iPad Pro 12" but it only lasted a couple of months)
2021 - Microsoft Surface Pro 8 and Surface Duo 2 (I also have the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3)

I’ve spent way to much on this hobby of mine :smiley:


I joined TPCR in May, 2009, due to my interest in the X220T. But, I never bought one. I bought a Thinkpad X301 instead. As a companion to that, however, I bought an HP Slate 500, ordered on Day 1. I’ve owned a tablet ever since and eventually, as they developed in capability, I did away with the laptop. I have largely stayed with the 10" form factor, which caused me to be a long-suffering atom user.

HP Slate 500
Surface 1 Pro
Fujitsu Q550
Asus Vivo Note 8
Surface 3
Surface Go
Surface Go2 LTE


Nice, very focused. Looks like you’ve spent less time and money chasing the perfect tablet than some of us!


This is probably not everything. Most things were purchased well past their introduction for cheap. Big tablets were for reading music and smaller ones for reading or notetaking. Many also served as primary computers. This is not necessarily in order. I owned a Thinkpad X61t twice. I still have the second one. I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff, I’ll update if I remember more.

full size convertibles and slates:
HP TC1100 (Remember when I used to have a blog? Technology, Music, Life: My “new” HP TC1100 (
Motion LE1600
HP 2730p
Thinkpad X61t
Sony Vaio Z Flip
Surface Pro 4 (maybe a 3?)
Surface 3
HP 2760p
Sony Vaio Z Canvas
Lenovo Yogabook C930 (the one with the eInk screen)
Dell Venue Pro
Samsung Chromebook Pro
Lenovo 10" slate that came withi Windows 8, silo pen, I forget the model
Surface book 1
Surface Pro X
Surface book 3 15"

iPad (original)
iPad 3rd gen, retina
iPad Pro 12.9 (1st gen)

Netbook class slates with resistive touch
Archos 9
Viliv S5
Viliv S7
Some sort of 9" netbook with a swivel screen, not the lenovo one, I forget what it was

eInk (not counting nook or kindle)
entourage pocket eDGe
Goodereader 13
Onyx Boox nova pro
Onyx Boox nova color
Onyx Boox Max Lumi

HTC Flyer
HP Pro Slate 12
Galaxy note 8.0
Galaxy tab S 9.7 with spen
Galaxy note 4
Galaxy note 9
Galaxy Tab S6 lite
Galaxy Z fold 3


@JoeS, that’s @Bronsky you’re talking of. Where have you been all these years?


iPad 2: No pen, too big for a reading device, no USB or desktop apps.

Samsung ATIV 500: Great form factor. Wacom EMR. If it had a 12 inch 3:2 aspect ratio, kickstand in the tablet portion, 4gb ram and a top of the line baytrail instead of clover trail, this may have been my device for the last 10 years. But the performance was too bad even for my humble requirements. So I upgraded to…

Dell Venue 11 Pro 5130: Larger screen but heavier, decent performance with the baytrail atom. But the pen was awful. And the wifi and Bluetooth would randomly die. So I changed to…

Lenovo Thinkpad tablet 10: Back to Wacom EMR. I loved it, so much so that when I left it in a hotel while traveling, I bought another one. But when I was holding it in portrait, I wished it had smaller bezels and that it was a shorter 3:2 aspect ratio. When I was typing with a Bluetooth keyboard I wished it was a bit bigger. So when…

Lenovo Miix 700 m3 4gb 64gb with included keyboard went on sale for $400, I couldn’t resist. 12 inch, 3:2, fanless, better CPU, more RAM. This was my main device for 6 years. But one of the updates killed the webcam, the headphone jack was not working consistently any more, the storage wasn’t enough for me any more, and when I tried to change the m.2 drive the screw stripped, and I made it worse by trying to glue the screw to the screwdriver. The final straw was when the institution I occasionally lecture at began transitioning to all usb-c, and micro-hdmi to USB-c adapters do not exist. So, last month I bought a…

Surface pro 7+ i3 8gb 128gb with keyboard on sale for $600. Good webcam, better display, more storage, more RAM, better keyboard, better pen.

Over the years I bought tablets for my wife which occasionally switched hands between us as well:

Thinkpad Tablet 2 (too slow clover trail)
Nexus 7
Asus vivotab note 8
Dell Venue 8 pro (awful pen)
Acer aspire Switch 5 (was my wife’s laptop for about 5 years but recently the Bluetooth became inconsistent, so when I bought the surface pro I gave her the miix)

I also had a few companion tablets for reading:

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0: A Samsung employee gave it to a family member who had no use for it and gave it to me. Too small to comfortably read PDFs of print books, OneNote on Android was no good.

Insignia Flexx 8.9 windows tablet with 32gb 2gb for $40: perfect size for reading books. But Windows updates were making it harder to use. I tried a fresh install, which killed the USB port and the touch screen driver, so there was no way to interact with it any more, and it stopped charging. So I got an…

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 64gb 3rd gen for $50: perfect for reading at 9" x 6.2" which is about the size of the most common print book size, and weighs only 0.8 lbs. It also has a great super hi-res display at 2560x1600. I installed a custom ROM and used it as a regular Android tablet. I got another one for my kids to play with. But no pen. And it’s really old now so the performance is not great, the custom ROM development is not so active any more so some apps aren’t compatible any more. So, I got a…

Lenovo Chromebook Duet for $125: Great form factor, similar in size to the Kindle fire, but with a bigger display because of the smaller bezels. But it is a bit heavier at 1 pound. It has the USI Stylus, which is decent, comes with keyboard and a back cover which also has a built in kickstand. And Chrome os on it will be updated until 2028. It runs Android apps while having a desktop class browser.

Most of these I bought used for cheap. I think the only exceptions are the miix and surface pro.


I’m a draw person, so all my gear has been centered around (and rated on) its ability to draw.

Asus Slate - Limited, the pen was mediocre (I never cared for tilt or having OVER NINETHOUSAND pressure points), the monitor colors were off, but I loved this thing to death.
Cintiq Companion 1 - The stylus experience was second to none. Would STILL be using if there were a cheap fix for the charger port dying on me. Wacom really dropped the ball on this one.
Samsung Note 7 - Enforced recall. I only mention it because I actually drew on the phone. I really liked this phone.
Samsung Note 8 - See above
Samsung S21 Ultra - S-Pen enabled, see above
Ipad 2017 - I couldn’t into the Pencil. The pressure curve, the lack of a button, the weight was weird.
Galaxy Tab S7+ - Can’t quite into the pen, but thankfully there’s 100 different Wacom Pens I can try.


Fully agreed on that one. Haven’t tried the pencil v2 though. I used to love the feel of the Wacom pen on the X220t partly because of the matte screen surface. I think that was my favorite one. My current X1 Tablet 3 has a completely glossy screen, and while I love the resulting image clarity, it doesn’t give the same writing experience.


I bought my wife an Ipad 2020 Air, the pencil 2 is better and lighter, but this time around it wasn’t MY draw tech, so I never invested in a matte screen or got into it.

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@jjsa1985 looks like you really like good deals! Nice collection/sequence though.

For now, I will do this more in the style of a show-and-tell without the “tell.” I will come back later and write out a bit of a backstory, but I am in a graphic novel sort of mood. Plus, it makes this into a sort of game of who can identify the most tablet PCs. :wink:

Tablet History





I’ve been in grad school for longer than I care to admit, so I can’t justify spending any money on anything. Even some of those cheap ones that I did get I probably should have resisted spending that money.

Honestly I can’t quite remember the order of some of these.

  • HP TC1100
  • Dell Latitude XT
  • Dell Latitude XT2 (warranty replacement)
  • Samsung Series 7 tablet (Returned after a few weeks)
  • Microsoft Surface RT
  • Microsoft Surface Pro
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 2
  • Dell Venue 8 Pro (returned after a few weeks)
  • Cube Book
  • Onyx Boox Nova Pro (returned after less than 24 hours)
  • Samsung Notebook 9 Pen
  • Microsoft Surface Pro X
  • Onyx Boox Nova 3 Color

Not as bad as some. Now if we were getting into phones, there I’d be way worse. :laughing:

Edit: Forgot two.

  • An HP Touchpad that I got for free to test, and they didn’t listen to me when I told them how it was garbage (a few months later they were selling for $99 of course).
  • The Nokia N800 which ran Maemo

I had a gateway tablet back in the mid 2000s.
ExoPC (remember that thing?)
Surface Pro
Surface Pro 3
iPad 2
iPad Pro 12.9 gen 1
Surface Pro 2017
Surface Pro 7
iPad Pro 12.9 2018

I know I am forgetting some HP and Dell handhelds from the 2000s