I’ve been trying a Thinkpad X41 for a couple of weeks. I have to say this is one groovy tablet PC. It has a few shortcomings (battery life and extra bulk) but overall I’m tempted to get one. It’s just the right size with a 12″ screen and about 11″ square sized body. It works perfectly fine as a regular laptop and the tablet mode is more or less icing on the cake. To use it as a tablet you slide out the digitizer pen, flip the screen around and fold it down over the keyboard. The display automatically rotates from horizontal to vertical mode and the tablet is ready. Other than being generally fun to hold and play with, tablet mode works very nicely for things like web browsing and RSS feed reading. It doesn’t work that well for text input (because the handwriting recognition is slow and annoying), so the tablet mode is definitely not a laptop substitute.
As an interesting aside, my young kids were totally into the tablet. They had a great time using it to draw pictures and took to it without any help:
The only downside of the X41 is the pretty short battery life (a couple of hours). With the extended battery it gets about 4 hours which is OK (still a little short) but it also makes the whole machine a little heavy and bulky for my taste. Oh, and the other annoying part is a bootup time of several minutes (from cold start). Other than that, it’s a really nifty device.