Several people have written to share that, as a result of my blog, they have purchased a Tecra M4. One friend even surprised me with an announcement of his new M4 acquisition. (More on that soon.) This past week, I've demonstrated the M4 to numerous clients as well as people who come up and say "that's really neat; what is it?" As far as I know, I've apparently helped sell another ten M4's for Toshiba and at least as many licenses of OneNote, MindManager and other Tablet-related software.

I've been working with document management on the Tablet PC. Scanning books and documents for review on the Tablet seems to work well and, despite the weight and size of the unit, I really enjoy the large screen. (I would not switch back.) As I explained to someone today, since I can display a page in a window on the left and run MindManager or OneNote in a page on the right, I'm quite content to carry around a large Tablet.

I continue to enjoy the Tablet PC and the M4, well mostly. To be fair, four  items remain on my persistent tablet problems list.

1. Wireless conflicts - It seems there's disagreement between Windows XP Tablet Edition, the Intel PROSet Wireless Client, and the Toshiba Config-Free drivers as to who should get control of the wireless card. If I leave things alone for ten minutes the drivers seem to sort things out. Still, a big inconvenience. Ultimately, only the Intel PROSet application works.

2. M4 Goes into a standby or hibernate and I cannot get out of it except to power cycle. I still cannot explain this one.

3. At times, tablet goes into snail mode. I still suspect a power management or Intel Speed-step issue, particularly with pen mode. (The fixes I've tried don't seem to help.) Unfortunately, I have no time to reload until the end of June, so I'll continue to limp along. (For now, I'm  only run in high-power mode, which means that battery life is terrible.)

4. Most of my attempts to hibernate result in a windows error indicating that insufficient system resources exist to complete the operation.

These seem like issues with the Tablet OS, or perhaps a hardware conflict. I realize that problems 2-4 may also be due to software that I've installed; we'll see. Hopefully, my experiences are unique. I certainly hope so.

My friend, Michael Sampson, who's here with me, thinks this is hilarious and reminds me that I could have bought a Mac.

I don't want to make it sound like I'm down on the Tablet PC or Toshiba; I'm not. At this point, I have no plans to go back to a laptop only.  Still, since people seem to be relying on my blog for product information, I want to be honest about my experience thus far, sharing both the good and the bad.

Until I get these problems sorted out, I cannot consider whether or not I'm YABHTU, but I remain very optimistic.

I know that many of my clients read this blog and have been following my Tablet PC pursuit. I want to get through the initial start-up process so that I will be better equipped to evaluate and recommend this technology to these clients in the future.

Discussion/Comments (20):

Tecra M4 Hibernate or Standby

Hi Eric or any other Tecra M4 tablet user,

I have owned a Tecra M4 for 7 weeks now. I have had problems with it going into standby even while I am using the laptop. Hibernate does not seem to work very weell. Often after being in stndby programs may freeze and it is difficult to even shut down the computeer without having to use the power switch

Have you rrun into any of these problems and have you found a fix for them as yet.

Thanks

David GBellevue Washington

Posted at 8/18/2005 11:02:26 PM by David Musnick


Busy unintentionally selling Tecra M4 Tablets

I just wanted to let everyone know that I've had my Tecra M4 for about 4 months now and I really haven't had any problems like what everyone is describing. I'm a YABHTU. It's a great machine and I love it.

Posted at 8/19/2005 7:23:44 AM by Paul


re: Tecra M4 Hibernate or Standby

David, in the beginning, I too had what I thought were mysterious shutdowns with my M4. It turned out that the power management settings were set up in a goofy way - ie to go to sleep and black out the screen. The other problem was operator error - mine - in that I did not know how to properly return from a hibernate (press the note button on the right side) and so I was causing my own lock-ups. Once I adjusted the power management and figured out how to manage suspend/resume, I did fine. Note: I do get an error standby/hibernate on about 3 out of every 10 attempts. This could easily be a driver issue or errant program. I plan to reload my M4 from scratch before I make too much noise about that. Right now, I'm working to resolve the last of my hardware issues so that I can proclaim myself to be YABHTU on the hardware side. Then I'll work on the software experience. Then, by the time I get it all figured out, the next generation of Tablet PCs will be out and I'll have to start all over again. :-)

Posted at 8/19/2005 10:47:56 PM by Eric Mack


Busy unintentionally selling Tecra M4 Tablets

Hi Eric,

Thanks for your reply. I have been on the phone with Toshiba 4x and it turned out the problem was caused by a conflict between the Toshiba Power Management and the Windows XP power management. They asked me to uninstal the Toshiba Power Management and the laptop is now able to go in and out of standby and hibernate and not freeze programs. It could be that the Toshiba Power Management was corrupted or just conflicting with the XP management bbut the fix wworked and thus far I am not missing the Toshiba pwer management.

David

Posted at 8/21/2005 11:45:49 PM by David Musnick


Toshiba is just annoying...

Before buying this Toshiba M4, I read all posts on TabletBuzzForum, ... I have done research for as long as 4 months... then I happily bought a M4. Online reviews all gave it high ratings.

Now I got stuck. I don't know if other people also heavily rely on the standby/hibernation funcationality as much as I do.

I purchase a Tablet PC simply because I need a productivity tool with a) pen input, b) standby/hibernation...

I frequently take down notes and then put it into sleep and when I have more thoughts, I open the lid and then write down a few lines, and then put it back into sleep again.

Now this standby/hibernation becomes a nightmare for me:

1. Sometimes I just could not let it sleep: after you send it to sleep, the screen is off, the harddisk is off, the wirelss is off, the system becomes non-responsive, but the fan is still on, the unit is still working, it just hangs.

2. A lot of times i just cannot bring it back from sleep. It just does not wake up. I have to press power button for more than 6 seconds and let it down. I lost my data all the time.

3. It mysteriously shutdown after waking-up: even if I successfully put it to sleep, and successfuly wake it up, it mysteriously shutdown right after being waking up. Again my data was gone.

These three recurring problems make this unit completely fail in terms hibernation/standby.

These problems are not unique on M4, I had a R15S822, it has the same problems.

I am really very very disspointed. If I send it back, I waste my precious time and I have to research the market again and look for another good model.

If I don't send it back, my improvement of productivity relies on being able to standby fast and resume fast so I can write down my thoughts.

What can I do now?

Posted at 9/9/2005 1:37:12 PM by Michael


M4 Standby Hibernate Issues

Michael, I experienced everything that you described. I don't recall exactly what I did, but I changed a setting in power management that resolved most of these issues.

When I get around to reloading my tablet, I'll keep track.

Meanwhile, I recommned that you look at the power settings.

Eric

Posted at 9/14/2005 3:15:33 PM by Eric Mack


Toshiba, where are you when we need you!!

Well I'm having the same waking-from-hibernation problems with my Tecra S1. I've looked and looked in both the Windows XP and Toshiba the Power Settings, but to no avail. Once I set it to go into hibernation when I close the lid, it does so. However, when I open the lid, it only brings up the desktop every second time!! If I put it into hibernation by using a paper clip in the hole where the lid usually lock in and use the paper clip to summon it out of hibernation then the desktop comes up evry single time.

Go figure what the problem is!!!! Toshiba, where are you when we need you!!

Posted at 9/14/2005 6:46:45 PM by Francis


just received my tecra

I have just received my tecra. I previously had an HP TC1100, but thought I needed the extra screen space.

I'm unfortunately, under-impressed. I have already had the hibernation problems, none of the buttons near the screen seem to work properly (even on/off isn't sending it to standby, like I asked), I can't change the screen to default to landscape when in slate mode, and the silly "ink menu" isn't going to the left side like I asked. Seems like toshiba got the specs right, but dropped the ball on drivers (although the last bug just seems weird to me).

I had just gotten used to the compact size of the HP too (which has worked flawlessly). Here's hoping Toshiba support actually does something about these issues.

Posted at 9/22/2005 12:37:50 PM by Darin Keever


auto-rotate

I am having problems with the accelerometer detection in auto-rotating my Tecra. Seems no matter what i do the gentle shaking is not detected. Sometimes as well the rotate button doesn't work (leading me to believe this is a software/driver rather than a hardware problem.) any one out there have any insight?

Posted at 10/11/2005 12:21:07 PM by Lyn Bartram


Busy unintentionally selling Tecra M4 Tablets

The hibernate issue is a known issue with Windows XP and machines with over 1GB of RAM - which may be why some of you have the problem and some don't. There was a patch for it in XP SP1, and it is supposed to be fixed in SP2, but it is not. HP are replacing my TC1100 thanks to heat damage sustained, as not only would it not hibernate, it would wake from sleep in the bag and 'cook'! Here are some links to others with the same problem. I've tried to get HP to raise it as an issue with MS - since the Tablet PC OS is OEM only, my support is with them. Not much success there. Perhaps if we had some kind of petition, or a well-known blogger made an issue of it :). Links herewith (apologies for the long post!)

{ Link }

{ Link }

{ Link }

and so on. Very annoying, I've spent ages on it and tried all the suggested fixes. Some noise about this might get it fixed more quickly.

Posted at 11/10/2005 2:14:56 PM by Colm O Brogain


Busy unintentionally selling Tecra M4 Tablets

Just out curiosity, was Firefox running while you put the machine to sleep? I've been having slow wake times with my Dell Precision M20 and I noticed similar problems with my previous Dell Lattitude D600.

But the last few times it crawed from slumber, I waited, (sometimes up to 10 minutes) and I'd notice that the CPU was at 100%. I always leave task manager open, so when the screen would finally begin to redraw,I'd see the Little green bar in my Task tray as solid. Quickly, (uuggg!) I switch to the full Task manager, and see that it's Always Firefox churning away at 100%. As soon as I close it completely, My machine sleeps and wakes in notime flat.

I'll often have dozens of apps open when I put my machine in slumber (what would be the reason to sleep if I had to close all my apps). None of them seem to cause this problem like Firefox does.

I know my machine is a not a tablet, but this might be something to shoot for.

Posted at 11/18/2005 10:59:12 PM by Sean Wolfe


Busy unintentionally selling Tecra M4 Tablets

Same problem with standby/hibernation on my Toshiba M4 (with 2GB RAM). After it comes out of standby/hibernation, it runs 100% cpu and never recovers. Task manager shows that the process running the cpu is "system", which doesn't tell me anything. Tried to "End process" - doesn't work. The only solution - power it down. Very annoying...

Posted at 11/21/2005 6:55:03 PM by Ruslan


Busy unintentionally selling Tecra M4 Tablets

Yep, as a result of Eric's blog, I too went out and bought one. I had researched all the others on the market and depite the warnings from others about sore arms, hot legs, lack of restoration CDs, bundled crapware and hibernation problems, I decided I had to have one.

For the past 4 weeks, I have been very pleased and all has gone well. I must say, I'm normally pretty fussy about quality and features but in this case I felt Toshiba had done a great job in integrating all the software provided. It looks like (here in the UK, at least) we don't get all the unwanted bundled software nor dozens of stickers anymore and I got a recovery DVD too!)

Now I come to my little problem - it WAS working perfectly until yesterday when it suddenly developed an aversity to tablet mode. Now, when I twist back the screen, it goes blank and the M4 goes into hibernation. It looks like the switch has gone wrong and it assumes I'm closing the lid in normal mode.

So I called Tosh's Global Tech Support and after 30 minutes of giving the guy my name and address 3 times, he decided it wasn't a know fault and I should first upgrade the BIOS, then restore all factory software! Ahhghh! Do I really want to be doing that?

To me, its a hardware fault.

Posted at 11/22/2005 7:23:13 PM by Alex Bailey


Busy unintentionally selling Tecra M4 Tablets

Today I took the plunge and made an image of my hard drive and then restored from the Toshiba DVD. It still thinks I'm closing the lid when in tablet mode. Having called them again today, Toshiba have decided they will have to take it away for a week to be repaired. I'm going to miss it!

Posted at 11/23/2005 10:35:36 AM by Alex Bailey


Busy unintentionally selling Tecra M4 Tablets

Hi,

I've had a similar problem - On rebooting the Tecra M4 works fine then after a while, it won't connect to the internet or to the wireless network. Sometimes it just runs slower than other computers on the network. Rebooting temporarily fixes it

I stopped it hibernating and left it on standby overnight and it was weird. the internet was fine but it refused to connect directly to any of the router, access points or other pcs on my network. My other laptop was fine.

I rebooted and it's fine - next I'll try unistalling the toshiba power management.

Posted at 12/5/2005 2:34:50 AM by Alister Esam


Busy unintentionally selling Tecra M4 Tablets

Similar problems here with my M4 - If I restart from standby, it connects to the internet OK but it refuses to find my other shared drive whioch means I cannot print.

When I reboot it's OK but it's a real inconvenience having to reboot to print.

I'd reinstall XP but they don't supply the tablet edition with the laptop.

Toshiba seem to go to a lot of trouble to design software that stops your copmputer working. It would be better if they left them alone.

Posted at 1/4/2006 1:28:46 AM by Alister Esam


Tecra M4 image with password

I want restore from hidden image saved in hd, but when boot ghost it request password.

Where i can found this password?

Thanks

Posted at 2/19/2006 7:48:50 PM by J.Gonzalez


Busy unintentionally selling Tecra M4 Tablets

I have an M200 and an M4. I'm familiar with dealing with standby and hibernate on the M200 so when I experienced all of these sameproblems with the M4, I really thought I was just going crazy. Readng this thread helped my ego enormously!Oddly, since I have been using this machine to test Vist installs, I have reformatted the drive a few times and do not even have the toshiba power saver on there. So the conflict between thatand windows can't be my case. I definitely go into sleep mode when I close the lid. Sliding the power button seems to wake it back up (according to the lights) but the screen never comes back on. So I'm not sure if MY problem is the toshiba or the toshiba/Vista combo. I'll keep an eye on it.

Posted at 4/9/2006 12:38:45 PM by Julie Lerman


Busy unintentionally selling Tecra M4 Tablets

I have had an M4 for about 5 months, and I do not have any of the power management problems here. I use suspend and hibernate every day, and it is always flawless. Running Photoshop and Office, etc. It does complain if Windows Media Player is open. The biggest problem with this thing is the damned 2200BG Intel Wireless chipset. It is plain junk if you ask me. I have the latest and greatest driver and PROSet/Wireless utility and I have roaming problems, it will not identify my AP, so I create new profiles and it tells me that SSID already exists. It will connect to the original profile after that. Occasional dropoffs, and horribly innacurate signal strenth meter. The PROSet locks up when I try to close the Profiles screen as well. I talked to Tosh a few months ago about wireless dropoffs and speed roller-coaster, and Dave from L3 support told me "unofficially" to download Intel's driver because Toshiba's does not work since it is not up to date. They have yet to update it. Other than that, the computer does everything right. I would recommend it with the optional ABG wireless adapter instead of the 2200, but I hear they are the same driver. Who knows?

Posted at 4/25/2006 8:25:12 PM by Dave I


Busy unintentionally selling Tecra M4 Tablets

I have had the Tecra M4 for 2 years and love it. However, in the past few days I have begun to experience the hybernate problem when the screen is in Tablet mode. I teach with my Tablet so its use is critical. Any suggestions for a quick fix would be appreciated

Posted at 9/28/2007 7:39:23 AM by P Abrahms



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