A couple of additional buttons have been added to the screen to make life easier in tablet PC mode. There’s a scroll button that enables you to scroll up and down, a display mode button that switches the screen between landscape and horizontal view and a quick access button to the Windows Task Manager and finally a programmable button.
There isn’t much on the software side of things, but Acer UK supplies Norton Antivirus and NTI CD-Maker as standard.
Looking at the benchmark numbers the TravelMate C312XMi scored 193 overall in SYSMark 2002, not quite as fast as I’d expected it to be, but not slow by any means. With a battery life of just over three hours the TravelMate is about average for a notebook these days and this falls by about 20 minutes in the DVD playback test.
This is very much a business machine, but it’s not as portable as the Fujitsu-Siemens machines we’ve looked at in the past. It’s not a bad notebook by any means, but it’s not the best tablet PC around due to its size. At 2.89kg measuring 326x272x39 mm (WxDxH) it’s quite heavy and chunky to use in tablet PC mode, but if you need something that will primarily be used in notebook mode, it’s not a bad choice. However, for £1,059.96 you really need to make sure that a Tablet PC is what you need as you can get a much better laptop for the same money.
The Acer TravelMate C312XMi is a decent laptop that offers the advantage of being a tablet PC, but at a price premium. However, for a Tablet PC it’s on the heavy side and the screen resolution is a generation behind.