problem with earlier tablets was lack of SSD?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 21, 2010
As much as I love my iPad, one feature of my old 2004 Windows Tablet PC that I loved was working on Math Problems with Windows Journal. I take a lot of math classes and it was nice to use Windows Journal as a scratchpad to practice problems on without wasting paper. I never bothered with conversion to text. That machine had 512 MB of ram, and a 1.5 GHZ pentium M processor. Now thinking back to how slow it was, was the problem really the hard drive? What if SSDs had been around back then? Would it have made Windows Tablet PCs back then a lot more useable?

I honestly wish the iPad would have a "pen mode" where with the flick of a switch, you can disable the multitouch screen and switch it to a special tablet stylus only mode, so I can work on math stuff without getting stray inputs from my hand...


macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
No, SSD is not related to what you describe.

Touch input to canvas is all between CPU and RAM. Most applications for mobile/desktop are going to load entirely into RAM, the exception I can think of is games with lots of textures. SSD/HDD isn't in use at this stage.


macrumors member
Nov 10, 2011
Everywhere you aren't
The reason the tablet was so slow was because it was windows JK;). The difference between an iPad and a tablet like that, is iOS was made to run on mobile platforms, iPhone,iPT and iPad, When you put a full fledge operating system on a device with limited power it will slow down. I have played around with a few tablets running windows 7. Even though the specs of the tablets are quite impressive, you are still running it on a tablet and with that comes some downsides, for example, the need for a touch input device, a shorter battery life and just general ease of use is not as simplistic as iOS or even dare I say ANDROID!.

As for SSD, technically that would add speed improvement, but on such a old device, that alone would not make it as fast as an iPad or other current devices today.

As for the stylus thing, you can buy a stylus for the iPad if you so desire.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2011
I think hard drives were a significant part of the problem. SSDs give off less heat, get better battery life, and open programs much faster. Something like instant on/off is impossible without an SSD. The other problem was the desktop operating system, and finally the old fashioned resistive touch screens that seem like such crap compared to a nice capacitive screen ;)


macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
If you are thinking hardware then you are on the wrong track.

Other contributing factors include:

App optimization
App quality (ease of development)


macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2011
Austin TX
I have an iPad 2 and an Asus EPT 121 running Windows 7. My Asus tablet has 2 gigs of ram and a 64 gig SSD. The Asus is fast and very reliable, even using the stylus. But it still weighs almost 3 lbs and the battery life is around 5 hours.

I like my Asus but to be portable the iPad is the best form factor. It will be interesting to see if the newer tablets running Windows 8 can meet the form factor. I'm retired, but if I were still working or in school I would buy a Windows tablet every time because of the file system and full-blown programs (OneNote and Excel especially). I used HP Windows tablets beginning in 2003 (or around there), for my work and note taking and for that I believe they still beat the ipad (Wacom-yea!).

But for what I need a tablet for now, form factor is my top priority.
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