I've been luck enough to have a Motion LE1700 in the house for a while but I have not had the time to really explore it. I had just started having a real look at it when low and behold Motion needed it back. C'est la vie. I snapped a few photos before I sent it back so I could post this mini-review. Click on any of the photos in this post for a larger image. Motion have promised to send a unit with the WWAN module in it, so I'll do a full review then.
I've had a couple of Motion slates in the past, including the LS800 I still use on a daily basis. I have always found them to be well designed and with quality construction. The LE1700 is no exception. It has a very functional design and the silver and black finish is striking. The unit is very comfortable to hold in either portrait or landscape mode, because it is very well balanced.
Here's a tour:
The tablet buttons are similar in design to previous Motion tablets. There is a directional pad with enter in the middle, surrounded by four buttons. On one side you have the programmable buttons, on the other you have an Esc button and a function button, which alters the action associated with the other buttons if you press it before another one of the buttons.
On the side below these buttons are the infrared port and the PCMCIA slot. There is also a SD-card reader, but that is just out of the shot above - you can see it better below.
On the other end of the same side is the stylus and the antenna for the embedded WWAN module. This particular unit did not actually have the WWAN module so I can't report on that, but you can see how the antenna can be raised up as shown or lowered so that it sits flush with the front of the tablet.
The antenna is designed to snap on and snap off, so that if it takes a hard knock while raised it will snap off rather than breaking or transmitting any force into the body of the tablet.
Here's the antenna sitting flush. Just below the antenna you can see one of the three microphones on the outer bezel of the tablet. The other two are in the bezel as well, but in the bottom left and bottom right (when the unit is in landscape mode).
On the side below the screen (when the tablet is in landscape mode) is a Motion accessory port and (under the cover) a connector for when the tablet is used with either the convertible keyboard or the FexiDock.
On the left side of the tablet (when it is in landscape mode) you will find the following up the top on the front. Two indicator lights - one for power and one for charge. The fingerprint reader and the Windows Security button (pressing that is like pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del on a keyboard). Notice there is no HDD activity light. I've had another tablet without a disk activity light and it was a minor annoyance. However the version of the Motion Dashboard that comes with the LE1700 puts an icon in the system tray. This can optionally be configured to blink on disk activity - nice touch.
On the side of the unit below the activity lights are a hardware switch for the wireless, the power switch and two USB ports. A couple of points worth mentioning here - the power switch is on the opposite side on this tablet than it is on my LS800 - though the units are otherwise laid out pretty similarly. This is not a problem, but it does take a little getting use to. However that is always the way with a new unit.
The other difference between the layout on the LE1700 and my beloved LS800 is that on the LS800 the USB ports are upside down - in that the top of most USB devices ends up facing towards the back of the tablet. I'm pleased to report that this has been corrected on the LE1700.
In the middle of the left side there are microphone and headphone jacks; next to that is a DVI-D output, below which is a SIM card slot for the WWAN. On the right of the photo below is a VGA output.
On the bottom left corner there is an RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port and a laptop lock slot. On the front bezel you can see another of the array microphones and the ambient light sensor.
Last but not least - on the back you will find three covers held in place with screws. The top left one covers the WLAN and WWAN modules, the bottom left exposes the HDD and the third cover exposes the two RAM slots. Very easy to service. The sliding cover you can see exposes the extended battery connector. One of the great features of the LE series tablets is the shape of the back - note how there is a slight inset about an inch below the top of the tablet? This is so that when you fit the extended battery to the unit it sits quite flush. Because the battery is rectangular and flat the additional weight is evenly distributed and the unit is still easy to use for extended periods when you are moving about.
Using the LE1700 is a joy. I've had 12 inch slates before and I've had tablets with SXGA screens before (which gives you a native resolution of 1400x1050) but to have both really is having your cake and eating it, too. The unit I had did not have the ViewAnywhere display option - having had that on my LS800 I would highly recommend it. The unit I had was the Core 2 Duo model and the performance was fantastic. It came with XP Tablet edition pre-installed, but with Motion's permission I rebuilt it with Vista. The Vista experience is flawless.
Overall a great experience.