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Tablet PC News Archive

January 2009


January 5, 2009

Lenovo Debuts IdeaCentre A600 Thinnest All-in-One Desktop and 16-inch Laptops

Lenovo today announced the latest additions to its Idea brand of personal computers for lenovo IdeaCentre A600 All-in-One Desktopconsumers. The new PCs push the envelope in the pursuit of thinner and more stylish designs, and combine these attributes with unique features like facial recognition and high-definition entertainment technologies to give consumers a computing experience like no other. There are four new IdeaPad laptops – the IdeaPad Y650, the thinnest and lightest 16-inch laptop in its class1, the Y550 and Y430 laptops with a similar family design to the Y650, and the thinnest all-in-one desktop PC, the IdeaCentre A600. With the explosive growth of social networking, Lenovo also continues to enhance its IdeaPad S10 netbook with new instant on capability, facial recognition and easy access to Lenovo’s social networking community

IdeaCentre A600 All-in-One Desktop
Lenovo brings consumers the next generation of desktop computing with the IdeaCentre A600 – Lenovo’s first all-in-one desktop. The new, sleek IdeaCentre A600 all-in-one features a 21.5-inch frameless screen, and provides discerning space-conscious and style-conscious users a modern design that measures only one inch at its slimmest point, making it the slimmest all-in-one in the industry2.

For the entertainment enthusiast, the all-in-one offers a true Hi-Def experience featuring a 16:9 aspect ratio screen for cinema-like viewing and support for 1920x1080 full HD resolution delivering outstanding image quality. The integrated speaker system includes a bass sub-woofer and Dolby® Home Theatre™ audio certification, while the optional Blu-ray player completes the home cinema experience. Users can also take advantage of a digital TV tuner for watching and recording their favorite TV programs. Users can opt to include the Microsoft Vista Media Center for easy recording of TV programs and interactive navigation between videos, music and TV programs.

For gaming enthusiasts, Lenovo developed the first-of-its-kind 4-in-1 optional remote controller. It is the first to bring PC users the ability to play games using the remote control’s ‘motion drive’ feature, which controls on-screen objects according to the movement of the remote.


Lenovo unveils ThinkPad W700ds mobile workstation with 2-screens

Lenovo today is bringing users the highest levels of mobile workstation innovation and W700dsperformance with the introduction of the ThinkPad W700ds mobile workstation. The ThinkPad W700ds gives users prime screen real-estate as the first mobile workstation in the industry with two screens. Lenovo combines a new balance of unique design with complex engineering and unparalleled performance to give users in the most demanding of fields such as digital content creation, oil and gas exploration, computer-aided design and photography, the ultimate mobile workstation.

“The ThinkPad W700ds dual screen mobile workstation challenged our international development team to engineer a notebook to fit the way workstation users work - in the office and on the road,” said Mark Cohen, vice president, Notebook Business Unit, Lenovo. “Bringing this level of innovation to the most extreme PC users required continually balancing size and functionality with keeping the PC cool and quiet. This mobile workstation is the result of where Lenovo innovation and performance intersect.”

The Power of Two
Because many workstation users typically work with two monitors, Lenovo designed the ThinkPad W700ds mobile workstation with two screens, accommodating their work habits while on-the-go and eliminating the compromise of having only one display when operating in a mobile environment. Research has shown that extra screen real-estate with multiple monitors helps maximize user productivity versus single display solutions.1 Measuring almost 40 percent of the 17-inch primary screen, the 10.6-inch second screen gives users extra screen real-estate measuring approximately the size of a Lenovo IdeaPad S10 netbook .


January 6, 2009

Remind regular meet-up attendees about Tablet & Touch Community Gathering @ CES

In looking through the RSVP lists last night, I realized there were several "regular" attendees who had not mentioned they were coming. So, I sent out the following email:

You are invited to attend the annual Tablet & Touch Community Gathering during the 2009 CES. The gathering is hosted by Tablet PC MVPs. Enthusiasts, OEMs, ISVs, IHVs will come together to share information about new products (Tablet PCs, UMPCs, MIDS, Netbooks with touch, etc.), tips on current products, and enjoy meeting people in the community.

Date: Saturday, January 10
Time: 3PM - 6PM
Place: CntrStg suite at the Wynn

Please RSVP by one of the following methods:
1) reply to Lora at ljheiny at hotmail dot com with full names, titles, and email address of attendees
2) Facebook http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=42206546540
3) Upcoming.yahoo.com http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/1405832/



D-Link® Xtreme N® DIR-685

D-Link, the end-to-end network solutions provider for consumers and business, today unveiled an all-in-one home network router with all the features of a fast, far-reaching 802.11n Wi-Fi router combined with network attached storage (NAS), SharePort technology for sharing printers and scanners, along with a bright 3.2-inch LCD monitor on the face for displaying photos, desktop applications and network performance.

Designed with convenience and functionality in mind, the new D-Link® Xtreme N® DIR-685 offers a stylish, even chic addition to the digital home. Its upright design allows users to easily view the vibrant LCD screen that displays device status via graphical gauges, digital photos, streamed video, weather forecasts and other live streaming Internet content in up to 1.6 million colors.

As a router, the DIR-685 features a sleek design made possible, in part, by the router's internal antennas. In addition, the network attached storage (NAS) feature supports both UPnP® server functions and BitTorrent™ downloads. A built-in FTP server allows users to access documents, photos, music and other media locally through the home network or remotely over the Internet.


January 7, 2009

HP Brings First All-in-One Touch-enabled Desktop Technology to Business Customers

HP dx9000 TouchSmart Business PC

Building on the success of the recent HP TouchSmart PC for the home, HP today introduced the market’s first all-in-one, touch-enabled desktop PC for businesses.

Through the use of interactive technology, the HP dx9000 TouchSmart Business PC can transform a business’s end-customer experience, allowing customers to connect, select and interact with vendors and each other. Customers can have a hand in, for example, placing orders with a retailer, conducting virtual video service calls, using touch to teach or utilizing social networking for business.

HP is working with a variety of software partners to develop innovative touch applications for small businesses and the retail, health care, hospitality and education markets. DNA Digital Media Group, GuestMVP, Interactive Multimedia Artists and Uniguest are among the early companies using HP touch technology to enhance and create interactive applications for tomorrow’s business needs.

In addition to its easy-to-use touch screen capability, the all-in-one PC includes the hardware and monitor in one space-saving device, while offering a full suite of business-ready software applications and built-in multimedia features tailored for small to medium-sized business environments.

Pricing and availability

The HP dx9000 TouchSmart Business PC is expected to be available in North America in February at a starting U.S. street price of $1,399.


Asus Extends EEE Family with Tablet PCs

Yesterday, on the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show, Asus unveiled several new products, including a multimedia keyboard with a touchscreen. However, more importantly, Asus released three new models of the EEE series, the T91, the T100H and the N20.Asus T91 Tablet PC

All of the three models have touchscreens, but the screen on the N20 also has multitouch capabilities. The T91 is an 8.9-inch screen netbook with a convertible touchscreen. It retains the small keyboard design from other older iterations of the EEE series, such as the 701 and the 901. However, the most important feature of the model is that it incorporates an Intel Atom Z520 processor, which belongs to the Silverthorne family. Usually, all other Atom-powered netbooks have a N270 Diamondville processor.

On the other hand, the T100h, which shares the same tablet design as the T91, has a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor with Diamondville core. However, this model is richer in features, as it is the first EEE PC model to come with an integrated GPS receiver. Furthermore, users will be happy to discover that the netbook also has a TV-tuner.


CES 2009

CES 2009 January 8-11

I'm on the way to Las Vegas and will be reporting live from CES


January 8, 2009

Excited about Windows 7 Beta? Try the HP Tx2 Tablet PCHP tx2 Tablet PC

The Windows 7 public beta is supposed to be available tomorrow. If you've seen any of the demos, there are going to be some great touch and multi-touch features that will be very useful on Tablet PCs.

Coincidentally, HP just released the TouchSmart TX2 convertible Tablet PC with a dual mode multi-touch touchscreen and Wacom Penabled digitizer for use in pen-based graphics/note taking programs. The Tablet also includes a remote control for running Media Center, thus making sure you're prepared to take advantage of all of the very exciting new features in Windows 7.

Furthermore, the tx2 is in a very affordable price range that starts at $999.99. Quite a deal for all of those features! And to top it all off, this Tablet PC is absolutely gorgeous.


January 9, 2009

The Sony P-series Lifestyle PC: Just don't call it a Netbook
CNET NewsSony P-series Lifestyle PC

Much like Apple, Sony likes to keep its Vaio products aimed at mid-to-high-end buyers and generally eschews the budget end of the market (although there are actually a handful of sub-$600 Vaios we've reviewed fairly favorably).

When it comes to Netbooks, it's no different; Sony's entry into the very hot minilaptop category shares a lot with Netbooks such as the Dell Mini 9 or Asus Eee PC, but clearly goes out of its way to avoid being lumped in with them.

The P-series Lifestyle PC is one of the smallest laptops we've seen; it is almost similar to a UMPC, but with a traditional clamshell laptop design. The widescreen 8-inch 1600x768 display and tiny keyboard make for a form factor that has roughly the same footprint as a standard white business envelope, and is less than 1-inch thick, weighing 1.4 pounds.

Sony told us it was planning on marketing this almost clutch-size laptop specifically to women, but we didn't take them seriously until we saw these lines in the official press release:

"Designed for the fashionista in all of us, it's the ideal companion..."
"The spacing between keys has also been engineered to help reduce typing mistakes making it perfect for long fingernails."


Intel unveils new generation of netbook PC'sClassmate PC netbook

Intel Corp rolled out on Friday the next generation of its netbook computers aimed at the education sector and emerging markets, touting the variety of ways technology is helping the world's poor.

Intel, the world's biggest chipmaker, unveiled the third generation of its Classmate PC netbook, which is made by local computer makers in a number of countries and runs on Intel's low-power Atom chip. The newest model features a touch screen and convertible tablet form.


Fujitsu Announces Limited Edition LifeBook U820
LAPTOP Magazine

If you ask Fujitsu, pint-size clamshells and cute designs go together like peanut butter and jelly. Fujitsu Limited Edition LifeBook U820 Okay, they never actually said that, but this seems to be the rationale behind the limited edition Tokidoki-branded LifeBook U820.

The pattern, designed by Italian artist Simone Legno, is vivid and cartoonish, with an obvious anime influence. The 1.3-pound U820, an updated version of the LifeBook U810, has a convertible 5.6-inch touch display, an Intel Atom processor, a hard drive as large as 120GB or an SSD as large as 64GB, a GPS receiver complete with Garmin GPS software, and either 7.5 or 3.5 hours of battery life, depending on whether you opt for a four-cell or two-cell battery.

It also has 1.3-megapixel webcam, and a fingerprint reader. It’s available here now. The non-patterned version of the U820 remains available, starting at $1,049.


January 10, 2009

CES 2009: Tablet and Touch Community Meetup at CntrStge a Big Hit

Well, CES 2009 is beginning to wind down, especially now that the 2009 Tablet and Touch Community Meetup has ended. We had a great crowd at CntrStg with lots of great camaraderie, some fantastic giveaways, and some real fun.

Some of the companies that provided giveaways included TechSmith, Otterbox, the developer of the iPhone/iPod Touch game-Kronk, ProClip, TabletKiosk, Google Website Optimizer, Intelligent Technologies, and the Tablet PC MVPs provided an HP Mini-1000.

There were a lot of folks here all talking Tablets, Netbooks, and mobile computing in general. There were folks demoing equipment, I think I saw some info changing hands an possibly a deal or two. All in all it was a great time in the room, and also on the web, as we had a live stream running on Ustream with a number of folks chatting back and forth with the party participants and also seeing a few product demos being given over the web. The CntrStg setup really made that work very, very well. So, a big thank you to CntrStg!

Until the next time, enjoy the pictures below the jump and check out this GBM Flickr feed for more. You might even see yourself there.


Toshiba displays 12", 13.3" & 16.1" notebooks with multi-touch

Toshiba M750 at CES 2009When Microsoft releases Windows 7, Toshiba plans to offer notebooks that support multi-touch. Toshiba has concepts of two of these three Notebooks on display.

The first was the familiar convertible Tablet PC, Toshiba Portege M750 with a working prototype of a Wacom digitizer that supports multi-touch, using capacitive touch (fingertips).

Then, they showed another with standard clamshell design using the same digitizer. This one has a 13.3" display, and Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

The third, not on display, will be a 16.1" display and will use a Wacom digitizer too.


January 11, 2009

Pinnacle Systems, Inc., the consumer division of Avid Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: AVID), today Pinnacle Studio version 12announced that Pinnacle Studio™ version 12, its market-leading consumer video editing software, is the recipient of Videomaker Magazine’s prestigious 2008 Product of the Year AwardVideomaker, the industry's leading publication for videographers and video enthusiasts, will feature Pinnacle Studio as “The Best Introductory Editing Software” in its February 2009 issue.

Well-known for combining power with the latest technologies and making them exceptionally easy to use, Pinnacle Studio software is number one in the consumer video editing market in the U.S. and in major European countries¹.  From novices to hobbyists and advanced users, the Pinnacle Studio line offers affordably priced solutions for every budget and every level of experience.  In addition to Pinnacle Studio, the basic version, the product family includes Pinnacle Studio Plus and Pinnacle Studio Ultimate software with more advanced audio and video tools, including a complete HD workflow.

Pinnacle Studio 12 Family Pricing and Availability
Designed for Microsoft® Windows® XP and Windows Vista™ systems, the Pinnacle Studio version 12 family includes Pinnacle Studio, as well as Pinnacle Studio Plus and Pinnacle Studio Ultimate software with full HD support. SRPs are US$49.99, $99.99 and $129.99, respectively.


January 12, 2009

Hands-on with the CTL 2go Convertible Intel Classmate PC TabletIntel Classmate Tablet PC
Mobile Computer

The ultraviolet light that bathed the Intel stand at CES made it difficult to capture any video without the use of a couple of arc lights (maybe it was aiming for that inner city supermarket lavatory look), but we did our best to shoot some footage of the new Classmate PC reference design that was on show.

The new Classmate PC has a clamshell tablet design, so that kids can use it both as a traditional laptop and as something to scribble on. Intel doesn't actually manufacturer the Classmate PC and its reference design is intended as a blueprint for other OEMs to work from. One has already picked up the new design though, and CTL Corporation had its new 2go Convertible Classmate PC on show at the Intel stand.


January 13, 2009

Toshiba Portégé M750-10K
ZDNet Asia

Starting at 2kg, the M750 isn't a particularly lightweight tablet. It's also a little fatter than we'd like, Toshiba Portégé M750-10K tablet pcmeasuring 3.94cm at the rear, tapering slightly to 3.74cm at the front. The footprint is pretty standard, at 30.5cm wide by 23.9cm deep. The M750 is a black-and-silver affair, with a silver lid and keyboard surround and a black screen frame and base.

The Portégé M750's screen surround houses a number of buttons for accessing key features when in Tablet PC mode, includng: the (lockable) on/off switch; a shortcut to the Windows Mobility Centre, where you can make various system settings and tweaks; a shortcut to Toshiba Assist, which acceses various optimisation, diagnostics and security tools; and a button that replicates a Ctrl-Alt-Del keypress and brings up the 'Lock this computer' screen.


Samsung Q1EX tablet shows itself, gets detailed

This unassuming little tablet somehow managed to slip under our radar at CES, but the folks at UMPC Samsung Q1EX tabletPortal did thankfully manage to snap a few pics of it, and dig up a few details. Dubbed the Q1EX, this followup / compliment to Samsung's Q1 series of UMPCs ditches the usual QWERTY keypad in favor of a full-on 7-inch touchscreen, and gets backed up by a VIA Nano processor, along with built-in Bluetooth, GPS, and WiMAX, among other standard tablet PC features. Unfortunately, there's no word on a price or release date just yet, but if Samsung's past track record with the Q1 is any indication, you can expect to see a whole slew of different incarnations before all is said and done..


January 14, 2009

OQO model 2+ features OLED display

OQO model 2+

OQO has been leading the way on ultra-mobile PCs for several years now, with its release of the OQO model 1 in 2004. During CES 2009, OQO officially launched its third version: OQO model 2+. Just like its predecessors, the OQO model 2+ is a full PC, so you can run all your standard Windows applications and be productive anytime, anywhere.

In addition to adopting Intel Atom Z540 (1.86GHz) or Z520 (1.33GHz) processor, the OQO model 2+ features a 5" WVGA OLED display, which offers a beautiful viewing angle and rich colors. It also has a touch screen, which supports stylus and finger entry


January 15, 2009

Sony Vaio P Not-netbook, A Bargain We Think

The Sony Vaio P will surely win gongs for its superb aesthetics which makes it look more like a posh Sony Vaio Pmicro notebook (or an ultra mobile personal computer).

At under 640g and with a tiny footprint, you will hardly notice it. Open it up and you will see a gorgeous screen that displays more pixels than your usual laptop.

Surprisingly, Sony's Vaio P series is the cheapest UMPC around and you won't get a cheaper/lighter laptop anywhere.

Not surprising given that most laptop manufacturers do not even have a UMPC/Handheld competitor.

Netbooks, in comparison, are twice the weight and twice the size (although available at a third of the price) of Sony's micro laptop.

Sony has marketed the Vaio P as a fully functional laptop, bringing in Vista Home Basic and an Intel processor but normal laptop it ain't thanks to its 8-inch LCD screen on which 8-point text appears smaller than on a mobile phone screen.


Winmate Rugged Tablet PC V280
Rugged PC Reviewwinmate 720 tablet pc

The V280 is a rugged Tablet PC slate family that comes in a variety of configurations. This review covers the R10V28M-RTU1A model that comes with a 10.4-inch SVGA (800 x 600 pixel) display with a 4-wire resistive touchscreen.

The Winmate Tablet PC V280 sports an elegant, practical design and aluminum-magnesium alloy construction with ports that are individually sealed with protective rubber plugs. While the machine can be used without them if size is an issue, Winmate added four very thick rubber bumpers that screw onto the four corners of the slate. The bumpers are securely attached via two screws each, but they are fairly soft and sit on top of the machine as opposed to being integrated into the design. This may make them vulnerable to getting caught or accidentally ripped off. Winamte says the final production pads are harder and less prone to separation.


January 16, 2009

Netbooks fill an important niche, but branding is dangerous
Industry Standard

Netbooks are more than a fad, and fill an important niche in the market for consumer PCs, according toHP Vivian Tam mini notebook a Forrester Research report. However, the report warned that manufacturers were confusing consumers with "dangerous" branding strategies.

Forrester Analyst J. P. Gownder said more than a third of U.S. consumers are interested in netbooks as a second or third PC they can use on the go. A quarter of consumers would consider giving one of the ultra-light, low-powered and inexpensive (most cost between $200 and $500) portables to their children.

"Netbooks are therefore more than just cheap alternatives that can hurt sales of traditional PCs -- rather, they serve a distinct purpose," wrote Gownder. "In fact, netbooks represent a third form factor in the consumer PC space, in addition to laptops and desktops."

Helping drive netbooks' success is the fact that half of all U.S. consumers believe that mobile phone screens are too small for data activities aside from messaging, said the report. "For typing long emails, surfing the Web, or using Web-based applications, the netbook offers a clear advantage over most mobile phones. For these consumers, netbooks represent a logical device that's in between a PC and a mobile phone."

Another trend in netbooks' favor is aesthetics. "Netbooks, like mobile phones, are even stronger fashion accessories [than designer laptops] -- they fit in any bag or purse and can be carried around nearly 24x7."

HP's high-fashion netbook, the Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam edition, has a hot pink peony exterior and could pass for an evening clutch. However, it also costs more than other netbooks at $700.


Tech '09: The Hottest Rock Gadgets on the Horizon
Rolling Stone

So much for predictions that a prolonged recession and continued budget cutbacks would cause annual Samsung P3 Media Playertech and gadget confab the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held last week in Las Vegas, to short circuit. Despite a 22 percent drop in attendance, even lingering economic fears couldn't keep an estimated 110,000 industry insiders and journalists eager to sample tomorrow's technology away. Palpable undercurrent of uncertainty — manifested in tamer boots, decreased foot traffic and readily available cabs and hotel rooms — aside, the countless gee-whiz electronics on display likewise mirrored manufacturers' optimistic attitudes towards 2009.

For tech-savvy audiophiles, the party's just getting started. Here's a guide to the most rockin' gadgets heading your way.

Samsung P3 Media Player: Tap or swipe the 3-inch, touch-sensitive 16:9 widescreen display on this portable audio, video and photo player to literally feel good vibrations while accessing digital content, FM radio and voice recording options. The slick-looking models will ship in 4-32GB sizes.


Best Netbooks of CES 2009
infoSync World

HP, Lenovo and Asus had brand new netbooks on display at CES 2009. Check out our hands-on look inside.

HP Mini 2140

The HP Mini 2140 is a slight, but welcome upgrade to the original HP Mini 2133. HP's higher-end MiniHP Mini 2133 laptops really define the limits of the Netbook genre, though the HP Mini 2140 still manages to come in at a $500 price point, and HP really squeezes the 92%-sized keyboard and the 10-inch monitor to the very edge of the device's aluminum shell. battery, which offers up to 8 hours of usage time.

Lenovo IdeaPad S10

Lenovo IdeaPad S10 For the first-time home PC user, the Lenovo IdeaPad S10 has been on the market for a while. However, it's now been upgraded with new multimedia and networking tools for social networking enthusiasts, ranging from newbies to the most social of socialites.


A gallery of Classmate PC applicationsClassmate Tablet PC

While I eagerly await my new test unit, I wanted to share some press photos of the hardware and software ecosystem surrounding the new Classmate PC. Although vendors have come together around the new convertible touchscreen Classmate, most applications are available in both the clamshell and tablet designs.

Check out the gallery here and check back soon for a full review and gallery of the device itself in action


January 20, 2009

Inauguration 2009


Stepping into history, Barack Hussein Obama grasped the reins of power as America's first black president on Tuesday, saying the nation must choose "hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord" to overcome the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.


January 21, 2009

Which is best for netbooks: Windows 7 or Linux?

So which is better suited for netbooks? For the mass consumer audience, there's little doubt: Windows 7 is superior. Installing new software and updating existing software in Linux isn't for the faint-hearted, and most people won't be able to figure out how to do it. In addition, Windows 7 has eye candy and extra features that Linux lacks. Most people also won't want to tackle the learning curve they'll face when moving from Windows to Linux.

Beyond that, Microsoft will spend countless millions of marketing dollars pushing Windows 7, and you can bet a good portion of that will go toward promoting it on netbooks. Since no one company owns Linux, there won't be any marketing muscle for Linux.

With all that being said, a Linux-based netbook should cost less than a Windows 7-based one. The operating system costs will be less, and depending on the version of Linux installed, may be zero. In addition, Linux can work with lighter-weight hardware than Windows 7, and so the hardware costs can be less as well.

So Linux won't completely vanish on netbooks, but Linux netbooks will become a small niche, primarily for budget-conscious technically oriented users.


HP Mini 2140 netbook video review
Jk on The Run

I have been using the HP Mini 2140 netbook for a few days now and I am more impressed with it the longer I use it.  It is the smallest 10-inch netbook around and yet has all the features you’d expect including an ExpressCard slot.  This 10 minute video shows the Mini 2140 in action, surfing the web, playing video etc., and gives a tour around the device.  I show off both the 6-cell and 3-cell batteries and also show how big (or little) the power brick is.  Enjoy the show!



Windows Search in more Inking friendly

Way back when Windows Vista shipped one of my favourite features was the Search box in the start menu and in Explorer. 

Unfortunately it was a bit unwieldy when you were using the pen.  I found this really annoying and even had a go at writing a proof of concept application called SearchPad to try make Vista Start Search and Explorer a little more pen friendly.


The Windows 7 Beta makes this a little better.  When you click in a the search field in the start menu and launch the tip your pen strokes are recognised and inserted into the search field as you write – often even before the recognition result appears in the TIP itself.


Tablet PC Inking Plugin for Acrobat
Gotta Be Mobile

Good friend of GottaBeMobile.com James Province shot us a link to a video showing an Inking plugin for Acrobat.  What’s the best part?  Well, James is the star of that video!  The post that is over on the Acrobat Blogs is informative and also has a video overview of the application in action.  This new inking plugin looks like the perfect solution for iediting in Acrobat if you don’t want to purchase a 3rd party PDF application.  The cost of this plugin is $69.

pen inking bar

Head over to the blog and check it out!  After that, make sure and check out the Tablet Lawyer site or to read more from James check out his blog!




January 22, 2009

Apple’s Plans Should Be Clear: High-End iPhones and Global Positioning

As we’ve explained before, a netbook or tablet-like device would be aimed at a niche group of people who are lusting over it, or want something similar. As far as a smaller notebook with cramped innards and lower than optimal input methods (small screens, tiny keyboards), Apple has never been too keen on developing a poor user experience. Spend 15 minutes looking at someone trying to get some work done on a netbook and you’ll see what Apple is referring to.

While some may argue that there is a grey area between the Macbook Air and the iPhone where an ultra portable device may be presented, how would the device appeal to the masses? Reiterating what seems to be misunderstood throughout the industry by many. Until multi-touch technology matures, don’t expect to see it on a bigger device, atablet or anything directly from Apple. There are still global inconsistencies with Apple’s UI, most notably being copy-and-paste, and until that is addressed, the idea of a bigger device using the same operating system (sans copy-and-paste) is outlandish.


The Mobile Internet Device: In search of itself

Customers have learned that with a well-engineered browser, the small displays on phones suchFujitsu Limited Edition LifeBook U820 as Apple's iPhone and T-Mobile's G1 "Google phone" are sufficient for most Internet applications (Web browsing, e-mail, chat, etc.). And as I described yesterday, small notebooks are quickly lifting themselves out of the "Netbook" ghetto, gaining performance and cutting power consumption to become reasonable alternatives for those times when a smartphone just isn't enough.

The entertainment focus was clearest with UMPCs (another dead category, though I'm hardly the first to point that out). UMPCs were marketed as "lifestyle" gizmos, as if many people were ever going to make a relatively bulky 7"-displaytablet PC with two-hour battery life part of their lifestyle. But in a smaller form factor--say a 5" display, a total weight under a pound, and battery life of at least five or six hours--a MID can fit this bill. As long as it's small enough (and rugged enough) to carry around in a purse or jacket pocket, and cheap enough to be written off to the entertainment budget like a NetFlix subscription or a new TV, a MID could indeed become a lifestyle product.

Fujitsu didn't have any major updates to announce at CES for its LifeBook U820 series, though it was showing a model with case art from tokidoki, an Italian (but Japanese-inspired) lifestyle brand, and I got a chance to talk with a couple of PR people from Fujitsu about the U820 and other Fujitsu products.

The U820 is basically a complete convertible Tablet PC squeezed into a 1.3-pound package: a 5.6" touchscreen LCD with 1,280x800-pixel resolution, a 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, a 60GB or 120GB hard disk, Windows Vista Home Premium, and so on. It offers pretty much every kind of communication technology a person could ask for: Bluetooth, a/b/g/n WiFi, optional AT&T wireless broadband, even a GPS receiver.


January 26, 2009

35 Million Netbooks Expected to Ship in 2009

The market for netbooks is expected to hit 139 million by 2013

The netbook category is the hottest computer category posting the largest growth numbers in all of the market. Many consumers are choosing netbooks because they offer a low price entry into computing. Some are buying netbooks not for the price, but for the portability that the machines offer.

ABI Research announced today that it expects 35 million netbooks to ship in 2009. According to the research firm, social and technological factors have worked together to create a sort of perfect storm for the netbook market in the next few years.

Forecasts by the research firm predict that by 2013 139 million netbooks will be shipping. ABI's Kevin Burden said in a statement, "PDA’s began our reliance on instant accessible data while traveling. When PDA functionality converged with cellular voice, smartphones became the new darling of mobile professional technology that many expected to evolve into the hub for all data and communication needs for travelling professionals. Today, with a better understanding for what a smartphone is, is not, and may never be, along with a reality check on the usefulness of UMPCs, the market remains open for new device types."


Analysis: netbook, laptop or MID?

The lines are growing ever more blurred between mobile internet devices, netbooks and traditional laptops and, with the latter two growing ever closer in terms of price and specifications, it is not unreasonable to ask which platform has the best shot at long-term success?

In today's crippled economy, netbooks, or ultra portable notebooks, make up the bulk of PC market growth, and desktop PCs are seeing a major decline in interest.

Meyer believes that upcoming inexpensive ultra-thin notebooks would satisfy customer demand for small, thin, lightweight laptops, but would be volumes more powerful than any available netbook.

AMD's position is that ultrathin notebooks will allow for both integrated and higher performing discrete graphics, along with a multitude of CPU options, to compete with market leader Intel's Atom processor for netbooks.

AMD is not the only firm to believe that poor graphics could be fatal to longer-term notebook sales. Nvidia has also jumped into the fray, announcing its Ion platform, a chipset which can be combined with Intel's Atom to deliver a richer graphical experience and more advanced multimedia capabilities to smaller form factor notebooks.


Acer Files Tablet PC Patent
Gotta Be Mobile

Looks like Acer may be coming up with an answer to the upcoming Asus T101H and T91 Tablet PCs.  Electronic Pulp has gotten their hands on a recent Acer patent showing a “portable electronic device” that resembles a netbook/MID.  Little information is known although there is a slide up QWERTY keyboard underneath the screen, it has 3 USB ports, 1 FireWire, Optical Disk Drive, ExpressCard slot, d-pad, Touchpad with left and right buttons, and possible infrared.  Guaging from the specs, this most likely doesn’t fit the traditional netbook model we’ve come to know and love. 


January 27, 2009

Apple awarded comprehensive iPhone multi-touch patent

Apple has been awarded a United States patent covering the iPhone and its multi-touch interface. Patent no. 7,479,949, titled “Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics,” details nearly every aspect of the iPhone’s graphical user interface across its 350+ pages. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is listed prominently among the patent’s inventors; the patent also gives Apple extra leverage in fighting off companies which copy iPhone features, as COO Tim Cook alluded to in last week’s Q1 2009 Conference Call. Given the breadth of the patent, however, it’s unclear how successful Apple will be in protecting specific aspects of the iPhone interface; the patent does not necessarily cover every single element disclosed therein.

Netbooks Hurting Notebooks; Will They Also Kill the MID Market?

It’s already safe to say that netbooks are taking a bite out of notebooks. Windows XP is on the majority of netbooks and Microsoft has already seen a decline in OS revenues because they can’t sell a $300 operating system on a $300 device. Add in the worldwide economic crisis and you’re seeing some people opt for cheaper computers that can handle most everyday tasks.

What about the MID or Mobile Internet Device market? I’m of the general opinion that the main difference between the MID and smartphone market is that one offers traditional voice calling and one doesn’t. Neither device runs a fully-scaled desktop OS and frankly, neither should. Yet both handheld devices are highly portable, offer web browsing and are in the same general price range as netbooks. So could the netbook start eating into the MID market which got off to a relatively slow start before netbooks even arrived?


Toshiba Portégé M750-S7202
Computer Shopper

Toshiba has designed the M750 for the rigors of road use, employing strong magnesium alloy for Asus EPCthe shell; shock-absorbing materials for the hard drive, LCD panel, and chassis; a 3D accelerometer to protect the hard drive heads and platters in the event of a drop; and equipping the M750 with a spill-resistant keyboard. The keyboard is comfortable and has full-size letter keys, though the ancillary keys are a bit truncated. As with other business-oriented portables, the M750 has no dedicated multimedia control keys, but Toshiba does include a volume wheel on the front edge.

Using the M750 in tablet mode is intuitive and enjoyable. You can use your finger to single- and double-click onscreen menu choices and the like, and we found the sensitivity and accuracy spot-on.


Netbook Tablet Exists: Asus Eee PC T91
High Tech Lounge

Once again leading the charge for netbooks is Asus, the company that has just announced its newAsus EPC Eee PC T91 touch netbook. The outward appearance is similar to other Eee PCs already on the market, but the display can rotate and pivot to your liking. Oh, and it’s a touchscreen. That’s kind of important.

Among the notable specs on this new hotness are its 2.89-inch LED backlit touch panel, Intel Atom Z520 processor, Microsoft Windows XP Home as its operating system, and options to include GPS and a TV tuner. The whole thing tips the scales at a paltry two pounds and it measures a mere one inch in thickness.

Seeing how well the Eee PC line has performed for Asus already, I would not at all be surprised to see the Asus T91 fly off the shelves too. They’re really expanding this Eee branding beyond “regular” netbooks, adding premium netbooks, convertibletablet netbooks, and all-in-one desktops to the mix.


Decisiv Certifies the Motion F5 Tablet PC for Use with the Decisive Service Management Platform

Decisiv, Inc., the provider of an advanced web-based technology designed to enable more informed and timely decisions critical to maintaining commercial vehicles, today announced that it has Motion F5 Tablet PCcertified the F5 rugged tablet PC from Motion Computing®, a leader in mobile computing and wireless communications, for use with the Decisiv Service Management Platform (DSMP).

“By certifying the Motion F5 tablet PC we are enabling dealer service locations and fleets that use the DSMP to compress inspection time and have immediate access to in-context vehicle, parts and service information as technicians and other service personnel work on a vehicle,” said Dick Hyatt, president of Decisiv. “The wireless tablet PC automatically interacts with the Decisiv platform to provide important information to technicians and to update service writers with inspection findings. This capability streamlines the service write up process whether the vehicle is in the shop or on the road.”

The Motion F5, weighing about three pounds, is a thin, rugged and lightweight tablet PC designed for the mobile nature of trucking service technician workflow. Easier to use while standing or walking than a laptop or PDA, the F5 features a large screen size, full processing capabilities, a View Anywhere® display for use under any lighting conditions, and an integrated camera for documentation of damaged parts or problems.


January 29, 2009

Sony patent combines printer with touchscreen photo editing

A new patent filed by Sony in the U.S. points to one possible future direction for photo printers.

The new printer concept combines a large touchscreen panel with the printing unit and also seems to borrow some elements from Microsoft Surface. As the image above shows, the touchscreen would sit on top of the printer lid. Your camera is then placed on the screen and gives access to the images stored on it.

The touchscreen looks like it will act as an editing area for each image. You can scroll through the images and then view a particular one full-screen, touch up sections that need attention, select areas of a picture, and then print it.

If the printer was ever made it would form an all-in-one printing and editing unit that is small enough to carry around – like a tablet PC, while offering the ability to edit and print without the need for a PC.


January 30, 2009

Acer Ferrari 1200 - Get ready for pole position

Acer Acer Ferrari 1200 Ultraportable

Acer, the third largest vendor in the global PC market (source: Gartner data, 1H 2008) today presented the new Ferrari 1200, an all-new notebook series designed to deliver mobile computing superiority in an exclusive style.

In the true spirit of the Ferrari racing team, the Acer Ferrari 1200 notebook combines powerful performance and extreme portability with the excellence of design. From the choice of materials to the smallest detail, the Ferrari 1200 conveys the look and feel of a F1 racecar. The carbon-fibre cover, a material actually used in racecars, is lighter yet stronger than magnesium alloy, making the Ferrari 1200 the perfect travel companion. Unique ventilation design echoes the exhaust pipes of F1 cars and the anodized-metal touchpad resembles the brake and acceleration pedals ofa Ferrari car. A tasteful wave pattern embellishes the cover, while the soft-touch coating and the velvety texture of the interior ensure ergonomic comfort.

Peak digital entertainment
Mobile, versatile and powerful, the Ferrari 1200 enables users to reach new levels of high-powered entertainment. Without sacrificing portability, the Ferrari 1200 includes an integrated slot-loaded DVD SuperMulti optical drive and 2nd generation Dolby Home Theater for true multimedia enjoyment. A wide-aspect 12.1 Acer CrystalBrite LCD with white LED backlight displays business and creative content with superb clarity. LED backlight technology also consumes less power than traditionally lit displays. Together with energy star compliance the Ferrari 1200 helps reduce CO2 emissions.

Exclusive peripherals
The high-tech yet classy design is mirrored in the exclusive Ferrari peripherals, that include the bundled Bluetooth™ wireless mouse and optional Xpress VoIP phone. Emblazoned with Acer and Ferrari Racing Shield logos, they are both covered with a soft-touch coating for a comfortable feel and touch.


Appalachian State University

Faculty, students and administrators are invited to attend an open house in the Hayes School of Music Feb. 12 to learn about the school’s pedagogy and technology classroom and tutoring lab. The open house will be held from 4:30-6 p.m. in Room 204 in Broyhill Music Center.

Jennifer Snodgrass, an assistant professor in the Hayes School of Music, will demonstrate ways she and her students use Tablet PC laptop computers in the classroom. Snodgrass uses the technology to teach music theory classes.studant with tablet pc

“We want the campus community to see what we do, how you can use Tablet PCs to deliver instruction, and how effective our tutoring center has been,” Snodgrass said.

Funding for the Tablet PCs used in the classroom was made possible by a grant from Microsoft, an Appalachian Foundation Fellows Grant, and funding from the Office of Academic Affairs and the Hayes School of Music.

Snodgrass says the technology enables her to cover more material in class, and that her students are more engaged in learning when using the Tablet PCs.

Snodgrass and graduate student Jeff Lazenby were recognized as educators of the month for January by DyKnow, a software company that specializes in interactive software used in the digital classroom. DyKnow plans to conduct a case study of ways their software is used in Snograss’s music theory classes.

In addition to the open house, Snodgrass and Lazenby will lead a workshop on using Tablet PCs Feb. 5 at 4 p.m. in Room 204 in Broyhill Music Center.









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What is Tablet PC?

If you want the reliability and power of Windows XP, with the added benefit of pen and ink, the Tablet PC is the solution for you

The Tablet PC

The Tablet PC is a fully functioning mobile computer that runs Windows XP, Tablet PC Edition which includes new, advanced handwriting and speech recognition capabilities that enable the creation, storage, and transmission of handwritten notes and voice input. Tablet PCs come in three styles, Convertible, Slate and Hybrid.