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Tablet PC News Archive

March 2009


March 3, 2009

Always Innovating Launches Four-In-One 'Touch Book'
PC Magazine

The Touch Book promises to be a netbook, handheld gaming device, e-book reader, and touch-based tablet all-in-one device.

While a four-in-one device might seem a tall order, California startup Always Innovating is making big promises for its newly announced Touch Book. Ostensibly the device is a netbook running on a Texas Instruments ARM processor, the same technology we've seen in mobile devices like the iPhone or Nintendo DS.

What's really interesting about the Touch Book, however, is the form factor. The system, designed by Fred Bould of Bould Design product development studio, is essentially a touch-screen tablet with a detachable keyboard base. In what Always Innovating refers to as "keyboard mode," the Touch Book performs the basic functions of a netbook: document creation and Web surfing. But once you convert the device to tablet mode, you can take advantage of its touch-screen abilities. The company is capitalizing on its tablet functionality to bill the system as a gaming platform, handheld PC, e-book reader, and more.


March 6, 2009

HP TouchSmart tx2z Tablet PC

The HP TouchSmart tx2z stands alone as a rare example of a consumer-focused convertible tablet PC. We're not sure if this is because non-business-related laptop users don't see the value of a touch-screen tablet, but hopefully they'll catch on soon.

The tx2z is an evolution of HP's previous tx1000 and tx2000 models (from 2007 and 2008, respectively), adding the TouchSmart moniker and going beyond the digital pen and single-finger input by adding multitouch commands.


March 5, 2009

Microsoft and Lenovo Unveil Ultimate Academic PCs for Students

Microsoft has teamed up with Lenovo to provide the Ultimate Academic Personal Computer promotion that will include high-powered, highly functional, affordable laptop PCs for students, teachers and the educational staff.

The ThinkPad X200 Tablet is a 12-inch screen tablet PC that easily turns in both directions with low reflectivity and wide viewing angles. The PC also comes with a battery life of 10 hours. In addition, the ThinkPad X301 withstands rough handling as it has two roll cages to make the laptop extremely light yet sturdy.


Tablet Kiosk MediSlate MCA i1040XT Tablet PC

TabletKiosk®, a leader in mobile computing solutions, today announced the Tablet Kiosk MediSlate MCA i1040XT Tablet PCnew MediSlate™ MCA i1040XT, the only mobile clinical assistant (MCA) featuring a sunlight readable 10.4 inch resistive touch screen. The MCA reference architecture developed by Intel® and based upon significant ethnographic research, workflow studies and conversations with healthcare professionals worldwide; was created specifically for the rigors, needs and workflow of the clinical environment— whether that is a ward, clinic or emergency room.
Built for today’s demanding healthcare environments, MediSlate™ MCAs were designed to improve workflow efficiencies, ease clinician workloads, and help reduce medication and administrative errors by utilizing an array of data and image capturing technologies. Traditionally, healthcare professionals had to rely on paper charts, stationary desktop PCs and equipment wheeled around on bulky carts to help them complete common activities such as taking medical histories, monitoring medications, reviewing test results and x-rays, and patient charting. Using a MediSlate™ MCA in tandem with their existing EMR systems, clinicians and administrators are able to perform all of these same tasks easily and directly at the point-of-care, allowing them to spend more of their time interacting with patients.

TabletKiosk Sahara Tablet PC


Samsung next generation UMPC - Up to 4.5 hours of battery life!SAMSUNG Q1EX UMPC

At less than 9" W x 5" H x 1" D, and weighing less than 1.5 pounds, the Q1EX fits anywhere - on the plane, on the road or in a meeting. With additional carry case options, it’s the perfect ultra mobile companion and business partner.

The Q1EX Ultra Mobile PC makes it simple to keep up with the demands of your fast-paced life. It weighs less than 1.5 lbs. so it’s easy to take to take everywhere you go. And with 2 GB of memory, it has the performance you need to get your work done on time. Up to 4.5 hours of battery life means you won’t have to constantly stop to recharge. Stay informed and entertained anywhere, anyplace with the SAMSUNG Q1EX.


March 9, 2009

Samsung Q1Ex To Hit US for $749Samsung Q1Ex  UMPC
LAPTOP Magazine

Samsung is officially ready to unveil its update to its Q1 Ultra. The Q1EX-71G features quite a few interesting changes, the biggest being its new Via Nano processor and keyboardless design.

Measuring 8.96 x 4.92 x 0.90 inches the 1.5 pound UMPC (or Mobile Internet Device?) sports a 1024 x 600 7-inch touchscreen display with a on-screen keyboard. The previous Q1 had a physical keyboard which straddled both sides of the screen.


Less sizzle and less steak at Demo 09
San Jose Mercury News

There were also some oohs and aahs when Always Innovating showed off its Touch Book with a detachable screen dubbed a tablet PC. The device, which is expected to cost under $300 when it ships later this year, is one of the most innovative computer products I've seen lately and it comes from a company very few people have even heard of.


Over the past several weeks, I’ve been quite fortunate to actually use their new slate tablet pc, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. This new slate is totally different. Without getting in to specifics, I can tell you that Motion has done a superb job in the design, asthetics, and usability of the slate and accessories. While not perfect, it is clear that their engineers and designers have been very busy the last several years working hard on this new offering. For example, Motion went back to the drawing board on their convertible keyboard, and finally nailed it. It is easy to attach, type on, and remove. It no longer feels like a klunky add-on. It only took them  five years, but I believe they have a winner.  In addition to seeing their new convertible keyboard in action, you’ll also get to see their new slate and docking station in action when my InkShow is released.


Apple Netbook May Be Coming this Fall

According to unconfirmed reports coming from hardware companies in China, Apple will release a netbook later this year. However, it's also possible that these unconfirmed reports actually refer to the much-rumored Apple Tablet, a sort of uber-iPod touch.

The China-based Commercial Times reported today that Taiwan's Wintek will supply the touchscreens for this device, which will be built by Quanta Computer. No other details on the hardware were given.



March 10, 2009

Dell Inspiron Mini 10

Dell’s first 10-inch netbook has a compact chassis, good keyboard, and a crisp 10-inch display, but we wish it offered better battery life for the priceDell Mini 10 NetBook.

Dell may be late to the 10-inch netbook party, but its Inspiron Mini 10 ($449 as configured) stands out in a few key ways. The system is one of the thinnest and lightest in its class, with several color options, and the company has nearly caught up to the competition with its roomy keyboard. Plus, Dell promises to make this netbook even better with future upgrade options like integrated mobile broadband, GPS, and a built-in TV tuner. However, the touchpad and touchpad button design are awkward. And while the bundled three-cell battery provides adequate runtime for its capacity, we’d wait for the six-cell option.


Samsung's Q1EX-71G Is a Taste Of What an Apple Tablet Might Be
Fast Company

Samsung just pulled the wrappers off an intriguing little machine: The enigmatically-named Samsung Q!EX UMPCQ1EX-71G is actually a mini netbook PC that shuns both the traditional clamshell design and processor family that you'll find inside nearly every other netbook. That's because the Q1 is a tablet device, and it's not powered by an Intel Atom--it uses Via's Nano CPU instead.

The computer is a diminutive 8.96 x 4.92 x 0.9-inches in size, and still packs in a 7-inch screen. Despite its small size, the screen is a standard 1024 x 600 pixel unit and, of course, it's a touchscreen. Inside there's a 1.2GHz Nano CPU, 2GB of memory, Via's Chrome 9 VX800 integrated graphics, enough battery capacity for 4.5 hour uptime, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0 and a 60GB 1.8-inch hard drive with SD-card expansion. It'll run Windows XPTablet edition, and presumably Windows 7-

It'll cost a relatively premium $775 when it launches, that puts it at the high end of the netbook PC market (and let's not call it an "ultra mobile PC," it's a tablet netbook, with much of the same internal guts as the Samsung NC20 that is definitely in the netbook class.) 


March 11, 2009

GBM Podcast#67: Skewering SKUs
Gotta Be Mobile

We’re back with another podcast. Wow. Two in a row and, as Xavier says, that’s the start of a trend. So, here we are with GBM Podcast #67 covering a range of mobile tech topics. Xavier and Warner pick each other’s brains on topics ranging from all the rumors about Apple unleashing a Netbook, to Motion’s new Slate Tablet PC, to what we think about the future of mobile media, now that the Amazon Kindle has landed. We also wonder just what the heck Microsoft is thinking with Windows 7 Starter Edition and all of those SKUs.

We have a lot of fun and we hope you do as well. Check out the links after the jump and subscribe or listen directly to the GBM Podcast.

Check out these links we refer to in the Podcast:


Wal-Mart To Adopt Electronic Health Records

Wal-Mart said it plans to team its Sam's Club division with Dell for computers and eClinicalWorks, a fast-growing private company, for software.

Available this spring, the Sam's Club offering will be under $25,000 for the first physician in a practice, and about $10,000 for each additional doctor. The company estimates that after the installation and training, the continuing annual costs for maintenance and support will be around $4,000 to $6,500 a year.

Dell is providing either a desktop or a tablet personal computer in the package. Many physicians prefer the tablet PC so that they don’t have to treat patients from behind a computer screen.

The electronic record and practice management software, for billing and patient registration will be provided by eClinicalWorks, which is used by 25,000 physicians, mostly in small practices.

Since less software resides on the personal computer in a doctor's office, this software-as-a-service model can trim costs considerably and make technical support and maintenance easier.


GBM Podcast#67: Skewering SKUs
Gotta Be Mobile

We’re back with another podcast. Wow. Two in a row and, as Xavier says, that’s the start of a trend. So, here we are with GBM Podcast #67 covering a range of mobile tech topics. Xavier and Warner pick each other’s brains on topics ranging from all the rumors about Apple unleashing a Netbook, to Motion’s new Slate Tablet PC, to what we think about the future of mobile media, now that the Amazon Kindle has landed. We also wonder just what the heck Microsoft is thinking with Windows 7 Starter Edition and all of those SKUs.

We have a lot of fun and we hope you do as well. Check out the links after the jump and subscribe or listen directly to the GBM Podcast.

Check out these links we refer to in the Podcast:


March 12, 2009

When it comes to making rugged notebooks and tablets, Getac is one of the most respected Getac V100 Tablet pcnames in the business. As impressive as the fully rugged Getac V100 tablet might be at first glance, there's one thing that makes this tablet really special ... a screen rated at 1,200 nits brightness! By comparison, a good notebook screen might only be rated as a 250 nit screen. We're talking about a rugged tablet that can not only be used in the middle of the desert, but that has a screen you can still read when the desert sun is beating down from above. Read on to see how well the Getac V100 holds up against our testing.

As a ruggedized convertible notebook, the Getac V100 is an exceptionally strong choice. Granted, you can find tablets with better processor and graphics performance for less money, but none of those cheaper tablets can withstand the daily abuse the the V100 will take in stride. Toss this tablet at a brick wall and the only thing that might be damaged is the brick wall.


March 13, 2009

CBS News

Laptop computers are getting bigger and more powerful. But if you’re in the market for a new portable computer, you can, and possibly should, buck this trend. Dell Mini 10 netbook

A netbook, unlike a full-on and full-size laptop computer, can't replace a desktop. They're too underpowered for popular PC games, lack the storage to hold an entire family's library of photos, videos and music, and their small screens and keyboards can make them tiring to use. They're companion machines, meant to supplement the big iron you keep at home.

Think of a netbook as you would a subcompact car, like one of those Smart city cars: It's good for getting you around town. It's inexpensive to own and operate. You can park it anywhere. But there's no way you could fit your family of five, the dog, and all your camping gear in one to go on a summer driving vacation. That's what you have the SUV or the minivan for.

In fact, the "net" in the term "netbook" came about because the first products in this class were so under-powered they couldn't really function as standalone computers, and relied on a network connection for their core functionality. Thanks to the rise of pervasive WiFi connections at homes, workplaces and "third places" like airports and coffee shops, and thanks to the release and continual improvement of online applications, having a computer that relies on a connection to the Internet for its lifeline isn't necessarily a limiting factor.


Samsung Q1EX Reviewed: Lower Price, Lower Run-Time

My first reaction to Samsung keeping the Q1 UMPC series alive was a giant “meh!” I couldn’t Samsung Q1EXunderstand why they’re trying to introduce a new model when for all intents and purposes the UMPC is dead. I do believe that as a concept it moved us forward and had much input to the current netbook craze, but that doesn’t merit a fourth go-around for the niche device.

LAPTOP Magazine just gave the Q1EX a review, and now I’m scratching my head even more. The price is down quite a bit over the Q1UP model: $750 as compared to around $1,200 when I bought mine. That’s great… but expected unless the hardware is beefed up. Doesn’t look like that’s the case with the CPU replacement nor the battery shrinkage.


March 16, 2009


Lenovo Pocket Yoga tablet PC

Lenovo today released some product pictures of the leaked Pocket Yoga, an ultra small tablet PC that can fit in your pocket. Lenovo Pocket Tablet PC
"Last week some buzz was created by a photograph that someone snuck out of our Beijing design studio. The picture was of a pocket-sized PC we developed about two years ago, well before the current netbook craze and the introduction of a similar form factor by one of our competitors." Johnson Li, Director of Lenovo’s Beijing Inovation Center, speaks out about the design. "Pocket Yoga is shaped just like a large wallet. You can easily put it into your pocket. The proportion of length and width is about the maximum size for a notebook that can fit into a pocket, or, as we like to say, it is the smallest pocket notebook."

Detail always determines the excellence of a new configuration. “Pocket Yoga” has a elegant belt which wraps around the whole body. The “belt” is not a simple decoration, because when it is removed it becomes a mouse. It is the type of surprise that we designers want to give our customers.


Motion Launches the J3400 Rugged Tablet PC with All Day Battery Life and an Industry-Leading Bright Outdoor Display

Motion Computing®, a leader in mobile computing and wireless communications, today Motion j3400 Tablet PCannounced the latest in its line of rugged tablet PCs. Maximizing performance and flexibility, the J3400's lightweight package, superior ergonomics and integrated features allow it to adapt easily to a broad range of demanding work environments. Ideal for mobile workers that compute while walking or standing, the J3400 extends the computing day with a dual battery design and shines with an industry-leading, bright outdoor display.

“The J3400 was developed based on more than seven years of tablet PC experience, and feedback from customers across industries,” said David Altounian, president and CEO, Motion Computing. “It is a mobile computing device with the capabilities our customers are demanding – a powerful processor with a compact rugged design that supports users who must be productive whether in the field or in the office.”

The J3400 joins Motion’s family of proven tablet PCs that meet the needs of mobile users across a variety of markets including healthcare, construction, field sales and service and government. Balancing performance, weight, durability and integrated features, Motion tablets have significantly enhanced mobile productivity by enabling users to take technology directly to the point of service.


March 17, 2009

Dell Launches New Line Of Ultra-Thin, High-End Laptops

According to Dell, the Adamo is the world's thinnest notebook. (Source: Dell)

Dell (DELL) is lifting the wraps on a new line of products -- including a family of fashionable, high-end laptops -- designed to inject some sizzle into the company's brand as it competes more with rivals in the retail market. Dell Adamo

Although the market for consumer PCs is shaky due to the economic downturn, that hasn't stopped Dell from pursuing its new strategy. And the results are such that Dell's latest consumer offerings are quite distinguishable from their products of a couple of years ago.

Probably few things illustrate the lengths Dell has come than the release -- announced Tuesday morning -- of the Adamo line of high-end notebook PCs. Dell unashamedly calls Adamo "a luxury brand notebook design for the luxury conscious consumer," and set a starting price of $1,999 for what it says is the thinnest notebook on the market. And unlike its other PCs, where it promotes its technical specifications, the Adamo is all about image, design and style.

"We're focusing on the fashion instead of the IT [information technology]," New said. "We want the user to be presented with this and feel special about what they're getting."

As part of that philosophy, Dell has also done away with traditional colors for the Adamo, saying the notebook comes in the colors "pearl" and "onyx." The Adamo is billed as the thinnest notebook on the market, measuring 0.65 inches thick, and is machine-processed from a single piece of aluminum.

New added that instead of making the notebook "look like a Nascar" race car, with stickers advertising the processors and operating system inside of Adamo, there will be no names on the notebook's exterior other than small Dell and Adamo logos.

Dell has also signed up the fashion line Tumi to design bags specifically for carrying the Adamo notebook.

The launch of the Adamo line is seen by Dell as the pinnacle of its latest round of design efforts, which include the additions of its Inspiron Mini 9 and Mini 10 netbooks and its new Studio One 19 touch-screen desktop PC.



I mentioned yesterday that I was feeling the urge to get the old faithful HP tc1100 Tablet PC out of mothballs and give it a go.  Last night I made good on that urge; I pulled the tc1100 out and started assessing what I needed to do to make a serious run with it. HP TC 1100 Tablet PC

The tc1100, with its hybrid design, makes it a stellar mobile computer that can handle virtually any task I might throw at it.  The keyboard turns it into a full notebook-type of computer and the ability to pop the screen off and carry just the slate can’t be beat.

The tc1100 is currently running Vista Ultimate, that’s what my step-daughter has used since Vista was released and it’s served her surprisingly well.  I’m not too happy with the pokey nature of the device under Vista so I’m pretty sure I’m going to be changing that.  I haven’t decided if I’m going to restore it to factory conditions with Windows XP Tablet Edition or step up and install Windows 7 on it.  I’m going to do some research online to see how many have successfully gone the Win7 route and see what issues that might create

One thing I have already discovered: You can still buy these Tablets on eBay for around $300 and they are far more capable than any netbook out there.  Of course, you have to make sure you get the real deal on eBay and not junk.  There are full accessories for the tc1100 online, too.



New laptop and desktop designs are on tap as PC and hardware makers start tweaking components to take advantage of improved features in Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 OS.

Microsoft has announced many improvements with Windows 7, like support for more hardware and touch-screen applications, which hardware makers hope to take advantage of.PC makers like Dell and Fujitsu are redesigning hardware to offer more wireless networking options and touch-screen capabilities, which give users an easier way to input data or move images by simply touching screens.

Dell on Thursday launched Studio 19, an all-in-one PC with multitouch capabilities where users can simultaneously gesture with two fingers on a screen to zoom, pan, tilt or rotate elements in photos, edit playlists or browse the Web. The multitouch capabilities give users a more immersible multimedia experience than keyboards or mice would, Dell said.

Windows 7 will definitely impact the way hardware is designed, and Fujitsu hopes to engineer its hardware to implement the improved wireless communications, security and touch capabilities, said Paul Moore, senior director for mobile product marketing.

The company hopes to build improvements into laptops it sells to vertical markets and customers. Fujitsu has plenty of experience withtablet PCs and the company is definitely thinking about adding touch screens, Moore said. He didn't provide a timeline on when the company may release touch-screen laptops.


March 18, 2009

Targus Provides Customized Line of Netbook Essentials Based Upon Users' Needs

Targus® Inc., maker of the world's top-selling laptop computer cases and accessories, Targus Netbook Accessory Kitannounced today it is launching its first Netbook Accessory Kit, designed specifically to meet the everyday needs of the netbook user on the go. The new accessories kit was developed after asking hundreds of Netbook users what they needed most with their new Netbook. The Targus Netbook Accessory Kit includes the Targus Slipskin Peel Mini-Netbook Case, the Targus Ultra Mini Retractable Optical Mouse and the Targus Ultra-Mini USB 2.0 4-Port Hub.

With sales of netbook laptop computers expecting to reach 35 million in 2009 and an estimated 139 million by 2013*, Targus' Netbook Accessories Kit offers the increasing number of netbook users compact and practical mini-laptop accessories for the ultimate in simplicity and mobility.


AIS to Distribute Rugged Tablet PC Line Through Avnet Technology

American Industrial Systems, Inc. (AIS) introduces a compact, rugged, sunlight readable mobile tablet PC designed for harsh environments. It is powered by the new Intel(R) Atom Processor, built for low power, efficiency, and extended battery life for compact mobile Internet devices. The tablet PC sports an elegant, practical design featuring an aluminum-magnesium alloy construction with individually sealed ports for complete IP54 compliance waterproof and dustproof protection. The unit is engineered to Military 810F shock, vibration, and drop standards to withstand the most extreme applications used by public service departments, military, marine, transportation and in factories, as well as in medical/hospital environments.


March 19, 2009

Asus Eee PC Touch T91 netbook priced
PC Advisor

Asus continues to be one of the biggest innovators of the moment and is forging ahead with Asus Eee PC Touch T91 netbookmarrying touchscreen and mobile devices. One of the most interesting, the Asus EeePC Touch T91, combines the usefulness of a convertible tablet PC with full laptop keyboard, with the relatively small proportions of a internet device. In fact, when the T91's screen is laid flat, the device bears a striking resemble to the OQO e2+.

The 8.9in Touch T91 eschews the bulk of most tablet PCs, however, by weighing little more than 1.1kg. It will win fans, too, by having a proper size keyboard rather than the fairly cramped, clacking plastic keys commonly found on theses low-cost, low-spec devices.


Watch out, Kindle: Fujitsu launches color, touch, 4 gig eBook
Seattle Times

Fujitsu just introduced what may be the ultimate eBook.

Unfortunately, it's available only in Japan and costs $1,036. Fujitsu began taking orders today for deliveries starting April 29.

Called the FLEPia, the device is a smorgasbord of nearly every feature you can think of for a digital book Fujitsu FLEPia ebook

It has an 8-inch-diameter screen that displays up to 260,000 colors in high definition. It loads books wirelessly -- via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or connections to multiple cell networks.

Books can be ordered from Japan's largest online bookstore, and up to 5,000 volumes can be stored on its 4 gigabyte SD memory card.

Like the Kindle, it has amazing battery life: up to 40 hours of continuous operation, and a screen that doesn't need power to hold an image, "consuming power only during re-draw,'' according to Fujitsu's release. Specifically, a single charge can display 2,400 pages at 1 page per minute with 64 colors shown.

"As the only color e-paper mobile terminal commercially available, FLEPia offers a convenient, paper-free and eco-conscious enriched innovative mobile reading experience to users,'' the release said.

The device that's now on sale has a scroll key, buttons, a touch screen, a digital pen and a software keyboard.

"Microsoft's Office can also be used to generate text documents, spreadsheets, or presentations, making it possible to view a variety of documents -- including e-mail file attachments -- while in transit or in the field and away from an office environment, thus fully maximizing FLEPia's multiple functions as a mobile information terminal,'' the release said.

It sounds like a Tablet PC with a digital paper screen.


March 20, 2009

A lightweight contender
Financial Times

For many of us, small is beautiful in laptop PCs. And Sony’s Vaio P, the latest member of the Vaio family, is among the smallest, lightest and most stylish of the ultra-portables.

It boasts a very high resolution 8in screen capable of displaying 1,600 x 768 pixels (great for showing the full width of a web page without the need to scroll sideways), weighs just 1.4lb and, unlike a standard “squarish” laptop, is shaped more like a business envelope – wider than it is deep. It fits snugly inside a large coat pocket and fairly easily into an average-sized handbag or backpack.

In design terms, you could think of the Vaio P as a cross between flashy multimedia laptop and one of the new generation of low-cost netbooks, although Sony is adamant that it is not a netbook but a “lifestyle” PC. (The full name of my machine is the Vaio P Series Lifestyle PC model VGN-P588E/Q.)

So while there is no doubt that the Vaio P has plenty of style (my review model has a shiny black case with silver trim), it is also clear that it needs to deliver more than admiring glances if it is to justify its premium. Specifically, the Vaio P should live up to its “Lifestyle” moniker and provide solid multimedia performance including video playback. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

While I found the Vaio P performed basic functions such as web browsing, e-mail and office document processing more than adequately, it lacks the processing power to handle heavy-duty graphics, intensive tasks such as advanced photo editing, 3D gaming and viewing multiple channels of streaming video simultaneously without spluttering.


Hanwha Duo Turns Your Laptop Into a Tablet PC
Gizmodo Australia

Hanwah Japan's new Duo digital pen allows you to turn a standard 15.4-Inch LCD laptop into a tablet PC through infrared and ultrasonic magic.

Hanwha Duo


In order for the system to work, a receiver must be placed on top of the screen to capture pen movements, but the result is a decent-sized screen for your doodles. That sounds like a pretty handy device for around $US104.


Second Light not Surface 2, claims Microsoft
Reg Hardware

Microsoft has confirmed that Second Light isn’t a second Surface, despite reports claims to contrary. It also hinted that larger and more advanced models of the original interactive coffee table may be developed.


Numerous online reports, mostly taking their lead from a BBC article, this week stated that Microsoft is developing a more technically advanced version of Surface codenamed 'Second Light'.

This despite the fact that Microsoft demo'd SL way back in October 2008, showing off the machine's use of a second projector to cast an image on a second surface - a piece of paper, say - held above the tabletop PC.

This week's reports claimed Second Light will also include "HD-quality" cameras and infrared Surfacesensors that do away with the need for objects to even touch Surface’s… er… surface.

However, a post by Microsoft bod Eric Havir on Surface’s official blog has since stated: “Second Light is not the next version of Microsoft Surface.”

Havir’s post is somewhat sketchy about what Second Light’s intended purpose actually is. But he noted that it’s a research project to showcase the possibilities of the surface-computing platform.

Microsoft is at least considering expanding Surface’s size and capabilities. “We are looking at a 46in model to complement the 30in version,” Matt Champagne, Surface’s director of Product Management at Microsoft,



March 23, 2009

Samsung NC310 Netbook Pushes Limits with 11 Hour Battery Life
Mobile Magazine

The whole point of owning a netbook in the first place is that the little computer can offer the Samsung N310 NetbookInternet in a truly portable form. You don't want to be tethered to a wall outlet, because that's not exactly portable anymore. Samsung knows this.

While most other netbooks offer between two and five hours of battery life, the newly revealed Samsung NC310 goes so much further with a full eleven hours of computing on a single charge. Not surprisingly, this comes with quite the heavy caveat. The standard battery on this netbook tops out at "just" five hours, so you'll need the "extended" battery to achieve the 11-hour figure.

The stylish Samsung NC310 seems to be based on a similar platform as the already popular Samsung NC10, but it does come with a few upgrades aside from the aforementioned battery life. You get the same 10.1-inch LCD, 160GB HDD, and 1GB of RAM, but you also get WiFi, HSDPA, WiBRO (WiMAX in Korea), Bluetooth, and a 1.3 megapixel camera. There's no mention of the processor, but we'll assume it's of the Intel Atom variety.

Battery life seems to be one of the big things with new netbooks these days. The Asus Eee PC 1000HE does 9.5 hours on a charge and now the Samsung NC310 goes even further with its eleven hours. I imagine the base configuration of the NC310 will be in line with the competition, but it's hard to say how much of a premium will be charged for that "enhanced" battery.


Samsung's Netbook Sequel is 'Near-Perfect'
Wired News

Samsung has stealthily issued a follow-up to its NC10 netbook and has sensibly changed very littleSamsung NC10 Netbook (so little, in fact, that our own Brian X Chen should be able to get OS X running on there again). Laptop Mag was handed a unit before anybody even knew it existed and reviewer Joanna Stern presumably lost her weekend testing it out.

The N110 improves on the few problems with the original. The new model has a proper touchpad this time, bigger at  2.5 x 1.3 inches (the old one measured 2.3 x 1.1 inches) and a higher, more clickable button. This isn’t much, but Stern says it makes a big difference to usability.

A bigger six cell battery, weighing in at 5900 mAH and giving a rather splendid seven hours of life. The old NC10 was no slouch in this regard, though, giving almost seven hours in normal use and eight hours if everything superflous was switched off.

Best of all, though, is that Samsung hasn’t dicked around with the keyboard. IT’s the same big (93% full-size), easy to use keyboard from the previous model, complete with the proper right-shift key in the proper place.

Otherwise, the specs are the netbook standards: 1.6GHz Atom processor, 160GB hard drive, USB ports and a card reader. The price is a netbook-steep $470, but Stern says that it is “near-perfect."


Motion Computing Answers Your Questions About the J3400 Tablet PC, and more
Gotta Be Mobile

We opened up the mic last week for everyone wishing to ask Motion Computing about their new J3400 and whatever else might be on your mind. The community certainly responded well and submitted some really good questions: touch and usage scenarios, LS800, small form factor devices,  the mobile keyboard, J3400 usage scenarios, portrait vs landscape on the J3400, the history behind the “Bradstreet” codename, and much more.  We are pleased to present Motion’s answers to your questions. Special thanks to Motion Computing for making this opportunity available.


Should I get an HP or Fujitsu tablet PC for my studies?
Cnet Asia

I want to buy a tablet PC for my studies, but I do not need great graphics or gaming capabilities. Both the HP TouchSmart tx2 and Fujitsu T1010 laptops weigh more than 2kg (I know that is quite heavy for a tablet PC).

Which laptop is a better performance for the price I will be paying?

Submitted by Reader


The Fujitsu LifeBook costs more, but offers better performance and battery life. On the other hand, the HP TouchSmart tx2 is cheaper and comes with entertainment features like mini-remote control and media buttons. Moreover, it is also the first consumer tablet PC to sport a multitouch hybrid digitizer/touchscreen.

The HP model offers more features, while the Fujitsu laptop has better performance and a generous three-year warranty. Which you choose depends on what factors are more important to you.


GammaTech Releases New Fully-Rugged DURABOOK RT10 Tablet PC for HealthCare Professionals

GammaTech Computer Corporation, a worldwide leading manufacturer of notebook computers, today debuted the new fully-rugged, compact DURABOOK RT10 model with Intel(R) Health technology. The award-winning portable notebook designer/manufacturer developed the DURABOOK RT10 Tablet PC for healthcare professionals, who work in highly mobile environments that require rugged devices.

The fully-rugged Durabook RT10 Tablet PC can withstand a drop from four feet, perfect for mobile, fast-paced healthcare environments. The versatile military-standard tablet PC can function in humidity levels as high as 90 percent and as low as 10 percent and is fully-sealed and resistant to alcohol (80 percent or less), bleach, iodine and common hospital disinfectants. The Durabook RT10 operates in temperatures between 5 C and 35 C and can be stored in temperatures between -20 C and 60 C.


March 24, 2009

Netbook Madness Game 5: HP Mini 1000 vs Lenovo A10e Netbook
LAPTOP Magazine

Alert! Unlike the real NCAA Tournament, a No. 1 seed has gone down! Yesterday, in a back-and-forth affair, the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 edged out the HP Mini 2140 by 21 votes. Apparently, the Mini 10’s large keyboard and compact size was more appealing than the 2140’s extra-long endurance.

Today’s game features two more evenly matched opponents, the HP Mini 1000 and the Lenovo S10e.

In some respects, the Mini 1000 is the consumer version of the business-minded Mini 2140: Instead of everything being aluminum-coated, the keyboard and chassis are made out of black plastic, which still looks good.

The Mini 1000’s 3-cell battery lasted a very good 2:56, but we’d opt for the 6-cell, which should double the runtime.

When we reviewed the Mini 1000, its price was $549; that particular configuration has now dropped to $469, although we recommend upgrading to the 6-cell battery, which brings the price to $509.99. Other configurations are available, from the $279 Linux version, to the stylish $699 Vivenne Tam Edition series.

The Ideapad S10e is the second mini-notebook to come out of Lenovo; the original S10 debuted in September. But the S10e, rather than just being updated with a black paint job, is designed for the education market, and features some key improvements.

For starters, the S10e features Quick Start, Lenovo’s version of the instant-on Splashtop environment. While we have questioned its utility in other systems, the instant-on environment makes the most sense in computers whose primary use will be for surfing the net.

The S10e, which comes with a six-cell battery, lasted 4:48 on our LAPTOP Battery test. While that’s longer than the Mini 1000, it’s almost an hour shorter of the netbook average for six-cell batteries.

Since our initial review, the S10e’s price has gone down, and its specs have gone up; Instead of $429 for an 80GB hard drive, Lenovo now sells the S10e with a six-cell battery and a 160GB, 5,400 rpm drive for $349.

Take a look at our full reviews of each system, then let your voice be heard as to which netbook you think is better. The winner will face the Samsung NC10 in the next round.



March 25, 2009

HP to supply Marines with tablet pcs
Washington Technology

Hewlett-Packard Co. will provide a large quantity of tablet PCs to the Marine Corps under a new order worth $9.1 million.

Under the order, HP will deliver 4,350 tablet PCs to the Marine Corps Recruiting Command to refresh its existing PC supply, the Defense Department announced March 24. The company also will furnish logistical support and provide an extended warranty, DOD said.

HP of Palo Alto, Calif., ranks No. 39 on Washington Technology’s 2008 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.


March 26, 2009



Microsoft has already gone into plenty of detail about the touch features in Windows 7. In fact, touch was the first thing that the company shared when it came to how Windows 7 would look and feel.

But for those that really want to go deep, the company on Wednesday posted an even more detailed look at the thinking that went into building touch into Windows 7.

The company also noted that it continues to tweak the way gestures work as it gets more feedback from the beta version of Windows 7 that was released in January. For example, in its earlier incarnation, the recognition engine was missing many quickly performed gestures.

"We tuned the gesture detection engine with sample gesture input provided by real people using touch in pre-release builds," Microsoft said in the blog posting. "These tuned gestures are what you will see in the (release candidate) build."

The company also notes which touch-capable machines already in the market support the pre-release versions of Windows 7, namely HP 's TouchSmart All-in-One PCs (IQ500 series & IQ800 series), its TouchSmart tx2Tablet PC, and Dell's Latitude XT or XT2 Tablet PC.



Largest Capacity Available in Single-drive External Hard Drives for Mac® and PC Users

WD® (NYSE: WDC), the world’s leader in external storage solutions, today expanded its My Book® family of external hard drives to include a 2 TB capacity, the largest available capacity in a single-drive system. With its wide variety of models, WD offers a solution for every type of user, whether they’re a creative power user on a Mac® or a home user on a PC. The new 2 TB My Book family includes: My Book Studio Edition™, My Book Mac Edition, My Book Home Edition™ and My Book Essential Edition™ models.


Full version of Windows 7 on Samsung Netbooks? Maybe

Though Microsoft wants Netbook purveyors to pack future products with full versions of the new Windows 7 operating system, it's going to come down to pricing, as one Netbook maker, Samsung, confirmed

TechRadar.com sat down with the head of global computer marketing from Samsung, Kyu Uhm, on Wednesday, where he discussed Samsung's development of Netbooks around the new features available in Windows 7. When asked about what versions of the OS the company plans to make available on its Netbooks, Uhm had this to say:

"Currently Microsoft provides Windows XP for Netbooks. For Windows 7 they would like to give us Windows 7 Starter Edition for Netbooks. That's the current plan. [Different versions are a] matter of how much we need to pay to Microsoft. It is an open issue. So we can ship other Windows 7 versions, but it is a matter of royalties."

Microsoft has been saying since before it showed off Windows 7 that it intends for the operating system to reach into the Netbook arena, a segment which Vista largely overshot due to its hefty memory and disk space needs.


March 30, 2009

World’s First Touch-Notebook For You
Connected Internet

Witness the first multi-touch notebook for the masses: The HP TouchSmart. Also dubbed the TX2, HP TouchSmart TX2this baby allows customers to pack up the keyboard and mouse and settle for a more natural user interface… the good ole fingertip.

The snazzy multi-touch display affords rapid and easy access to data, entertainment and web media with its capacitive technology. Just as with the iphone, you can pinch, arc, press and drag, rotate, double click and single tap any element with your fingers.

I had a 30 minute test drive of this notebook and found that it works in three modes: PC, tablet, and display. There’s also a digital pen that got me flexing my creative muscles as I wrote, sketched, drew and took notes and graphs right onto the screen. These were converted into real text into no time. It’s something every secretary or executive assistant would love to have. So bosses, start setting a budget aside for this ultimate productivity tool!

he AMD Turion X2 Ultra Dual-Core Mobile processor keeps the notebook running steadily even with graphic intensive applications like Photoshop.



Remember we introduced you to the Eee PC T91 convertible tablet PC back in January? Well, we'veEee PC T91 Tablet Netbook just had an extended play with one in the comfort of our own UK offices and you know what? We love this netbook more than bees love meat.

As we reported earlier in the year, the T91 packs an 8.9-inch display, which swivels 180 degrees on its central hinge mechanism to lay flat against the keyboard, facing upwards. The screen itself is also touch-sensitive, so you can prod your way around Windows XP with a stylus or a finger. It should be available in May for around £500.

So, is it as good as it seems? Our photo story takes you through just about every aspect of the machine, so take a look, read our captions and make your own mind up. By the time you get to the end, you'll think -- as we do -- that all netbooks should be made this way.



Looking to go online while you're on the go? Consumer Reports suggests you consider a mini-laptop, or netbook. They're some of the cheapest laptops out there. They weigh just 2 to 3 pounds and have 9- to 10-inch screens. They are small compared to a full-sized notebook computer.

They are Wi-Fi ready, which makes them well equipped for people who want to go online or check their e-mail while they're out. Consumer Reports tested the least expensive Windows netbooks on the market, and found several good choices priced around $400.

But Consumer Reports cautions that while you'll save a bundle, you'll sacrifice features. Netbooks are usually slower and have less memory, which makes them fine for light office work but not for gaming.

When you're shopping for a netbook, Consumer Reports says there are several features you should consider, including ergonomics-or how easy the netbook is to use. For one, take a look at the keyboard. They're smaller than typical laptops and they can feel cramped. Next, try the track pad and see how easy it is to press the buttons.



Verizon Wireless has confirmed earlier reports that it's ready to enter the Netbook market. Spokeswoman Brenda Raney, who was quoted to a similar effect in an Internetnews.com story Friday, said Saturday that the plan is for the company to start selling 3G-enabled Netbooks by the end of the second quarter, or by June.


Gizmodo Australia Making dinner for two? Then move along. The Electrolux Personal Mini Kitchen concept is designed to hold the bare essentials for one person: A small silicon hotplate, a tiny soda-can-sized fridge, and a tablet PC.

The Mini Kitchen is designed for the growing numbers of young and single people in China, and features an all-in-one design including tiny facsimiles of a fridge, stovetop, and silverware. The "cook box" is sort of like a compartmentalised bento box that can be used for both cooking and serving, which is actually pretty clever. The tablet PC is a small netbook-type that is mostly intended for chatting (as it features a webcam) and looking up recipes. Unfortunately for all you single-and-staying-that-way types, it is just a concept for now, but it seems fairly marketable if the price could be kept down.



The health care industry is under extreme pressure to reduce costs and increase the quality of their customer service (in this case patient care). Coupled with stringent requirements regarding patient privacy set forth by HIPAA regulations, many practices must reevaluate the foundation for their business practices and processes.

One medical practice found an effective and efficient way to leverage technology to reshape their business foundation and still focus on what matters most - patient care. The Plastic Surgery Center of Hampton Roads (PSCHR) needed a system that could help it comply with the HIPAA mandates while enabling it to better manage patient flow and practice efficiency. Today at PSCHR, patients can privately sign in on atablet PC as soon as they walk in the office. This then triggers a flow of information to the practice staff, leveraging the collaborative components within IBM WebSphere Portal Express, IBM's portal offering specifically for the midmarket Each staff member has an interface customized to his/her role which includes patient waiting information as well as collaborative tools. Using these tools, the staff can optimize the flow of patients through the practice - relying on instant messaging to respond to patient needs, share critical information and quickly adjust schedules as needed.


March 31, 2009

Need a higher-res screen for your Netbook? Dell's Mini 10 adds a 720p Option

While the new Dell Mini 10 is still not shipping (the site currently promises a prelimiary ship date of April 15), there is a new option available in the online configurator. Dell mini 10 netbook

Users who want a little more screen real estate than the typical 1,024x600 found in most Netbooks (Dell's standard is actually 1,024x576) will appreciate the new 1,366x768 option, which is high enough to natively display 720p video.

It's a $35 add-on to the Mini 10's $399 base price, and while we haven't seen this new screen in person yet, it would be the highest resolution we've heard of on a Netbook display to date.



I am a sucker for small Tablet PC form factors and have often thought that such a form in a netbook would be pretty sweet. Intel sent me their netbook designed for students and I have to admit it’s a pretty darn good Tablet. The Classmate PC comes in two forms, a typical notebook clamshell and the convertible model which I just received for evaluation. The screen swivels 180 degrees so the Classmate can be used as a notebook or a slate and it is well-designed.

This video was shot literally minutes after the Classmate showed up at Mobile Tech Manor so you get to delight along with me as I discover new things about it.



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Asking which model is the Best Tablet PC is like asking what flavor of ice cream is best:

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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.