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Tablet PC products
by Rick Smith (November 7, 2002)

Microsoft Corporation has launched the latest incarnation of the “pen computer” on November 7th, 2002. I applaud these efforts, because the use of a pen as a pointing device, is far more natural than using ANY other input device. Just think of how many years you have used a pen or pencil in your life, compared to using a mouse, trackball or other computer pointing device.

I have used a pen-enabled computer since 1994 and I am quite passionate about this product category. I can attest that for mobile professionals “on the move”, a pen-enabled computer (tablet) is FAR more productive than either a laptop or a PDA. Just try walking around while using a notebook or surfing most web sites using a PDA. The pen-enabled tablet computer combines the strengths of a notebook PC and a PDA into an extremely useful product.

Some of the Tablet PC related manufacturers are:

Corel
Fujitsu
Viewsonic


Corel Grafigo
available free
Corel has created Grafigo, one of the first applications specifically designed for the Microsoft Windows XP Tablet operating system. While the Tablet PC is an exciting new mobile hardware platform, it will be the unique software applications that run on this platform that will ensure its success.

Grafigo is a powerful software application that helps you easily create accurate graphics from sketches through the use of shape recognition, symbols and tools. In addition, Corel Grafigo features annotation tools, such as digital ink and "onion skins", that enable enhanced collaboration and communication of ideas with colleagues. Grafigo is now available as a free download from Corel.

Since Corel is committed to open standards, including XML and SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), Corel Grafigo uses SVG as its native file format. You can share and view Corel Grafigo files using Corel's new SVG viewer. A preview version of the viewer is also available as a free download from the Corel Web site. Once completed, the full-featured Corel SVG viewer will open SVG files created in any standards-compliant SVG application, including Corel's CorelDRAW 11. 

 


Fujitsu Stylistic Tablet ST4110
Fujitsu has been a leader in the "pen computer" business for over ten years. While many other manufacturers are now jumping on the "pen tablet" bandwagon, the latest Stylistic Tablet blends Fujitsu's past experience and reliability with a form factor that meets the needs of mobile professionals.

The Fujitsu Stylistic ST Series Tablet PC is a no compromise design that has many unique features such as:

  • Lightweight -- 3.2 pounds

  • Thin -- under 900 mils

  • Shock mounted hard drive (20 GB or 40 GB)

  • Very good battery life (up to 4.5 hours)

  • Optional built-in 802.11b (Wireless LAN)

  • Infrared port (IrDA 1.1)

  • Larger RAM capacity (Up to 768 Mb -- 256 Mb standard)

  • Easy system restore using PowerQuest Drive Image SE

    Other features of the Fujitsu Stylistic Tablet, common to many of the new tablet PCs are:

  • 10.4" XGA display

  • Ultra-Low voltage CPU -- 866 MHz Pentium III

  • Full Type II PC card slot

  • Two USB 2.0 ports

  • IEEE 1394 (FireWire) port

    A key feature of the Stylistic ST4110 is that the screen of this Tablet PC can be rotated between landscape and portrait modes without requiring a reboot of the system. Also, the active digitizer, embedded in the 10.4-inch XGA TFT display, makes "penning" easy and smooth.

    In addition to both pen and keyboard input, the Stylistic ST4110 also supports the tablet "application buttons" that are unique to Tablet PCs. These buttons assist you in launching key applications faster and to navigate through documents more easily.

    Restoring the operating system back to its factory installation is also quite easy, due to the built-in recovery method. By integrating PowerQuest's Drive Image technology, Fujitsu has made it easy for you to restore the system, because the backup is already loaded on the tablet (stored on a "hidden" 1.5 Gb drive partition). This is a very novel use of PowerQuest technology and is quite useful in a mobile product that needs to withstand rough treatment.

    Fujitsu Stylistic ST Series Tablet PC pricing starts at $2,199 for the base configuration and you can choose to be backed by either a one-year or three-year warranty. This warranty includes 24X7 technical support.

    The overall size of this Fujitsu tablet is:

  • 8.66" width

  • 11.86" height

  • between 0.82" -- 0.88" (thickness) but really should be called "thinness"

    Optional Tablet Dock



    The optional Tablet Dock adds all the ports needed for desktop peripheral connections, along with a modular bay for a DVD/CD-RW combination drive. Access to the Ethernet jack, modem port and external monitor connector do not require dock usage, because their connectors are already built into the tablet. The Tablet Dock also provides a quick release mechanism, so the tablet computer may be instantly removed, without any long "power down" process.

     

     


    Viewsonic Tablet PC V1100
    ViewSonic has taken their expertise in monitor technology and have applied it to their tablet PC line for several years. Their latest addition to this tablet family is the Viewsonic Tablet PC V1100.

    The Viewsonic Tablet PC V1100 combines the award-winning display characteristics of a Viewsonic LCD panel with a mobile network-ready PC. Based on the ViewSonic ViewPad 1000, the key features of the V1100 are:

  • Lightweight ergonomic design -- 3.4 pounds

  • Good battery life (up to 3 hours)

  • Built-in 802.11b (Wireless LAN)

  • Multiple external monitor resolutions/frequencies

  • AGP 4X XGA video

  • One Type II Compact Flash slot

    Other features of the Viewsonic Tablet PC V1100, common to many of the new tablet PCs are:

  • Ultra-Low voltage CPU -- 866 MHz Pentium III

  • Full Type II PC card slot

  • Two USB 2.0 ports

  • IEEE 1394 (FireWire) port

  • 256MB RAM capacity (Up to 512 Mb)

  • 20GB hard drive

  • 56Kbps modem

    The optional docking station adds easy access to USB peripherals, local area networks, an integrated CD-ROM drive and AC power.

    The estimated street price of the Viewsonic Tablet PC V1100 will be $1995 and is backed by a one-year limited warranty on parts, labor and backlight. An optional extended warranty is also available. Toll-free technical support is available 24x7. 

     

    Want to see all this page in a more compact form? View the linked version of this article. It's a smaller download than this page, and each product's information is only a link away.

    Copyright © 2006 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

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