Return to the Tablet PC Homepage

News Week of September 28, 2008

Laptop Makers Shy Away From Multitouch Technology

Multitouch may be a better suited for convertible PCs that transform from a notebook to a tablet PC when the screen is rotated.

"If you put a notebook in a slate mode, you are talking about a platform that is more gesture friendly than the clamshell," says Moore.

Fujitsu plans to introduce multitouch into some of its 12-inch screen notebooks in the middle of next year when it hopes the technology will be a little more mature, says Moore. But the company is still betting it will be convertibles and tablets featuring multitouch that will find greater adoption among users, rather than traditional notebooks. (Source: Priya Ganapati, Wired)

Posted Saturday, October 4, 2008 by ChrisD
Rating: 4.33 Comments ()

Fujitsu LifeBook T1010

For those who are put off by tablet PCs with small screens and big price tags, the Fujitsu LifeBook T1010 might be just the ticket. Starting at $1,299 (though we tested the $1,399 version, with Vista Business), this convertible sports a mainstream-friendly 13.3-inch display and midrange price, a combination that Fujitsu hopes will help bring dual-input computing to the masses. Unfortunately, though its Penryn CPU and DDR3 RAM offer enough pep to handle most tasks, the tablet functionality was just mediocre.

Like most Fujitsu notebooks, the T1010 isn't much of a head-turner. Instead of basic black, the system is clad in a glossy silver chassis inlaid with a subtle pattern of vertical columns. It's not a particularly exciting aesthetic; in fact, we think the system's shiny plastic makes it look cheap. At 1.4x12.6x9.6 inches (HWD) and weighing 5.3 pounds, the T1010 is thicker and a bit heavier than competing tablets. Its boxy chassis is fine for toting from room to room, and it won't weigh down your carry-on bag when traveling. You'll feel this system's heft, however, when you hold it in the crook of your arm in slate mode; it tired out our bicep after about 30 minutes of use.  (Source: Erin Kandel, Computer Shopper)

Posted Saturday, October 4, 2008 by ChrisD
Rating: 3 Comments ()

Magellan wins: Venezuela buys a million Intel Classmate PCs

The Classmate PC is a reference design, and has been adopted or varied by a lot of different manufacturers. I first blogged it here in October 2006. Since then, Intel has updated the design based on tests in 35 countries and its own ethnographic research (above). It now has touch screen functionality just like Bill Gates's beloved Tablet PC.  (Source: Guardian News and Media)
Posted Saturday, October 4, 2008 by ChrisD
Rating: 4.5 Comments ()

SoftMaker Office 2006 - a free alternative to Microsoft Office

German software developer SoftMaker today announced that it has made SoftMaker Office 2006 for Windows, predecessor to its current office suite SoftMaker Office 2008, available as a free download. 

Since the advent of Microsoft Office 2007, an ever growing number of users have been looking for alternatives that do not involve learning a new user interface from scratch. SoftMaker Office 2006 is such an alternative. It comes with an interface that any Microsoft Office 2003 user will feel comfortable with straightaway -- and the best thing is: It is available completely free of charge. Permanently, fully functional, and without restrictions.

The software can be had by simply downloading it from

SoftMaker Office 2006 for Windows comes with the TextMaker 2006 word processor and with the PlanMaker 2006 spreadsheet. Both applications have been lauded by users and press alike for their compatibility with the Microsoft Office file formats. In fact, there is no other office suite available that offers a higher degree of compatibility with the de-facto file format standards than SoftMaker Office.

SoftMaker Office 2006 comes with menus and dialogs in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, German, Russian, Turkish, Bulgarian, and Hungarian.

Despite all its feature richness SoftMaker Office has minimal hardware requirements and can even be installed on a USB flash drive. That way, the user can take the office suite with him as he needs.

For more information, please visit  (Source: Press Release)

Posted Saturday, October 4, 2008 by ChrisD
Rating: 3.5 Comments ()

The Microsoft Research Codex: Are Dual Screens the Future of Mobile Devices?

My interest in dual-screen devices goes back a lot further, though, and was really spurred on by the University of Maryland dual-screen e-book reader project. That effort is led by Francois Guimbretiere, who is a long time collaborator and friend. I had some ideas to build on what his team had done, but also to take things in a different direction.

First of all, I wasn't interested in an ebook reader. I wanted a device that was all about writing. Sure, reading and writing go hand in hand - you encounter cool ideas and search out reference material on the web-but what I wanted to build was a tool for thought. To me that means a tool with writing, sketching, and annotating as the core of the experience.

I'd been thinking for a long time about picking up an OQO Model 02 computer. My team has an extensive code base for pen-and-tablet functionality resulting from InkSeine, and the OQO runs it out of the box. It's got an active digitizer for high fidelity pen input, and it's the smallest slate Tablet PC that money can buy. That's a pretty good start on a small form-factor tool for thought.   (Source: Ken Hinckley, Microsoft Research via GottaBeMobile)

Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2008 by ChrisD
Rating: 3 Comments ()

GBM Review: The HP 2730p Elitebook Tablet PC

Iíll end as I began. This Tablet PC is worth your strong consideration. It is a great performer (in the config Iím evaluating), handles Tablet PC functionality well, and offers you a range of configuration options when you purchase. I know there is a lot of excitement surrounding the addition of Intelís new SSD technology later in the month. For what it is worth, my opinion there is that even with a HDD spinning at 5400rpm this a very fast performer and unless youíre really in need of that extra boost, it might not be worth the price premium. But thatís your call. HP has produced a winner. Theyíve listened and improved on some small but key usability issues that make a very good form factor even better. I actually hope we see this form factor continue for another version or two, and would love to see it with capacitive touch. Oh, and a better speaker(s).  (Source: Warner Crocker, GottaBeMobile)
Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2008 by ChrisD
Rating: 2.8 Comments ()

Tablet PC 101: Slate Tablet PCs

Many of our readers are looking to get in to a tablet pc for the very first time. As one might expect, the terrain can be a little difficult to navigate. Tablet PC 101 will be a periodic primer series focused on the basics of Tablet PCs. While this is just a primer series, Iíd encourage all readers to dig in to our forums for more in depth information on tablet pcs.

There are two basic types of Tablet PCs: convertibles and slates. Convertible Tablet PCs are full computers and look just like a notebook pc, only the screen swivels around so it can also be operated in ďslateĒ mode. Slate Tablet PCs are also full computers, but they typically lack a notebook style keyboard, with some even offering a slide-up or built-in keyboard to the face of the screen.  Both convertibles and slates can be operated by a digitizer pen, a finger, a keyboard, or a portable keyboard. Input using the pen is done by handwriting a note, writing in to a input window which then converts your handwriting to text, or is pecked out using an onscreen keyboard. Input can also be accomplished by using the keyboard or speech recognition.  (Source: Rob Bushway, GottaBeMobile)

Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2008 by ChrisD
Rating: 4.5 Comments ()

Fujitsu to launch ST6012 Tablet PC

Fujitsu has made a (kind of) official announcement today by presenting the upcoming ST6012 Tablet PC on their website (translated from German). Unlike other tablets of the same kind, the ST6012 doesnít have a keyboard or any other keys, and that is one of the points that makes it stylish.  (Source: Mobile Whack)
Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2008 by ChrisD
Rating: 2.87 Comments ()

Panasonic Toughbook Line Includes Tablet, Ultraportable Notebook

Finally, Panasonic will bring a tablet into the market with the Toughbook T8. The Panasonic tablet has a 12.1-inch, tough-screen display. For the processor, Panasonic will provide an Intel Core 2 Duo SU9300, a low-volt chip that has a 1.2GH clock speed. The tablet offers up to 4GB of SDRAM and a 120GB HDD. The T8 tablet offers seven hours of battery life and incorporates 3G WWAN technology.  (Source: Scott Ferguson, eWeek)
Posted Monday, September 29, 2008 by ChrisD
Rating: 5 Comments ()

Tech Myths That Just Won't Die

Apple is working on a MacTablet

Ah, yes. The elusive MacTablet. In many ways, the iPod Touch and the iPhone itself are better tablet computers than tablet PCs. They are small enough to carry around all day, can be used to browse the Internet and play music, and respond to finger input.

Microsoft has never gained any traction with its Tablet PC. If you buy one today, it comes with the same software that shipped with units from two or three years ago. It doesn't make sense for Apple to release its own tablet when it knows the market is so minimal and that notebooks are getting smaller and smaller. And as everyone in the tech industry knows, Apple never announces forthcoming products anyway.  (Source: John Brandon, PC World)

Posted Monday, September 29, 2008 by ChrisD
Rating: 2.25 Comments ()

Click here for Advertising Information

Copyright 2001 - 2012 Chris De Herrera, All Rights Reserved
A member of the Talksites Family of Websites
All Trademarks are owned by their respective companies.