January 2010

Flood of iPad support announcements
A day after Apple announced the iPad, there's already a flood of announcements of all sorts of iPad peripherals, add-ons and other iPad goodies. Examples: Belkin's iPad cases, mobile learning firm inkling is heavily counting on the iPad, NearbyNow announced iPad extensions for its a mobile shopping and in-App advertising platform, educational institutions get in the game, with Abilene Christian University’s student-run media staff announcing its commitment to produce the first paper of its kind for Apple's iPad, and so on. ANd that's months before the device is actually available. -- Posted Thursday, January 28, 2010 by chb

Apple announces the iPad
After months of intense hype and speculation, Apple announced the iPad, a 7.5 x 9.6 inch tablet that's just half an inch thick and weighs just a pound and a half. The iPad has a 9.7-inch 768 x 1024 pixel multi-touch display, runs all iPhone apps and starts at US$499. There are also 3G versions that start at US$629. Apple announced a US$14.99/month limited and a US$29.99/month unlimited plan, without 2-year contract, and the iPad is unlocked. Apple also announced an iBook Store and special iPad versions of the iWorks apps. [Read full description of the new Apple iPad]
-- Posted Thursday, January 28, 2010 by chb

Xplore launches military tablet computer
Xplore Technologies launched a new version of its iX104C4 rugged Tablet PC, this one geared for military duty. Drawing upon a reliable low voltage Intel Core Duo processor, the company's proprietary enhanced outdoor viewing technology, single or dual mode digitizers, the i104C4M is designed to be a compact tablet computing platform able to meet rigorous military requirements. [See description and specs of the Xplore Technologies iX104C4M rugged military tablet.] -- Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2010 by chb

MobileDemand announces availability of ultra-compact xTablet 7000
Leading Tablet PC provider MobileDemand announced the availability of the "Retail Ready" xTablet T7000, a rugged mini Tablet PC that combines the functionality of a notebook, full Windows OS and the portability and data collection capabilities of a handheld in a light-weight slate form factor with a built-in numeric keypad, optional QWERTY keyboard attachment, color camera and 7-inch high resolution (1024 x 600 & 768) all-light-readable touch screen display. [See full review of the Mobile Demand xTablet T7000] -- Posted Friday, January 15, 2010 by chb

Slates and tablets: Deja Vue All Over Again
At the 2010 CES, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer played with a supposed HP slate during his keynote, disappointing those who'd bought into the massive tablet hype and had expected more in terms of real product. But wait, is the tablet shown in the picture to the right perhaps the new HP tablet? Nope. That was a Compaq tablet concept shown at the Tablet PC press event at the 2001 Comdex. Interestingly, back in 2001, there was actually a solid technological effort behind the (much more modest) hype, the Tablet PC project. See what all happened in 2001 and what was expected of tablets in a pilot version of Tablet PC Magazine (we pitched it to Microsoft; they were not interested). -- Posted Saturday, January 9, 2010 by chb

CNN reports on tablets at CES
Though there really wasn't much to see in terms of tablets at CESS, the current slate and tablet hype has even the biggies reporting and covering. CNN's contribution is a report entitled "What is a tablet anyway?" Well, it was really Microsoft that named the platform "Tablet PC" back in 2001. Before that, people usually spoke of pen computers or slates, though there were efforts to introduce other terms as well (like "pads"). CNN also reports that in the past, "Consumers couldn't touch the screens with their fingers to control the tablets," which, of course, is not true, but such is the reporting of history. -- Posted Saturday, January 9, 2010 by chb

InfromationWeek publishes "Tablet PCs: Learning From The Past"
InformationWeek reprinted, with permission, RuggedPCReview.com editor Conrad Blickenstorfer's "Tablet PCs: Learning From The Past" [See article in InformationWeek] -- Posted Friday, January 8, 2010 by chb

Slate and tablet computers: learning from the past
According to CNN, tablet-sized computers are now "a much-hyped category of electronics." But tablets were not invented by Microsoft in 2001, as many editors and industry pundits seem to think. Fact is, slate and tablet computers have been around for a good 20 years, and in 1991, there was as much hype about slates as we have today (see excerpts of "The Past and Future of Pen Computing" by RuggedPCReview.com editor Conrad H. Blickenstorfer). The image shows an Apple concept called the Knowledge Navigator from 1987, way before the World Wide Web was even invented. Read about Slate and tablet computers: learning from the past. -- Posted Thursday, January 7, 2010 by chb

Lenovo hybrid Win7/Linux convertible tablet
Lenovo introduced a rather odd device in the IdeaPad U1 hybrid tablet. Hybrid here stands not so much for using it as a tablet or a notebook (though you can), but for the U1 being both a Core 2 Duo-powered Windows 7 machine (when docked) and a Snapdragon-powered Linux slate (when using just the tablet/display). It's essentially two computers with that share some hardware (like the 11.6-inch multi-touch display, the battery, comms) but not memory or storage. The whole thing weighs 3.8 pounds, the tablet alone just 1.6, and pricing starts at US$999. -- Posted Wednesday, January 6, 2010 by chb

HP TouchSmart tm2: improved multi-touch
HP has updated their TouchSmart tx2 with the TouchSmart tm2, an elegant, aluminum-clad convertible Tablet PC with multi-touch capabilities on its 12.1-inch display. Sporting Intel Core 2 Duo processors, the tm2 gets up to nine hours of battery life, a variety of touch-optimized software (including "BumpTop," a touch-enhanced 3-D interface for photos and documents), a fingerprint reader, but no optical drive. Pricing starts at US$949. -- Posted Wednesday, January 6, 2010 by chb

Freescale proposes second-gen "Smartbook" tablets
With netbooks selling by the millions and there being renewed interest in tablets, Freescale revealed a second-generation "Smartbook" reference design with a 1024 x 600 pixel 7-inch touch screen based on Freescale's i.MX515 processor incorporating ARM Cortex-A8 technology as well as other FreeScale chips and an accelerometer. The reference tablet measures 8 x 5 x 0.6 inches, weighs 13 ounces, has WiFi and Bluetooth (and a 3G modem option), 4-64GB of internal storage, a 3mp camera, and runs Linux or Android. Smartbooks baed on the platform should have prices under US$200, feature instant-on and just generally combine the best of smarthones and netbooks. [See FreeScale Smartbook reference design] -- Posted Monday, January 4, 2010 by chb