February 2010

Lenovo introduces 17-inch ThinkPads with Wacom digitizer
Lenovo also introduced the new W701 and W701ds mobile workstations that are Lenovo's most powerful ThinkPads yet. They pair Intel Core i7 Series processors with NVIDIA Quadro FX 2800 and 3800 Series GPUs, offering the responsiveness of a workstation in a 17 inch mobile design. The W701 and W701ds are the only mobile workstations to feature an optional built-in WACOM digitizer and pen to manipulate fine details. -- Posted Tuesday, February 23, 2010 by chb

Lenovo updates its ThinkPad tablet
Lenovo announced the ThinkPad X201, a slightly updated version of its X200 Tablet PC convertible. The X201 comes in different versions, including one that weighs under 2.5 pounds, and comes with an Intel Core i7 processor. Units equipped with a 9-cell power pack can get up to 11 hours of battery life. -- Posted Tuesday, February 23, 2010 by chb

Toshiba updates its convertible Tablet PC to Intel i3/i5/i7
With the availability of Intel's new Core i3/i5/i7 processors, Toshiba has upgraded its venerable M750 Tablet PC convertible (which remains available for now) to the new Portege M780, which is available in several versions with the new Intel chips. The 4.65-lbs machine has a 12.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixel WXGA display with both digitizer and touch. Other tech specs have been upgraded as well and while the M780 is a durable rather than rugged computer, at least the European specs suggest the ability to survive a respectable 3.3-foot drop. Prices start at US$1,279. [See description and specs of the Toshiba Portege M780] -- Posted Tuesday, February 23, 2010 by chb

Fujitsu selects Cypress TrueTouch solution
Cypress Semiconductor announced that Fujitsu has selected the TrueTouch solution from Cypress to implement the water-resistant touchscreen in some of Fujitsu's Japanese market phones. Cypress’s TrueTouch family, which seems applicable for a wide range of commercial applications, includes single-touch, multitouch and "multitouch all-point" offerings and the company was first to introduce multitouch with an unlimited number of touches. Cypress recently announced its next-gen TMA300 multi-touch all-point family for the most demanding touchscreen applications. [Check out Cypress TrueTouch] -- Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2010 by chb

A look at Intel's new Core i3/i5/i7 processors and how they will affect rugged computing
Just when most manufacturers of rugged mobile computers have switched from earlier platforms either to Intel Atom or Core processors, Intel raises the ante again with new Atoms and the next generation of Core processors. By now Intel has released some three dozen Core i3/i5/i7 processors as part of the mobile "Calpella" and the not-so-mobile "Piketon" platforms that include "Lynnfield," "Clarkdale," and "Arrandale" processors, including a number designated as embedded processors. They offer some interesting new capabilities and will surely have an impact on tablet computing platforms. [more...] -- Posted Tuesday, February 16, 2010 by chb

Review: Fujitsu Lifebook T4410 with multi-touch
Fujitsu was one of the early pioneers in pen computing and has been making tablet computers and pen-enable convertible notebooks ever since. Their experience shows in the latest convertible notebook, the Lifebook T4410. This is a versatile 4.5-pound notebook that offers excellent performance without compromising battery life. The outdoor-viewable 12.1-inch display offers both pen and touch input, and under Windows 7, the multi-touch capabilities are very good. [See full review of the Fujitsu Lifebook T4410] -- Posted Monday, February 15, 2010 by chb

Panasonic introduces the rugged Toughbook H1 Field
Panasonic introduced a new version of its Toughbook H1 tablet computer, the Toughbook H1 Field. Specially configured for use by field personnel and equipped with a 64GB solid state disk, the H1 Field offers impressive ruggedness specs (6-foot drop, -4 to 140 F temperature range, IP65 sealing), an excellent 10.4-inch sunlight-viewable dual-touch display, and 6-hour battery life thanks to a power-efficient Intel Atom Z540 processor. For data capture there's, depending on the version, a 1D/2D barcode reader, RFID, and a camera as well as smart card and fingerprint readers. Also available: Gobi2000 mobile broadband. [See detailed description and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook H1 Field] -- Posted Thursday, February 11, 2010 by chb

Microsoft closes door on Tablet PC blog
Just when the rest of the world is getting really excited about tablets, Microsoft gives up. The final entry on Microsoft's Tablet PC Team Blog reads: Although we continue to innovate around all natural user interface input methods--including ink, multitouch, and handwriting recognition--the Tablet PC Team blog is no longer active. Instead, blog posts from our team members can be found on the Windows Team Blog (http://windowsteamblog.com/). -- Posted Tuesday, February 9, 2010 by chb

Handheld introduces rugged, ultra-mobile Algiz 7
Handheld announced the Algiz 7, a rugged, ultra-mobile Intel Atom-based tablet computer designed for use in homeland security, public safety, field service, GIS/mapping, logistics, railways, telecommunications, energy, law enforcement, military, warehousing, etc. The Algiz 7 has a 7-inch MaxView WSVGA sunlight-viewable touch screen, excellent connectivity, onboard camera and Mediatek GPS, and it is available with Gobi 2000 WWAN technology that provides access to any wireless WWAN frequency used around the globe. [See description and specs of the Handheld Algiz 7] -- Posted Tuesday, February 9, 2010 by chb

Dick Brass: Microsoft has become a clumsy, uncompetitive innovator
In an article published in the New York Times, former Microsoft VP Dick Brass, the driving force behind Microsoft's 2001 re-invention of the Tablet PC, describes why "Microsoft has become a clumsy, uncompetitive innovator," lamenting the lack of systems for innovation, internal competition and sabotage, and a steady exit of the company's best and brightest. [See article on Microsoft's decline] -- Posted Tuesday, February 9, 2010 by chb