March 2006

TabletKiosk first to market with their eo UMPC
TabletKiosk seems to be the first company to actually offer an "Origami" Ultra-Mobile PC. The TabletKiosk eo UMPC v7110 can be viewed, configured, and ordered in four different versions. The base eo v7110 256/30 (yes, that refers to RAM and hard disk size) can be had in black or white starting at US$899 whereas the eo v7110 512/40 is available starting at US$999, also in either black or white. All eo UMPCs are powered by a 1GHz VIA C7 NaNo processor, run the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition with Touch Pak, have a 7-inch 800 x 400 pixel Wide-Angle View TFT display, 802.11b/g WiFi and Bluetooth, measure 9.0" x 5.75 " x 1.0" and weigh just under two pounds. -- Posted Monday, March 27, 2006 by chb

AMD chips for UMPCs?
A somewhat enigmatic Digitimes report suggests that the demand for the new Microsoft Ultra-Mobile PC platform will depend on whether technical issues such as power consumption can be handled properly. Since AMD's Turion 64 and Geode processors are especially energy-efficient, AMD may be a chip candidate for UMPCs. However, AMD Taiwan is supposedly undecided about the UMPC platform due to what happened to the Tablet PC, which "failed" due to "high costs, lack of market adoption and overlapping functions of notebooks." -- Posted Tuesday, March 21, 2006 by chb

Brown to open center on pen-centric computing
Brown University and Microsoft unveiled plans for the Microsoft Center for Research on Pen-Centric Computing, which will promote and fund research aimed at improving pen-based operation of Tablet PCs, Pocket PCs, PDAs, electronic whiteboards and conventional desktop computers. The PRNewswire press release calls the center "the first academic research program in the nation dedicated to pen-centric computing innovation" though, given pen computing's history, we doubt that. Through the three-year US1.2 million joint research and education alliance, Microsoft and Brown intend to explore and develop new ways to use pens to operate computing devices, recognise and interpret handwritten input, and also recognize notations in mathematics, chemistry, art and design, and other fields that have well-developed notational styles. Andries van Dam, Brown's VP for research and an early pioneer in pen-based computing, will serve as director of the new center. "In some cases, the pen is mightier than the keyboard," van Dam said. "Chemists and composers, archaeologists and artists all need pen and paper to create and communicate. We want to help them do their work digitally -- in a way that is as easy and natural as drawing on paper."
-- Posted Monday, March 20, 2006 by chb

Cole OrderPad optimized for Tablet PC
Cole Systems, provider of OrderPad Enterprise mobile sales force automation software, took the stage today at The Microsoft Executive Business Forum. The company hosted a kiosk showcasing OrderPad Enterprise, the first mobile software of its kind optimized for Tablet PCs. To accentuate the software’s benefits and ROI when applied in a real-life situation, the company highlighted OrderPad’s use by the New York Lottery to drive $6.2 billion in annual sales. -- Posted Thursday, March 16, 2006 by chb

Fujitsu considers UMPC
According to Digitimes, Fujitsu Siemens is currently in talks with Microsoft for a possible launch of Ultra-Mobile PCs (UMPCs), according to Raymond Foo, Product Marketing and Communications for Fujitsu PC Asia Pacific. Unlike flat-panel computers and notebooks in general, a UMPC is considered more like a high-end PDA and their sales will hardly threaten Fujitsu Siemens’ current eight-inch notebook offerings, said Foo. Our take: It would make great sense for Fujitsu to offer a UMPC, especially one in the "durable" or "semi-rugged" class. Such a device could replace the old Windows CE-based PenCentra line, offering the same small form factor or smaller, while providing significantly more punch. -- Posted Thursday, March 16, 2006 by chb

ECS H70 Ultra-Mobile PC
Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) launched its "simply smart" H70 tablet at CeBIT 2006. It's a UMPC, one that apparently sort of got lost in the big Origami shuffle. The H70 uses either an Intel Pentium M ULV 1GHZ or a 900MHZ Celeron M ULV processor. It has a 7-inch WVGA TFT LCD touch screen with 800 x 480 resolution. The screen doubles as an input device, offering natural handwritten input as well as easy touch screen operation by means of an included stylus. The H70 measures 9.0 x 5.9 x 1.0 inches and weighs about 1.85 pounds. There's onboard Bluetooth and WiFi plus "grab and go" docking. The device has a 1.3 mega pixel camera; built-in speakers and microphone; high definition audio codec and an integrated 3-in-1 card reader. Battery life is said to be somewhere over two hours, depending on hardware and software configuration. The H70 should be available in selected markets in Q2 2006. [see full release on the ECS H70] -- Posted Tuesday, March 14, 2006 by chb

FranklinCovey's Plan Plus supports UMPC
FranklinCovey announced that PlanPlus for Windows XP 5.0 now includes support for Microsoft's new Ultra Mobile PC platform. To leverage the new computing platform, PlanPlus for Windows's user interface was redesigned to function well within the Ultra Mobile PC's screen size. It supports new touch screen capabilities and leverages the built-in digital ink functionality.

-- Posted Monday, March 13, 2006 by chb reports of Tablet Kiosk V-700 UMPC reports of an Ultra-Mobile PC from Tablet PC vendor The TabletKiosk V-700 looks very much like the Samsung and Asus Origami devices already shown at CeBIT, but the reviewer provides additional data and pictures. The V-700 measures 8.75 x 5.75 x 0.875, uses a 1GHz VIA C 7M processor, has a 26 watt-hour Li-Ion battery, a 2.5" HD (40-160GB), a 4-wire resistive touch screen, a Synaptics stick cursor, 802.11bg and Bluetooth, and a 7-inch 800 x 480 display with 800 x 600 and 1024 x 600 zoom functions. A number of buttons on the front help navigation: left and right mouse keys, 4-direction D-Pad like on a digital camera, page-up and page-down, mouse cursor and enter. [see's preview] -- Posted Saturday, March 11, 2006 by chb

Microsoft reveals "Origami" Ultra-Mobile PC
At the 2006 CeBIT show in Hanover, Germany, Microsoft revealed its new Ultra-Mobile PC that had been code-named "Origami." The platform refers to small tablets weighing less than two pounds, with displays measuring less than seven inches diagonally. UMPCs run the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition with special software add-ons to better adapt Windows to the small screen. UMPCs are smaller than conventional Tablet PCs but larger than Pocket PCs and other PDAs. Read our full introduction to the Origami Ultra-Mobile PC. -- Posted Thursday, March 9, 2006 by chb

Fujitsu lowers Tablet PC prices
Fujitsu has announced new, lower prices on several Tablet PCs and memory upgrades. Prices for the T4020 model were reduced $100-200. The P1510D Lifebook convertible pricing was lowered by $50 and several of the ST5000 units, including the ST5031, ST5031D, ST5032 and ST5032D were also marked down by $50. -- Posted Thursday, March 2, 2006 by chb