September 2005

Acer unveils C200 convertible w/o "the twist"
One of the huge annoyances with all current Tablet PC convertibles is the twist/swivel hinge that looks great, works well, but also means the display is flexing so much when you tap the display with the pen as to render it nearly useless. Everyone has used this design since Microsoft reinvented the pen computer back in 2002, starting with Acer's own C100. That is peculiar as at least five design solutions exist (we showed and explained them all in Pen Computing Magazine).

So now Acer showed a new machine that uses a more sensible design, one where the display opens conventionally. You can then slide the bottom of the display forward on rails, with the back of it being supported, making for a much more stable solution. IBM used a variant of this in its early ThinkPad convertibles, the P750 and then the P360. [see images of the new design]. Those who remember the Vadem Clio will also find this design familiar.

In terms of specs, the C200, which will come in C202 and C204 versions, uses either a Pentium 1.73GHz M740 or a 2.0GHz M760, the Intel 915GM/915PM chipset, 512 or 1gb of DDR-2 RAM, Nvidia GeForce Go 6200 with 64MB of VRAM, gigabit Ethernet, BT, Firewire, a 4-in-1 card reader, a PC Card slot, 3 USB 2.0, IR, modem, and an optical drive. The display is a standard 12.1 inch 1024x768.
-- Posted Monday, September 19, 2005 by chb

2.2 pound Fujitsu Lifebook P1500 to be available with Tablet PC Edition
Fujitsu Computer Systems announced that its ultra-portable LifeBook P1500 notebook convertible will become available with Windows XP Tablet PC Edition starting in October. The P1500 has a 8.9-inch WSVGA wide-format display and has a footprint considerably smaller than other TPC notebook convertibles. Pricing will start at US$1,549. We initially thought the product was Asian markets only, but then Fujitsu offered it in the US, but with just a touchscreen and standard Windows XP Professional. -- Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2005 by chb

Gateway launches new Tablet PC convertible
Gateway, whose M275 notebook convertible has had sort of a low-key career, has introduced the Gateway M280 notebook convertible. The most distinguishing feature of the new model is a 14-inch wide format screen with 1280 x 768 pixels. There is a choice of either a 1.86GHz Pentium M750 or a 1.4GHz Celeron M360. 5400rpm hard disks of 40, 60, or 80MB are available, as are various optical drive options. The machine is fairly large (13.6 x 10.25 x 1.36) and heavy (6.75 pounds), making it primarily suitable for desktop use. Like the M275, the new model has a multi-format card reader that now can also read Memory Stick/Pro. On the video side there is a choice between an ATI Radeon X600 and Intel 915GMS circuitry. Memory (DDR2/533MHz) goes up to 2GB. A powerful 75 Watt-Hour battery suggests more than adequate battery life. For specs, click here. -- Posted Wednesday, September 7, 2005 by chb

TabletKiosk releases upgraded Sharara TPC slates
TabletKiosk announced the launch of a new addition to their Sahara line of Tablet PC slates. The Sahara i215 uses the latest Intel Centrino low voltage processor running at 1.5GHz, the Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG module for 802.11a/b/g communication and, best of all, the peerless Hydis Wide Viewing Angle display. (see news release) -- Posted Friday, September 2, 2005 by chb

Workshop on the Impact of Pen-based Technology on Education (WIPTE)
A couple of years ago, we published an article by Dr. Dave Berque of DePauw University on pen computing in education. Dr. Berque and several others involved in pen computing are putting together the first Workshop on the Impact of Pen-based Technology on Education (WIPTE).

Organized by representatives from DyKnow, HP, Microsoft, and several notable educational institutions, WIPTE will be held April 6-7, 2006, at Purdue University. WIPTE will bring together educators and technologists using Tablet PCs and other pen-based technologies in the teaching and learning environment.

To date, there has been no venue for sharing and disseminating the value of pen-based computer technology as it cuts across a variety of educational disciplines, grade levels, and settings. In an effort to address this need, WIPTE seeks submissions from individuals with experience deploying pen-based pedagogy in varied educational environments. Paper submissions are due November 1, 2005. Read the call for proposals and get more information at
-- Posted Thursday, September 1, 2005 by chb