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The Table PC: promising 'new' form factor or marketing tripe?
October 31, 2001 8:55 AM   Subscribe

The Table PC: promising 'new' form factor or marketing tripe? It's not a new idea. Both the Grid and Vadem's Clio did this a long time ago. I wonder will Microsoft's rallying of major hardware manufacturers (Sony, Toshiba, Fujitsu, etc.) be able to turn this form factor into an affordable and practical product.
posted by stevengarrity (15 comments total)

 
My first front page post ever on metafilter and it has a big-ass typo. The shame...

The Tablet PC people, not the 'table' PC.

uhg...
posted by stevengarrity at 9:00 AM on October 31, 2001 [1 favorite]


affordable is the key here...lots of people have tried similiar things but they are just way too expensive.

Personally, if they could make the device with a great browser, had wireless 802.11b access, instant on and was affordable, I would consider a purchase. It would be a great in home companion (e.g. surf or do chores on the couch or in bed or in the kitchen). Laptops are great but they are a built bulky for true portable computing (and they are too fragile). Unfortantely, products like these tend to be in the low end laptop range as opposed to the handheld price range.
posted by mmascolino at 9:11 AM on October 31, 2001


Agreed. I had (it's dead now) a IBM WorkPad z50, which looks like a small, light ThinkPad. It was WinCE (instand on), had batteries that lasted forever, and a 95% size keyboard (very good). It also had a PC-Card slot, so presumably this could handle wireless networking.

However, the products has been discontinued (and mine doesn't work anymore). It originally listed for over $1200 US (not worth it), but when they discontinued it, I got one for $300 (absolutely worth it).

What was so great about this was that you could just take the WorkPad by itself, rather than putting it in a carrying case with a zillions cords and adapters.
posted by stevengarrity at 9:17 AM on October 31, 2001


my favorite site for new stuff is Dynamism, cool stuff from japan--amazing notebooks. Real products rather than marketing stuff. The desktop linked to i think is a good indicator of the near future of PC's. small. wireless. versatile. I suppose that the tablet pc is just one more step.

cool smallness and portability aside, for work there is something reassuring about a big tower with every bay filled, i see products like this as strictly home/office use but not as workstations, which is what i care about mostly.
posted by th3ph17 at 9:18 AM on October 31, 2001


and be sure to check out the world's first external CD-RW/DVD combination drive on dynamism. Niiiiice.
posted by th3ph17 at 9:19 AM on October 31, 2001


Tablet mode looks pretty cool, but it's a tad too big to be portable. If it has to be docked in order to be useful and doesn't fit in your shirt pocket, then it's no better than a laptop. And probably more expensive once you purchase all the assessories. I predict it'll be as successful as the network computer and Microsoft Bob.
posted by JohnBigBoots at 9:35 AM on October 31, 2001


Ha - I thought you really were meaning "table" PC, like some new integrated piece of hardware - similar to those "cocktail version" video games mounted inside small cabinets. Maybe MS would like to move into the integrated furniture market?
posted by kokogiak at 9:44 AM on October 31, 2001


Table PCs.
posted by Sinner at 10:34 AM on October 31, 2001


Yeah, I was expecting something along the lines of Dillinger's desk in Tron. Remember that?
posted by Potsy at 10:40 AM on October 31, 2001


This is the kind of think I was hoping Apple was coming out last week (two weeks ago?) instead of the like-existing-technology-but-smaller iPod. <rant>Sorry, but smaller doesn't seem to be thinking too different in my book.</rant> As someone who plays too much with the Gimp, switching over to tablet mode would be awesome. It's not about portability as much as interaction capabilities. And who would bother docking it?
posted by phoenix enflamed at 10:41 AM on October 31, 2001


stupid <s
posted by phoenix enflamed at 10:46 AM on October 31, 2001


I don't get it. So you can detach the keyboard and write on the screen? Personally I'd rather just have a tiny light laptop (like the Sonys or Dells) and still have a keyboard to work on. It may weigh a fraction more than the screen alone, but it seems like it'd be worth it.
posted by sixdifferentways at 12:00 PM on October 31, 2001


I'd want that with Firewire and OSX. Mmmm, Titanium G4 Powerbook....
posted by jragon at 12:18 PM on October 31, 2001


I'd love to have a table PC. It should be no smaller than 40"x56", be able to take the occasional coffee spill, and have a surface that is warm to the touch. The stylus should handle like a pencil or an ink pen, depending on my mood. It should have handwriting recognition and be able to rasterize drawings on the fly. I'd want to be able to tilt it from flat (er, like a table) to vertical (like an easel).

Dag! I've just described my old drafting table.
posted by Dick Paris at 12:40 PM on October 31, 2001


th3ph17:

Is it just me or does that Simplem from NEC look like a 20th Anniversary Macintosh, released back in 1997?
posted by schlaager at 2:35 PM on October 31, 2001


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