On the Road, Again
I see that Tablet PC competition is heating up. I can't see the demand yet, but you know how these things go.
If the media tout it enough, the demand will be created. Acer has the TravelMate C100 with an 800MHz ULV Pentium III-m processor, 256MB of RAM (not expandable), a 10.4 inch XGA screen, electromagnetic digitizer panel, two USB ports, a 10/100 Ethernet connection, a 56Kbps modem, 802.11b WLAN, a Type II PC Card slot, an external 24x USB CD-ROM, a Smart Card Reader, a digitizer pen and an integrated keyboard. This convertible form factor unit is 9.9 inches by 8.2 inches by 1.1 inches, weighs 3.1 pounds and sells for $2,199.
Compaq's entry is the TC1000 with a 1 Gigahertz Caruso TM5800 processor, 256MB of RAM (expandable to 768MB), a 30 Gigabyte hard drive, a 10.4 inch XGA screen, electromagnetic digitizer, a Type II PC Card slot, a Type II Compact Flash slot, two USB 2.0 skits, a 10/100 Ethernet connection, a 56Kbps modem, an 802.11b WLAN connection, a digitizer pen and an included keyboard. It's 10.8 inches by 8.5 inches by 0.8 inches and weighs 3.0 pounds. The price for this slate unit is $1,900.
Toshiba's contribution is the Portégé 3500, with a 1.33 Gigahertz Pentium III-m processor, 256MB of RAM (expandable to 1024MB), a 40 Gigabyte hard drive, a 12.1 inch XGA screen, a Type II PC Card slot, a Type II Compact Flash slot, a Secure Digital slot, two USB 2.0 connections, a 10/100 Ethernet connection, a 56KBPS modem, a 802.11b WLAN connection, a digitizer pen and an integrated keypad. The Portégé is 11.0 inches by 9.2 inches by 1.2 inches and weighs 4.1 pounds. Pricing for this convertible form factor unit is at $2,249.
ViewSonic has contributed the V1100, with a 866 Megahertz Pentium III-m processor, 256MB of RAM (expandable to 512MB), a 20 Gigabyte hard drive, a 10.4 inch XGA screen, a Type II PC Card slot, a Type II Compact Flash slot, two USB slots, a 10/100 Ethernet connection, a 56Kbps modem, Firewire, an 802.11b WLAN connection, a digitizer pen and an optional keypad. The V1100 is 11.3 inches by 9.9 inches by 1.1 inches and weighs 3.4 pounds. This slate form factor model is priced at $1,999.
These are only a few of the entries in the Tablet market. Check out Fujitsu, H-P and Motion Computing for more.
Are you into maps on your PDA? If you are, check out Handmark.com. Also access PDAStreetFinder.com to choose your favorites from more than 750 Rand McNally maps for the Palm OS. These maps are priced at $9.99 each.
Great News! Iomega has come out with a 750MB USB Zip drive. A bit pricey at $179 and $14.99 per disk, but it is downward compatible so it can read the 100 MB Zip disks. The drive has its own power supply and works with both Windows and Macs. Lots of software is bundled with the drive, including automatic backup. You can also download useful software at www.iomega-activedisk.com and each disk can be password protected.
Take a look at the January 2003 issue of Computer Shopper for an article by Brian Nadel called The Right Stuff, "A Complete Guide to Buying a PC in 2003." He gives you an education on processors, memory, hard drives, graphics, monitors, drives, audio, ports, operating systems and software. His Fantasy Versus Reality box is almost equal to my annual wish list, but then he goes and bursts the bubble with his what you need side.
Also included in the January 2003 edition of Computer Shopper is the "C/NET Editors Top 5." This is Computer Shopper and CNET editors top 5 desktops, notebooks, mobile, hardware and software comparisons.
Chuck Horowitz, a HAL-PC member, can be reached at email@example.com for questions or comments.