Kara Dickinson




Tablet PCs



            Weighing in at 2.5 pounds the Table PC is the newest creation in the world of portable computers.  Instead of having to use a mouse and keyboard this new computer uses only an electronic pen and a few keys. Without even having to hook up to a phone-line you can wirelessly connect to the Internet.  While the computer may be small itself its capabilities are far from it.


            One model of this PC is called the Convertible. This version looks very much like the normal laptop computer we’re used to today. With the other PC’s you don’t use a keyboard but with this one you have the option.  If you’d rather type you simply rotate the computer and use the keyboard. If you’d prefer to use the note-take features you turn it back and begin writing with the pen as if you normally would.  


            A second model of the tablet is the Slate PC. This version is very lightweight and convenient to use during meetings for note-taking. This version is easily able to dock right into your regular PC for use with a full screen, mouse and keyboard. It is similar to a laptop but its thin design makes it easy to bring wherever you may need it.


            While all tablets are able to dock some are easier than others. For example the Windows XP Dual Monitor support system allows you to work on one thing while keeping your notes on another screen.  Along with the docking is the “grab-and-go” feature which allows you to undock so quickly you don’t have to go into standby.


            The Tablet PC is a very convenient tool for those who are not able to work at a desk with a computer but still need the same functions. These little computers are capable of running Windows XP. A Tablet is also able to run programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.  You are able to customize the PC to exactly fit your needs. “Using Tablet and Pen Settings controls, you can customize your Tablet PC: calibrate your pen, optimize your Tablet PC for left- or right-handed operation, and program the hardware buttons of your Tablet PC to complete specific actions, such as opening an application or changing screen orientation from landscape to portrait” (“A Variety”).  This makes it very convenient for those who don’t have time to sit at home or in an office to do their work and not worry about hassles.


            One of the most significant features of the Tablet is the pen used to write with. Unlike most computers you do not use a keyboard to do your work. Instead there is an electronic pen which allows you to write directly onto the screen.  You can take notes in your own handwriting as if you would in a notebook.  If you choose to you can change from handwriting to typed print.  “Handwriting recognition tools assist in ink-to-text conversion by helping you spot and correct recognition errors before text is inserted into other applications” (“A Variety”). The pen can be customized so that making a simple gesture will enable the computer to do tasks just as if you were using a mouse.  “A single tap on the screen is like a single click of the mouse, a double tap is like a double click. Press and hold the pen against the screen and you have the equivalent of the right click” (“Benedetti”). You are able to download a Microsoft XP Pack which allows you to use the pen for other tasks as well. “You can add ink comments in Microsoft Word 2002 documents, emphasize key points using ink during Microsoft PowerPoint® 2002 presentations, and write and send ink e-mail with Microsoft Outlook® 2002” (“Info Cater”).


            So what are people saying about these Tablet PCs?  “When it comes to these new computers -- on sale for the first time today -- one thing is for sure: The cool factor is out of this world” says Winda Benedetti.  What’s not to enjoy, taking handwritten notes, connecting to the Internet, running any Microsoft application you need, and the best part is you can do all this from anywhere.  Gary Krakow from MSNBC put it perfectly when he said, “this time, Microsoft has taken its time, and got everything right…” (Krakow). Overall it seems as if the Tablet is gaining momentum and people are looking forward to their release. 




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Motion Computing






Works Cited

“A Variety of Models to Choose From”. 7 November 2002.  10 November 2002.



Benedetti Winda. “Tablet PC blends old, new and very cool”.  7 November 2002.



Krakow, Gary. “Here come Tablet PCs”. 5 November 2002.



“Tablet PC Information Site”. Pikpuk.com. 8 November 2002.