The Tablet PC is the new age of computer meant for ultra-portable usage, but it shares the software and techniques of a traditional PC. The tablet size computer comes with a rotating touch screen and has two model variants. The first one is called the convertible, which is like a laptop, and the second is called the slate which is devoid of any keyboard. The latter is ideal for mobile usage but the former scores more in the versatility stakes. Before investing in a Tablet PC, the hardware, the display, the keyboard, the ports, the network connectivity, etc, which are seen as yardsticks for measuring the performance of the system, must be tested. Tablet PCs are meant for people who believe in mobility and thus the shock resistance capacity of the system must be checked too.
More user-friendly and efficient than the PDA, the Tablet PC is part of the category of Ultraportable computers. Some use a touch screen rather than a physical keyboard. Some support handwriting recognition or oral input technology. The Tablet PC comes in two models: convertible (similar to laptop) and "slate" (a form of tactile slate without a keyboard).
A Tablet PC: for whom and for what purpose?
The tablet PC is particularly useful because its size and weight make it extremely portable. This makes it well suited to those who need the functions you get from a PC but who travel about a lot.
The slate is a lightweight laptop with no physical keyboard. Simple to use, not bulky, it is less versatile than convertible models due to its more limited features. Its size, however, makes it ideal for mobile professionals.
Convertible Tablet PC
More like the traditional PC, the convertible model is aimed at a wider audience. It may have a physical keyboard or a pivoting/sliding touch screen. The range of peripheral devices (such as CD/DVD drive) make it extremely versatile.
The price of the Tablet PC varies from £200-£3500. The purchase of a Tablet PC is primarily dictated by specific conditions of use.
Criteria for choosing its Tablet PC
Test the keyboard and touch screen: the use of a keyboard and a touch screen can be tedious. It is therefore essential before any purchase, be familiar with these two modes of writing. Do not forget that the Tablets offer reduced size keyboards.
Size of the touch screen and writing: two elements for ease of use. The screens vary between 10 and 12 inches. The best way is to "simulate" a work situation before buying. Test the screen and the pen to enjoy the comfort of writing.
Shock resistance. Learn about the resistance of components and protections available for your Tablet PC.
Performances: office (software), network connection (WiFi, Bluetooth) and ports equivalent to a conventional PC. 256 Mb of RAM is a minimum for general use. The storage capacity ranges from 10 to 100 Gb. Finally, the weight is a variable to take into account: one to four kilos for current models.
New generation of Tablet PC
The new Tablet PC integrates technologies like Wimax. There are also ultra-resistant models, although these can be more expensive.