Tablet PCs inaugurate new apps

Tablet PCs inaugurate new apps

Instead of the office suite of times past, the new tablet PCs coming out tomorrow will have built-in handwriting recognition and new applications such as document readers for online publications. Instead of keyboards, some'not all'have a stylus.

They can print out and e-mail graphical images of handwritten notes. They can also accept handwritten input for standard Microsoft Windows XP applications such as spreadsheets and databases.

Tablets are "highly personal, highly mobile," said Ted Clark, Hewlett-Packard Personal Systems Group's vice president for new notebook business. He said the 3-pound, $1,699 Compaq Tablet TC1000 will have the 1-GHz Crusoe TM5800 processor from Transmeta Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif., which lengthens battery operation up to 4.5 hours without heating up as much as earlier mobile processors.

"We've been very pleased with the performance and battery life we're getting with Transmeta," Clark said.

The metallic-silver TC1000 builds in 30G of hard-drive storage, a V.90 modem, IEEE 802.11b wireless connectivity, and Universal Serial Bus 2.0 ports for hooking up floppy and CD/DVD drives. Clark described the LCD glass as a "hardened and tempered" writing surface for the stylus, which costs $49 to replace. Included is a zippered portfolio for slipping in the LCD like a legal pad. A docking station adds $299 to the price.

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