Gateway tablet gets full keyboard

Gateway Inc.'s Tablet PC, which started out as a pen tablet, now has a keyboard tray that covers the 12.1-inch LCD for carrying. Users can detach the LCD and prop it up in coated prongs at a convenient reading angle while they type.

The hardtop keyboard that makes the tablet convertible from pen to typed input 'may be the end state' of the evolution from desk-sized PCs to highly portable ones, said vice president Mike Stinson, general manager of mobile products.

The $2,200, 3-pound, 1-GHz Pentium M tablet comes with the Microsoft Windows XP Tablet operating system, 256M of double-data-rate RAM and a 40G hard drive. An optical drive and dock are optional, but Gateway builds in IEEE 802.11b WiFi connectivity, a V.92 56-Kbps modem, and ports for 10/100-Mbps Ethernet, FireWire and Universal Serial Bus 2.0.

Gateway's original equipment manufacturer, Motion Computing Inc. of Austin, Texas, gave the detachable LCD a Universal Serial Bus 1.0 connection. The display can adjust to landscape or portrait orientation, and it works independently in pen mode without the keyboard.

For a GCN Lab review of the similar Motion Computing M1300 tablet, see the Nov. 24 issue.

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