Tablet PC News – Tablet PC’s Reach for the Masses, Fujitsu P1510D Tablet “Turns Heads”, Solar Backpack Powers Portables

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Tablet PC News –

Tablet PC’s Reach for the Masses

Tablet PC’s, the portable computers with pen-based abilities, have been around since November 2002, but so far have not been widely embraced by consumers or businesses. The devices made up fewer than 2 percent of the notebook computers sold worldwide in 2004, according to analysts who track PC shipments.

The tablet PC has been slow to take off for a number of reasons, including being priced higher than notebook computers with similar specifications. The platform has also been a factor: many predicted that the pen-based abilities would be more tightly integrated with the Windows operating system by now, and that more tablet-specific software would become available.

Still, tablet PC’s have taken hold in some segments like education and health care, and computer makers continue to introduce models with features for broader markets. Many of the new units are aimed at general consumers, professionals and management-level business users, and they include features like ultraportability and wide-screen displays. Soon some will have touch screens. In addition, prices of tablet PC’s have been declining along with computer prices in general, and the price gap with notebooks has begun to narrow.

The two main types of tablet PC’s are the slate model, a book-shaped computer with a pen, and the convertible model, which includes a keyboard and closely resembles a laptop. Both types run the same programs as other Windows-based computers, but all of the mouse actions can be performed by touching the pen to the screen.

The pen also allows users to write directly into programs in longhand, using an on-screen input panel, or by tapping letters and numbers on an on-screen keyboard. For example, in a Web browser you can either write a Web address by hand or tap out the letters on the on-screen keyboard. Programs developed specifically for the tablet PC offer greater uses for the pen, including mathematics, drawing and more expansive handwriting capabilities…

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Fujitsu P1510D Tablet “Turns Heads”

The display’s ability to move into nearly any position gives users full freedom to write, browse, and work from many angles. Fujitsu even added a few impressive features as icing on the cake: a built-in microphone, fingerprint sensor, and a built-in universal lock slot for data security.

The Fujitsu LifeBook P1510D is a travel-oriented notebook geared toward the mobile user seeking a tablet PC and laptop in one. And with a convenient swivel display, a touch screen, and ultralight weight, the LifeBook is a worthy competitor in a growing market.

The laptop comes loaded with a 1.2-GHz Pentium M processor with 512 MB of DDR SDRAM — two very common components for this caliber machine. With mobility in mind, the LifeBook isn’t the most powerful computer but will take care of the needs of most business users.

The unit weighs 2.2 lbs. with the battery…

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Solar Backpack Powers Portables

Solar backpacks are small but pack a charge

Scott Doggett Los Angeles Times Oct. 13, 2005

It was an invention just waiting to be patented. With more hikers obsessed with electronic devices, someone had to sell a neat, portable source of electricity.

Voila! The solar backpack.

Clear Blue Hawaii has the Blue Sun Solarpac ($260, battery not included) and Voltaic Systems has the Voltaic Backpack ($229, battery included).

Both use an internal battery to charge a GPS and other gadgets, and both can charge directly from their solar cells in daylight. They also have the same capacity: 1,850 cubic inches.

Beyond these similarities, the packs are quite different. First, Blue Sun’s solar panel, batteries and harness can be removed and used…

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