USA TODAY Talks Back to School with the Tablet PC

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USA TODAY Talks Back to School with the Tablet PC

Editor’s Note:  It is a pleasure to see the Tablet PC making big news.  It is an even bigger pleasure to see Averatec make big news.  Both the Tablet PC and Averatec have been mentioned in a recent editorial by USA TODAY.  We have been talking (right here on about the Tablet PC being a great choice for students planning to make a computer purchase for school this fall.  (please see our story: Going Back to School with a Tablet PC?) To see the same opinion shared by such a Media Mogul as USA TODAY, makes us feel validated in the choice of content we select to keep our readers well-informed!  OK, enough victory laps for us.  Please enjoy the following editorial from USA TODAY: 

Multifunction devices draw back-to-school crowd

SAN FRANCISCO The consumer electronics gizmo that offers many functions in a small package is what’s compelling back-to-school shoppers to open their wallets.

Tablet personal computers on which users can type or handwrite their notes, next-generation handhelds that double as video players and advanced camera phones are among the hottest sellers, analysts say.

One of the highlights is Averatec’s C3500 convertible notebook, whose display swivels back on itself and can be used to take notes longhand. While such a product isn’t new, the Averatec PC is a hit because of its comparatively low price, analysts said. It starts at $1,349.99 before a $50 mail-in rebate, according to the company’s Web site.

“I’ve been told consistently that that has been one of the hottest products,” said analyst Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies.

The C3500 is also a full-fledged computer that uses Microsoft’s Windows XP Tablet PC operating system software and a low-voltage Athlon processor from Advanced Micro Devices. It has high-speed wireless Internet access, a DVD drive and a 12.1-inch screen.

Bajarin said the price is more than acceptable for college students, since most convertible tablets cost $2,300 to $2,500.

Handheld computers have long been a staple of high-school and college students, but more advanced machines that can double as a video camera are particularly popular with young people heading back to school this year.

One such device is PalmOne’s Zire 72, which starts at $299 and uses the Palm operating system software from PalmSource Inc.

With a 1.2 megapixel built-in camera, users can take pictures and, if they buy an expansion memory card, can shoot video and listen to MP3 digital music files.

“Now I’ve got all my class schedules on there, and I can even do video,” Bajarin said. “That’s much more attractive than the standard camera phones.”

That said, the more standard camera phones that are seemingly omnipresent are still a must-have for high school and college students…

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