Home > Windows > Will XP update give tablets a boost? Will XP update give tablets a boost? Eugenia Loli 2004-08-30 Windows 31 Comments After nearly two years on the market, makers of tablet PCs based on Windows XP Tablet PC Edition have yet to prove that the pen is mightier than the keyboard. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 31 Comments 2004-08-30 9:51 pm Give me a trusted brand Tablet PC with a “decent price”, Nice quality built and finished product (no cheap plastic),touch screen capability + 14/15 inch screen, centrino processor, Bluetooth enabled, a built-in SD card reader and then I may think about buying one! Believe me, what’s stated above is no exaggeration and can be done easily and can still be delivered at a decent price. And since I can hang that sucker on the wall , why not even include MS Media Center OS features on it? That would be Sweeet! Enough said, back to Earth… 2004-08-30 11:09 pm “After nearly two years on the market, makers of tablet PCs based on Windows XP Tablet PC Edition have yet to prove that the pen is mightier than the keyboard.” The answer is an EASY no. Why? Because 99% of people can type faster than they can write. Especially with as bad as most people’s “penmanship” is bad at regular speed writing which quickly goes from mediocre to horrible as people try to write faster. The only thing a Tablet PC is good for is “forms” where a person needs to “write” the least amount as possible and checking off boxes or options as much as possible. For most of society the Tablet PC just doesn’t fit the bill. Tablet PCs are like cars that act as planes or cars that also act as boats. It turns out it is not very good at either and turns into a curiosity that would be fun to have but not of much practical use. I couldn’t decribe the Tablet PC any better than that. 2004-08-30 11:19 pm The reason why tablet PCs are not as useful as they could is a chicken and egg problem. Right now people try to use them for applications which are designed for mouse / keyboard. However i can navigate and use my stylus based Palm many times faster than most people can use outlook. There is no reason to think that a computer would be any worse than the best handwriting decyperer on earth given the right amount of time and computing power. A LOT of research is being done. And while I don’t think i want to write a long article with a stylus I also dislike doing it with a keyboard. The same argument I brought forth for stylus based writing applys to speech recognition. 2010 people writing books with keyboards will look odd. Keyboard pen and voice are all tools for different jobs. None is the best, keyboards are just what we are used to the most. 2004-08-30 11:37 pm just slowly in vertical markets they have a healthy share. for people that know what they can do and have need for the specialization, they will pay the premium to have a tablet. tablets are not simply about a stylus and handwriting recognition. they can be very light. they take up less space…especially compared to a laptop when opened into its book form (doubles its footprint for all intents) they are prime for taking voice notes. they are prime for having a built in video camera that films notes, lectures, etc. the stylus is there for manual entry a convertible can have a keyboard built in. a true tablet can have an external keyboard, mouse, monitor, ect attached when back at its base. they do well for a one on one presentation of multimedia content. think of this as a use: you are a college student. you go to lectures all day in 4 different classes. do you want to carry 4 different paper notebooks or binders? with a tablet you can setup in the lecture hall and film the lecture, voice record the lecture, and take hand written notes all at the same time. and then store them for each class all in one device. i have seen a demonstration of the new tablet pc os on a fujitsu tablet and it was amazing. id love to have one but a standard desktop replacement (heavy) laptop suits my needs perfectly. tablet pcs are not a failure because they dont sell 50 million units per year. they have their place and are filling it rather well. 2004-08-31 12:02 am XP is designed for general purpose computers. A general purpose computer is the right choice when multiple applications must be supported. Many, if not most, applications are best done with a keyboard. A keyboard is a basic requirement for any general purpose computer. There are cases where a device without a keyboard may be useful. Such devices tend to be used for a single purpose, or a handful of related purposes. There’s no good reason to use Windows on such a specialized device. The large application base of Windows doesn’t help when those applications were designed for keyboards. A common user interface helps when it is shared across multiple applications. For a device running a single application, that benefit is lost, and a more streamlined, custom interface appropriate to the task may be better. And no one creating a specialized device should depend on a sole-source supplier. An update to XP will help standard desktop computers. The further that you move away from desktops, the less reason there is to use Windows. Systems without keyboards would do better with Linux, NetBSD, or one of the commercial real-time OSes such as QNX. 2004-08-31 12:03 am “you are a college student. you go to lectures all day in 4 different classes. do you want to carry 4 different paper notebooks or binders? with a tablet you can setup in the lecture hall and film the lecture, voice record the lecture, and take hand written notes all at the same time. and then store them for each class all in one device.” But the device is WAY too big. I can already record lectures using my iPod with a Griffin iTalk and take notes on my Palm with external keyboard. I can and do also show presentations with my Palm which easily connects to most projectors. And it has better word processing and spreadsheets than CE devices with Docs2Go. I also use forms on my Palm. The tablet weighs tons more than a Palm and iPod combined and is big an awkward compared to them. See my first post under my name. Tablet PCs are a waste of money. 2004-08-31 12:07 am “The same argument I brought forth for stylus based writing applys to speech recognition. 2010 people writing books with keyboards will look odd.” And just what do you think lots of people talking to computers is going to be like. The future isn’t everyone talking to their computers because everyone would need their own office instead of cubes or open work areas. And that just isn’t going to happen. Especially with all the work people do while traveling. Not to mention that people that need to get lots of text from their mind to a computer can usually type a lot faster than they can talk. And this means making sure that punctuation is correct too. Try using voice dictation software. You still have to go back and fix a lot of things even after running it througha grammer checker. 2004-08-31 12:54 am the tablet computer is a niche application and nothing in the market has proved otherwise. I wonder if this was MS’ response to the web tablet, another niche application. We all know what happened to the internet appliance and the same thing is going to happen the web tablet. it is largely useless and a real laptop does a better job in most instances. 2004-08-31 1:35 am Aren’t tablet PC’s low power and low cost? On the desktop, people apologize for XP by saying that RAM, disk space, and processor power is cheap. But when put into a portable device, any savings in these areas means real savings in battery life and cost. All any version of XP can do is increase the price by a hundred dollars in hardware. 2004-08-31 1:40 am I take that back. I think it’ll increase the price by SEVERAL hundred dollars (at least) and add weight in more batteries. Maybe that’s why they don’t sell. 2004-08-31 1:57 am A lot of people complain about the price differential betwen notebooks and tablet PCs but often forget one major difference between the two systems; the screen. Tablet PCs don’t come with your average run of the mill LCD, they have a pressure sensitive screen developed by Wacom and similar to their Cintiq line of tablets and this technology doesn’t come cheap. 2004-08-31 2:01 am why not learn something before tossing out your ignorance “Aren’t tablet PC’s low power and low cost?” no they are not low cost. some are low power consumption and some run with top end centrino cpus….still relatively low power for the performance. some tablet pcs have over 8 hour battery lives. “On the desktop, people apologize for XP by saying that RAM, disk space, and processor power is cheap. But when put into a portable device, any savings in these areas means real savings in battery life and cost.” no tablet pcs can and do have the exact same hardware specs as mainstream laptops. “add weight in more batteries.” just plain ignorant. “Maybe that’s why they don’t sell.” maybe they sell to the tune of 450k units in their first yr of mainstream release from ms. that is expected to double within another year. wouldnt we all love it if our products doubled in sales every 18 months. or how about our revenue doubling every 18 months. maybe you just dont know what you are talking about. 2004-08-31 2:09 am why not learn something before tossing out your ignorance That’s “tossing around” your ignorance. Learning something==tossing out your ignorance. “add weight in more batteries.” just plain ignorant. Why is that ignorant? With a slower processor, less RAM, and a smaller drive you’d need less batteries. Reduce overhead, you can reduce these things and get similar performance. You can save money, weight, and battery life. This equals better sales. 2004-08-31 2:11 am All I have to go on is this link. It says the response to these has been “lukewarm”. 2004-08-31 2:18 am $2,209 http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproductdesc.asp?submit=Go&DEPA=0&CMP=… Acer TravelMate TMC303XMi Pentium M 735 1.7G, 400FSB, 2MB Cache, 14.1″ XGA TFT, 1GB, 80GB, DVD Dual, GbE LAN, WLAN, Bluetooth, WinXP Tablet PC Model# TMC303XMi Item # N82E16834115209 Specifications: Part#: LX.T280E.122 CPU: Intel Pentium M 735 1.7G(400 FSB, 2MB L2 Cache) Display: 14.1″ XGA TFT OS: Windows XP Tablet PC Edition Memory:1GB Graphics: Intel Extreme Graphics 2 HD: 80GB Optical Drive: DVD Dual +/- Communication: 56K Modem, GbE LAN, 802.11b/g, Bluetooth Ports: 2x USB2.0,VGA,S-video,Audio Ports,IEEE1394,FIR,Type II PC Card slot,4-in-1 card reader Average Battery Life: 5.5 hours Dimensions (WxDxH): 12.8″ x 10.7″ x 1.3″/1.4″ Weight: 6.2lbs Manufacturer Warranty: 1 year that is a lot of machine for $2200 and covers many bases of functionality. 2004-08-31 2:33 am mid weight at 6.2 lbs. full cd and dvd burning(dual format even)capability. large hard drive at 80GB. high end pentium mobile 1.7ghz cpu. large 14.1″ lcd. lotsa ram at 1GB and it can be doubled as well. long battery life at 5.5 hours 56k modem, b and g wireless, gigabit ethernet, infrared, and bluetooth for all connectivity needs. ports galore with usb 2.0 and firewire and vga/s-video out and pcmcia slot built in card reader. includes Alias SketchBook Pro which retails for $179 http://www.alias.com/eng/products-services/sketchbook_pro/index.sht… normal 1 yr warranty. http://www.acer.com/APP/AKC/INTERNET/AACPubli.nsf/allDocs/RWP0B47DA… as for “tossing around”….not all of us live in a cliche world. language is malleable. 2004-08-31 2:34 am that is a lot of machine for $2200 Can I have your foot now, or later? $2200 is overpriced for a tablet, and that’s enough machine that you could reduce what’s in it without much notice. 2004-08-31 2:44 am http://www.averatec.com/notebooks/C3500.htm from $1322 (http://www.buy.com/retail/product_jump.asp?sku=10377802&SearchEngin…) The Averatec C3500 Series is an exciting new option for mobile computing. With its innovative design it combines both Notebook and Tablet PC functionality into an ultra portable form factor. The C3500 provides the performance and features of today’s notebooks with a built-in DVD+CD-RW drive and wireless mobility. Low Voltage AMD Athlon™ XP-M 2200+ with PowerNow!™ 2.0 Technology and QuantiSpeed™ Architecture Microsoft® Windows® XP Tablet PC Full Featured Notebook PC and Tablet with Stylus Pen 12.1” High Contrast XGA Screen Built-in DVD + CD-RW Drive Built-in 802.11g Wireless LAN 60 GB Hard Drive Microsoft® Office OneNote 2003 Model Name AV3500T60 Part # AV3500T60-01 CPU Low Voltage Mobile AMD Athlon™ XP-M 2200+ OS Microsoft® Windows® XP Tablet PC LCD Size High Contrast 12.1” XGA Optical Drive DVD+CD-RW Hard Drive 60 Memory 512MB DDR Wireless LAN 802.11g Wired LAN 10/100 LAN Modem 56k USB (4x) 2.0 DimensionsWxDxH) 11.6″ x 9.8″ x 1.6″ Weight (lbs.) 5.5 lbs. 2004-08-31 2:48 am I don’t want to be part of a long debate here. This is normally a very nice place to post. Here is where I’m coming from: I just put together a dual Opteron system (19″ CRT, good case & power supply, DVD burner, ATI 9800XT 256MB, fast 250GB drive, 1 gig of fast RAM, etc.) for about $2,200. (It was non-NUMA, though.) That’s enough computer that any large OS isn’t too large for it. I’m not sure how your example compares to a laptop, but compared to this desktop it shows that hardware really costs a lot when made mobile. I’m also very interested in embedded software development. This is one of the last places people seem to care about sqeezing every iota of performance out of their code and reducing its size by every bit. After all, in this market, the lower your requirements, the cheaper the product can be–very often even with the overhead of intensive software development. When I put these two things together, I get: reduce the overhead, reduce the hardware, reduce the price. Feel free to share your story. 2004-08-31 2:54 am are you comparing tablet pcs to a high end workstation? “I just put together a dual Opteron system (19″ CRT, good case & power supply, DVD burner, ATI 9800XT 256MB, fast 250GB drive, 1 gig of fast RAM, etc.) for about $2,200. (It was non-NUMA, though.) That’s enough computer that any large OS isn’t too large for it.” i dont get it. nevermind. 2004-08-31 3:52 am are you comparing tablet pcs to a high end workstation? Yes. I said, “compared to this desktop it shows that hardware really costs a lot when made mobile.” That’s why I did it. It changes the economics. With a desktop you can just keep adding hardware because it’s cheap. Something small and mobile isn’t as cheap. It’s not always a good idea to just throw hardware at it. It’s just the same engineering decision that has to be made (bringing us Windows XP with features and abstraction galore on PCs), with different economics directing it, leading us to a slightly different design. I think this way is better for mobile devices like tablet PCs. 2004-08-31 4:16 am Therefore a tablet type computer will never replace a keyboard computer for me. Unless they develop some other sort of input technology. I don’t even use a Palm Pilot yet alone a Windows tablet PC, because for me they have no compelling ability over a normal PC. For connectivity, there is no real wireless where I need to go. I even have trouble with my mobile phone. Desktop PC’s do not need to be recharged and they do not get a flat battery. However I do concede that a Tablet computer that can replace computer manuals would be very effective and efficient for me. Unfortunatley I cannot afford to keep both a modern desktop and a modern portable. With all the upgrade costs, one will have to stay downgraded and usually that means the portable. Cost is against portables Connectivity is against portables Input speed is against portables Upgradeability is against portables Power is against portables Therefore those are the areas the manufacturers must work on. 2004-08-31 4:38 am Why is connectivity is against portables? //i hope it isn’t too obvious 2004-08-31 5:17 am Oh, I’m an idiot when I’m tired. Different standards in other countries. I’ll shut up. 2004-08-31 6:34 am … in my opinion. Why I should drag a tablet pc to class room when I simply could take my 2kg weighting 12″ iBook? As someone mentioned here, I type faster than I write. It’s also lotsa faster to fix typos, style text etc and you have alot more helpful applications in use. I simply see no reason to move paperwork on a computer screen (in form of tablet pc). I also find it stressing my arm alot more. Even moving hand to mouse off the keyboard stresses my arms quite much in longer usage. Having touchpad or ibm’ish sticky mouse right on the keyboard (or very near of it) makes that I don’t need to move my hands at all. Probably it would go fine for factories etc where you just sign small things or do quick reports. Well… my opinions. 2004-08-31 8:37 am Because a Desktop is basically Hard Wired into a Network. Also in some regional areas there are no wireless network spots. Though mind you in Australia (Where I am) there are many regional places where you get even spotty dialup 20Kbps or less. I live in a semi-regional area, at work I have ADSL but I can drive for 20 minutes and reach places that end up with little to no network availability, even no mobile phone coverage. That can be fixed by satellite but then costs are extreme. If I go in some large buildings you can get spotty wireless as well. 2004-08-31 9:06 am Or then, be accurate, mention that you just “imagine”. I am a long time user of desktop and laptop PC. I have bought a TabletPC 6 month ago. This IS different. Not only handwriting recognition. All the ergonomy change. It might not be a success, but it already change MY way of doing things. Don’t be like these old typists who think typewriter is always the way for writing… Change may be soft, or may be rude. But it will be… 2004-08-31 9:42 am i don’t believe that the wacom technology is really expensive. i guess it costs 100€ maximum for a 12″ tablet pc. 2004-08-31 3:40 pm A tablet PC loaded with Streets & Trips (not the crappy Pocket Streets that the PocketPC has) with GPS capability would be the bomb .. I would probably buy one 2004-08-31 4:09 pm for some to use… My tablet weighs less than my 12″ powerbook, has about 15% less battery life and lets me write/take notes the way I prefer. I actually prefer taking notes in meetings (the working world’s version of lectures) with a pen, as there are generally graphics to draw and figures to sketch. I think they’re pretty nifty, and the design of the OS (what a lot of coverage for XP SP2 don’t mention is that this is the Tablet PC 2005 updater) is stellar. Recognition where you want it, when you want it. And the price was right, at ~1200 USD for a 1GHz P-M machine. my .02 later, Tavares 2004-09-01 2:59 pm Wait, wait, wait.. are you selling Penis Mightiers? Well, you’re sitting on a gold mine, Trebek!