- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 28, 2003

It wasn't until I did a little more homework that I found one of the more remarkable features of the Compaq Tablet PC TC1000, which delivers a lot of performance at a decent price. The $1,699 machine is based on a Transmeta Crusoe TM5800 1.0 GHz processor, which allows for a fairly long battery life, about three to four hours.
It may not seem like much, but given the demands of a Tablet PC a high-resolution screen on which you can write, supersharp graphics display, built-in wireless it's not bad at all, and certainly enough for most corporate meetings.
The model I tested included a built-in 802.11b, or Wi-Fi radio, which let me surf the Internet at home and at my local Starbucks, among other places. Wi-Fi is a standard now, and perhaps later this year the newer, faster 802.11g wireless standard will find its way into a Tablet PC. It's important to note that a Tablet PC works best with built-in wireless, since that feature makes this truly mobile device one that can communicate in a number of locations.
Other features of the new machine include a 10.4-inch TFT display with a wide viewing angle, hardened cover glass and NVIDIA GeForce2 Go 100 high-resolution graphics; a 30 GB hard drive; and USB 2.0 connectivity. There's a built-in, yet removable, keyboard that functions nicely when you disengage the lock and swivel the screen around. The screen display pivots to fit either keyboard or tablet use.
A 10.4-inch display may seem a throwback to earlier times for some portable users and, yes, it's a small area. But the TC1000 is designed to work with a docking station, a $300 option, and a desktop monitor. Using Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, you can see items on both the built-in tablet display and an external monitor, expanding your "work area" a bit. All this ups the total cost but, in my view, adds value to the mobile worker.
Of the Tablet PCs to hit the market, the TC1000 has some advantages. It is backed by Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP), whose market position ensures continued support for the device. Also, its sleek lines, thoughtful engineering and range of options make it a good choice for companies and government agencies that want to order a raft of these machines and deploy them across a work force.
As might be expected, this is the kind of a device that will find a home in many specialized (or "vertical," as the computer industry calls them) markets. One such is the health care field, HP said in a statement.
"The Compaq Tablet PC TC1000 will be a great new option for physicians at the point of care. Its unique design will make it easier for physicians to use both at their desk with the attached keyboard and in the exam room with the keyboard removed," Steven P. Schwartz, vice president of strategic alliances for vendor Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc., said in a statement released by the computer maker. "We especially like that customers who choose these devices will now be able to utilize the full resources of our solution in both places."
The product is finding other uses, as well. Hollywood is due to discover the TC 1000 at a celebrity outing Thursday. Cast members from "The West Wing," "The Practice," "Charmed" and "Seventh Heaven" are set to join one of the more impressive turnouts of entertainment industry executives to welcome the TC 1000 and a host of other new HP products to town.
Here in Washington, meanwhile, the TC 1000 is being prepped for a series of Small Business Administration matchmaking conferences designed to share more procurement opportunities with smaller firms.
With such a lineup, the Compaq Tablet PC TC 1000 should be in your portfolio. More details can be found at www.compaq.com/tabletpc.
E-mail [email protected], or visit his Web site, www.kellner2000.com.

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