Philips Introduces Smart Display

By Bill Howard  |  Posted 2003-07-17 Print this article Print

The Philips DesXcape 150DM smart display lets you access your computer anywhere in your home, but must compete with laptops because of its high price.

Anytime Philips introduces a new product, its likely to be stylish and well-designed, and thats just the case with the DesXscape 150DM ($1,500 street), a wireless smart display tablet that accesses your desktop PC apps and the Internet. The trouble is that the smart displays in this first generation are pricy for their limited uses, and thats not something Philips can fix single-handedly.

Smart displays are wireless tablets—but not tablet PCs—that take control of a host desktop or notebook PC. Even though smart displays are intended for use with home computers, they require Microsoft Windows XP Professional on the host computer (the device itself runs Windows CE). Since a smart display is, in effect, simply a portable monitor, no one else can use the host PC when the smart display is running. The idea is that no matter how many desktop PCs you have, you can access your information anywhere in your home or office without having to transfer data to a tablet PC or notebook.

Against that backdrop, the DesXcape, which comes with a portable keyboard, does what it should and does it well. Within the 100- to 200-foot range of the 802.11b wireless connection, you have a seamless extension of your desktop computer. You can be sitting on the sofa, at the kitchen counter, or in a shady part of the backyard (sunlight reduces the screens visibility) and still be connected for about 5 hours with a relatively compact (1.1 by 14.7 by 12.1 inches), though not exceptionally light (5.1 pounds) display.

For the whole story, check out the PC Magazine article.
Bill Howard

Bill Howard is the editor of, the car site for tech fans, and writes a column on car technology for PC Magazine each issue. He is also a contributing editor of PC Magazine.

Bill's articles on PCs, notebooks, and printers have been cited five times in the annual Computer Press Association Awards. He was named as one of the industry's ten most influential journalists from 1997 to 2000 by Marketing Computers and is a frequent commentator on TV news and business shows as well as at industry conventions. He also wrote the PC Magazine Guide to Notebook & Laptop Computers. He was an executive editor and senior editor of PC Magazine from 1985-2001 and wrote PC Magazine's On Technology column through 2005

Previously, Howard spent a decade as a newspaper editor and writer with the Newhouse and Gannett newspapers in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Rochester, New York. He also writes a monthly column for Roundel, a car magazine for BMW enthusiasts.


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