Faster, Sleeker Tablets Wait for User Demand
Commentary: While there's little user demand for Tablets now, there will be in the near future.My first experience with a tablet-size computer was with the Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100. From 1983 through the early 90s, these notebook computers were the hardy companions of journeyman journalists. They were both friend and enemy. You could spill coffee on the keyboard and beer in the acoustic coupler, and theyd still work. Even if you didnt make it, theyd happily put in 16-hour days as long as you threw in four AA batteries each morning. Our Labs analysts have taken a look at the latest round of Tablet computers. These Tablets are sleeker, far faster, and have graphics and handwriting capabilities much beyond previous generations. What they dont have at this point is a swell of user demand that would back up Microsofts expectations of 1 million units a year. As Labs Director John Taschek states in his comparative review, "We dont think the first systems in this current generation of pen-enabled notebooks are going to cause a procurement stampede, but we do believe theyll make up a significant chunk of sales in the near future." To see why we think the enterprise will warm to these systems, see Johns review. Of the current crop, John picked the Toshiba Portégé 3500 to get our eWeek Labs Analysts Choice award.
While it is rare for eWeek Labs to hand out Analysts Choice awards, in this issue West Coast Technical Director Tim Dyck also cites the enterprise edition of XML Spy 5.0 for Analysts Choice. These types of products are necessary if the promise of Web services is to move from hype to reality.