Executive Summary

By John Taschek  |  Posted 2002-11-25 Print this article Print

: Tablet PC Platform"> Executive Summary: Tablet PC Platform

Tablet PCs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all run Microsofts Windows XP Tablet Edition operating system. eWeek Labs tests show that the platform, which Microsoft calls the third generation of pen-enabled devices, still has some kinks that need to be worked out. A significant percentage of future notebook sales will be made up of pen-enabled devices, however. XP Tablet Edition supports all applications that run on Windows XP, plus pen-enabled applications that will eventually be the ultimate factor in whether corporations decide to move to the device.


Tablet PCs cost about 10 percent more than ultraportable notebooks—expect to pay between $1,900 and $2,400 for each unit. Support policies and the recommended extended warranties will cost slightly more than those for traditional notebooks. The costs are in line with expectations, but most vendors expect dramatic price decreases during the next two years.

(+) Inherent usability of the stylus; runs all Windows XP applications; excellent for form-intensive operations; graphic artists will appreciate the Tablets flexibility; ultraportable design.

(-) Provides only fair integration with Microsoft Office; poor integration with other third-party applications, except those that take specific advantage of the Tablet Edition operating system; some units have little protective coating over glass; high relative cost; some units have awkward cable and interface placement.

As the director of eWEEK Labs, John manages a staff that tests and analyzes a wide range of corporate technology products. He has been instrumental in expanding eWEEK Labs' analyses into actual user environments, and has continually engineered the Labs for accurate portrayal of true enterprise infrastructures. John also writes eWEEK's 'Wide Angle' column, which challenges readers interested in enterprise products and strategies to reconsider old assumptions and think about existing IT problems in new ways. Prior to his tenure at eWEEK, which started in 1994, Taschek headed up the performance testing lab at PC/Computing magazine (now called Smart Business). Taschek got his start in IT in Washington D.C., holding various technical positions at the National Alliance of Business and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. There, he and his colleagues assisted the government office with integrating the Windows desktop operating system with HUD's legacy mainframe and mid-range servers.

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