Indeed, third-generation Tablet PCs, due later this year, show significant improvements over whats available now. I was up at Microsoft this week and had the chance to play with one of these machines, and I found the screen much more responsive to my handwriting and less susceptible to glare. The screen also had higher resolution, meaning I didnt have to write larger or use a broader pen for my scrawl to be legible. Solving these problems makes a tablet much more appealing to me.For more insights from David Coursey, check out his Weblog. Microsofts goal isnt for some people to use a pen and digitizer all the time, though that is already happening in vertical applications. Instead, Microsoft wants everyone to use a pen at least occasionally. Redmond wants a pen to be a part of a notebook computer just like a keyboard, screen and wireless network adapter. No big deal, nothing wed pay any special attention to. A Microsoft executive predicted tablets will go mainstream within the next 24 to 36 months. I am expecting it to take a bit longer, but am just as convinced that before long well all own Tablet PCs without even thinking about it. Check out eWEEK.coms Windows Center at http://windows.eweek.com for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Hardware companies are beginning to figure out how to make decent convertible tablet screens. Still, many of us wont have (or want) a screen that spins and turns the notebook into a true tablet. Well buy normal-looking laptops equipped with a screen thats pen-sensitive. These arent tools for big-time notetaking, but theyre great for making drawings, adding annotations and signing documents.