Acer America Corp. this week will introduce a new computer that runs Microsoft Corp.s Tablet PC operating system but looks and costs more like a notebook than a Tablet.
"Its our first step at commoditizing Tablet functionality," said Jeffrey Friederichs, vice president of Acers Notebook Business Unit in San Jose, Calif.
Other than the operating system, the TravelMate 250P is very much a traditional high-end notebook computer. It features an Intel Corp. Pentium 4 processor, a 14.1-inch display, 256 MB of SDRAM, wireless LAN and Bluetooth connectiviety and a 56Kbps modem.
The Tablet PC OS and Acers Electromagnetic Resonance (EMR) pen let users annotate documents directly on the screen. While the display can be angled to make writing easier, it cannot be removed or swiveled away from the keyboard. To that end, users can lock the keyboard so as not to type by mistake while theyre trying to write. Otherwise, the keyboard works as a regular keyboard.
Besides the operating system, the TravelMate 250P comes pre-loaded with Franklin covey TabletPlanner, Zinio Reader, Norton Antivirus, Alias SketchBook Pro and various other applications.
Pricing starts at $1499.
Meanwhile, Fujitsu PC Corp. has a Tablet-cum-notebook of its own. The Santa Clara, Calif., computer maker on Monday introduced the LifeBook T3000 Tablet PC series, which is a cross between the companys LifeBook notebook and Stylistic Tablet PC lines. Unlike Acers TravelMate, the T3000 features a screen that can swivel and lie flat against the keyboard so that it feels like a writing tablet.
All notebooks in the Lifebook T3000 series feature a 12.1-inch screen. There are two basic models that come with a variety of memory options. The T3000 comes with Intels Centrino chip set, which integrates 802.11b Wi-Fi wireless LAN connectivity. The T3000D comes with an Intel Pentium M processor and either a separate 802.11b/g radio or no WLAN radio at all. Intel has yet to offer a Centrino chip set that supports 802.11g.
The LifeBook T3000 Tablet PC is available immediately. Pricing starts at $1,799.