Smart Display vs. Tablet PC

They might look the same, but These two "displays" couldn't be more different.

The first iteration of the Smart Display panel was seen at Comdex in 2002. The Smart Display, previously called Mira, is designed to act as a remote tablet that wirelessly displays information hosted on your home PC. However, at a cost of $1,000 with some notable drawbacks, we wonder why anyone would choose a Smart Display over a Tablet PC. Though more expensive, Tablet PCs are fully functioning PCs that can be toted around the house wirelessly and do not depend on another PC to be enabled.

Smart Display

  • 3-pound LCD with touch-sensitive stylus, stylus keyboard, and handwriting recognition capability.
  • May be connected to a host PC, whose content it replicates.
  • Cannot be used simultaneously with a host PC (one disables the other). And only one Smart Display can connect to the host at a time.
  • On its own, a Smart Display runs Windows CE; connected to a host PC, it runs only Windows XP Pro (not Windows XP Home).
  • Connects by wireless Ethernet to the host PC.
  • The first Smart Displays (10-inch LCDs) cost about $1,000 each (including a PC upgrade to Windows XP Pro).

Tablet PC

  • Usually weighs about 3.5 pounds; comes either as a convertible tablet with both a stylus and a folding, hideaway keyboard or as a slate, which greatly resembles a Smart Display.
  • Runs independently, using Windows XP Pro and its own local hard drive.
  • Unlike a Smart Display, a tablet has a resistive screen and requires a special stylus (you cant use finger or pen cap in a pinch).
  • Connects by wireless Ethernet to the Internet.
  • Tablets cost about $2,000 to $2,500.