I dont think the Tablet PC is going anywhere—at least, not anywhere it hasnt already been.
There are certainly some environments in which a tablet-based computer makes sense, such as nursing stations or warehouses or in the hands of roving poll takers at the mall, and tablet-based devices already exist in those spaces.
Anyway, the Tablet PC isnt supposed to be about industrial or commercial implementations; its supposed to be something for which wed give up our desktops and notebooks, the way Bill Gates has professed to have done for his Tablet PC.
John Taschek hit upon the central problem with that sort of usage scenario in his review–the Tablet PC doesnt offer enough in the way of input for me to give up my keyboard. Even if handwriting recognition were better than it is, writing on a sheet of glass doesnt compare remotely to paper.
Of course, the Acer system that John reviewed is a convertible one, so it wont force users to give up their keyboards entirely. Still, Id rather take the price premium that tablet functionality entails and put it toward a faster processor and more RAM.
Technical Analyst Jason Brooks can be reached at [email protected].