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Microsoft Courier concept  (Source: Gizmodo)
Microsoft and HP offering better be good

The tablet market isn't very robust today with relatively few offerings available for consumers to choose from. Windows 7 is optimized for touch so the OS is ready for tablets in the event that manufacturers and consumers lineup behind the devices. The most rumored and anticipated tablet won't need Windows though with Apple reportedly readying a tablet.

Of all the tablet rumors circulating, Apple is easily the most talked about entry into the tablet market, and the company hasn't even said officially it is working on a tablet. In December 2009, analysts said that a tablet was coming from Apple in March or April. The mere rumor of a launch date for the Apple tablet sent its stock price up in late December.

Apple has an event planned for later this month that many believe will be the official unveiling of the Apple tablet. Before Apple has a chance to pull the tablet out of the closet, Microsoft and HP are expected to reveal their own tablet computer.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will unveil a slate computer during his keynote at CES 2010 in Las Vegas reports the New York Times. The worst thing that Microsoft and HP could do is pull out a device that is a halfhearted attempt to get to market first. Being first is no guarantee of success in this market, especially considering Apple's history of innovation.

Windows Mobile smartphones were on the market long before Steve Jobs pulled the first iPhone from his pocket and the iPhone is now more popular than Windows Mobile Devices according to some statistics. Sources cited by the NYT claim that the HP tablet will be pushed as a multimedia gadget and will have an eReader and multi touch functions built-in.

Most tech fanatics out there, however, are probably expecting the device to look similar to the Courier concepts that were floating around the web last Fall. That concept featured dual multi-touch screens and was capable of accepting pen input. If the device that Ballmer is expected to unveil tonight looks and operates anywhere close to the Courier concept, Microsoft and HP could have a hit on their hands.

DailyTech will be there to get first hand footage of the device.

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Replaement for a paper nootbook.
By VooDooAddict on 1/6/2010 12:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
I'm looking forward to the possibility of replacing a paper notebook/binder with a lightweight pen input "slate", "tablet", whatever.

For me it's going to come down to how well it can replace a paper notebook for convenience and jotting down thoughts. I'm not interested in a finger touch only device, that doesn't help jotting down notes.

In this race whomever makes the better product will get my $$. No Vendor loyalties here.

RE: Replaement for a paper nootbook.
By rudy on 1/6/2010 12:54:19 PM , Rating: 5
What is wrong with M$ OneNote and any tablet currently out? I Fail to see what these new tablets will offer besides no keyboard, and likely smaller crappier displays. I use a laptop not even a tablet and my phone to do everything you are talking about have been doing it for a while with no problems, I can draw or type and take notes, take screen shots whatever you could possibly need to do.

RE: Replaement for a paper nootbook.
By ChugokuOtaku on 1/6/2010 1:28:35 PM , Rating: 2
the lack of multitouch can be somewhat crippling for users with older tablets running Win7.

if you wanna do a standard laptop vs. tablet comparison, I can argue that with a tablet, you can easily draw out diagrams during lectures, which is a bit more difficult to do with a standard keyboard and mouse. if you're in an art class, then there will be plenty of things you couldn't do on your standard laptop that a tablet otherwise would.

I use a Thinkpad x60 Tablet as my road warrior laptop, and I'll be frank that the tablet features have indeed been under utilized compared to what I had in mind, probably something I could give up, but still handy to have... kinda like having 4 wheel drive, only comes in handy in a single season(assuming you don't live too far north or too far south), but can really help you out when you you need it.

RE: Replaement for a paper nootbook.
By rudy on 1/6/2010 2:05:07 PM , Rating: 3
I am not trying to argue that laptops are better just pointing out that I can do it all on a laptop with a mouse. Which means if you have a real tablet, Dell XT, HP, or Lenovo you are in even better shape. And those ones offer the whole gamut of input types, resistive capactivtive and I think even perimeter light sensing. They are light weight and long lasting on batteries. Why does everyone want a stupid trimmed down tablet? Its not like you can fit these new ones in your pocket so I don't see why you would have them any more then your laptop or tablet.
Be honest how many people do you see who always have a 8x10 pad of note taking paper on them? You cant get any lighter than that. What we all do have is a phone or anything that can fit in your pocket. So putting all the functions on phones or making bigger phones that still fit in the pocket makes sense. I even could be impressed by this M$ style tablet. But the little display only apple and netbook tablets I just dont get. They are too big to be carried around so why not just have a real computer.

I guess I just do not get it, the functions already exists why is everyone so excited all the time about these single or limited use devices. Why is everyone jumping out of their pants to load themself down with hundreds of electronic devices when everything they want already exists in the market and probaly already exists in the computer they already have.

If people want tablets so bad then why arent thinkpads tablets flying off the shelfs?

By damianrobertjones on 1/6/2010 4:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
'Is'... Multi-touch that amazing that we must have the features? A friend recently swore at his multi-touch trackpad as he absolutely hated the fact that things would fly about.. quickly disabled.

Sometimes we don't need more, simply better.

By Penti on 1/6/2010 9:08:02 PM , Rating: 2
Battery life?

Good tablets are also very expensive. Perhaps some think they want a cheaper consumer device. But most is just bull about those devices. Screens are very hard as currently there is no good ones being manufactured, and the media touts the rumored Apple tablet to be some kind of e-reader, or magazine reader (well there's already the standard web with HTML/CSS/JavaScript together with Flash for that. Walled gardens and new formats wouldn't be a good thing). An e-reader really needs an e-ink screen. Either make a web/laptop device or make a ebook reader there's no middle ground with todays tech. Media rich magazine-type stuff would drain the battery before you could get a chance to recharge it any way. Ebook readers will eventually be multimedia devices but it's many years before that.

However it's the age of netbook and smartbook designs flooding out to nowhere. We will see a lot of touch screen stuff, but most will be useless. You can't really replace the keyboard and it complements it poorly if not for to write directly on. Which most is not really for. Besides you can just use one of those 100 dollar pens and write on ordinary paper and transfer the notes to your computer, not that consumers really do take notes with their computers. It's probably multimedia devices those are after, but right now they would fit poorly. Netbook-class hardware can do very much. But the screens are horrible. And it's hard to see what's gained with touch screen. Let's hope we don't see the rumored Apple tablet/slate/pad. But something else. And that Flash 10.1 really do the trick.

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