Could a Mini-Tablet PC be coming?


The Inkernet is all abuzz about an article on Microsoft Watch that hints at a "mini-Tablet that can do everything that a traditional Tablet PC can do, plus store electronic books".  First of all I should point at that current Tablet PCs are a great platform for reading ebooks- a smaller size would just make that a little more convenient to do.  However, if this article proves to be true it sounds very much like the Mini-Tablet PC I defined last year as my "dream machine".  A Tablet PC with a smaller form factor would likely appeal to many professionals with its portability, as long as the functionality of the Tablet OS is not compromised in any way.  I know I would stand in line to get one of these "minis" if they ever come to market.

(thanks to reader Jeff Gilbert for the tip)



Chinese mini-PCs run Linux, target specialty apps

Dec. 19, 2005
A systems integrator in GuangDong province, China, is shipping an extensive line of Pentium-based miniPCs that run Linux. The SD-Omega MiniPC line comprises 44 variations, include passively cooled and quiet models targeting car PCs and HTPCs (home-theater PCs), car pcs, and DVR models.

The SD-Omega MiniPC systems are housed in lightweight aluminum cases that measure 5.7-inches wide (up to 6.2-inches wide, in models equipped with cooling fins), 9.8-inches to 10-inches deep, and between 1.65 and 2.75 inches tall. More details from,

And additional details are available at the SD-Omega website,


Paul Thurrot says “Microsoft publicly revealed the existence of these devices a year ago at WinHEC 2004”

“For a new generation of small, 5-inch to 8-inch, Tablet PC devices that will begin shipping this year, Microsoft is developing a dashboard page that will provide access to PIM information that users need, all in a single, handy page. The Pen Optimized Skin presents time and calendar information, links to recently accessed documents and applications, the 7 most recent unread email messages, the most recent uncompleted tasks, and the links to your most often used applications. This skin is designed to sit on top of, and generally replace, the basic Windows user interface on devices whose screens are too small for a desktop UI.” You can find out more, in two articles on the SuperSite for Windows

Most interesting I thought was a development picture of what the mini tablet front screen would look like here


I agree that this would be an appealing device, more of a combination portable e-book/PDF reader and PVP with computing capabilities. I share James’s dream of a slightly larger UPC/Mini Tablet and it looks like it will soon become a reality.

If and when this does become a reality, what about Mac users? How about a Newton 2 = Video Ipod = iBook Mini using Newton and OS X Tiger technology with an optimized GUI, Inkwell for HWR and H.264 in Quicktime 7 for video playback, BT and Airport Extreme? Add a video section to the iTMS and the ability to record TV shows (an EyeTV breakout box), and I think Apple would have a winner.


Sounds cool to me. As long as its not too expensive. I always like the idea of web surfing and reading ebooks on my couch. My zodiac for outside and this device for inside. I just need a pvr that plays Divx and I am set.


JK’s Mini Tablett is just too big for me – 8″ won’t fit in my Pocket.. the Sony U’s 5″ does (in my cargo pants at least). Hope it isn’t the death of the U, but I do like having options so I hope it comes out and is awesome and sells well and prompts Sony to continue with another – better – U device.. :D



Sounds like a slate to me. Very interesting and there seem to be a couple of sources saying the same thing. Maybe the death of the Sony U.
Sounds like there may be more news on april 25th.
Like Jk I will be first in the queue (the europe queue that is, so that will be about 9 months later than the US then..)

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