Is there a market for Tablet OS on standard laptops?


Fujitsu6210_small_1I must still be tired from my travels, but I’ll let you be the judge. GottaBeMobile shares the news on Fujitsu’s B6210 notebook that can run the Tablet Edition of Windows XP for an additional $50. I’m not questioning the $50, I’m questioning the option itself. I think this is the second recent notebook that can run the Tablet OS, but does not have a swivel screen, so I’m wondering what’s the driving need for this? How well from a usability factor can a standard form laptop work with digital ink? How good can the user experience possibly be? With each press of the touchscreen, will the screen move backwards? I figure after about 30 on-screen taps, the screen and keyboard will be in complete horizontal alignment, achieving a total anti-Zen Yoga position in Tabletland.

Like I said, I must still be catching up on things, but I think having a Tablet option for a non-tablet is doing a disservice to the product. What’s the best possible outcome for these types of experiences? A few verticals and even fewer consumers will think this is the next best thing since the iPod, but I’m betting that most purchasers will be sorely disappointed and will unjustly bash the Tablet PC experience as a whole. Thoughts?



Tony M

I remember getting sent a questionnaire from Microsoft that asked if I would find value in this setup or not. The answer I gave was yes and here’s why. I figured that if they would offer this configuration it would have to be at a discount.

There are times when I’m using a standard laptop in a meeting to capture notes and I’d like to simply capture a diagram or something similar. If that was the extent to which I needed a tablet, then why would I want to pay the premium of a tablet? I can envision a day when all laptops have a digitizer included for this kind of functionality. They would still sell at a discount to a fully functional tablet with a rotating screen. Perhaps they don’t need as sophisticated digitizers (to achieve a tradeoff in cost).

Anyhow, I believe there is an opportunity to offer additional functionality over a regular laptop but at a discount to a full blown tablet. This Fujitsu obviously doesn’t achieve much of that at $1600. But at $1000 you could have a nice solution, especially if you also had a $700 UMPC so that you could use whichever device is appropriate.

Robert Burdock

Seems like a pointless move to me even when taking the view that you could technically ink using a separate Wacom graphics tablet (as mentioned by Tablet PC User). During my paperless experimentation days, before owning a TabletPC, I spent a few months using this exact setup i.e. WinXP TabletPC Edition on a desktop with my Wacom Graphics tablet (Intuos). I can confirm that it isn’t a particularly fun or effective experience.

Anton P. Nym

Hmm… well, I guess it’s a cheaper way of getting voice recognition than buying a third-party dictation package. Otherwise, *shrug* dunno.

— Steve

Tablet PC User

No real shock here…After all, OSX has the inkwell technology built-in. We know that JK and Marc Orchant have been making “chanting” about the ease of creating a Mac tablet (with “iffy” handwriting recognition) for months. Hence, the only benefit of having the Tablet PC OS will be to have a separate Wacom digitizer. However, I prefer my screen and tablet experience to be one and the same.

BTW, JK…when are you and Marc doing another “On the Run with Tablet PCs” podcast? Mondays aren’t the same anymore. :0(


There is one good use for it. You can take your handwriten notes from your more portable system and edit them on your desktop machine.

I actually managed to install the tablet edition OS from a Media Center 2005 disc by imputing the serial from my old tablet during installation. So I think the trick is in the license not the disk.

Josh Einstein

“but I’m betting that most purchasers will be sorely disappointed and will unjustly bash the Tablet PC experience as a whole. Thoughts?”

That’s how I feel about slates and UMPC’s but the fact is, come January, all laptops will have the “Tablet PC OS” since it’s included (and installed) in every Vista SKU except the basic home edition which few, if any, will sell. I think that will give alot of incentive for laptop makers to include touch screens on their laptops.

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