Flybook V33i: another Tablet PC without Tablet PC


Flybook_1Several retailers in the UK have made the Flybook V33i available recently; Widget UK is the latest on my radar so I revisited this small notebook based on their news. While it’s great to see the new Flybook running an Intel Pentium M at 1.1 GHz in lieu of the previous Transmeta Crusoe, it still boggles my mind that the touchscreen device runs Windows XP Pro out of the box. I realize that other touchscreen portables have the same limitation and it’s been noted that the Tablet Edition is a missing element.

Yes, this all changes when Vista hits the market with it’s built in Tablet PC functionality in most editions, but if you’re going to market an "8.9 inch wide-view TFT touchscreen display [that] rotates to provide tablet PC functionality", shouldn’t it truly have tablet PC functionality? I suppose that phrase is generic enough to cover Flybook’s bases, but it only adds confusion to an already perplexed public.

Presenting the other side of the coin, I see in the Flybook FAQs that there is a question on using RitePen, so it appears that RitePen is bundled with the Flybook. Unfortunately, there’s no listing of pre-installed programs on the product page, which could be very useful for prospective purchasers.




If I recall correctly the Tablet OS option on the Fujitsu P1510 was only $50.


Kevin, I think you should ask the question to Microsoft. Both UX90 and Flybook would be another couple of hundred dollars more expensive with tablet OS, and which manufacturer would want that kind of burden?. I agree that it should be an option nevertheless.


I owned the previous version of the Flybook (A33i), and it is quite a nice device, despite the Crusoe processor which made it pretty slow. I have also owned a Fujitsu P1510D. On both of them, I have installed Tablet PC, and the inking is much better on the Flybook because it has a less sensitive digitizer (cannot remember the grams on both of these off top of my head). It actually worked quite nicely on the Flybook. Of course, the issue with this Flybook model (as was the case with the older model) is $$, they are pretty expensive (much more than Fujitsu).

Stephen Feger

At the very least, Tablet PC should be an option as an OS on the device, especially since you cannot buy the OS separately. But I must admit that the touchscreen does change some things. I’ve used a P1510D extensively with the Tablet PC OS and I personally believe that so much is lost with a passive digitizer that I sometimes wonder what the value is in having the XP Tablet PC OS on it. The lack of a hover capability on a passive digitizer is a big loss and you wouldn’t think of it until you needed it. In addition, the handwriting has been a nightmare of an experience.

But like I said, it should be an option at the very least.

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