Is Acer's tablet just what the doctor ordered?

Acer is showing off its innovative tablet PC cum notebook at this year's Gitex.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  October 13, 2002

Acer continues the fine tradition of Gitex trailblazers with the release of notebook-cum-tablet PC, the C100. The company is aiming the device at professionals who need to make notes fast and on the move, such as doctors doing their rounds and journalists.

The remarkable device looks like a notebook PC at first glance but release the two side catches holding the LCD panel in place, rotate it 180 degrees, fold it flat over the keyboard, and secure the side and front catches to hold the screen steady and you have a Tablet PC. In this guise the keyboard is covered and input is by directly tapping on the screen with a stylus. The C100 uses the Tablet PC version of Windows XP operating system.

Existing applications will run without modification on the Tablet PC and independent software vendors will be developing new packages to suit the new format. The device comes equipped with ready-made software for directly imputing notes to the PC. Acer says that the Tablet PC is ideal for making permanently storable notes while on the phone.

The C100 weighs 1.4kg, and has a 10.4" TFT display, which puts it into the ultra-portable notebook category. The main specifications are an 800MHz Intel Pentium 3 processor, 256MB of memory and a 20GB hard disk. In terms of connectivity there are PC Card and smart card slots, as well as FireWire, infrared and two USB ports.

Smart card technology is also built-in. The device comes with optional extras such as wireless LAN and external floppy and CD-ROM drives. The C100 also comes with Norton Antivirus pre-installed and a one year warranty.

Acer is keeping the price tightly under wraps until the November release date but it is estimated that it could cost up to $2,500. Acer is showcasing its full range of computing solutions under the theme of empowering people.

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