Fujitsu to unveil Tablet PC prototype

Fujitsu next week will introduce its prototype Tablet PC at TechXNY, part of an anticipated wave of the new devices expected to arrive at the industry trade show in New York.

Targeted at the mobile workforce, the Fujitsu Stylistic ST4000 Tablet PC is a clipboard-style device that allows users to input data in a handwritten manner much like today's PDA systems.

While thinner and lighter than a laptop, the ST4000 stocks the innards of today's cutting-edge mobile computers, including a low-voltage mobile Intel Corp. Pentium III processor running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system, according to Fujitsu representatives in Santa Clara, Calif.

Tablet PCs will be pervasive at the trade show, with offerings on display from vendors such as Hewlett-Packard Co., Fujitsu, Sony Corp., and Toshiba Corp. A keynote address by Jeff Raikes, group vice president for Microsoft's Productivity and Business Services, will also include demonstrations of new Tablet PC applications.

Tablet PCs have been in the slow process of arriving for nearly three years, and vendors are hoping that their introduction later this year will reinvigorate PC sales and interest in computing in general. But experts such as Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Giga Information Group Inc., based in Cambridge, Mass., believe the current economic climate could stall a potential run on Tablet PCs until the holiday buying season.

"As we get closer to Christmas we'll be better able to see if Tablets will change thing. But things look pretty bleak right now," Enderle said.

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Dan Neel

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