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Gateway's M1200 Tablet PC, will you
want to buy one
?
by Sam R. Clemens, Reviews Manager
April 29, 2003

Tech-edge E-zine® Dictionary (excerpts from Websters) :
Tablet PC \ta-blet pe se \ n 1 : an electronic device with embedded digital CPU, a proprietary graphical operating system, software and touch sensitive stylus input screen, which acts as a flat slab suited for or bearing an inscription or an alternative to paper and pencil.

Gateway \gate-way\ n 1:an opening for a gate, 2: a means of entrance or exit, 3: a computer manufacturer from South Dakota USA.

The computer that you use on an occasional to an hourly basis has taken some odd evolutionary incarnations. Whether as a desktop or a portable computer, all sorts of configurations and shapes have been tried; it likely isn’t the end either.

The Tablet PC™ as proposed and promoted by Microsoft® is not new either, only the Tablet version of Windows XP is. Technically, Rand Corp. and DEC (Data Equipment Co) sold a Tablet called the Grafacon, which was designed to work with corporate mainframe computers. It wasn’t cheap either at over $18,000.

A lot of Apple® devotees would also argue that the Newton was the first true consumer Tablet PC. Apple pioneered a 99% accurate cursive handwriting recognition in 1993 on the Newton®, networking, modem, removable flash storage and there was even a version with a mini-keyboard. But, the Newton didn’t run desktop applications.

So despite Bill Gates usual boasting that Microsoft has been innovative again, it really has been a case of taking an old idea and putting a more mainstream spin on it. The spin being a Tabletized version of Windows XP, which includes cursive writing and voice recognition.

Interesting innovation hasn’t escaped the Tablet PC through; one company has taken a bold

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and different path for all others. Gateway’s M1200 Tablet PC, which is made for them by Motion Computing, is a dramatic departure from the other Tablet “wanna-bees” or Tablet Pretenders.

Put this Gateway M1200 Tablet PC package on table with ones from HP, Fujitsu, Viewsonic, Toshiba and the others, you will notice some major differences. Some, like Viewsonic’s or Fujitsu/Seimen’s are holding to the true flat slab design with no integrated keyboard. bar
"The Gateway M1200 Tablet PC is a very full package and is easily the best one made..."
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The others by Compaq, HP, Toshiba, etc., are really “notebook fakes”, with large swiveling TFT displays that can optionally fold flat over the notebooks keyboard. It’s as though they were hedging their bets if Microsoft wasn’t right about Tablet PC catching on this time. The big (pun intended) with this scheme is that you end up with a big fat and heavy Tablet PC, that’s more like a boulder than a tablet.

 Compare the 0.87" thick M1200 to a slim 14" notebook.

The Gateway M1200 Tablet PC is a very full package and is easily the best one made when judging features. It has everything you’d want on it, in it and it’s very light (3-lbs.) and thin (0.87-in.) as a Tablet should be. The display is 12.1-inches, bright, sharp and with a native resolution of 1024x768 pixels. All the controls are easily reached by your fingers and thumbs when the Tablet PC is employed as it was intended, an electronic alternative to paper and pencil. The Gateway M1200 is the best of all the units we looked at in ergonomic design.

Not lacking any capabilities that you’ll find on a notebook, the M1200 has a 56k modem, 10/100 Ethernet, two USB ports, one i.Link FireWire port, a mic and earphone port. When you aren’t using the stylus pen to navigate the desktop, there’s a very conveniently located mouse button on the right edge. Not to worry lefties, just turn the unit 180 degrees and change the screen orientation to match.

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