It's not often I feel the need to review a piece of IT equipment on PCP, but for this, I'll make an exception.
The Tablet PC from Compaq is a real innovation. The blurb promises that it will change the way you think about computers, which is a pretty big claim, but having spent some time with this bit of kit, I'm inclined to agree with them. For those of you who have looked for a way to cut down the paperwork, its ability to capture signatures is a real plus.
In terms of what it actually does, there's not a whole lot new about this product, with the exceptions of handwriting and voice recognition. What is new, is the "Form Factor" or size and shape. It bears more resemblance to a jotter pad or a clipboard than a laptop, and Windows Journal allows it to act in a similar capacity. Although you would do well to ask why you wouldn't stick with a clipboard (it's cheaper…) it would be important to note that a clipboard doesn't come with full featured Windows XP, and wireless networking as standard.
Another important point to take into account is the Price Point which Compaq have chosen for this product. With current prices starting at about £1300, and a specification that would cost you over £1500 on a "regular" portable it is seriously worth looking at if you are thinking of purchasing a laptop.
Although the tablet is smaller than a conventional laptop, the display is still quite useable, and very crisp. A 4 hour battery life makes it a wise choice for mobile users.
The Tablet PC or Compaq Tablet PC TC1000 to give it its full name is relatively new and as yet hasn't hit the high street in a big way yet, although it's only a matter of time. If you're interested, I would recommend having a play with it, but beware - you may not want to give it back.
More details available from www.compaq.com/tabletpc