First Wave of Tablet PCs

electron

Administrator
Staff member
That is actually a reasonable price for that kind of hardware (similar specs to most CarPC's), but it is indeed a lot of money.
 

dwayne

Active Member
They remind me of something......I remember...

imagesmaudreyb.jpg



Audrey!!!
 

DavidL

Senior Member
Same concept, just with some horsepower this time around and a different pricing model (pay up front, no subscription, no need to hack).
 

Stinger

Active Member
Hmm, for approximately $770 less, but 667mhz less, I'll take an Intermec 5055B off of ebay and enjoy hacking it.
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
As long as these guys actually work well and have good connectivity (something not always goin on with some previous tablets), they will be competitive for folks like us looking to sell into the profesional installation world, where proprietary tablets of less functionality and power sell for a good bit more. So I'm really hoping that they turn out nice. I'm going to see if we can invest in one and get it in here and find out if it's something we can really work with and push to our installers.
 

smee

Senior Member
Aside from the fact that they cost more than what I'd want to spend, my concern is that they are priced too high to make major inroads into any large market. We've seen lots of different platforms come and go - some into the surplus market, others have just disappeared - because they were not able to hit some sort of critical mass. The Audrey above is one example. I understand that these new tablets are more powerful machines, but they aren't exactly cutting edge hardware either.

If these (the new tablet formfactor, not necessarily these specific machines) don't sell well, do we expect them to be around in another year? Will Microsoft move on to some newer platform? They've promoted several recently that haven't really gone too far - or haven't been nearly as revolutionary as they expected (the features have merged into other machines - machines much closer to normal PCs - or disappeared).

The high end PDA market seems to be slowing pretty dramatically. Dell has announced that there won't be any immediate successor to the X51v. HP/Compaq is apparently dropping its high-end line. Granted, these new machines should be more powerful than the PDAs, but they are significantly more expensive. If I'm primarily going to use the device to control my home, a low end PDA with connectivity (wireless/bluetooth) would be much more cost effective. Yes, a larger screen would be nice but is it really worth spending that much more to have bigger/more buttons to turn on lights, browse media, etc?

I understand points about professional installer/high end markets. But will you depend on this technology to provide your front end when you don't know whether it will be around next year? Will the professional installers be buying enough of them to justify their manufacture? What will you do when your chosen front end hardware disappears?

Anyway, I actually like this new form factor and hope it succeeds. I'd like to pick up one up myself. But I have my doubts about whether they will succeed, though. If they fizzle away without making significant inroads into any market, I won't expect to pick one up on the surplus market either. I think the days when companies made way too many devices they couldn't sell (see Audrey, above) are gone. Production seems to be held much closer to immediate demand to prevent excess inventories.
 

jrfuda

Active Member
I think they're a great idea, but the via processor makes me wary. I also think MS's original ~$600 price point would make them much more appealing, and I would probably buy one at that price.

If they take off, maybe we'll see some in the $500-$600 range in the next year. Heck, you can get some full-featured new laptops now for $500-$600 when they're on sale.
 

ph0n33z

Active Member
I have been following the UMPC for a little while now. This is what seems to have happened:

They were originally slated to come out at the Sub $500 price point. This was the main selling point of this format. Less than a laptop, more than a pda. All things were set to go, and then Intel came into the picture. Yep, good old Intel. Supposedly. Microsoft claims that the UMPC could be sold for around $500 if it were not for Intel's recent invovlement. Their chips/whatever else are costing much more than expected, thus the price spike.

Microsoft plans on getting to the $500 point in a year. In my opinion, once they reach that, this may have a fighting chance.
 

smee

Senior Member
The devices linked to at the beginning of this thread aren't using Intel chips - they're using a VIA processor and chipset
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
These things always have an early adopter phase, then the prices will drop I'm sure. They want to get their investment back as quickly as possible and there are always a certain number of people who will pay the early adopter price. Personally, I hope that some even more stripped down ones come out, both to lower the price and to make them more appropriate for a dedicated automation client. The great thing for us with these is that we can just install our standard interface designer, and have full graphical whiz-bang on them, since they run on a standard XP kernel.
 

smee

Senior Member
My concern is that they will not get out of the early adopter phase at all. Too many "good" ideas have not made it recently. Many of them driven by Microsoft initially. If they disappear before the price comes down...

I do hope they make it. And I'd also like to see a stripped-down version. However, the ones in the original link look pretty stripped-down to me already. The hardware list isn't that impressive (on the order of a $100 PC with a touchscreen added on) [1]. They don't have much that isn't already available in a PDA - they are just a little bigger.

I hope that the OS on these machines is stripped down, too. I like the VIA stuff (mini-ITX, etc.) but running full XP on some of those machines can feel pretty sluggish.

[1] I know you pay more to make things smaller, but the feature set is no better than the specs of a cheap PC.
 

DavidL

Senior Member
Look on the bright side, go price a Crestron or AMX wireless controller.

$100 PC? Where? Seems PCs start at $300 albight with more CPU.
 

TCassio

Active Member
Keep in mind that this is the first Manuf. to market. There are at least 2 other companies bringing a similar product to market. If I remember correctly, Samsung is one of them. I think this is when you'll see prices start to drop.
 
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