Toy Box: Fly, fly, my tablet

Now this is a bit more like it. Acer is introducing the TravelMate C110, a Tablet PC with Intel's Centrino wireless chipset.

Now this is a bit more like it. Acer is introducing the TravelMate C110, a Tablet PC with Intel’s Centrino wireless chipset.

Tablets are an odd beast, I think: if you’ve learned to touch-type (and you should), what’s the point of touch-screen handwriting recognition? Would have been good to have one about 10 years ago, right? These days, for the money — over $4000, in this case — you could have yourself a nice notebook with all the bells and whistles and change left over to buy the bag, extra battery, wireless card and all the other bits you know you want.

Acer is the first off the rank with a true Centrino offering, a chipset that to me makes a lot of sense. Most vendors opted for the low-voltage Pentium III-M when they launched earlier this year but getting the Centrino, with its Pro/wireless 2100 Wi-Fi card, Intel 855 chipset (in Acer’s case the 900MHz Pentium M version) and a smarter approach to battery life, puts you a step ahead.

Intel should have an entertaining time of it marketing Centrino since it has to go the AMD/Apple route of explaining to customers that somehow a slower chip speed makes for faster performance. It’ll be entertaining after years of selling chips based on megahertz like it was under the hood of a high-performance sports car.

The C110 weighs in a slight 1.44kg, is equipped with two USB 2.0 ports and a 10.4in screen. Prices start from $4560 ($US1900 stateside) and the device is available in New Zealand now.

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