Tablet PCs: Is It Too Little, TooEarly?

By Gregory A. Maciag

It was precisely 10 years ago that I wrote my first monthly“Technology Today” column for National Underwriter. Thesubject was called pen computing in those days, and I still havethe NCR device I used for that column sitting on my bookshelf.Although the new devices look similar, the latest Tablet PCs aremore powerful (as you would expect) and the software that managesthe pen environment makes the platform more appealing than its 1993cousin.

As I said 10 years ago, “A pen computer is a flat,clipboard-type device. Its screen resembles a piece of paper. Thepen or stylus is used for pointing, gesturing and sometimes forwriting.” And unlike the graffiti alphabet that we have becomeaccustomed to on Palm devices, todays tablets can actually deciphercursive scribbles into coherent text. So, of course, the firstthing I did was to test the (cursive) handwriting recognition.

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