Behold! The (Original) HP Slate on The Big Bang Theory

If you didn’t catch The Big Bang Theory last night (and your DVR missed it because Chuck ran two hours), you missed out on seeing Dr. Sheldon Cooper, PhD use an HP TC1000 series Tablet PC to help the guys shoot a laser at the moon. But not to worry, we got you covered. Oh, and the moon is fine.

Steve S. passed the word on in the forums. I skipped the live show because I assumed it would be recorded on my media PC, but did not because I did not realize the Chuck finale was running two hours last night. Need to take a serious look at getting another TV tuner, but I digress…

Anyway, while CBS does not post entire episodes of The Big Bang Theory online, they do post clips and we are fortunate they included the one with the tablet. Can’t tell whether it’s the original TC1000 or the more popular TC1100, but you can clearly see it is in slate mode with the keyboard attached, and Sheldon (played brilliantly by Jim Parsons) is scribbling away with the pen. Slate and pen input on The Big Bang Theory? This could be the greatest two minutes of television a Tablet PC enthusiast could ever ask for. Enjoy. Big thanks to Steve!

Alleged Apple fanboi, accused Android apologist, and confirmed Microsoft MVP for touch and tablet Mark Sumimoto a.k.a. Sumocat dabbles in all areas of mobile computing with a focus on Windows-based Tablet PCs and pen input. A mobile computing enthusiast since 2004, he pioneered the field of ink blogging via his personal blog, Sumocat's Scribbles. His current tools include a Fujitsu Lifebook T900, TEGA v2, and iPhone 4. Email: sumocat [at]


  1. Yeah, we watched the episode on DVR tonight, and I was teasing my wife (who has a tablet also) about her being as much of a nerd as Sheldon.

  2. If it’s a TC-1000, it a Compaq. If it’s a TC-1100, it’s either a Compaq or an HP Compaq. HP and Compaq hadn’t merged when the TC-1000 was still in production. It’s still the best form factor tablet PC to date even if it was kind of anemic.

  3. I was watching while surfing away on my iPad and wondered what kind of 20th century technology he was schlepping around. Guess it fits in with the whole Apollo-delivered reflector on the moon ;)

  4. Too bad we don’t actually get to see what’s on the screen. They could’ve showed off the inking capabilities quite nicely, not to mention showing the viewers that these things were meant for writing and drawing at one point.

    Nevertheless, it’s stunning that this distinctive Compaq/HP tablet model even gets an appearance in modern media, especially in a post-iPad world.

  5. My .02:

    If you watch Big Bang Theory regularly, you’d know that Sheldon wouldn’t deign to use an inferior device… that’s no TC1000, it’s a TC1100. ;) And yes, as the proud owner of a TC1100 with 2gb ram and 120gb hd, and just about all the accessories you could get for it, I was totally geeking out when I saw it in Sheldon’s hands. I actually had mine in my lap backing up my data so I could install Windows 7 (which has TOTALLY breathed new life into the machine). It appeared to me that he might have Windows Journal or OneNote up on the screen, but I couldn’t get a very good look. Still, it was on screen for about 15 minutes total, before and after a commercial break. Now I’m going to have even more people asking me if that’s an iPad! I just smirk and tell them “no, I’ve been using this for 4 years now, and it does WAY more stuff than an iPad will ever do!” I guess I should be happy for the renewed interest; it just irks me that it took an Apple product (and a “magical!” one at that) to get tablet PCs back out into the public eye. For the record, I am no Apple-hater; I love my iPhone – but their attitude towards Flash and Nazi tactics used recently with the Gizmo journalist do not set well with me.

    I guess Sheldon feels the same way!

    I lust after a 2740p, but even when I get one, I will still always use my TC for something.

    Long live the TC1100 and all of us that love them!

  6. Isn’t it great that the TC1000 seems to be the most shown Gadget on TV shows and movies? It’s still a futuristic form factor somehow. When I show it to friends they can’t believe it’s seven years old. Wish it would get an update to WebOS though ;-)

  7. I used to work for Compaq/HP before and after the Merge. Needless to say when I saw this in Sheldon’s hands I had to chuckle – definitely brought back some good memories of playing with the prototypes and production models

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