Home Mobile Electrovaya Scribbler SC4100 with pen & touch spotted

Electrovaya Scribbler SC4100 with pen & touch spotted

On the forum, Steve S shares with us word (from digitaldoctors at TabletPCBuzz) that Electrovaya has listed a new Scribbler Tablet PC, the first upgrade in nearly two years. The Electrovaya Scribbler SC4100 sports the same slate form factor as the past couple iterations, but not only updates the processor (Intel Core 2 Duo L7400 1.5GHz), it also adds touch input to the mix.

Digitizer is listed as “Wacom® Digitizer and Touch”, presumably the duo-mode solution offered by Wacom, but no mention of multi-touch. Sadly, the rest of the specs are little changed since the SC4000, including the 12.1″ 1024 x 768 screen. Worse yet, Electrovaya seems to have abandoned their ultra-capacity Super Lithium Polymer batteries, using a mere 45 Whr battery instead, and the starting price is $2089. Having owned a Scribbler as my first tablet, I have a soft spot for the line, but without the super-battery, the current appeal is limited.

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10 Comments

  1. Irked Inker

    02/21/2010 at 5:44 pm

    Oh man, I was excited to see a new Wacom pen+touch slate (hopefully w/ multitouch – that would make this the first, right?) until I got to your second paragraph.

    1024 x 768 on a 12″ screen is kind of pathetic at this price – though I’m sure it’s not easy to find an LCD maker that’s still cranking higher-res 4:3 panels. If I wanted a 1024×768 slate, I’d dust off the old TC1100 (or buy an iPad. heh).

    As for battery life, while it’s a big step down from the SC4000’s 70WHr SuperPolymer beast, 45WHr (~4200mAh) edges out the 42WHr (3800mAh) of TabletKiosk’s current Sahara i400-slates and stomps my Motion LE1700 slate’s 2600mAh standard battery (though I can add another 2600mAh – and 15 ounces – to the Motion with a secondary battery slice. Perhaps Electrovaya will make something like that available for the 4100). Just to add another point of comparison: the 8-cell battery of Lenovo’s x200 convertibles clocks in at 66WHr.

    (P.S. when did WHr overtake mAh as the standard unit for battery capacity? I seem to have missed that completely.)

    Reply

  2. Sam

    02/21/2010 at 6:37 pm

    Irked, no idea when, but for comparing batteries of different types and configurations, watt-hour is a much more useful measurement than milliamp-hour, because mAH is incomplete, you need to know the voltage as well. If you’re talking about say, NiMH AA cells, mAH works fine since all NiMH AA cells are 1.2V, but if you have one battery pack of 7.2V with 1000 mAH (=7.2 WHr) and another battery pack of 10.8V with 800 mAH = (8.64 WHr)…

    Reply

    • Irked Inker

      02/21/2010 at 7:24 pm

      Good point – I figured/hoped that my tablet’s batteries store significantly more juice than the 2500mAh rechargable NiMH AAs in my TV’s remote control. ;-)

      So that makes the LE1700 batteries 39Wh (2600mAh, 14.8V – which actually is on the sticker). Still worse than the SC4100’s 45WHr, but not as bad as I thought. The short battery life of the LE1700 is my biggest complaint, but it’ll take more than this to make me give up a 1400×1050 display (even granted that the ULV processor will probably make an even bigger difference).

      Reply

      • Irked Inker

        02/21/2010 at 7:50 pm

        Looking again, the SC4100’s processor doesn’t look particularly frugal or new after all:

        CPU
        – Intel® Core2Duo(ULV)
        – 667 MHz FSB, 4M L2 Cache L7400 (1.5 GHz)

        Operating System
        – Microsoft Windows® 7 Home Premium

        Chipsets
        – Core Logic: 945GME+ICH7-M
        – VGA:GMA 950 Integrated
        – Audio: High Definition Audio

        Elsewhere on the purchase page (from which I copied these specs – link embedded in my name), Electrovaya describes the processor elsewhere as a U7400. I don’t know whether these labels are actually interchangable, and if not, which one the SC4100 actually includes. I do know that the L7400 CPU was introduced in Q1’07, and this is exactly the same processor/chipset included in the all-but-discontinued Motion LE1700.

        Looks like the digitizer’s the only novel thing about this particular slate – too bad it’s wrapped around such a lame LCD.

        Reply

  3. Irked Inker

    02/21/2010 at 8:59 pm

    OK, one last battery-related post for the 2 people who may be looking at this story.

    The previous Scribbler model (SC4000) was also released with a 45Wh battery; the 70Wh battery seems to have been an optional upgrade. In Electrovaya’s store right now, when you go to the listing of Scribbler SC4100 specific accessories, the extra battery is described as a “45Wh Battery for SC 4000 series” and includes a “Cradle for SC-4000 series Tablet PC.” If the 45Wh battery works in both the SC4000 and SC4100, shouldn’t the 70Wh battery also work in both models, as well?

    But even if the 70Wh batteries for the SC4000 do work in the SC4100, they may be hard to get your hands on one: they don’t seem to be available for purchase from Electrovaya anymore. They’ve probably sold out of their inventory from past production runs, but maybe they’ll make more. Making batteries is the main thing they do, after all.

    They are still selling the 75 Wh Lithium-ion SuperPolymer Batteries for SC-2000/3000 series tablets, but those won’t work in the 4000 series tablets. Go figure.

    Reply

    • Imprecise Inker

      02/21/2010 at 9:15 pm

      OK, well, Electrovaya’s online store is a little screwy – the description of the “45Wh Battery for SC 4000 series” is actually a description of the Cradle (doesn’t include the cradle, as I misinterpreted previously).

      I feel a little bad about beating these guys up since I looked at the press release for their latest quarterly financial results. I’m actually surprised/impressed that they’re putting out new consumer products at all:

      First Quarter Fiscal 2010 Financial Highlights
      – Revenue increased by 16.2% to $920,000 from $792,000 for the year ago quarter.
      – Net Operating Profit, before interest, taxes, foreign exchange and amortization, improved
      by $553,000 to $38,000 compared to a loss of $515,000 in the same quarter of the prior
      year.
      – Cash and cash equivalents totaled $5.2 million at December 31, 2009, compared with $4.2
      million at December 31, 2008.

      [read full release at their home page; direct link to PDF embedded in my name]

      Reply

  4. Absolutely NoOne

    02/21/2010 at 9:32 pm

    This may be wacom, but I just wanted to tip you off on an n-trig development:
    “The pressure sensitivity issue with Photoshop is being addressed by our answer to the WinTab API solution, which we are planning to release by mid-April 2010.”
    That was posted on the seventh at n-trigs website down here: http:
    //www.n-trig.com/Content.aspx?Page=Bulletin_Board
    Here’s to hoping that pressure will work in GIMP!

    Reply

    • Irked Inker

      02/21/2010 at 9:41 pm

      I don’t know of any N-Trig pen+multitouch slates, so this is probably the wrong place to put this sort of tip.

      Also, bear in mind that there’s a not-very-subtle difference between actually fixing a problem and saying that you’re planning/hoping to have a problem fixed in 2 months.

      Reply

  5. SAM

    02/22/2010 at 3:34 pm

    Starting $2,089 !!!!!!!!!!??????????

    Reply

  6. Chris Wilkerson, DC

    03/01/2010 at 9:03 am

    I have two Scribbler collecting dust because the batteries are dead. I’m not going to order a 45 Whr when I’m use to a 70 that they apparently no longer supply. It was the battery life that made the Scribbler (made by Tatung), a compelling purchase.

    Reply

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