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The History of Tablet PCs… featuring one Tablet PC



Ugh. I don’t know why I bother looking at anything in the mainstream media that mentions Tablet PCs. Oh right, I run all those feeds through my reader and filter anything with the term. Too bad I can’t filter out the items that do no justice to the term.

The Huffington Post put together a pictorial timeline of 17 tablets, suckering me in with the headline “History of Tablet PCs”. In fairness, the timeline goes back pretty far, well before Microsoft’s claim to the name, and stretches into the future a bit. Still, is it too much to ask for more than one actual Tablet PC in a “History of Tablet PCs”?

There it is: the Motion Computing LS800, representing Tablet PCs for 2005. They do also list the Compaq prototype Bill Gates showed off in 2001, as well as the HP Slate representing tablets yet to come. But really, one actual, commercially available Tablet PC in a “History of Tablet PCs”?

BTW, if you want an LS800, Froobi is practically giving them away at $380 a piece. Hat tip to jj2me in the forum.



  1. Evan

    04/15/2010 at 9:30 pm

    Wow, that’s a great price for the LS800! I’ve got one that I still use, might be worth it just to have a spare. I also have the mythical Compaq Tablet – it’s sitting in a pile of tablet prototypes in the garage! Maybe I’ll have to write a post about that tablet some time in the future…

  2. Mickey Segal

    04/15/2010 at 9:32 pm

    If they had to pick one Tablet PC, they picked the most visionary one by picking the Motion LS800. It pioneered some of the features that make the iPad an important advance and it also included many of the features that the iPad is missing.

    I got to line up a Motion LS800 and an iPad yesterday. The iPad is the same on the Y dimension as the LS800 with an extended battery, and it is an inch bigger in the X dimension. It fit pretty decently in my LS800-size jacket pocket except that it stuck out the top a bit. The lighter weight is really noticeable, as is the thinness. But I needed a real computer, and the locked-down and limited nature of the iPad make it so I’ll still carry the LS800 until there is something more capable. Clearly there will be Windows computer in this form factor; hopefully there will be a real Macintosh too.

  3. TabletTeacher

    04/15/2010 at 9:45 pm

    LS 800 is a great tablet. Is Froobi a reputable vendor?
    I wonder how it is they still have some new ones available?

    I’d love to try the iPad too, but am waiting. I like the fact that it has WiFi and Data available, that is a step up over the LS 800.

  4. Nameless

    04/15/2010 at 10:20 pm

    I just read that earlier today, and even tried to reply to a comment on that site as to why the current “pen-less slate” trend is actually bothersome for my uses…then my newly-created account must’ve been instantly deleted without warning once I condensed it enough to fit under the 250-word limit, even though the intent was not inflammatory at all. *sighs*

    Also, I’m surprised they showed a prototype mockup pic to represent Compaq’s venture into the Tablet PC realm rather than the actually-released TC1000 which looks nothing like that. If anything, the TC1000 would’ve probably been more striking and attention-getting, even if its under-the-hood specs aren’t all that great compared to the refined HP TC1100.

    Finally: LS800 for US$380? Argh, I can’t even afford that! I’d totally pick one up to use as a dedicated note pad and document reader for when I can’t tolerate my Gateway’s bulk! (Courier would be even better, but that’s not an available product yet.)

  5. rkn989

    04/16/2010 at 7:53 am

    To be fair, the article is trying to explain the hardware/software increments of the Tablet. There hasn’t been much innovation since Windows XP nor developer support. The iPad is a worthy mention because it represents the mainstream acceptance of a tablet, consumer and developer.

  6. Doctor_Roe

    04/16/2010 at 1:51 pm

    Just returned from the doctor’s office. Now I haven’t been to a doctor in over 5 years. Not only was i not in their *current* database, but I had to provide a few MB of personal data that their *new* software required. Ok, I was escorted to the exam room where the usual 30 minute wait began. I took my x61t and tapped into their free wifi to check a few emails back at the office. The doctor came in right in the middle of my email. I didn’t look up right away as I was almost ready to send. I felt the erie silence when he walked in that struck me odd so i looked up. HE was staring down at a new Lenovo X201t reading my chart in tablet mode! Woo Hoo! As he interviewed me, I was right in his face looking at the great app he was running. All the while he is going on about the neat technology he is now proudly a part of! We spent the first 20 minutes discussing the new use of TABLETS in the medical office and hw Lenovo x201T’s were the tablet-du-choice! They just purchased 50 or so for all the staff.

    In summary, I was so into the tech of the office, I forgot what hurts! :-)

    • Brett Gilbertson

      04/16/2010 at 6:44 pm

      LOL, that’s an awesome Tablet story and an excellent medical outcome (a cure I believe)!

  7. SAM

    04/16/2010 at 11:07 pm

    What are the overall dimensions of the LS800?

    Is it an active digitizer?

    What is the screen size and resolution?

    Is the Foobi site legitimate and safe to order from?


    • Brett Gilbertson

      04/19/2010 at 1:49 am

      Can’t speak for froobi as I have never used them, but the ls800 is an active digitizer tablet. Think the screen was about 8 inches and the resolution was 800 x 600.

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