Saturday, June 14, 2008

XploreTech (rugged) tablet PC

I've been looking forward to Tablet PCs since the Apple Newton (I've never owned one...yet). As soon as I could, I purchased one.

I own a Toshiba Portege 3503 Tablet PC. It's a very poor example of a Tablet PC:
I'm always in fear of scratching the screen...
and it's response to pen activity has always left MUCH to be desired.

I've always wanted to use Windows Journal on a regular basis. It's "...a basic note-taking accessory that was created specifically for the Tablet PC. You can use it to capture handwritten notes and drawings, convert handwritten notes to text, import graphics files, and share notes with others...export as MHTML files, which others can view with Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5.0 or later, or by exporting them as TIFF images for viewing with a viewer that is installed by default on Microsoft Windows 98 or later."

The Sticky Notes accessory (think Post-It Notes) allows you to "...write and store short notes...You can place sticky notes directly on your desktop or in any OLE-enabled program, such as Word, to add electronic comments or reminders to your documents."


Xplore Technologies allowed us to review their iX104C3.

THEY GOT IT RIGHT! It has a 10.4” screen that I don't fear using...I'm not afraid I might scratch it with the pen.

It comes with 512 MB RAM (and can expand to 1 GB).
40GB and 80GB hard drives are available.

Wireless options include wLAN, wWAN, PAN (Bluetooth) and GPS.

There is a fingerprint reader on the unit. I did not need that functionality, so I disabled it.

I assume the PCMCIA bay is optional, because I was unable to find a port on the unit I used.

Being a Tablet PC, there is character and handwriting recognition...and an on-screen keyboard.

Two USB 2.0 ports
A microphone and Headset jack
LAN (RJ-45) 10/100/1000 Mbit port
A 15 pin D-SUB connector for external VGA monitor
Optional Bluetooth/56K modem combo module
Remote SIM socket for eGPRS (which I assume is optional because I was unable to locate it on the unit I had.)

On the front are 6 customizable function buttons:
application buttons with primary and secondary functions...
a power on/Suspend/Resume button...
and a reset button.

Battery life is to be up to 3.5 hours, with a recharge time of 2.5 hours (to get to a 90% charge).


The iX104C3 PLUS model can be provided with 40GB, 80GB, and 120GB hard disk drives.


The stylus pen is tethered to the undersized of the tablet. I don't remember at exactly which corner it was tethered to, but...

I prefer to use the tablet in a horizontal position. Being right-handed, I needed it to be tethered at the top-right corner of the unit.

When I held the tablet vertically, I needed it to be tethered at the lower-right corner.


I felt I needed to reset the digitizer at least once a day.


I wish the model I used had an adjustable cam...


You can watch Andy's Tech Tuesday segment about the XploreTech Pen Tablet at and

His webpost is at


As an alternative consideration, take a look at the Aiptek My Note Premium Digital Notepad Tablet. I have not had an opportunity to use it, but would love to and am considering purchasing one.

1 comment:

Dukeswharf said...

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-U1 also looks a very promising ruggedized tablet UMPC: