Motion Computing rolls out new Tablet PC

Motion Computing Inc. unveiled the third generation of its slate Tablet PC product at an event in San Francisco last week, complete with a new processor from Intel Corp. and improved display and microphone technologies.

The M1400 is the same size and weight as the M1300 that preceded it, said Mark Rylander, director of software and peripherals marketing at Motion Computing. Motion’s early customers in vertical markets such as health care and field sales were pleased with the size of the display and the portability of the unit, he explained.

However, some users complained that the 12.1-inch display was not visible to colleagues who were attempting to view information over their shoulders or across a table, Rylander said. The display of the new Tablet PC allows a wider viewing angle of up to 170 degrees, he said.

The display can also sense and react to changing levels of light and adjust the display’s brightness for improved viewing and longer battery life, Rylander said.

Motion’s design engineers took a cue from audio conferencing equipment to improve the device’s audio system. A second microphone was added to the front of the device and new technology was added to reduce background noise and focus the microphone with adjustable settings.

Bluetooth, a short-range wireless networking technology, was built into this model for the first time, Rylander said. Another new feature is an integrated fingerprint reader that protects access to the Tablet PC or specific files on the system, he said.

Intel’s new 1.1GHz Ultra Low Voltage Pentium M processor powers the M1400. A base configuration comes with 256MB of PC2700 (333MHz) DDR (double data rate) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM), a 20GB hard drive, and a six-cell lithium-ion battery for US$1,999.

The M1400 measures 11.65 inches long by 9.45 inches wide by 0.87 inches thick (296mm by 240mm by 22mm). It weighs three pounds (1.35 kilograms) with an optional lightweight three-cell battery.

The Tablet PC is available directly through Motion’s Web site or through resellers such as Dell Inc., he said.

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