Tablet PCs are hot. In early 2007, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and MacWorld Expo in San Francisco, no less than three landmark tablets made their public debut:
- Flybook A33i - an 8.9-inch foldable touch screen computer by Holbe Dialogue Europe; $2,670 (approx)
- Model 02 - the 60Gb hard drive ultramobile PC by OQO; $1,850
- ModBook - a Mac tablet by Axiotron; $2,279
All of this tablet news isn't new, though. Tablet PCs have been on and off, again, since the late 1990s. In fact, some savvy surfing will yield an irresistible surplus Tablet PC product: the Fujitsu Stylistic 1000--for less than 30 bucks. Buyer beware, however. This is not a sleeper product that can be easily (or, cheaply) converted into a modern Tablet PC clone. Rather, most (if not, all) surplus Fujitsu Stylistic 1000 purchases will end up as expensive door stops.
At first glance the stumbling block that prevents a vintage Stylistic 1000 from becoming a useable modern Tablet PC might seem to be a hardware issue--lack of styli, rechargeable batteries, memory, and hard drives. Not so; all of these issues can be successfully resolved.
The real trick in making a Stylistic 1000 work like a modern Tablet PC is trying to get an operating system to boot. Take your pick: Linux, Windows, DOS, and even Mac each OS attempt is fraught with failure.
And therein lies the tale--a tale of a project gone horribly awry.