Motion Computing increases tablet PC display real estate

With the current wave of tablet PCs hitting the market, vendors are seeking ways to set themselves apart from the crowd. Some offer innovative docking and keyboard solutions while others present attractive bundles, high-end specifications or extra bells and whistles.

Motion Computing Inc.'s M1200 Tablet PC distinguishes itself with a roomy 12.1-inch display, the largest of any on the market.

Another unique feature is the molded hard plastic cover that snaps onto the front of the unit to protect the screen when traveling. When using the tablet PC, the cover snaps onto the back.

Like all tablet PCs currently on the market, the M1200 runs Microsoft Corp. Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and uses a digitizer pen for input. The pen does not require batteries.

An 866 MHz Intel Corp. Mobile Pentium III ultra-low-voltage processor powers the tablet, and our unit came with 512M of memory (expandable to 1G) and a 20G hard drive (drives of up to 60G are available).

The chassis is made of light yet durable magnesium alloy and tips the scale at less than three pounds.

Communications include 802.11b wireless networking, a 10/100 Ethernet controller and a V.92 56 kilobits/sec modem.

The system offers a variety of ports, including two USB 1.1, VGA, FireWire, microphone in, headphone out and one Type II PC Card slot. There is also a built-in microphone and speakers to complement speech recording and other audio functions.

Four function keys, a large navigation button and a security key are located along one edge of the tablet. One key is purely a function key and can only be used in combination with one of the other three keys. This allows for six functions at a time. Most tablets that have four keys can only carry out four functions at once.

The M1200 allows for 270-degree rotation, an unusual feature. The only disadvantage is that when using the rotation key, you must cycle it through four possible positions instead of just two. However, you can open the Motion Dashboard and select one of four radio buttons to change the orientation.

Our tablet came bundled with the optional FlexDock docking station, keyboard, external DVD/CD-RW combination drive and a simple plastic desktop stand.

You can rotate the tablet 90 degrees while it's in the dock and the display orientation will automatically adjust. The dock allows you to tilt the tablet back at any angle (it can also lie flat), where it is held in place by an adjustable plastic slider. You can't raise the tablet vertically, however.

The FlexDock features three USB ports (two in back and one on the front), along with Ethernet, FireWire, VGA, microphone in and headphone out ports. The dock does not include a modem, but you can use the tablet's modem while it is docked.

Return to introduction: New visual expteriences

REPORT CARD

Motion M1200 Tablet PC

Grade: B+

Motion Computing Inc.

(866) 682-2538

www.motioncomputing.com

The Motion M1200 Tablet PC costs $2,744.

This tablet PC's 12.1-inch display is the largest on the market. The desktop setup with docking station, keyboard and external optical drive isn't as streamlined as others, but it's functional.

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