After initially coming onto the market for military, medical and corporate use, tablet PCs have always tried to get into the mainstream but have never truly succeeded. Ask around. How many people do you know that have a tablet PC?. Personally, I've always loved the concept, but couldn't justify spending that amount of cash on something that I'd use just when I was on the road. Plus, spreading yourself out on more than one machine always gets hassling. Motion Computing's new tablet is a rugged PC, so it's made for the real world.
Motion Computing's J3400 looks pretty cool, but that's a given. It's hard to make a tablet PC and make it ugly. Scratch that, I'm sure that it's possible. It's rugged, so that means heavy. It clocks in at about 3.6 lbs because of the extra weight for rubber coating and shock dampening. It's got a 12.1" wide screen with a digitizer. The company boasts that it's got the best outdoor readable display on the market. You can hot-swap the dual battery, which is pretty interesting. This means that the PC will be running while you change batteries. It's got GPS and a 7.4-hour battery life if you have both batteries in. That's pretty cool, but not revolutionary.
What really sets the tablet PC apart is the plethora of accessories that you can get. There is a magnetically-attachable mobile keyboard, which turns the tablet into a laptop, a FlexDock which lets you use the tablet like a desktop machine, and other stuff which can make your life easy if you plan to use it on the road a lot. What's missing in my mind is a keyboard with extra batteries integrated into it, let's say like two extra batteries and another HD. Now that would be really good. Battery life would be something like 15 hours plus the added benefit of another HD would actually make the tablet into something extremely useful. [via core77, images via Motion Computing]