My TabletKiosk eo
Last night, John Hill at Allegiance Technology Partners confirmed that the eo I preordered will arrive next week. This is a huge relief. I ordered the device very early, but I was worried that the shortage announced on Monday would interfere.
Everyone at Allegiance and TabletKiosk has been super friendly and very helpful from the start.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been keeping a list of thoughts. I have some extra free time right now, so I’ll organize them for you (and me).
- This will be the first Windows XP device I will own that has no bundled keyboard. I’m no stranger to keyboard-less devices, though. None of my phones or PDAs (except my Palm Tungsten C and my RIM 957) had keyboards.
- Does Windows XP for Tablets have a mini on-screen keyboard for the login prompt? I’ll be logging on to the Windows network at the office and hopefully it will be easy to enter my password every morning.
- I may purchase a Happy Hacking Keyboard (USB, 11.6 inches X 4.3 inches X 1.5 inches) with full size keys for $70.
- The ThinkOutside folding bluetooth keyboard also looks like a good match. I used to have a stowaway for my Palm V.
- I have a half-finished chordite chord keyboard from a few years ago. That’s another option.
- The eo has 802.11b and g, and, since it’s a Windows device, it will support WPA. I’ll be able to get on the LAN at home, at work and at Wifi Hotspots (for a fee).
- The eo supports bluetooth, so I’ll be able to tether to my (hideously slow) Cingular phone in a pinch.
- I may get an EVDO phone at some point and use that for an always-available, fast connection.
- The eo does not have a PCMCIA slot, so an EVDO PC card is not an option – only an EVDO-ready phone with bluetooth will work! I hear that Sprint may have a deal I can’t refuse!!
- For RSS feeds, I generally rely on Gregarius. I have a FeedLounge subscription, too, but I haven’t been using that lately.
- Those are both ONLINE-only solutions, though. With the eo, I think I’ll want to use an offline feed reader if I won’t always be connected. I’ll have to give that some thought
- I recently purchased another copy of Moonbase Commander on ebay. I lost the one I bought two years ago. It’s a great turn based strategy game and I’m sure it will run well on the 1ghz / 512MB RAM eo UMPC.
- WinTabber looks like it might be a great way to manage windows. I don’t know if it has a place in the 800×480 eo screen resolution, but I’ll give it a shot.
- All the software I mentioned last month. Including Firefox, ArtRage, OneNote, Graphite, BallDroppings, TEO, TopDesk, Sketchup, etc.
- The Wikipedia download will be handy.
- OrigamiCar, naturally.
- The Firefox extentions I mentioned last month that should make touch-screen interaction more usable!
- I bought MS Streets & Trips 2006 (with a GPS button) yesterday. Driving directions has been a big part of the Origami/UMPC lifestyle concept and I’ll be giving it a try.
- If I do pick up a keyboard for the device, I’ll use it with my trusty Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse .
- I’d like to find a 3 axis gyro motion sensor to plug into my usb port. Motion as an input device is highly underrated.
- A slim mousewheel that plugs into a usb port would be nice, too.
- Screen Protector?
- iGo universal car charger or power inverter?
- Extra eo battery.
Things to Comment on in a Review:
- Can Second Life be played on a slate tablet pc (with no keyboard)? Is the eo fast enough for Second Life?
- 3D and CPU Benchmarks. Battery Life tests (after several discharges/recharges).
- How do tablet users get by without Alt-Tab? AutoHotKey + TopDesk, which work well together will be a great workaround, I think.
- How does ClearType look in 800×480? Does it get automatically turned off in the higher, scaled res modes (I HOPE!!)?
Yes, there is an onscreen keyboard that appears which you can use when logging on. The keyboard is available throughout the time you use Windows too.
In terms of ClearType, I can’t recall if it was turned on by default, however, to me the text looks very good in both native and high-res mode.
To answer a few of your questions:
There is a popup keyboard at the login screen. And if you need to CTL-ALT-DEL to login you use the SAS button on the side.
There is a USB adapter for PCMCIA EVDO cards from Elan Digital Systems. It is available now.
You also should look ActiveWords and Tablet Enhancements for Outlook.
Hope this helps,