James Kendrick and I often talk in our podcast, OnTheRun with Tablet PCs, about how important it is that potential Tablet PC buyers be able to actually try out the digital ink experience and other benefits of the Tablet PC. You can read all the articles and blog posts you want but nothing beats a hands-on experience to really "get" why this platform is so versatile. Since the introduction of their Convertible Notebook line of Tablet PCs last fall, Gateway has done an admirable job of getting them into retail stores.
Based on news they announced today, it seems the strategy has paid off handsomely. Gateway announced that their Convertible Notebooks made up 54 percent of all Tablet PCs sold in the retail channel from October through March 2006.
Gateway also announced the addition of two new models to their Convertible Notebook line of Tablet PCs. The M285–E is aimed at business customers while the CX210 is designed (and priced) for students and home/ home office users. The new models both are based on the Intel Core Duo processors and can be configured with an optional ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 graphics card, making them fully Vista capable (as far as we know today anyway). The M285–E is available for order immediately and the CX210 will be available in late May starting at $1399.
These new models join the Toshiba M400 as the first dual-core Tablet PCs available. Like Gateway, Toshiba has done an admirable job of getting their Tablet PCs into the retail channel. Lenovo, who has begun putting their ThinkPad notebooks into Office Depot and Best Buy stores, appears to be readying a Tablet PC version of their X60 ThinkPad as well. I guess the oft-stated predictions of the demise of the Tablet PC have been premature.