HP starts on the Tablets

...and this one's got a detachable keyboard...

...and this one's got a detachable keyboard...

Hewlett-Packard is to unveil its own twist on the tablet PC, with a transformable computer that features a detachable keyboard. The Tablet PC goes live tomorrow, with the launch of Microsoft's Tablet-enabled XP operating system. Various models feature a twisting keyboard mechanism that can convert from a standard laptop into a tablet format, while other pure slate tablets feature no keyboard at all. HP's Compaq Tablet PC TC1000 however adds a third format. The machine can be used like a notebook or like a tablet, thanks to its detachable keyboard, and can also serve as a primary PC through a docking station. The Tablet PC TC1000 is based on a 10.4-inch screen protected by tempered glass and includes a full-sized pen which acts like a palmtop stylus. The machine will use Transmeta's TM5800 processor running at 1GHz, along with 256MB of RAM and a 20GB hard drive for $1,699. Adding 802.11 wireless networking, which the company believes most customers will do, ups the price to $1,799. Customers can also add extra memory and larger hard drives for additional fees. HP believes its weight, around three pounds, is just right for customers who will carry the tablet PC with them throughout the day. The company has also experimented with somewhat smaller tablets with 8-inch screens. At $1,799, the HP machine costs about $200 more than Compaq's Evo N200 notebook, which it will replace. It is close in weight to other Tablet PCs, such as Acer's C102T or ViewSonic's V1100, but it beats machines such as Toshiba's Portege 3505 on price. John G. Spooner writes for News.com