CeBit 2001 is expected to be the catalyst for several new
announcements by the likes of Casio and NEC in the realm of Transmeta
particular are expected to showcase their MPC 206 and MPC 205 Crusoe-based,
The Crusoe FIVA's
originally made their debut last fall at Comdex 2000 to select crowds,
and to the masses from behind a sheet of Plexiglas. The Cassiopeia FIVA,
as Casio's sub-notebook is official known, has since made a strong impact on the
few people who are aware of it and has even garnered some fame as being the notebook of
choice for Hello Kitty fans.
NEC on the other hand had the infamous position of being
the first manufacturer to recall a Crusoe-based product. Not to sit on their loral's. NEC
are expected to introduce no less than two new notebooks
bearing the Crusoe emblem under the LaVie brand name.
Absent from all the speculation
surrounding CeBit has been any hinting to the release of new Internet Appliances.
The lack of hype may be for a good reason as
the WebPad / IA market appears to be stalled. Features have tended to be
lacking, and price points at par with much more adaptable notebook computers.
All that said, what fun would a trade show be if there were no
True to form, a company called PaceBlade Technology from Santa Barbara, California have
announced the release of a hybrid, Crusoe-based Tablet PC, called the
PaceBook. What makes this unit a hybrid is its' distinct ability at being adaptable
for use as a notebook, tablet or panel PC.
The PaceBook, which employs Transmeta's 600MHz Crusoe
TM5600 processor, comes equipped with a 4MB SMI Lynx graphics controller, 128MB SDRAM, 20GB
HDD, a very large 12.1" XGA TFT-LCD display and the Windows OS
(WinMe or Win2K). Despite the recent release of Mobile "Midori"
Linux, the light-weight operating system is noticeably absent from a potentially
If any confusion remains, the PaceBook is more of a Tablet PC than a notebook. The
keyboard (wireless) is external, as is CD-RW/DVD-ROM and a ireless infrared
remote control. A built-in CCD camera is an optional feature. No
word has been given in regards to BlueTooth capability or network connectivity.
Battery life is clocked at about 6 hours, and the large 12.1" LCD can be
used in portrait or landscape configurations depending on the users'
"Through the use of human engineering, PaceBlade's innovative PaceBook
addresses all of these shortcomings. By carefully studying the way people
use notebook PCs, PaceBlade designed-in a multitude of features and refinements
to enhance ease of use and improve overall reliability. The PaceBook features an
ergonomically designed keyboard with user definable hot-keys and pre-defined
function keys for most commonly used applications and controls. Since the
keyboard is wireless, the PaceBook unit and display can be placed further away
for better posture and greater comfort. The hingeless design and separate
keyboard also address mechanical and electrical reliability issues, leading to a
lower total cost of ownership."
How is it that
this tablet also fits in under the notebook category you might wonder? It seems that
PaceBlade has designed the unit in such a way that the padded case becomes
an integral part of the product. "The PaceBook can be configured as a notebook PC by
placing the PaceBook unit and wireless keyboard in the opened carry bag." How
well this works in real life remains to be seen.
The PaceBook is naturally more adapted to the Tablet PC
roll as a stylus enables direct input in to the system. Details on what hand
writing recognition software may be bundled with the unit are not yet