Still looking for Tablet PCs

Re-reading a comment by ~Mj on my last post about the TabletPC needing more publicity.

Interesting the quoted price in that comment for the Fujitsu T4010 was $4000AUD.

I remember seeing the price for the Toshiba Portege m200 for under $3500 on the expansys website.

There’s a bunch of them there.

The Fujitsu T4010 is an interesting beast, similarly spec’d to the Portege m200, with a similar weight. However, it actually includes an internal DVD drive.

My Toshiba Tecra M2 weighs in at 2.25kg according to most web reviews. I took my slim DVD/CDRW drive out this morning to weigh it, the weight? 135g! Weight of my weight saver? 17g!

On a personal quest yesterday, I walked into one of the computer stores in the Westfield Southland Shopping Centre. I walked around, looked around, no Tablet PCs in sight.

Just a bunch of graphing tablets from Wacom.

Right, I thought, let’s enquire with the salespeople at the store.

So I got talking about the Tablet PC with one of the staff members there.

I asked whether they stocked any Tablet PCs, especially of the convertible variety.

He said no, and told me it was not feasible to do so because Tablet PCs were more a niche product than a mainstream one.

I responded by saying that I read that the next version of Windows, Longhorn may include the Tablet PC features inside the mainstream version of the operating system.

I said if the rumours are true, then I’d be expecting in the next year or so leading up to the release of Longhorn, we’d be seeing many more lower priced Tablet PCs on the market.

I then told him about the LG Tablet PC i’d seen in the Green Guide in the Computer World ad. Told him I saw the price on it being in the low $2000 mark (actual price is: $2, 175).

He seemed shocked at the price.

Made a bit more conversation about the Tablet PC, then walked out the door.

Here’s a bit about the LG LU20 that’s in the Computer World ad:

– Intel Pentium M 1.6GHz
– 12.1″ XGA Screen (1024×768)
– Intel Extreme Graphics
– 60G HDD
– 512MB RAM
– 1.58KG including 6 cell battery.

Includes no optical drive.

Definately a good price, but would be nice to have an optical drive.

However, i’m not too fussed about that at this stage.

Flipping through the Green Guide I saw another ad for the same Tablet PC (the LG one) at Centre Com for $2155. So a $20 difference.

The same company, CentreCom, advertise the Toshiba Portege m200 for $4099. (The Portege m200 they advertised has an 80G HDD). Which seems closer to the Fujitsu T4010 price that was quoted in my comments.

Final thought (before I head off to lunch), would the Tablet PC still be considered a niche market if a major electronics manufacturer, such as LG, start pricing their Tablet PCs closer to the $2000 mark?

Seems to be a good price to me.

D’oh… Just realised that the LU20 is a subnote, and not a Tablet PC. The LT20 model is the Tablet PC. Found this out at Tablet PC Buzz.

That’s interesting, it looks like a Tablet, doesn’t run the Tablet PC edition OS though.

The LT20 has a good review on TabletPCBuzz.

Might consider this LG LT20. I’ll try to get out to those two stores i’ve mentioned (Computer World/ComputerCOM) and enquire about the LT20 there.

Maybe a way to get retailers to get them in store is by more people asking the salespeople at stores about the Tablet PCs.

This could get a reaction from them.

The worry in their eyes is that they will be left with “dud” stock. You know retailers hate to have stock that they can’t sell.

And some consumers, like to see and buy bleeding edge devices.

11 thoughts on “Still looking for Tablet PCs”

  1. During Windows Anywhere I had a chance to ask Neil Roodyn about finding Tablet PCs in Australia. His expressed, like you have, that finding them is not an easy process and buying them is harder. Most people get them when they travel or go to the manufacturer directly, which then imports it (Toshiba, Fujitsu, Acer). There has got to be a better way….

  2. Ah, Dr Neil, he sure gets around these days 🙂

    I guess because some people just goto the store and look around, when they don’t find anything, they don’t enquire with the store owners.

    If there is enough people out there asking about it, i’m sure then, they’ll start thinking about getting them in. And also pushing manufacturers to get cheaper Tablet PCs in stock.

    Also, if you do a direct conversion of prices to Australian Dollars, the difference at times is quite substantial to what the advertised retail price is over here.

    Lora, if there is a better way, i’d loved to hear about it.

    Also, I think that’s not the only thing that is priced highly.

    Check out this post by Frank Arrigo (An Australian Microsoftee): http://blogs.msdn.com/frankarr/archive/2005/01/14/352602.aspx

    He was trying to order the Penenabled Executive Pen, which the website states as being $49.95USD (which is just a little over $63AUD), but after a few emails, he found out that to get it locally here, it’d cost him $199AUD which is $157USD.

    You can buy 3 of the pens from the website which only delivers within the US, or you can buy one here in Australia.

    Basically, what i’m trying to say, if they want to sell Tablet PCs here, and expect the mainstream customers buy the convertable form Tablet PCs, they’ll need to start reducing the price here. Even factoring in the various taxes and the distribitors making a small profit, i’m sure the prices don’t quite equate.

  3. Hi There,

    Just stumbled over this looking for something else and felt I should comment.

    I’m an avid tablet PC fan and it “frustrates the living daylights out of me” how hard it is to get them. In the end. I’ve taken up selling them myself, even though it’s not really my business, because every time I pull the darn thing out at a meeting everybody goes, “What is that and where do I get one!”

    I’ve been trying to get out of the PC hardware trade, but I got so sick of saying “I don’t know where to get one” that I started selling them. I’ve sold 20 already, and that’s in my spare time.

    I find it funny that no body ever asks me about specs like Mhz. Ghz, Mb, Gb, etc… They just go how much?

    The interesting thing is that nobody much balks at the price for me.

    I guess we used to buy desktop PC’s for $5000+ just a few years ago, and I know for a fact that the value is there. When you sit in a meeting and pull out your Tablet PC, I think people see the value. I can’t think of once when someone hasn’t passed comment on it.

    Not mainstream enough… Gees I just hope that someone out there in the retail channel finally gets it one day! The best way to sell these things is to bloody use them (and stock them)!

    If you know any one that does get it and wants to do take tablet PC’s seriously, please let me know!

  4. Hi Will,

    I found your blog by searching for tablet pcs. Its been frustrating as it’s difficult to find a physical store (Perth, Aus) to play around with one – let alone a recent model.

    Have you ended up purchasing one? If yes, which manufacturer/model did you go with?

  5. Apolon, no I’m yet to purchase a Tablet PC, but will be doing so quite soon.

    I’ve managed to play around with a Toshiba Portege m200 and also the HP TC1100 a little bit. Though only for a short amount of time. Was able to play around slightly with Andrew Coates‘ m200 at the recent Melbourne MS Security Summit (in the MSDN Connection Lounge).

    I think perhaps you’ll need to hunt around for a Tablet PC owner or two in the Perth area if you’re interesting in having a “play” with one.

    I’m probably going to end up purchasing the Toshiba Portege m200 from the expansys website. The price has been dropping a little bit over recent weeks. I suspect this is due to a newer spec’d m200 might be out soon for expansys.

    I could be wrong though…

  6. Hi Guys,

    I noticed the real glum attitiude regarding the availability of Tablet PC’s in Australia. Even Brett went to the extent of selling them himself due to the massive enquiriy level.

    I am the princiapl Owner of Tegatech Australia and pleased to announce the arrival of the Sahara iTablet Slate PC into Asutralia. We worked long and hard to make this happen; we even put it through the Australian Standards Testing procedures and came up trumps. Both Telecommunications and Australian Safety Standards all passed.

    Please email me at sales@tegatech.com.au and we will send you info and put you in contact with an Authorised Reseller in your local area so you can have a play!! NSW, QLD is covered and soon to be announced VIC, WA and SA.

    Please feel free to visit our site – http://www.tegatech.com.au

    The Sahara Slate PC is only 10 days into Australian waters and growing in sales everyday. Just ask famous Radio personality Doug Mulray, the proud new owner of a Sahara iTablet Slate PC.

    All the best,

    Hugo

  7. Hi Hugo, thanks for leaving a comment.

    I think I’ve seen one of those Sahara iTablet Slates before. They look awesome!

    Actually, I’ve noticed a few companies have started to advertise Tablet PCs in Australia. The two I’ve noticed recently were LG and Toshiba. LG had an advertisement on the TV, and Toshiba had the m200 in one of the tech magazines I subscribe to.

    It’s great to hear that there are more Tablet PCs on the market locally.

    I’ve actually already purchased the Toshiba Portege m200 about a month after the last comment. I purchased it from eXpansys Australia, and it turns out that it was imported from the UK. My main reason for going with the m200 is, as a developer, I need a keyboard to code 🙂

    Would love to play with the “touch screen” model. The touch screen would be an interesting experience.

    I’ve also noticed that a few of the “smaller” retail outlets advertised the m200 for sale in The Age’s Green Guide.

  8. Hi Wil,

    Thank you for hosting the chat so we can all benefit from like minded people.

    We sold and Sahara iTablet to Uncle Doug Mulray today – he’s prominant Radio and Television personality in Australia (for all with their heads in a Tablet).

    The need for a big push on Tablets is here anddefinately worth while!!

    I’ve got Tablet fever.

  9. Hi Will

    You mentioned “The LT20 model is the Tablet PC… it looks like a Tablet, doesn’t run the Tablet PC edition OS though”.

    According to the LT20 brochure, it runs the “Windows XP Tablet PC Edition”

    http://au.lge.com/md/product/sidemenuBoard.do?action=list&group_code=0200060303&list_code=PRD_BROC&target=broclist&categoryId=0200000603&modelCategoryId=0200060303&categoryLevel=4&parentId=ROOT

    It seems hard to locate a reseller who sells/knows this device however.

    Regards

    Michael.

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