One or Two?

As soon as tablet PCs became available not so long ago, it was clear that the future of mobile computing is in touch-screen “pads”. Apple paved the way, and now it seems that at least 80 percent of portable PC users in any given space, whether in a plane or at StarBucks, use a tablet. But, just as so many mobile phone user have a couple of handsets, will tablet PC consumers go for two? Or two-in-ones?

If what are currently available and soon to come are any indication, some of us may prefer notebooks that look like Nintendo DS on steroids. Acer’s Iconia 6120 Touchbook (left), launched last month, is one such beefed-up clone, followed by Kyocera’s Echo (top, out in the US in collaboration with Sprint) and Sony Vaio’s S2 (bottom, to be realeased in September). Although they come in different screen sizes, they are similar in that they’re all tablet sandwiches with the same filling: Android.

Having fiddled with the Acer Iconia, I am not certain the additional screen has any real allure. Yes, the bottom half can be turned into a touch keyboard. Sure, both screens can be used as one large viewing panel. And certainly, the two can take on different tasks. However, the additional screen is definitely extra weight, not to mention extra bulk, thus defeating the purpose of carrying around a handy one-panel tablet. But when it comes to touch screen, perhaps two is better than one, and twice the fun.

Acer Iconia 6120 Touchbook is available at Pantip Plaza and Powerbuy for 49,900 baht

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