Toshiba has released a docking station for use with its Portégé M200 Tablet PC, giving users a desktop experience when they need it, together with the portability of a laptop.

The docking station connects the tablet to an integrated optical drive and external devices such as keyboard and mouse

so it can be used as a notebook computer, an external digital notepad with a desktop monitor and as an extended desktop system.

Like other convertible tablets, the M200 has a swivel hinge at the base of the display that lets users flip and fold the screen into tablet mode.

The Portégé features include Intel Centrino mobile technology, Microsoft Office XP and the ability to create, store and transmit handwritten notes as well as voice input.

Users of the Toshiba Tablet PC include health care and other mobile professionals as well as those in education, small business and corporate scenarios who often find themselves working away from a desk environment. In the case of field work (the Toshiba Tablet is used by health inspection officials with the Vancouver Coastal Authority, for example) users say they find the “”pen-and-paper”” functionality of the Portégé makes it easy to jot down file notes and data into a computer system on site, which eliminates the need for additional data entry when they get back to the office.

The M200 follows the Portégé 3500 and is somewhat larger than its predecessor.

Other features include the Intel Pentium Processor M at 1.50GHz (up to 1.70GHz), and the NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 32M graphics processor with 32MB DDR video memory. The M200 is the first use of a 12.1″” SXGA+ TFT polysilicon colour display, providing a high-precision (1400 x 1050) diagonal screen, allowing for a smoother handwriting experience, according to the company.

The Portégé M200 supports use as a full-function notebook, as well as a Tablet PC for hand-written notes and diagrams during meetings or presentations.

In fact it would seem the M200 is designed more for use by those who still prefer communicating with a pen than they do a mouse. You can use the pen on the M200 to indicate which URL you wish your browser to go to by writing it in a space provided on-screen.

A dual-axis accelerometre detects the positioning of the device while automatically adjusting the onscreen image.

Also bundled with the Portégé is Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 for note organization.

When it comes to security features, the tablet offers a keyboard lock, a slot for a cable lock, supervisor password, system password security, a Tablet access code logon utility, user password, and a wireless LAN switch.

The M200 weighs in at about 4.4 lbs.

Pricing for the Portégé M200 Tablet PC is $3,299 and comes with a three-year warranty. The docking station is priced at $499.

Contact: www.toshiba.com

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