The IBM PC110 is the exact opposite of the USR Pilot. Rather than serve as an extension to a desktop computer, it seeks to completely replace it. The PC110 is a full-fledged minicomputer running on an Intel chip and DOS. It takes the first step towards merging the features of a laptop in the form factor of a PDA.
Currently, the PC110 is only offered in Japan. Last year, IBM launched an aggressive marketing campaign by utilizing Ultraman, a popular comic character. These ads targeted young Japanese populace, notorious for its large dispensable income and whimsical purchasing habits. As a result, the PC110 was able to sell based solely on its novel, hi-tech gadget appeal.
This achievement has led to a wave of similar laptop/PDA products such as the Toshiba Libretto 20 and Sharp Zaurus MI-10DC. This new crop of computers have taken over the PDA market in Japan. Despite this success, none of these products are planned for a U.S. release.
The IBM PC110 is a complex PDA and can function as a standard PC computer. It comes with an personal information management application and IBM DOS (Japanese). But, its open platform can be loaded with any PC compatible software such as Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Office, and even Linux. This flexibility is lets users easily tailor the PC110 to fit their exact needs. The PC110 comes with a street price of roughly $1200.
size- 6.22'' by 4.45'' by 1.30'' and 1.58 lb. (small backpack
screen- High resolution, dual scan SVGA color
battery- Only 1-2 hours on a proprietary rechargeable battery
speed- Intel 486SX-33 chip (Wait times depend on application and operating system the user chooses to run.)
fragility- Standard clamshell laptop construction.
For complete technical specifications, visit the official IBM PC110 site accessible through the Resources page.
Like a notebook computer, information is mainly inputted through a QWERTY keyboard. The users can write and draw on a touch sensitive pad directly above the keyboard. However, there is no support for handwriting recognition. The PC110 also has a built-in microphone and sound card for voice recording and playback.
The PC110 does not have any special technique for integrating information with a host computer. Instead, it can utilize any synchronization software that a laptop can use. Internet connectivity is also no problem for the PC110. It can be loaded with any PC compatible Internet software such as the latest versions of Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer. A 2400 baud modem is standard on all PC110. But, there is a Type III PC card slot for upgrades. Another interesting option on the PC110 is a unique video camera card which enables the PC110 to do video-conferencing over the Internet.