This is not the future of Windows 8 convertibles

The old tablet PC model won't cut it in the age of the iPad and Microsoft Surface.

Fujitsu Lifebook T902 Tablet PC starts at $1,900.
Fujitsu Lifebook T902 Tablet PC starts at $1,900.

In case you missed it (which is likely), Fujitsu has entered the Windows 8-ready fray with a convertible "tablet PC."

You probably don't remember tablet PCs because they weren't big with consumers. Nor businesses for that matter.

But they've been around for at least a decade. For instance, there's the Compaq-branded Tablet PC TC1000 that Hewlett-Packard launched in 2002.

Or the more recent -- relatively speaking -- HP EliteBook Tablet PC series.

So now, in 2012, in the age of the svelte, 903g Microsoft Surface tablet, we have the 13-inch Fujitsu Lifebook T902 (PDF).

Like Surface, it's got the latest Intel "Ivy Bridge" Core i series processors and the option for a solid-state drive.

But that's where any similarity ends. Fujitsu has bulked up the T902 (hands-on video here) with a modular bay for a Blue Ray player (or a second battery or second hard drive) and just about every port under the sun (four USB, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, SD, dock connector, to name a few).

And, oh, it starts at a whopping $1,900 and is 1.2-inches thick and 4.4 pounds. The quintessential price, dimensions, weight of a vintage tablet PC.

The point is that these traditional, pricey convertible Window tablets won't appeal to anyone in a big way.

Personally, I hope PC makers take their cues from Microsoft (or Asus ) and not go back to the Tablet PC well for inspiration.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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