Motion Computing LS800 Tablet PC

The Motion LS800 promises full-fledged tablet computing in a paperback-size package--but it's expensive.

Michelle Thatcher Former Senior Associate Editor, Laptops
Tech expert Michelle Thatcher grew up surrounded by gadgets and sustained by Tex-Mex cuisine. Life in two major cities--first Chicago, then San Francisco--broadened her culinary horizons beyond meat and cheese, and she's since enjoyed nearly a decade of wining, dining, and cooking up and down the California coast. Though her gadget lust remains, the practicalities of her small kitchen dictate that single-function geegaws never stay around for long.
Michelle Thatcher
2 min read
Motion LS800
About the size of a trade paperback and weighing 2.2 pounds, the pure-slate tablet Motion LS800 occupies the gray area between Pocket PC and ultraportable laptop. Like the Sony VAIO VGN-U50, the Motion LS800 runs a full version of Windows XP. But unlike the VAIO VGN-U50, the LS800 runs Windows XP Tablet Edition, so you can navigate menus and take handwritten notes with a stylus.

Upside: With a 1.2GHz ultra-low-voltage Pentium M processor and hard drive capacities from 20GB to 60GB, this tablet promises the power of an ultraportable laptop in an even more portable case. Employees in the field can stay in touch with the home office using the Motion LS800's many communication options, including Bluetooth, Ethernet, and integrated 802.11b/g, and companies can keep their data safe with the latest security measures, such as a fingerprint reader and Trusted Platform Module. Back at the office, the Motion LS800 can connect to a range of peripherals via VGA and two USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, and a docking connector.

Downside: The Motion LS800's compact case is an advantage for portability, but its 8.4-inch screen isn't as comfortable for handwriting as full-size slate tablets'. The tablet's $1,899 price tag isn't for amateurs, and the MobileDock docking station, which makes the LS800 suitable for desktop use, adds $179 to the overall price. At that price point, you could buy a Pocket PC as well as a desktop to sync it to.

Outlook: With its highly portable case and its high price tag, the Motion LS800 is most likely to appeal to workers in the medical, manufacturing, and utilities industries--or any specialized field that requires employees to fill out forms, take handwritten notes, and send data back to a central office. Still, its small dimensions and its full Windows XP functionality will certainly catch the eye of gadget hounds and other everyday users with special needs. We look forward to taking it for a spin in CNET Labs, and we will have a full review up soon.