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Acer Travelmate C200 convertible resurrects Tablet PCs

Can't decide between a Tablet PC and an ordinary laptop? Now you can have your cake and eat it with the Travelmate C200 convertible

There are two schools of thought when it comes to Tablet PCs. Some think they're the greatest invention since sliced bread, while others think they're the biggest waste of space since the Millennium Dome. Or Johnny Vegas.

Opinion is divided among Crave campers, but we were all intrigued by the Acer Travelmate C200. We had the chance to fiddle with one recently, and were impressed by the integrated track mechanism, which unveils an integrated keyboard.

You simply push the screen downwards to use it in Tablet mode, or lift it up again to use it as an ordinary laptop. At 2kg it's not as light as we'd hoped, but its 12.1-inch screen helps it remain very portable.

Inside, it uses an Intel Pentium M CPU, up to 2GB of DDR2 memory, a 100GB hard drive, and there's even a slot-loading dual-layer DVD burner available alongside the more predictable 4-in-1 memory card reader. Strange as it may be, the top-spec C200 is also capable of playing games, thanks to its Nvidia GeForce Go 6200 graphics card.

We're not sure all this is enough to resurrect the semi-deceased Tablet PC form factor in time for Easter, but many of us think the C200 makes slightly more sense than any of the UMPC devices we've seen thus far. Prices start at around £960. -RR