Aqcess Technologies has begun shipping its Qbe Cirrus Personal Computing Tablet, a Windows-based system about the size of a 2-inch-thick stack of A4-sized paper.
Pronounced "cube," the Qbe device sports a 13.3-inch active matrix colour display, a 400MHz Pentium II processor, and a 12GB hard drive with 128MB of memory.
Other features of the Qbe include a 54K modem, networking card, TouchPen technology for handwriting recognition, voice recognition software, and a smart card magnetic strip reader for security identification or ecommerce credit card processing.
Last November, the Qbe Genus, the sister machine of the Qbe Cirrus, was voted "Best of Comdex" at the Las Vegas trade show, but the £3,200 price tag on the Qbe Cirrus has one analyst skeptical as to how well the system will be adopted.
"If you want to have access to the Web from any place in your home or office [the Qbe] would be nice," said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at Insight 64, California. "But the price point is way off."
"If you look at the National Semiconductor WebPad, which uses a highly integrated system on a chip, I would expect to see that at a sub-£600 or even a sub-£300 price point very soon," Brookwood said.