Ask anybody who has anything to do with pen-computing, whether that be with a traditional Tablet PC or any of the new “Origami” UMPC models, and they’ll have an opinion on the merits of Active versus Passive digitisers. Active digitisers rely on a special pen and, in most commercial units, use Wacom technology. They’re very precise but, obviously, if you lose the stylus you’re stuck until you can buy another (and they’re not cheap). Jabbing at it with your finger won’t work. Passive digitisers, however, will respond to any input; they’re the sort you find on PDAs, touchscreen Smartphones and GPS units and, so far, all of the UMPCs. The upside is of course that you don’t need a specific pen; the downside is a far lesser degree of accuracy; plus, the onscreen drawing & writing experience can sometimes be marred by false contact from the palm of the hand. You can rest your entire face on the screen of an Active digitiser and it won’t matter.
For a while now, Microsoft has been boasting dual-screen Active and Passive support in Vista, its next-gen OS, but we’ve yet to see an actual device that has it. However, Rob Bushway has had word from one of his well-connected readers that next month Lenovo will be announcing the X60s Tablet PC with a screen option called MultiTouch – responsive to both specific pen and finger touch.
So far no hint on prices, but should these specs be true then the X60s might just be the Tablet PC to beat.
We’ve got Lenovo X60s Tablet PC specs [GottaBeMobile]