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Fujitsu Unveils First Centrino Tablet PC

Fujitsu on Monday rounded out its Tablet PC line with a new convertible-style model that features Intel's Centrino chipset.

The introduction of the LifeBook T3000 Tablet PC makes Fujitsu one of only two manufacturers to offer Tablet PCs in both the convertible and slate form factors (Acer America is the other). Convertible-style tablets resemble traditional notebook computers, but their screens can swivel around to cover their keyboards so that they can also be used as tablets. Slate-style devices, such as Fujitsu's Stylistic ST4000 Tablet PC, are pure tablets, and come with detached keyboards and docking stations.

The 4.2-pound T3000 is also Fujitsu's first Tablet PC to include Intel's Centrino wireless bundle, which in this case consists of a 1.4GHz Pentium M processor, 855GM chipset and 802.11b mini-PCI card. The base configuration features a 12.1-inch display, 256MB of memory and a 40GB hard drive for $1799.

Fujitsu is also offering the T3000D, which is the same configuration but with integrated 802.11g (from Broadcom), for the same price.

Both models include a bridge battery, which Fujitsu says can last up to five minutes while users change their battery.

Tablet PCs have been slow to catch on. According to IDC, shipments reached more than 72,000 units worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2002, but sales fell by 31 percent in the second quarter of 2003 in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and accounted for less than one percent of the total notebook market.