Motion Unveils Centrino Tablet PC

Motion Computing rolled out a new Tablet PC featuring Intel’s Centrino wireless package, allNetDevices reported on Tuesday.

The new M1300 sports Intel’s 900MHz ultra-low-voltage Pentium M processor, along with its 855 chipset and 802.11b chip. Motion said that the M1300 runs up to 30 percent faster than its predecessor, the M1200, and extends the battery life by 10 to 15 percent.

The M1300 is the first slate-style tablet to ship with the Centrino bundle, which Intel launched in March. Last week, Acer introduced its TravelMate C110, a convertible-style tablet that includes the wireless technology. Convertibles, which resemble traditional notebooks, but feature displays that can swivel around to cover their keyboards, account for about 40 percent of the Tablet PC market, according to IDC.

The 3-pound tablet features a 12.1-inch display and two USB 2.0 ports. The base $2,099 configuration includes 256MB of RAM, a 20GB hard drive, a keyboard and a desktop stand.

Motion, an Austin, Texas-based startup founded by former Dell executives, has primarily been targeting vertical markets, such as health care, education and field force automation, but Tricia Traeger, a spokesperson for the company, said they have seen some interest from other markets as well. Overall, she said, “We’ve seen a level of interest that has exceeded our expectations.”

Traeger said that pilot programs with several universities and hospitals have been going well, and that some of these groups are starting to order Tablet PCs for large-scale deployments. Last month, the company announced that 20 oncology clinics across the country were rolling out more than 600 Motion Tablet PCs to use as part of a cancer research study.

Tablet PCs got off to a fast start after Microsoft officially introduced its Windows XP Tablet PC Edition software in November 2002. More than 72,000 units were shipped in the fourth quarter, and IDC analyst Alan Promisel said he expects to see 500,000 Tablet PCs ship in 2003.

Motion accounted for about 3.5 percent of the market in the fourth quarter. That’s not bad considering the company got a late start, said Promisel. Motion didn’t ship its first tablet until December. If you include shipments from Gateway, who is reselling the M1200, Motion stacks up as the No. 5 Tablet PC maker.

Promisel said he expects to see much larger shipments in the first quarter from Motion. In addition to Gateway, Dell is also now selling the M1200. Dell said it would be offering the M1300 in the next couple of weeks. Gateway said it is still evaluating the product.

Motion also announced Monday an agreement with British reseller Ergo Computing, its first such deal outside North America. The company has more than 70 reseller partners in the United States and Canada.

Traeger said this is the first of several international markets that Motion is targeting. After the United Kingdom and Europe, she said, the company has its sights set on Asia. In fact, Motion has already made some strides in the Asian market; late last year, the company licensed the M1200 Tablet PC design to China’s Legend Group.

Vikki Lipset is managing editor of sister site, allNetDevices. The original version of the story can be found here.

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