When Tablet PCs first came on the market, there was a hefty premium for using digital ink. Today, a Tablet can be had for little more than $100 above the price of a quality notebook. For this, you'll get a 3rd or 4th generation slate or convertible model Tablet PC that will do everything you'd want from a robust, highly mobile business notebook. Plus it will give you the option of using digital ink, pen navigation, and a form factor that works very well for busy clinicians. Oh, I did I mention you can do some really cool (and fun) stuff too?
Yesterday, I met with Tara Prakriya, a senior manager and software architect in our Windows group. You may already know that when Windows Vista becomes available, the Tablet SKU is a standard feature of the operating system. Although a graphics upgrade would be needed to run "glass" on your Tablet, most of the machines on the market today (with at least 512 megs of RAM) will run Vista. Of course, all will run Windows XP. I expect several manufacturers will come forward with Vista-ready Tablets around launch time.
In the meantime, there's plenty to do with your Tablet today. The form factor (in "open face" or slate mode) lends itself to quickly referring to information on your machine, your local network or on the web. Tara recommends configuring the power switch to put your machine in standby mode so you can bring it to life quickly when you need it, and save battery power when you don't.
With a Tablet, you can speedily capture thoughts and ideas in Windows Journal without being restricted and find those thoughts later because ink is searchable. You can use the snipping tool to quickly gab a piece of any application such as a lab report or x-ray, annotate it, and send it on or save it. Besides all the cool features that come with the OS, here are a few of the fun extras you should also try.