Bits & Bytes
A TABLET PC WITH HARD DISK, KEYBOARD, AND FULL BODY ARMOR
New tablet computers by NCR Corp. and GriD Systems Inc. that can recognize handwriting have been getting lots of attention lately. But tiny startup Tusk Inc. in Lake Park, Fla., thinks it can steal their thunder. Like other tablets, Tusk's "pentop" All-Terrain SuperTablet will recognize characters printed on its screen with a special stylus. But it also works with a portable keyboard and a mouse and will run software made by Microsoft Corp. and Go Corp.
The forthcoming SuperTablet will feature an Intel Corp. 80386 chip, 120 megabytes of hard-disk storage, and 8 megabytes of memory, and will come with its own "docking station" that lets the machine's owner turn it into a regular desktop PC. What's more, the creators claim that the materials used to ruggedize the SuperTablet make it bulletproof. The machine, priced between $5,500 and $6,500, is expected to be ready by September.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG