THAT'S A TOUCHSCREEN TABLET on my desk (at left) in 2002, alongside a pocket-sized computer, shot with a Bluetooth camera from Nokia. Back in 2002, Steve Jobs was dismissing touchscreen tablets as useless. Now Jobs is personally overseeing development of an Apple tablet. I liked my IBM Transnote, especially its solid construction and perfect folio look when snapped shut. It made mobile computing possible, in a form factor that fit on tray tables on trains. That Transnote cost more than 1800 euro back in 2002. For that price, I can get a lot more today--and a lot more durable mobile computing power too. The biggest difference is tethering. In 2002, I tethered over IRDA, using the Nokia 9210i in the photo. Today, I could connect at 20 times the speed using my O2 dongle or an on-board Maxroam data SIM. It also helps to have the cloud close at hand. In 2002, I saved onto an 8MB USB key and then onto a big Zip disk. Today, Mozy, Putplace and Dropbox save my stuff without any special thought by me. So I think I'll be getting a convertible touchscreen, one similar to the IBM Transnote that served me well for two years before cracking its motherboard in a bad packing job inside a suitcase. I know I'll get a lot more mileage and a whole lot of productivity by going back to my 2002 form factor.
Buying: the HP Elitebook 2730p because I need its over-the-air speed and 40 wpm keyboard.