Compaq Tablet PC TC1100

Review Summary 2003

HP juiced up its new Compaq Tablet PC TC1100 today, adding many of the improvements we sought in the old TC1000. Upgrades include a 1GHz Pentium M processor, which leads to better performance and longer battery life; a battery-free writing stylus; and sturdier hinges and latches. Thankfully, HP didn’t change the tablet’s basic design: at 3.1 pounds, it’s still small and easy to tote. Although a few quirks remain in the form of a small, snap-on keyboard and a costly docking station, the TC1100 stands as one of the best tablets available for both home and business users.

The 3.1-pound, 10.8-by-8.3-by-0.8-inch Compaq Tablet PC TC1100 is one of the smallest and lightest slate-design tablets available. Clip on the 1-pound, detachable keyboard, and it resembles a 4.1-pound ultralight laptop with a twist: the tablet rotates 180 degrees, allowing others to view presentations without having to turn the whole system around. The keyboard can also twist and hide behind the tablet, and the entire setup snaps into a 7.2-pound docking station/monitor stand that features a swappable bay for secondary storage drives.

Unfortunately, the detachable keyboard will cramp your style, but you can always attach a full-size keyboard into a USB 2.0 port on the tablet or the docking station. And if you plan to write and tap on the screen with only the stylus, you can leave the small keyboard behind.

By the end of 2005, HP had discontinued the TC1100. It retained a loyal following, however, due to its uncommon design. HP’s official response to questions asked about the TC1100’s discontinuation was that “HP remains committed to the Tablet PC platform”.[1]

HP released a new line of tablets, starting with the TX1100US and the TX1200US.

These updated versions are substantially more powerful than the TC series, but are of the more conventional convertible design.

Back in 2003 this machine would have retailed for $2200 which is the equivilant to $2800 dollars at the time of writing this post in 2015, or £1877.

Texas Instraments – TravelMate 4000E

Circa 1993

Texas Instruments made a line of laptops called “Travel Mate” around 1993.
The 4000E meets the system requirements for DOS, Windows 3.x and 95, but not Windows 98. According to the manual, it came with 4MB of memory, which could be upgraded to as much as twenty megabytes.

The Travel Mate 4000 series of laptops had a 486WinDX2-50 CPU, Which is a 50 MHz 486 with better performance than a standard 486. Internally, the laptop is composed of several major component parts: disk drives, modem, motherboard, I/O card, LCD Screen, power board (and switch) and battery.

The hard drive is a standard laptop hard drive, about 200 megabyte, but the floppy disk drive is not standard. Only another drive from a 4000e will fit a 4000e. The TravelMate 4000 drives may be compatible, however. An internal modem is an option in a TI TravelMate 4000e. It plugs in to its slot, and you plug the phone line in to it. Unlike a desktop modem, there is no pass-through for connecting a phone. If you wish to connect both the modem and the phone, you’ll need a phone line splitter.

The motherboard contains the CPU, RAM, processor and system buses. It’s on the proprietary I/O Card that the video, parallel port, hard disk and floppy disk controllers are. The I/O card also contains about 10 LED (Light Emitting Diodes) status lights. There is one that is a multi-color LED, marked by its 3 pins. The rest of the LEDs are the green T1 size.

The cost in March 1994 was £3300 which at the date of posting this article in 2015 is equivalent to £6,100.

Our machine was very kindly donated by Philip Anderson

Manufacturer: Texas Instruments
Date: March 1994