You've probably heard of the tablet PC, popularized by the iPad and other similar devices, but you probably haven't heard of a table PC. As the name suggests, a table PC is a computer, where the touch-screen display expands across the table top, standing on four legs.
There are several scenarios where a table PC might be useful, such as group meetings and presentations. The table PC virtually unites the work desk and computer in a very technologically impressive, futuristic, and expensive manner. Microsoft recently announced that they have opened up presales for their second-generation table computer.
Microsoft and Samsung announced that the table PCs are available for preorder in 23 countries. They expect the first shipment date to fall sometime in early 2012. The second-generation table PC, called SUR40, was first announced during January's Consumer Electronics Show. Microsoft managed to cut the first generation's price tag by more than $4,000, while improving the processing power, software and sensor hardware, allowing more accurate touch-screen recognition. The innovation was not unnoticed. The Samsung SUR40 was awarded 2011 "Best of What's New" title by Popular Science magazine.
One of the most important and impressive features of Microsoft's table PC is the touch-screen recognition hardware, called PixelSense. It is composed of two million sensors throughout the display screen, which pick up visible or infrared lights. The technology is very advanced, and can even differentiate users based on where they are sitting around the table, as well as by finger size. It is not quite able to read something as detailed as a fingerprint, but is incredibly accurate.
Another great aspect of the table PC, is that it can be used in any room. Although it is quite large and technologically advanced, the table can be moved anywhere without affecting its functionality. The screen on this latest generation of table PCs is a mere four inches thin and is quite versatile. Although it's marketed as a table, it can also be used vertically, embedded into other furniture or hung up on a wall. It was designed so that customers could use it in the best manner they deem appropriate for their business.
The table PC was not designed, or priced, with the average consumer in mind. For personal use, a desktop, notebook or tablet PC is much more reasonable. SUR40 was designed for businesses, and works well during presentations and group projects. Microsoft announced that the first customers include companies such as Dassault Aviation, Fujifilm, Red Bull, Royal Bank of Canada and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
One of the primary draws to the SUR40 table computer, is that it can help companies interact with their customers in a more hands-on fashion. Retailers can use the table PCs with customers to go over different product features and other questions. Doctors can use these computers with their patients for more immersive consultation experience, and bankers and customers can use the SUR40 to go over charts and simulations together, as opposed to using the teller's computer monitor.