TabletPC: 12 Years of Experience, 19 Generations of Improvements
12 Years of Experience, 19 Generations of Improvements
When the Microsoft Windows XP for Tablet PC operating system was introduced in November, there was a lot
of buzz about the "new" Tablet PC technology. While the operating system is certainly new, pen-based
computing has been around since the early 1990s, and Fujitsu has been a major part of the story right from the
Over the past twelve years, the pen tablet market was primarily directed towards a "vertical market". A vertical
market is one in which the manufacturer sells to industries with application-based needs that would benefit most
from the product. In the case of the pen tablet products, Fujitsu primarily marketed to health care, insurance,
and sales force companies who required the ability to customize the tablets with their project-based
applications. That way, they could be sure all of their representatives could share common data.
When Microsoft developed Microsoft Windows XP for Tablet PC, they did for the mass market user what the
various vertical market vendors been doing for years for their customers. They created a standard platform so
all Tablet PC users would have the same expectations, regardless of the hardware manufacturer.
Fujitsu has more experience than all the other Tablet PC manufacturers combined. Putting out any new product
is largely an exercise in trial and error. Fujitsu had those experiences long ago, and the past several years have
been devoted to incorporating innovations and improvements rather than fixing problems.
We have developed 19 distinct generations of tablets (pictured below). That number doesn’t include any of the
mid-generation advances, such as the creation of wireless versions.
1 Point 1600 10 Point 510
2 PenCentra 130 11 Stylistic 2300
3 PoqetPad Plus 12 Poqet PC
(docked) 13 Stylistic 3500
4 Stylistic 1200 14 Stylistic 3400
5 Stylistic 500 15 PenCentra 200
6 Stylistic LT 16 PoqetPad
7 Stylistic ST4000 17 325 Point
8 Stylistic LT C-500 18 Stylistic 1000
9 Poqet PC Plus 19 Stylistic LT P-600
Over the years, Fujitsu has not only dominated the pen-enabled computer market, but also the related
technological advancements. Fujitsu is proud of its tradition of introducing new technologies into its tablets. Over
the years, Fujitsu has been responsible for most of the "giant steps" the industry has taken. Let’s take a look at
its place in tablet history, and how Fujitsu products first implemented just about all the significant developments
in what was to become the Tablet PC.
First, a quick look at some of the "industry firsts" for which Fujitsu tablets were responsible:
1993: First pen tablet to use an integrated wireless LAN
1993: First pen tablet to offer four different operating systems
1993: First pen tablet to use a PCMCIA Type III hard drive as the main storage device
1994: First pen tablet to use a magnesium frame and co-molding (with plastic and rubber).
1994: First pen tablet to use an off-the-shelf battery pack rather than a custom pack
1994: First pen tablet to offer Windows 95 as its operating system
1997: First commercially available pen tablet to run Windows NT.
1997: First pen tablet computer to use USB ports
1997: First pen tablet to use a 128-bit video controller
1997: First pen tablet to use Zoomed Video.
1997: First pen tablet to offer all four display technologies: TFT color, DSTN color, transmissive
monochrome, and transflective monochrome.
1997: First "radio-ready" pen tablet computer
1997: First pen tablet designed specifically for use in the healthcare industry
1998: First pen tablet to use a color transflective display for indoor/outdoor use
1999: First pen tablet to employ a liquid-filled resistive (passive) digitizer
1999: First pen tablet to support the Windows CE H/PC Pro operating system
2000: First pen tablet computer to have processing power that was equivalent to a notebook computer
2000: First pen tablet computer to use a Pentium III processor
2001: First pen tablet to use Ultra Low Voltage chip
2001: First Pentium III pen tablet to use Intel SpeedStep Technology
2003: First Tablet PC with indoor/outdoor display
In the beginning, there was Poqet…
In 1989, in partnership with Fujitsu, the Poqet
Computer Corporation announced the arrival of the
Poqet PC. When it began shipping in March of 1990,
the Poqet PC was the world’s first hand-held, one-
pound, IBM/PC-XT-compatible computer. About the
size of a videocassette, the Poqet PC was fully MS-
DOS compatible. Its processor was a 8088, running at
8 MHz. The battery life was 2 to 3 weeks, and it
boasted 640 KB of SRAM.
At the time of its announcement, PC Magazine
awarded the Poqet PC with the Award for Technical
Excellence in the "portables" category, Byte Magazine
gave the Poqet PC the 1989 "Award of Distinction",
and, in September of 1989, Andrew Seybold called the
Poqet PC "the most exciting advancement in personal
computing I have seen this year." Poqet PC
Fujitsu was one of the founding members of the
Personal Computer Memory Card International
Association (PCMCIA), which was founded in 1989
by a small group of Silicon Valley companies that
wanted to create a standard for memory cards. By
then Poqet had designed the Poqet PC to use memory
cards as removable storage. Poqet needed software
developers to put their products on memory cards, but
at the time there were ten different types of memory
cards sold and there had been no real effort at
standardization. PCMCIA quickly became the standard
for card devices.
In 1991 the Poqet Computer Corporation, again in
partnership with Fujitsu, introduced the PoqetPad.
PoqetPad was a handheld, touch-screen computer
PoqetPad with an NEC V20 CPU chip running at 7 MHz.
In 1992, Fujitsu took over Poqet Computer Corp. and
embarked on a hugely successful journey to become
market leader in pen-based computing.
In 1993, Fujitsu released an updated version of the
Poqet PC: the Poqet PC Plus. The Poqet PC Plus
contained an NEC V30 chip, and the processor speed
was 16 MHz. The transflective Poqet PC Plus display
was an improvement over the Poqet PC’s reflective
screen. The PoqetPad Plus RF was released shortly
thereafter, and was the first pen tablet to use an
integrated wireless LAN.
Poqet PC Plus
When the PoqetPad Plus was introduced in 1993, it
had the same form-factor as the PoqetPad, but it had
an NEC V30 processor with a speed of 16 MHz, and it
used Type II PCMCIA cards. The PoqetPad Plus was
destined to be the last of the Poqet products.
Then there was Windows…
In 1993, Fujitsu also introduced the 325 Point, which
was one of the first pen tablets capable of running
Microsoft Windows for Pen Computing. The 325 Point
was also the first pen tablet to offer four different
operating systems. Along with Windows for Pen
Computing, it offered MS-DOS with PenRight!,
The 325 Point was the first pen tablet to use a
PCMCIA Type III hard drive as the main storage
The 325 Point had an Intel 386 SX CPU, running at 25
MHz. The system had a 9.4" transmissive screen with
backlighting, and weighed in at three pounds.
The 325 Point was followed in 1994 by the Fujitsu
Stylistic® 500. The Stylistic 500 was the first pen
tablet to use a magnesium frame and co-molding (with
plastic and rubber). It was also the first pen tablet to
use an off-the-shelf battery pack rather than requiring
a custom pack.
The Stylistic 500 tablet was the first to offer Windows
95 as its operating system. It was an attractive 2.6
pound package with a transmissive monochrome
640x480 display. It used an Intel 486DX2 processor,
running at 50 MHz. At the time, this was the fastest
microprocessor ever designed into a pen tablet
Fujitsu took great pride in the fact that the Stylistic 500
was used by the G7 Presidents in 1995 at the Halifax
Stylistic 500 Summit in Canada.
In 1996, the Stylistic 1000 was introduced. At the
time, it was the smallest, fastest and lightest pen tablet
computer on the market. It was a real "speed-demon",
running at 100 MHz on an AMD AM486 DX4
processor, and was considered a significant
breakthrough in pen tablet design. The Stylistic 1000
used Windows 95 as its operating system, and offered
a variety of interface ports. The system’s 8 MB of
DRAM was upgradeable to 24 MB, and the display
was 640x480 VGA, with 256 colors.
In 1997, the Stylistic 1000 was used aboard the Space
Shuttle Columbia by Astronaut Kalpana Chawla, who
would later die in the unfortunate Columbia disaster.
The pen tablet was strapped to her thigh when the
shuttle blasted off, and connected to the shuttle's on-
board computer system. The tablet was used to Stylistic 1000
display data from the shuttle's own system about the
shuttle's location relative to the Earth. Before this
method was devised, landing information was
available only on paper printouts.
Brought to market in 1997, the Fujitsu Stylistic 1200 It was the first pen tablet computer to use USB ports, a
was responsible for a number of pen tablet firsts. It 128-bit video controller, and Zoomed Video. These all
was the first commercially available pen tablet to run became industry standards after the Stylistic 1200
Windows NT. introduced them. The Zoomed Video feature allowed
the user to display full-screen, full-motion (30 fps)
It was also the first pen tablet to offer all four display
technologies: TFT color, DSTN color, transmissive
monochrome, and transflective monochrome. This
selection offered the customer the ability to choose
exactly the right display, depending upon environment
The Stylistic 1200 was the first "radio-ready" pen tablet
computer. This meant a customer could use any PC
card radio without the card interfering with the
computer or the computer interfering with the radio.
Additionally, this was one of the first pen tablets to use
a Pentium chip (running at 120 MHz).
One of the strongest supporters of the pen tablet
technology has always been the healthcare industry.
When the Point 510 was introduced in 1997, it
became the first pen tablet to be specifically designed
for use in healthcare. It was the first pen tablet to offer
all of the key elements that health care applications
a large, high-resolution screen (10.4" SVGA)
an integrated wireless LAN
color-optimized for health care (i.e., light
Earlier generations of pen tablets were often difficult to
use outdoors because of light reflection. In 1998, the
Stylistic 2300 became the first pen tablet to use a
color transflective display for indoor/outdoor use. It
was also the first of the Fujitsu tablets to have an
integrated modem. The Stylistic 2300 had a Pentium
233, so it ran much faster than its predecessors.
The Stylistic 2300 was designed such that peripherals
purchased to support the Stylistic 1200 could also be
used with the 2300. This was an important cost
consideration for customers who wanted to upgrade to
the new system.
The Point 1600 was essentially an improved version
of the Point 510. Externally, it was identical, so the
peripherals designed for the Point 510 could also be
used with the Point 1600. It had a Pentium® 166 MHz
MMX™ processor and 32 MB SDRAM on-board
memory. For storage, it included a 2.5" Ultra DMA/33
shock-mounted hard drive.
At the time the Stylistic LT pen tablet was introduced
in 1999, it was the smallest and lightest Pentium pen
tablet computer running Windows 98. Weighing in at
two pounds, the Stylistic LT was the first with a built-in
LAN that could be used with the mini-dock. This was
the first Fujitsu tablet PC that had a keypad built into
the front of the system.
The Stylistic LT had a 233 MHz Pentium processor, 64
MB of SDRAM, and a 4.3 GB hard drive.
When the Fujitsu PenCentra 130 was introduced in
1999, it was the first pen tablet to support the Windows
CE operating system. The PenCentra 130 was
designed primarily for the needs of mobile workers in
occupations such as field services, route sales, and
The PenCentra 130 had everything needed to support
field applications in a two-pound, low-cost package.
In 2000, the Stylistic 3400 was the first pen tablet
computer to have processing power that was
equivalent to a notebook computer. It was the first pen
tablet that was close enough to a portable computer in
terms of horsepower and connectivity to be considered
a "primary mobile computer". Additionally, the Stylistic
3400 was the first pen tablet computer to use a
Pentium III processor.
The Stylistic 3400 was also the first pen tablet to
employ a liquid-filled resistive (passive) digitizer. This
digitizer provided substantially more glare reduction
than any other pen tablet computer on the market.
The Stylistic 3400 design helped to pique Microsoft's
interest in the viability of the tablet market and the
development of the Tablet PC operating system, an
effort in which Fujitsu partnered from the beginning.
The Fujitsu PenCentra 200 tablet was designed for
durability. The easy-to-use design features a liquid
filled digitizer that responds to stylus and fingertip
while ignoring your hand resting on the display. Built
on the Microsoft Windows CE operating system; and
coupled with a long-life battery, the system offers a
choice of indoor and outdoor 8" displays and a wide
variety of peripherals.
In 2000, the Stylistic LT C-500 was introduced. It was
fast and lightweight. The LT-500 used a 500 MHz Intel
Celeron™ processor, and a 100 MHz system bus.
It came with 64 MB, 128 MB or 256 MB of SDRAM,
and a 6 GB hard drive. The peripherals designed for
the Stylistic LT were compatible with the LT C-500, so
for customers upgrading their systems, costs
associated with peripheral upgrades was minimized.
Stylistic LT C-500
In 2001, the Stylistic 3500 became the first pen tablet
to use an Ultra Low Voltage chip.
With a large 10.4" display and 500 MHz Intel Celeron
processor, the Stylistic 3500 was available with a
choice of outdoor-viewable reflective or indoor-
viewable transmissive LCDs. The Stylistic 3500 has
several customized peripheral devices, including four
docking solutions, external storage, two cases, and
portable USB or wireless keyboards.
The Stylistic LT P-600 was the first Pentium III tablet to
use Intel® SpeedStep™ Technology. The tablet offers
a combination of size, performance, and display
solutions for maximum productivity. Weighing 2.7 lbs,
the LT P-600 has a choice of two active matrix
displays—an indoor viewable transmissive display and
a viewable-everywhere transflective display.
Introduced in 2001, the Stylistic LT P-600 comes
equipped with an Intel Ultra Low Voltage Pentium III
600 MHz Processor with Enhanced SpeedStep™
technology. The Stylistic LT P-600 Tablet PC provides
all the power and performance of a notebook, in a
small package. Additionally, the integrated PC Card
slot allows the use of wireless LAN PC cards.
Stylistic LT P-600
When Bill Gates took to the stage to officially launch
the Tablet PC on November 7, 2002, he was carrying
a Fujitsu Stylistic ST4000 Tablet PC. With good
reason. Fujitsu has the longest, most successful
record of building pen-enabled computers, with a
history of continuous improvement. The Tablet PC
initiative was a natural extension of the pen tablet
systems Fujitsu had been building for over a dozen
years. While a number of competitors have built
products based on the Tablet PC architecture, only
Fujitsu has the history to back up its claim as the
leader in the field.
We’re proud of the role Fujitsu has played in the
development of the Tablet PC initiative.
ST4000 Tablet PC