"It was not long ago that the cry of 'webpad' was being echoed from companies
like Hitachi to Gateway. To be honest though, nothing really long lasting for
the consumer market ever came to fruition. Instead, webpads saw themselves
transition into internet appliances, and then most recently evolving into
'tablet PC's'. The only areas these mobile devices (what we like to call them)
really found a home was in the vertical markets and industrial applications
where they could be tailored to very specific tasks.
As it was way back in October of 2000 that we initially saw
the first generation FIC AquaPad, a design which was later updated and showcased
at the 2001 Comdex, we were very excited to get a chance to put the device
through its paces.
The review unit we received arrived in a retail box and was accompanied by a
recharging adaptor, a rather nice nylon carrying case, and a succinct
instruction manual. A developers kit accompanied this AquaPad which included an
802.11b WLAN Access Point, and 802.11b Cisco Aironet 350 Series PCMCIA card.
The 2.5lb AquaPad is a medium sized portable device centered around an
800x600 pixel TFT touch sensitive screen. The device is larger than a PDA, but
smaller than a laptop. The actual dimensions are 274x164x26 mm, and walking
around with it gives the impression that you are playing a bit part in the
newest StarTrek spinoff. The smooth blue and silver AquaPad has several ports
for expansion cards, but not much else, and fits easily into the left hand.
The unit is encased in a Magnesium alloy shell which is lightweight, and
fairly sturdy. Intended for purely mobile use, FIC appear to have sufficiently
'toughened' the device to survive the daily abuses it would undoubtedly receive,
though there are few things we would like to see done differently."
Read the full review here: http://www.transmetazone.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=958