SAN JOSE, Calif. - Call it rock 'n scroll.
Toshiba Corp. plans to launch a new tablet PC on Tuesday that allows users to tilt the clipboard-like computer up and down to scroll through Web pages.
Users reading an electronic book or digital magazine can also turn the pages manually by tilting the tablet from left to right - similar to the real thing.
The unique "dual axis accelerometer" is among several new features in the Toshiba Portege M200, the company said. The product has a suggested retail price of $2,499.
Tablet PCs are notebook computers with handwriting recognition so the displays become digital writing slates. Models with built-in keyboards, including this latest one from Toshiba, are sometimes also called convertibles.
Tablets are still novelty items today, but computer makers expect the mobile devices to gain traction in coming years, with tablet PCs growing to represent nearly 4 percent of worldwide notebook shipments in 2005, up from about 1 percent in 2003, according to market research firm In-stat/MDR.
Microsoft Corp. launched its operating system platform for the tablet PC a year ago, leading to numerous models, including ones from Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard Co., Acer America Corp., and Fujitsu PC Corp.
Despite heavy hype from Microsoft, which is expected to introduce its next-generation Windows XP Tablet PC Edition OS in 2004, major laptop vendors such as Dell Inc., IBM Corp. and Sony Corp., have yet to join the tablet PC market.