Sunday, May 22, 2005

Has ViewSonic abandoned the TabletPC?

I'm not entirely certain today why I wandered over last night to ViewSonic's web site to see items I'd seen many times before. Of what I AM certain is the nasty shock I got: nothing can be found of any of the TabletPCs on their product pages. I immediately posted my findings to TabletPCBuzz, and so far I've had one response, and it just made things worse: TabletPCs have also disappeared from the product listings of the ViewSonic UK site.

I always suspected that my chosen vendor wasn't doing as well as, say, Motion, Toshiba or Acer; the post counts on the Buzz from users of those machines dwarf the numbers in the ViewSonic hardware forum, and, with the exception of a V1100 slate (open box) I spotted on sale for about $700 at CompUSA a month or so ago, I'd never seen another ViewSonic tablet in the wild, which really surprised me, since mine is quite a nice device, and it was lower in price than many other TPC models. I'd been so excited when my manager asked me how I liked my V1250, since he was debating purchasing some for some administrators, but my hopes were dashed last week when he told me Dell was no longer selling that brand; he said they were still selling Fujitsus and Motions, but had picked up someone else for their third brand (my departmental support policy is pretty much set in stone: if it's a business-oriented machine sold by Dell, we will support it; everything else gets an IP address and a "good luck."). A search of Dell to see just what they were carrying these days turned up nothing, but that's a tangent that doesn't need my attention just yet.

Perhaps I should have seen it coming: there's been talk that the 12" convertibles are gradually disappearing from the market. Since I can't imagine being happy with my main machine (which is what my TabletPC has become) being anything smaller than or larger than my V1250, I sincerely hope that this is idle speculation.

In the meantime, that extra power adapter I'd been putting off buying for months was ordered today. My next TPC purchase may be a year or two away, but I've pretty much resigned myself to the possibility that I will not be able to get another ViewSonic.