HP's new tablet won't turn your head

There will be a day in the future when your phone will also be your toaster and car, and you will look strangely back at the days of multiple devices performing individual tasks.

There will be a day in the future when your phone will also be your toaster and car, and you will look strangely back at the days of multiple devices performing individual tasks.

Until then, however, business professionals have to pick and choose what products make it into their crowded briefcases.

The HP Compaq tc4200 Tablet PC is one of those devices that tries really hard to sneak into that mix, but it's too big for the reasons you would buy it.

On the plus side, it is cool how the screen pivots and turns into a notebook. Writing on the screen proves very easy, as well.

For those inveterately prone to losing their notes, it is tempting to have all your jottings digitally rendered. But the notebook's design looks too 1998, and it's hard to justify having an external CD/DVD drive in 2005, as the tc4200 does.

The perfect tablet function is still some time away, and HP certainly has a shot to make it, but this year's model falls short.

Any suggestions for gadgets we should try? Send them to toybox@prweek.com>

Starting at $1,599 with three-year parts and labor warranty

HP.com

40-80 GB hard drive, Intel Centrino mobile processor, 12.1 inch WVA display

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