Home > tablets, Uncategorized > Have you ever heard of the HP TC 1100? Apple has.

Have you ever heard of the HP TC 1100? Apple has.

Sometimes looking at the past can provide a glimpse into the future.

Before the introduction of the Apple iPad in 2010, I doubt many of you could say with confidence that you knew what a tablet PC was. Sure, there were concepts out there, but the early adopters were very hard to find. What if I told you that tablets have not only been out for many years, but a REAL competitor to the 2010 iPad had been introduced back in 2003?!

1Ghz processor, 40GB to 80GB storage capacity, 10.4 inch VGA display, Stereo sound, 2x USB ports, SD card slot, PC card slot, VGA video output and headphone jack! No, these aren’t the specs for the iPad. Infact, the tech specs of the 2003 HP tablet far exceeded the on-board capabilities of the iPad launched some seven years later. Just look at the comparison:

What a Tablet!

Meet the HP TC 1100. Sexy name, I know.

Never heard of the HP TC 1100? You’re not alone. Although it retained a loyal following, HP promptly EOL’d this product back in 2005. (still 5 years before iPad). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_Compaq_TC1100

I managed to dig up a technical review of the HP TC 1100 by Linda Epstein who unboxed the product in March 0f 2004. Among the pros of the device from Linda’s post:

  • The optional HP W500 802.11a/b/g WLAN is the best Wireless I have used to date
  • Light weight and compact, the TC1100 is great for travel
  • External pen activated icons and programmable”Q” Menu give you instant access to everything you need
  • Hybrid model gives you the option using it as a slate or a convertible
  • Quickly and easily detaches from the case and the keyboard for use as a Slate
  • fold out feet that allow you to angle the tablet on the desk for a more comfortable writing experience
  • Screen orientation changes automatically
  • 3 Year worldwide limited warranty

The cons that Linda identified in her review:

  • Optical drive must be purchased separately. (Who uses this anymore)
  • Unlike a convertible when the tc1100 is closed the face of the tablet is exposed and not protected so a case is a must. (Cause there have never been reports of iPads’ screen cracking)
  • For the first time user of a tablet pc the hardware information is in section 5 of the startup guide rather than in the front. If you a new user and don’t know where any of the buttons are or what they are for this is a problem (So they had to perfect the GUI a bit..)
  • Keyboard too close to the screen for comfort (If you want a keyboard, buy a Laptop!)


I can’t imagine where tablet technology might be today had there been more early adopters of the HP TC 1100 back in 2003.

  1. March 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I had one of these! Totally forgot about it until I read the post. It was an awesome device, I think they had a smaller version too.

  2. March 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Thanks for your comment!
    I wonder where we’d be today with tablet technology if there were more people like you who had one of these way back when!

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