Lighter than most laptops and more muscular than PDAs, these cool computer tablets give new meaning to the term “nice pad.”


ViewSonic ViewPad 1000 ($1,799)
Roadshows just got easier — and a lot more fun. An 800Mhz Celeron processor provides the ViewPad liftoff aplenty, with 128MB (expandable to 516) of RAM for creative storage, a crisp 10.4-inch touch screen color display, stereo speakers, two USB ports, a PC card slot, and a built-in microphone and digital camera. And with WAN, LAN, and Wi-Fi connectivity, you can walk and talk untethered with the 1000 at your meeting, seminar, or classroom. (800) 888-8583.

PaceBlade PaceBook (around $2,000)
When it debuts next month, this cool new tablet will come packed with treats, including a 600Mhz Transmeta processor, 128MB of memory, a PC card slot, a 12.1-inch, high-res display, both touch screen and remote keyboard access, and six hours of battery power. That should prove especially enticing to doctors, nurses, and medical personnel, who, while on rounds, can handhold or wall-mount the pad, then check charts, write and send prescriptions, and analyze test results right at a patient’s bedside. www.paceblade.com.

Frontpath ProGear (around $1,500)
Petite (9 x 11 x 1 inches, 3 pounds), this broadband, Linux-based networking tool works nicely for referencing clients and related sales products (e.g., real estate listings, restaurant menus, clothing, and gift lines), and when conducting classes and seminars. Instructors can use the ProGear with their wireless LAN to register students, access their grades and records, share on-the-spot notes with fellow faculty, and — given the pad’s 10.4-inch screen, Netscape browser, and 64MB memory — perform a nifty show-and-tell. www.frontpath.com.

— MARC BOISCLAIR