Touchscreens, Part IINewton users could jot down notes, mark calendars and even draw pictures on an unlit screen, ushering in an era of electronic notes. Apple Tablet users will be able to do all that and more on a brilliant color screen, ushering in a bigger multi-touch generation of devices.
Tech Breakthrough, Part IIThe Newton had a fax modem -- a huge advantage at a time that predated email attachments. The Tablet promises to be a multimedia powerhouse delivering high-def, cinema-like entertainment to a mobile device.
Sized Wrong, Part IIThe Newton was too big to fit in a pocket. The Tablet is even bigger, falling into that lug-it-or-leave-it category of portability.
Keyboard Free, Part IIHandwriting recognition was a huge feature for the Newton, but it failed to answer the nagging question of how easily users could import information. The not-so-accurate translation of scribbles-to-words provided great fodder for comedy in its day. The Tablet will take another stab at handwriting recognition, offering a virtual keyboard and speech recognition to compensate for a lack of keys to tap.
New Category, Part IIThe Newton debuted with honors as the first PDA. The Tablet hopes to invent its own category that falls somewhere between the mobile phone and notebook computer. Three years after the Newton arrived, the Palm ( PALM) Pilot was introduced. With its smaller, pocketable size and much tinier price, it quickly took over the category. In 1998, after five years of lackluster sales, Apple killed the Newton. To be sure, the Newton still enjoys a cult following among some tech geeks and a number of Web sites have been dedicated to its important place in gadget history. Apple hopes the Tablet isn't a repeat of Newton's story. -- Written by Scott Moritz in New York
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