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FIC Aqua 3400 Revisited

FIC Aqua 3400 Revisited - PCSTATS
Abstract: It's been a few months now since COMDEX 2000 played itself out. While the Vegas parties are long since over we here at TransmetaZone still seem to have a tone of Transmeta info to sift through..
Filed under: Notebooks Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: FIC Jan 27 2001   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Notebooks > FIC Aqua 3400

FIC Aqua 3400 Revisited


It's been a few months now since COMDEX 2000 played itself out. While the Vegas parties are long since over we here at TransmetaZone still seem to have a tone of Transmeta info to sift through (and little time to accomplish the task). However, before the mass of unique Crusoe-based devices become old-hat we'll try to mention something about all of them.

For instance this little Web Pad is put out by FIC, who are better known for their motherboards then for internet appliances. Never the less, their Crusoe-based device has gone through several variations, including the original FIC 3200, which was canceled sometime late last year in favour of the WebPad formfactor. Previously, FIC was set to introduce a giant PDA-like device.

We can't argue that the Aqua 3400 isn't slick and worth getting, but the contradiction of having a USB keyboard plug into a webpad was not lost on us either. The overlap of interfaces is a perplexing situation... the Aqua 3400 has a touch sensitive screen which enables an onscreen keyboard to be used by an individual to input data into the device. Yet, a seemingly redundant laptop-esque keyboard is also available, serving the exact same purpose. Why is this?
Is the Aqua meant to be a two-part laptop, a single screen web-pad... or both? At first glance the latter would seem to be the case, but in reality it's simply a situation of new technology integrating with old. Apart from the odd bank machine, slot machine, and special-purpose device, no mainstream commercial electronics really use touch screen technology to any significant extent. Why not? Well, as nifty as the technology is, it just hasn't cought on much with the average consumer.

Let's face it people are used to keyboards too much. Typewriters are the familiar touchstone of the older generations, and newer generations were raised on video games basing their game controls on a keyboard. Touch screens are still relatively alien - the stuff of Star Trek episodes +using Roddenberry's name.
In the future they may become the defacto standard, but for the moment they remain a curiosity. This is not to say we wouldn't be exceedingly interested to see the Aqua 3400 widely available on the retail market however... it's just that with all 'new' technologies, it's usually the 3rd or 4th iteration that makes the big impression in the consumers psyche...


 

Contents of Article: FIC Aqua 3400

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