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Your desktop computer is up in the home office but youd really rather delete your spam with one eye on the big living-room Wouldnt it be wonderful if you could run your favorite programs remotely from a slim device you could carry anywhere in the house Thats more or less the premise behind ViewSonics Airpanel V110 the first incarnation of the technology Microsoft has dubbed Windows Powered Smart Displays Smart For a display yes but this isnt a full-fledged computer like the Tablet PCs it will inevitably be confused with Its basically a dumb 25-centimeter flat-panel color touch screen that weighs a little over a kilogram But thanks to a big battery Wi-Fi networking and a smidgen of computing power the Airpanel can remotely control a Wi-Fi networked PC running Windows XP Professional The PCdoes the real work the Airpanel acts as a distant monitor speaker keyboard and mouse If only it worked a lot better and cost a lot less It does come with a copy of Windows XP Professional for PCs that lack it home users will find the upgrade anywhere from simple to impossible A USB Wi-Fi adapter is also included for your host machine in case its not already networked But for the Airpanels 999 price you can buy a notebook with a fast processor lots of memory a DVD drive a big screen a decent pointing device and an ancient technology known as a keyboard The missing keyboard is by far the worst of the Airpanels omissions You can attach a standard USB model but thats workable only if youre willing to leave the unit in its charging stand to prop it up In laps noncontortionists will suffer with whats built in a virtual keyboard that pops onto the screen at the touch of a button and works with a stylus That makes entering characters incredibly slow and awkward--though not quite as awful as
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