I'd been experiencing one or two problems with the Tatung H70 UMPC, specifically 'blue screen of death' type crashes. These crashes grew in frequency from one or two on the first day until it was 'dying' every 15 minutes or so by the time I'd had it a few days. As a result of this, I became engaged in protracted dialogue with the technical people at Tatung, who, it has to be said, were very supportive and eager to sort things out. I'd put it down to the newness of the technology having some inherent gliches and was fairly happy to help them iron these things out.
During one of my conversations, Tatung asked me about what I intended for the device. This was my opportunity to evangelise about the whole 'Freetheteacher' project. At that point, the following dialogue took place:
Tatung: "Well , have you seen any of our other products?"
Tatung: "Have you got the internet infront of you now?"
Tatung: "Just type in www.tatung.co.uk "
Tatung: "Now click the 'more' link under the Mobile Power section"
Me (increasingly excited now): "Ok."
Tatung: "Now click on the link on the left for 'Ultra Mobile PC'."
Me (eyes on stalks): "Ok."
Tatung: "Take a look at the 8.4" Tablet PC, just click on the picture."
Me: "OMG!" (Or something similar).
Tatung: "Click on the 'Closer Look' link on the left. Is that the kind of thing you're looking for?"
Me: (Barely able to compose myself): "Looking good! I do have one issue, battery life. No device can really last long enough to be a real help for a classroom teacher."
Tatung: "Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the 'more>>' link. You'll see that it can be supplied with a spare battery and separate charger so you can pop one out and another in while you're on the go."
Me: "I need one. When can I send the H70 back and get one of these?"
Tatung: "Let me get back to you on that."
This is what I was looking at:
Note the robust rubberised 'bump-cover'.
Note the harness for the busy, on-the-go early years practitioner.
Note also (and perhaps most importantly) the built-in, flip-up webcam that will allow photos and video capture both towards and away from the user.
Was I nearing the end of the journey? It seemed too good to be true.