A long, long time ago in a news posting made way, way back in January, we spoke a little about Microsoft's new Surface 2 tabletop PC and how it could potentially change the way businesses handle their digital collaborating needs. As it turns out, there is a new contender in the tabletop PC game today which is supposedly capable of performing the same tasks as Microsoft's Surface, and it comes in the form of Pioneer's new WWS-DT101 'discussion table' PC that was launched today in Japan.
Microsoft's Surface tabletop PC is definitely one of the more interesting PCs out there to exist in the market today, and we are sure that Apple and Google will be hard pressed to come up with a suitable product to compete against it if Microsoft was willing to release the product for sale to end-users instead of limiting its purchase to enterprise customers. However, it would seem that Microsoft is about to face some competition in its own market segment very soon, thanks to the introduction of Pioneer's own tabletop PC, the WWS-DT101, which is supposedly capable of performing the same functions as Surface.
Unlike Microsoft's Surface and Surface 2 tabletop PCs which were available in 30-inch and 40-inch touchscreen displays, Pioneer's WWS-DT101 boasts a gigantic 52-inch display that is capable of full HD resolutions, thus making it the largest known tabletop PC known to exist today. However, in Pioneer's case, bigger does not necessarily translate to better; while Microsoft's 40-inch Surface 2 multitouch display supported up to a maximum of 50 simultaneous contact points', the WWS-DT101 is only capable of recognizing up to 10 contact points at any time.
That being said, do you remember the little demonstration made by Microsoft which showed off how users can place data storage devices on Surface and its contents would 'spill' onto the display for easy collaboration? Well, it would seem that Pioneer has been hard at work in replicating this function in the WWS-DT101. Which, in hindsight, makes perfect sense when one takes into account that the WWD-DT101 is meant to be used as a digital conference system, and the ability to share files by simply sliding them around a tabletop PC's display is definitely a huge time saver, no matter how one looks at it. However, Pioneer has once again managed to one-up Microsoft's Surface by adding tablets such as iPads to the list of supported devices in its collaboration process, as shown in the image below:
What is more amazing though, is the fact that Pioneer, like Microsoft before it, was able to pull off such features using nothing more than the standard PC software and hardware to power the tabletop PC. Yes, you read that correctly; hidden under that pretty and flashy-looking user interface is the same Windows 7 operating system that we all know and love today, while the giant touchscreen is powered by none other than a standard Intel Core i7 processor paired with 6GB of system RAM.
As is the case with most enterprise products, Pioneer has chosen not to set a fixed price on the WWS-DT101. Instead, the company has seemingly adopted an 'open pricing' model for the tabletop PC, which suggests that the WWS-DT101's pricing may vary based on the results of negotiations between Pioneer and its prospective clients. The PC is expected to start shipping in late July, so there should be plenty of time for customers to start making their way to the negotiation tablet with Pioneer.