[NTLK] Bic or MessageSlate

Ryan newtontalk at me.com
Fri Nov 5 23:43:41 EDT 2010

I have some info on this NewtonPlus tablet prototype from 1993.

Not much else is out there about this product. Anybody have any direct experience with it? I know one was up on eBay last year I think, but whoever won the auction has not shared any information about it on this list.

It's the least heard of Newton prototype of the bunch, but the best design in my opinion. I believe it was designed by Apple's in-house design team from my reading.

The other favorite design was the Montblanc. But when comparing both prototypes, the Bic is, in my opinion, by far the more practical design of the two. That's because the Bic is really a true tablet computer, meant to be held in portrait mode, with nice smooth lines and practical placement of the stylus and ports.

The Montblanc, while gorgeous in its design, is not conducive to handheld computing. It's something you would see at a bank or e-payment terminal to electronically sign you name at purchase. The Newton team was right not to go with it, but a great design it was.

The Bic, however, is something that could be used today. I imagine it now, if it was exactly the same, but much, much thinner and lighter, it would be an excellent tablet computer.

Nice, smooth lines, stylus, rubber exterior...

If I had the resources, both time and money, I would likely try to replicate the Bic and the Knowledge Navigator.  With the design in place, and with today's technology, these things could be razor thin, with color touch-sensitive screens, running... well, Einstein maybe.

In the meantime, I'm still getting some use out of my eMate That is a great design and great product.
Thank you,


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