Meet Quaduro System's Quadpad 2, a 10in tablet PC that can find use in industry and luxury home automation systems.

The tablet PC remains something of an oddity, neither fish nor foul; neither a workable laptop nor a pocketable PDA. But even if it can't replace a consumer portable PC, it has found limited uses outside the mainstream - namely in industry and in home automation applications.

In industry it can be useful in automotive mobile diagnostics and warehouse stocktaking, we're told, while ambitious home cinema and custom installation projects can find a use for a tablet PC as a large touchscreen remote control.

Imagine a swish, minimalist apartment with an expansive coffee table, showing off a magazine-sized touchscreen remote control propped up and facing you. It can be the control-centre hub of your home entertainment world, ready to summon up ambient room lighting, operate automatic blinds and lower a projection screen before you select a film for an enveloping home cinema experience.

Companies like Crestron have built their names on such control interfaces, using advanced and customised programmable interfaces that make it simple for non-technophile users to get around by simply pressing large touch-sensitive screen buttons.

Quaduro System's Quadpad 2 could be coerced into such duties, too, although it would require a whole new ‘skinned' user interface to be installed. At heart it's just a mini Windows XP laptop without a keyboard.

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Actually, the Quaduro Quadpad 2 is less a laptop made into tablet, more netbook turned slate. Its specifications is exactly that of just about every netbook we've tested to date - only sans keyboard, and with a 10in touchscreen.

So inside the Quaduro Quadpad 2 we have an Intel Atom processor, Intel integrated graphics chip, 160GB hard disk - and here's a treat - 2GB of RAM. The operating system is Windows XP Home; there are three USB ports, an SD card slot, ethernet, webcam, and audio in and out jacks.

The only thing seemingly missing that most netbooks predictably include is an old-fashioned VGA analogue video output. But slide open a plastic hatch on the Quaduro Quadpad 2's left, and you'll find the usual D-Sub output.

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