New Techie “Table-let” Seems Oddly Familiar To Trekkies

Calling it the first “interpersonal computer,” Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo is getting set to release a tablet computer roughly the size of a coffee table—ripped from the set of the Starship Enterprise and beamed directly to your living room.

Debuting this week in Las Vegas’s annual cutting-edge consumer electronics concept and trade show, the Computer Electronics Show (CES), the IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC will put a $1,700 hole in your wallet and take up over seven square feet of your living room, but where else have consumers seen a computer around which everyone stands, doing their computing and pushing buttons on a billiards table-shaped table in the middle of room. Oh, right, the same place that it seems that every other bit of modern tech came from: Star Trek.

In our real world, where we have three-dimensional printers that can “replicate” anything from a children’s toy to a working – albeit poorly — gun; ubiquitous handheld computers that connect to the Internet, and each other, no matter where you are or go; and other modern wonders undreamt of by television viewers and Star Trek fans even as recent as two decades ago, the pace of innovation seems to be accelerating and compounding every year.

The IdeaCentre Horizon’s price tag will likely make it a niche product when it’s available — purchasing three individual iPads would cost less than one Horizon — what’s been revealed about the the Horizon’s concept and layout may ultimately prove that such “master control tables” aren’t just for giving the spaceship crew something to stand around and use to prevent the spaceship from blowing up… they’ll be used for bringing the family together, too.

 

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