Tablet PCs: Technology Matching Faith

Dec 28, 2002 02:52 PM EST

The recent launch of Microsoft Windows XP Tablet Edition makes a bold statement for tablet PCs to become a mainstay in the modern Christian life. Already, computers have integrated into Christian life, but the revolutionary new software for the tablet PCs can take this life on the go. New software that allows you to take notes, record your voice, and even sketch pictures is perfect to record your faith wherever you go.

The first question you might ask is, what is a tablet PC? Tablet PCs aren't quite a desktop and aren't quite a notebook, but are actually a mix of everything. They can be used as a writing tablet, carried portably like a laptop, and even docked down like a desktop. "There's a Tablet PC to suite your working style and need. Each design has its own unique benefits," Microsoft writes on their website.

Tablet PCs are becoming popular among businesses and students. They are so mobile, yet powerful and convenient, that anyone can find uses for them. Modern Christians will find them especially helpful in their life of faith. How is this so? The secret to these tablet PCs lies in the software.

Software is key that will drive tablet PCs into life. Microsoft unveiled the new Windows XP Tablet Edition in early November. It was an effort by Microsoft to make up for past losses in their failed Microsoft Reader software in the woeful eBook market. Windows XP Tablet Edition comes bundled with software such as Microsoft Journal and SketchBook.

"Perhaps the strongest application it has to offer is the Windows Journal application," writes Matthew Witheiler of Anandtech technology reviews (, which recently has a chance to test one of these out.

Windows Journal allows you to write on the tablet like you are writing on a sheet of paper. You can turn the tablet to landscape or portrait, and even customize lined paper into college ruled, wide ruled, and gridded. Your handwriting is recorded in a digital piece of paper. Students find this software especially helpful in their classes for taking notes.

"The Tablet PC acts like a pen and paper, so people can quickly sketch our their ideas," says John Williams, director of Intelligent Engineering Systems Laboratory at MIT.

Modern Christians can also use this to take notes on their daily life - events, dreams, and miracles. Inward reflection can flow as you come closer to God. Everything that a Christian wants to write down can be put digitally into history.

A 3rd party software that may come useful with Tablet PCs is a sketching program designed by Alias called SketchBook. It is a full-featured drawing program designed for Windows XP PC Edition that functions like a sketchbook and using the tablet pen and pad. Draw and picture and choose a color, and this software records exactly what you drew. People can choose airbrushes, markers, pens, and a number of other tools.

Even artists find this program amazing. Gabe, one of the stunning artists from Penny Arcade said, "I think Alias SketchBook is absolutely incredible."

All those visions and pictures that Christians have in their life can be recorded down with this program. Every time an amazing or picturesque scenes comes to thought, it can be quickly jotted down and digitally stored.

Tablet PCs work like regular PCs, so all those aspects of faith stored for the Christian life, can be taken anywhere. Using any number of various eBook software, the Bible can be taken in various versions - NIV, NASB, King James, etc. Weekly sermons and daily devotionals can be stored and read wherever a Christian goes.

Studying the Bible can be revolutionized in this manner. The Bible and the writing tablet can be put side by side on the screen, so that people can carry and notepad and the Bible in one together.

The possibilities are endless for how Christians can take this along in life. Technology is really matching up to the needs of modern Christians. As Withheiler puts it, "Think about what Tablet PC can do for you."

By Walker T.