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Toshiba and Sotec used a Microsoft-organised event to declare their support for the Tablet PC system while Sotec unveiled prototype hardware running Windows XP Tablet Edition.
Sotec's prototype, named the Afina Tablet, looks like a conventional notebook PC but features a swivelling LCD which can fold around on itself to enable the machine to take a tablet-like form - a design similar to other recently launched devices such as Sony's latest Clie PDA.
NEC showed off another prototype which takes the classic tablet PC form while Fujitsu and Hewlett-Packard said they will support the Tablet PC in the Japanese market.
The five companies said they plan to begin selling Tablet PCs from the late third quarter or fourth quarter of this year.