Tablet PC, UMPC, Origami, slate, convertible are all terms used to describe small portable PC devices. The logic being that if a moniker is assigned to these products, it will make it easier for manufacturers to market their products and for consumers to shop and make intelligent buying decisions. However, I'm not sure the moniker is working and in fact, may be having the opposite effect by slowing down adoption of these mobile PC devices. Here's why and it's only a theory.
Most people don't have a clue what a Tablet PC or a UMPC is? Spend any time in an airport, bookstore or coffee shop and observe how many people approach you and ask what kind of computer you are using? When you tell them it's a Tablet PC or UMPC, their reaction is "what's that"? When you tell them it's just a miniture PC and show them what they can do with it, their reaction is "that's cool". When you show them how to use the pen device for annotation and data input, they get really excited. A common question is "why haven't I ever heard about these devices before"? And therein lies the problem. By trying to brand these miniture PCs, I believe we're slowing down the adoption rate of these mobile devices. The only way to effectively brand a product to the general public is through heavy use of advertising in large media publications. Because most Tablet PC or UMPC manufactures aren't spending a lot of money on advertising to the general public, the moniker Tablet PC or UMPC is not gaining a lot of traction.
Personally, I don't care what these mobile devices are called, but I would prefer a single name describing the category so we start building brand recognition and stop confusing the general public.