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Bentley Announces Collaboration with HP to Research Tablet PCs' Impact on Productivity in Higher Education and Industry

November 18, 2003

WALTHAM, MA Bentley College today announced collaboration with HP in academic and applied research on Tablet PC usage, including pilot tests with undergraduate and graduate business students at Bentley and in specially identified markets within the corporate community.

The collaboration builds on a three-phase research project at Bentley that began in September 2002. Phase I research, ending May 2003, indicated significant positive acceptance of Tablet PCs in the academic community and produced similar results for corporate use. However, in both cases the limited timeframe available to survey subjects for using the tablets made it clear that extended use was needed to fully gauge the advantages over laptop computers or other devices. The Bentley Phase II research was designed to address this issue.

HP provided units of the newly introduced HP Tablet PC TC 1100 to Bentley and is working closely with students and faculty during the Phase II study, from September 2003 to May 2004. This phase is designed to explore the full potential of the Tablet PC platform by placing them in participants' hands for use during a period lasting between three to six months and following usage through a structured research methodology. A number of HP Tablet PC TC 1100's are currently deployed in classroom use and 50 will be deployed by corporate partners.

This research, by Dean of Business and the McCallum Graduate School Margi Olson and Trustee Professor James Hunton, compares both the attitudes and productivity of individuals using the tablet compared to others doing the same work using laptops or desktops in the corporate environment. During winter 2003-04, the potential use of Tablet PCs is being examined by Dean Olson and Senior Lecturer in Marketing Perry Lowe, in targeted fields, including the publishing, healthcare, consulting, broadcasting and financial services industries with corporate partners throughout the United States.

Phase III is expected to begin in September 2004 and continue through May 2005 and focus on the potential for Tablet PCs to become a mass market consumer technology.

More information on the research project is available online at:

"Our partnership with HP and the research it enables us to pursue provides a wonderful opportunity for our faculty and students to work closely with corporate partners to assess the impact of cutting edge technology on business practice," said Olson. "It also enables corporate uses in several industries to evaluate whether some of their management and operational problems can be solved by using new mobile technology. Because we are a business university, this is a natural fit with Bentley where education focuses in large part on the integration of business and technology. Mobile computing has been required here since 1985 and next generation technology keeps revolutionizing global business.

"The innovative HP Tablet PC design is vastly different in use than an ordinary laptop," said Olson. "The questions we are exploring here include, what types of work are most impacted positively by use of Tablet PCs? In which industry verticals are they of greatest benefit? Will Tablet PCs become a de facto standard for mobile computing, and why?"

"We are delighted to work closely with both Bentley and Microsoft to further the application and usage of technology in the academic and corporate environments," said Naila Seif, director of mobile solutions, Personal Systems Group, HP. "As a leader in mobile computing, HP is always striving to provide value to its customers through research and innovative solutions. The collaboration with a leading institution like Bentley provides such an opportunity."

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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