The Great PDC Laptop Give-Away of 2009

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Windows 7 is a landmark product for Microsoft with support for things like sensors and multitouch. With just months (which quickly turned into weeks) to go until the show, it was decided that the best way to accelerate getting the hardware to support these new features in the hands of the developers would be to gift them a laptop at PDC. The problem was that there wasn't a retail laptop available that supported everything we wanted you to have, especially in a price point that would allow us to give out thousands of them.

I'm happy to say I'm typing this up on one now, and it's an incredible machine. Built upon the Acer Aspire 1420P chassis, this convertible TabletPC has a Core2 Duo U2300 processor, Mobile Intel GS45 video, 2GB of DDR3 1066 MHz memory (supports up to 8GB), an 11.6" 1366x768 multitouch screen, webcam/mic, 3G WWAN, WLAN (supporting up to Draft-N), S/PDIF for digital speakers, 3 USB, 250GB HDD, card reader, and even an HDMI port.

In addition we had some other custom things added including a built-in accelerometer. You might notice this when you rotate the tablet and the screen stays oriented. Smiley All the hotkeys are supported through BIOS and firmware, there is a button for Flip-3D (cool!), and WWAN is supported by the WWAN stack built in to Windows 7. 

In addition you've got Corel Paint It! Touch, Office 2010 (pre-beta), Windows XP Mode and Virtual PC, Microsoft Touch Pack, and the Windows Live Suite. This is a custom PC built on an unreleased (as of yet) machine, you can't get it anywhere else.

So PDC developers, go forth and populate the planet with awesome software. And please, if you make something cool - let us know.

Update: A couple things I forgot to mention. The PDC Laptop has HDMI AND a VGA out, as well as bluetooth. You might notice on the flight home that the battery life can be nearly 8 hours. And a tip for browsing the web while in Tablet configuration, you can hold it on each side and use your thumbs to alternate flicking the page up and down or both at once to resize with multitouch.


PDC09, PDC 2009

The Discussion

  • User profile image

    What?  so all the pdc attendies get one? wow!

  • User profile image

    All paying PDC attendees (excluding Microsoft employees and press)

  • User profile image


  • User profile image

    Put these babies in the Microsoft store (online) for purchase by devs that didn't/couldn't attend!

  • User profile image

    What kind of swages (e.g.: laptop, discounts,.....) MS developers -whom couldn’t attend- will get?

  • User profile image

    I thought this was a great giveaway until I remembered how much PDC costs to attend. Still, I'd be very happy if my employer had paid Smiley

  • User profile image

    There is a lot of cost cutting that happen in this year's PDC. No breakfast.. Limited bus schedule... No Universal Studio party...  Plastic ware and paper plates at lunch... But the free tablet netbook giveaway make it all worth it!!!  2 thumbs up for the PDC planning team!!!!

  • User profile image

    Ok How can I say this:








    with envy!

    I agree with wkempf let us at them!

  • User profile image

    Hopefully, these laptops will be offered for sale to FTE attendees. 

  • User profile image

    No tablets for government employees.  I want my (I mean the taxpayers') money back!

  • User profile image

    Why not give the Channel 9's the chance to win one?

  • User profile image

    How many laptops can be purchased for the price of PDC09 admission, I think maybe 3 or 4 of the quality of the laptop given out?

  • User profile image

    only 1 dude if you are a student.... nnniaaaaaa


  • User profile image

    Great initiative, I'd like to thank the person who came up with this idea, and also everyone who supported them (yes, I was an attendee)

  • User profile image

    Is Microsoft going to offer the dev laptop for those that are MSDN subscribers?  I remember when they gave all developers that used MSDN a viewsonic pda for their mobile sdk release.  I think it would be a great idea.  I would get one.

  • User profile image

    Even if it was priced right. 

  • User profile image

    So students who paid $599 for the discounted admission also got one? That doesn't seem like a bad deal.

  • User profile image

    Wow !! Beautifully Incredible customized machine with Windows 7 and all those software including the Touch pack !!!!


    Complete Specs can be seen here :


    Yes rimtorch I would also like them to give all MSDN subscribers this machine !!

  • User profile image

    the FT07 video on the PDC09 web site is broken (404) and the contact us on the bottom of the page doesn't work, either. Someone needs to fix both of these items.

  • User profile image

    I want that 12GB RAM Core i7 machine they were running server 08 R2 and 3 hyper-v machines

  • User profile image

    +1 to that!!!  If this were made available for MSDN subscribers to purchase, SOLD!

  • User profile image

    I got the laptop and its great. But what I really wanted was one of those little channel 9 toys set up on the table. I asked for one and was told that I could have one, but only after the last broadcast after 3pm. Unfortunately I had to leave at 2:50pm to catch my flight back home.  Crying

  • User profile image

    I got one of these awesome machines. Thank you PDC09.

  • User profile image
    Gary J

    I noticed the ST Micro accelerometer doesn't show up though the Sensor and Location Platform. Is that intentional, or am I doing something wrong? Anyways, thanks PDC09 for the killer hardware.

  • User profile image

    Just make sure yours doesn't break.  Mine had a cracked screen a few days after getting home, and Acer says they can't fix it (can't get the part in)!  They will sell me a new "replacement" though.  Don't know if it will have everything the Microsoft one had...

  • User profile image

    I recently got a new blackberry from work, but already have an iPhone so I'm trying to use my SIM card from my blackberry on my Acer 1420p from PDC09.  Anyone have any luck getting something like this to work?  


    I installed the SIM card in the slot behind the battery, powered up the machine, and then pushed the antenna switch on the front of the casing to the left to enable 3g connectivity.  No luck though.  Any ideas?



  • User profile image

    It is a real shame that I have missed this event. However the decision to give a brand new laptop to every attendee of PDC is pretty awesome. As I see someone don't feel the economical crisis at all! Of course I am only joking around. This complectation is quite nice for me so maybe I will try to purchase the copy of this laptop by myself. Oh by the way I hope that you will give away some laptops at 2010 PDC too, because I will participate there for sure. Thanks for keeping up this wonderful website and for making our life more interesting. Let's hope that there will be many nice gadgets made in 2010 so that we have to talk about.




    Alex Molton from laptop parts 360

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