Product: Element Computer Helium 2100 Price: From US$999 Pros: First Linux-powered tablet PC, bargain price Cons: It is a case of buy before you try. Extra features push up the price With Linux laptops becoming more popular in the region, it was only a matter of time before the free operating system reached the tablet PC arena. The Helium 2100 comes from New York-based company Element Computer. Element first displayed its Linux on a laptop system at LinuxWorld in August, when the platform was a Toshiba Portege. This time, by using a Taiwan-manufactured computer, it has kept the price down to US$999 before shipping. The system is essentially VIA Technologies' Slim'n Light tablet, running the user-friendly Lycoris Desktop/LX Tablet Edition and KDE desktop. You can buy the same machine in North America under the Eurocom, Sager and TDV Vision brand-names, but running Windows XP Tablet Edition, for around the same price. The basic configuration is the one-gigahertz VIA Antaur mobile processor, 256 megabytes of DDR266 memory, a 30-gigabyte hard drive and a 14-inch XGA touch-panel display. There are ports for infrared, PC Cards, audio, modem, Ethernet, video, USB 1 and 2 and a 4-in-1 Flash Card Reader. Anyone who has ever configured a PC online will know the price rises quickly as you upgrade basic specifications to match your ideal. The bare-bones Helium comes in at US$999. But once we added Wi-Fi and an internal camera, and boosted the hard drive to 80GB and the memory to 512MB, the price shot up to $1,653. Add on US$139 for delivery by UPS, and that bargain starts to sound a little less competitive.