It's almost a year since Intel and Microsoft launched the Ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) as a new category of handheld computer. Chip maker VIA touted an early reference design, but its offering was quickly eclipsed by Samsung's Q1 UMPC. But the VIA machines didn't disappear entirely and has now popped up again, this time as the Ubiquio …
Nice, but ...
It sounds nice, but, like most UMPCs, seems like a solution looking for a problem. My wife used a tablet PC at her oncologist's office, but that was a specialized application. And $1225 with a keyboard is a little much for a 1GHz, 512 MB, 40 GB machine. And no optical drive. You can get a small laptop with much more horsepower here and still have the money left over for an external keyboard, mouse, monitor and software. Maybe the ubergeek will go for it. Or the business man who thinks he needs the latest in technology to get the edge. (The bizgeek) But I don't see an advantage for me.
Like the poster above, there's few applications which someone requires on the move that there isn't already a well optimised device for.
Why play video or mp3s on a UMPC when the battery life would be awful?
For office applications a Windows Mobile device will do.
Does no-body sit watching TV while browsing the web?
Got one of the Origami devices specifically for browsing the Internet while watching TV instead of burning a hole in my jeans with a laptop. It's too expensive, currently too heavy and takes too long to boot up, but at least the screen size is right (tried this with PDAs and they are awful), the processing unit is not on my lap but stands up free so I don't bake my nether regions. I don't need a keyboard for browsing and I can Skype while watching Wales trounce England.
It is the minimum space for hand bagage on planes yet still allows me to take powerpoint presentations with me that I can still be editing to the last minute, and I can stream video (and maybe in the long term apps too) at home across the wireless network to it without needing a separate optical drive.
If these things got to a decent price we might get a few for home use, so we can all browse at the same time.