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Summary:

The Washington Post has published an article that compares the only two Origami devices currently shipping, the TabletKiosk eo and the Samsung Q1.  The article is the first I have seen from Mainstream Media that recognizes the benefits of the Tablet OS that all Origami/ UMPCs […]

The Washington Post has published an article that compares the only two Origami devices currently shipping, the TabletKiosk eo and the Samsung Q1.  The article is the first I have seen from Mainstream Media that recognizes the benefits of the Tablet OS that all Origami/ UMPCs ship with and compares the features of both devices.  A legitimate complaint in the article is one that should have been addressed by Microsoft– at the native UMPC resolution of 800 x 480 many OS dialog boxes run off the screen.  Sure the user can bump the resolution up to 800 x 600 or 1024 x 600 but the user experience would be much better if the dialog boxes resized to fit the native resolution.  Not a deal breaker but definitely a legitimate complaint.  I found it amusing (and irritating) that the author states that a serious omission is the lack of an optical drive, something that no truly ultra-mobile computer should have due to size and space constraints.  Just hook a USB drive up when you need one and stop complaining about this.

The article addresses battery life issues and details the extended battery offerings of both TabletKiosk and Samsung, and finds the battery life of the eo to be longer than that of the Q1.  This is surprising given the fact that TabletKiosk has acknowledged a problem with power consumption on the eo and have stated they are working on the problem.   This quote from the article pretty much sums up the author’s findings:

On both machines the program did a surprisingly good job translating my cursive and printed scribbles into something approximating English (the TabletKiosk also includes Windows Journal). For a longtime note-taker like me, this is the feature that will make or break a UMPC.

If these devices had lower prices, either one could be the portable computer I’ve longed for. Both the EO and the Q1 can replace a full-featured laptop, if you’re willing to live with an overcrowded screen and a few costly but necessary add-ons.

Kudos to the author for not only trying out the Tablet PC functions of the UMPCs but also realizing the benefits of having them on Origami devices.

-jk

  1. Unfortunately the dialog boxes can’t be resized. That would be too big an effort for too small a population. And third party developers won’t follow suit. The solution is of course to get it up to 800×600.

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  2. Albert Karel Saturday, May 13, 2006

    Thanks for the great site.

    You, however, are wrong on the need for, and inexcusable absence of CD/DVD drive in tablets and convertibles. On-board optical drive is crucial and does NOT add unnecessary weight. Just go to the dynamism.com site and check out the machines available in Japan only…especially the Panasonics…they weigh 2.5 pounds (approx) have (allegedly) 8-12 hour batteries and have on-board CD/DVD drives!!! I say again !!!
    It is only because the machines avaialble in the US are so far behind that having a separate optical drive is at all rational. Instead of congratulating manufacturers on adding plug-in optical drives…I suggest that you push them mercilessly to add them WITHOUT weight increase.

    Now admit it…if you could have an optical drive with no appreciable increase in weight and still have long battery life…wouldn’t you leap at the chance?? DUHHHH.

    THANKS AGAIN for you wonderful site and the good work you do.

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  3. Albert, we’ll have to agree to disagree on the optical drive opinion. I haven’t carried a device with an optical drive for over two years now and I do not miss the extra weight and bulk that a drive requires. I rarely use an optical drive with a mobile device so why should I carry one around all the time? Plus an integrated drive adds cost which is the main complaint everyone always has about mobile devices. I have a portable drive I can use with either of my two mobile devices and can easily use it when needed, but I never carry it around with me.

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  4. Optical drives are one step behind floppies in the death of the medium. It isn’t a DVD player or even a game console. It has a hard drive large enough to store anything you need on the go.

    I guess the problem is that some people feel that they might “need” that optical drive one day, but there is always one around somewhere. I guess someone needs to remind them that this device is not meant to replace their computer, but to compliment it and maybe teach the how to network computers.

    As a side note, my biggest complaint about most Notebook computers is the inclusion of a optical drive. It adds weight and most importantly thickness. I have a laptop and might use the optical drive 3 times a year.

    I mean what do you use optical drives for anyways? Loading an OS? When is the last time we bought software on a disc rather than just downloading it?

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  5. Tablet PC User Saturday, May 13, 2006

    Albert,

    I too agree with JK and Ben…you can live without an optical drive. I’m a student and everything I do either comes as a download or I just use a CD to install (or RIP a music CD) and then everything stores on the HD. If I had a UMPC, I would just use the CD/DVD drive to install my software (ex. Office 2003) and then I’ll be happy.

    If you find that you are using a CD/DVD very often, then you may need to look at what you are doing. If you are watching DVDs with your notebook PC, then a portable, dedicated DVD player is your better & cheaper option. With the just over 2 hr battery life of these 1st gen UMPCs, don’t expect to be watching the any of the trilogy of “Lord of the Rings”!

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