I’ve been down this path before, so I’ll tread lightly here. The Sydney Morning Herald reviewed the Pioneer DreamBook UMPC (an Amtek 700 device) and gave it a 2 out of 5. One of the two points was "just for showing up." Keeping my personal opinion […]

Dreamvision_umpc_700I’ve been down this path before, so I’ll tread lightly here. The Sydney Morning Herald reviewed the Pioneer DreamBook UMPC (an Amtek 700 device) and gave it a 2 out of 5. One of the two points was "just for showing up."

Keeping my personal opinion short and sweet:

  1. Main stream media (MSM) is killing the Origami concept for Microsoft because they (MSM) don’t understand the concept.
  2. MSM wants the public to think they get the concept by including the right catch-phrases, such as "companion device" yet they then equate the UMPC to full desktop replacement, which it isn’t designed to be (but can be used as one).
  3. MSM tends to pooh-pooh the device without providing detailed use cases or usage scenarios; the typical "review" contains opinions on why the device can’t be used, but never explains why that is or in what situation.
  4. MSM continues to compare what you could buy for the same price or less and touts the extra features, horsepower, etc…you can’t compare a UMPC with a standard notebook that doesn’t even run the Tablet PC Edition of XP. This is a new class of device within the slate Tablet PC genre.
  5. In fairness, there is much to be desired for the implementation of the UMPC concept, but we have to start somewhere. I guess the ratings do too….I just wish they would start in a more accurate range than "2 out of 5" with one point "just for showing up."

’nuff said by me. What do you say?


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  1. Why will people want UMPCs? Saturday, August 26, 2006
  2. In my opinion, there’s a major problem with the form factor and design of all the microsoft UMPC sized devices so far apart from the Sony ux and fujitsu p1510d which come closest to being a good design.

  3. Kevin C. Tofel Saturday, August 26, 2006

    Scoobie, I hear what you’re saying, but I’m curious: is it the lack of keyboard? If so, would you say that this is really an issue with all slate Tablet PCs?

  4. *sigh* And I used to wonder why people were calling the mainstream media dead.

    It’s not just the sloppiness of these reviews that gets me… it’s the implied attitude that well of COURSE they’re worthless so we won’t be bothered to write about all the sordid details. Reviews like these read as if they’ve been phoned in. (And not in the good way.)

    And let’s at least be fair with the comparisons… the Dell model mentioned is nearly three times the weight, twice the width, and half-again as thick as the Pioneer. The two aren’t really comparable in role, Kevin mentioned… it’s like complaining that a SmartCar isn’t a good Jeep Cherokee replacement.

    — Steve

  5. I’m a die hard tablet fan and even I don’t “get” UMPC’s. That’s a big problem. Blaming mainstream media for not getting it isn’t going to get the UMPC anywhere. The only way it will get adopted by the masses is if they appeal to the masses and right now they don’t. Sorry to all the UMPC fans out there… it’s just how it is.

  6. “I’m a die hard tablet fan and even I don’t “get” UMPC’s.”

    Lightweight computing, big enough to read and small enough to carry. Office in a paperback. The laptop that goes in your carry-on luggage instead of *being* your carry-on luggage. The go-everywhere computer. Mobile computing for Economy class seating. The commuter’s computer.

    You can even send faxes from the beach with one! *grin* (Well, you need a phone with a data plan too, or one of those Sprint USB-EVDO dongles. But we’re getting there.)

    — Steve

    PS: I now have this overwhelming urge to go to an airport and start passing out paper cranes with the origamiproject.com URL printed on the paper.

    Please accept this gift from the Society of Origami Consciousness… But I’m not wearing orange; it clashes with my hair.

  7. Tablet PC User Saturday, August 26, 2006

    I’ll stick to my guns and repeat that pricing is the #1 reason why the UMPC isn’t taking off. Yes, we can read Linda Epstein’s review of why a UMPC won’t be near $500.00 but the consumer doesn’t care! If it is overpriced and underpowered, no one will want it! I’ve found that the general consumer is willing to sacrifice a little luxury to keep cash in their pocket for other needed expenses.

    If you are in doubt, speak with anyone who is a typical computer user and tell them of the UMPC. Then tell them about the speed, pricing and specifications of the UMPC. Finally tell them about Windows Mobile/Palm/Symbian devices + laptop/desktop vs. UMPC + desktop/laptop . 9/10 times they will choose the PDA + laptop/desktop and save the extra $$ for software and accessories.

    The best bet for the UMPC is to really cater to the executives and vertical markets that have millions to spend rather than thinking the average consumer will buy them at these prices.

  8. i’m content that the general public isn’t in tune with umpc’s. i hope it remains a niche market and everyone sticks with laptops. it makes my sammy so much more special

  9. I started to comment, but my replay became longer than I’d want to post here. You can see my take on the UMPC at http://bigwes31.blogspot.com/2006/08/arent-umpcs-just-tablet-pcs-anyway.html .

  10. The UMPC does not seem to me to be a good office replacement at all. I think it’s a product with an identity crisis. Too big to fit in your pocket, and without a keyboard it’s incredibly unproductive vs ultraportables with keyboards. I was excited about the concept initially, but having seen one in person I have no idea what I would do with such a device.

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