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Summary:

If you’re like me and you love the Tablet PC and UMPC genre of computers then you know that it is the Windows XP Tablet Edition that sets these devices apart from other, ho hum devices like notebooks.  It’s the Tablet bits that provide the oomph […]

Sony_uxIf you’re like me and you love the Tablet PC and UMPC genre of computers then you know that it is the Windows XP Tablet Edition that sets these devices apart from other, ho hum devices like notebooks.  It’s the Tablet bits that provide the oomph that makes these devices so appealing and provides a uniqueness that other ultra-portables don’t have.  As cool as they are, the Sony UX Micro PCs run Windows XP Pro so even though they have a touch screen they are not UMPCs because they lack the Tablet stuff which makes portable slate devices so much more productive.  There have been other devices that don’t ship with the Tablet Edition like the FlyBook series of convertible touch screen devices with no Tablet Edition.

Vista is about to be released commercially and the new version of the operating system will change all of our thoughts about devices like those mentioned above.  When Vista is installed on a touch screen enabled device then the Tablet bits are installed and available just like on "real" Tablet PCS.  It is because of this that Vista will result in a lot of new Tablet PCs and UMPCS simply because these devices will work just like the bigger Tablet PCs, and we will be the better for it.  I never thought I’d see the day when Sony shipped the UX with the Tablet Edition but that’s exactly what we’ll get with Vista, the best mobile device operationg system anywhere.

  1. This is not true in real life. Touch screen is not the key to open tablet features in Vista.. You also need the real implemention of tablet hw and drivers..
    more here :

    http://origamiproject.com/forums/thread/15474.aspx

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  2. Exactly, JKK. If the UMPC does not have a BIOS indicating the existence of HID and you don’t have HID drivers all you are going to get is “part of the whole picture”.

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  3. G. Scott Taulbee Thursday, January 18, 2007

    I just returned a Fujitsu P1610 because it had a touch screen and not an active digitizer. coming from a Tablet PC background (TC1100) I was very dissapointed at the touch-screen’s limitations compared to a real tablet.

    Next step, OQO 2.

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  4. So, by the purist definition, is the UX, with its Gunze USB HID drivers, an active digitizer worth of praise as a tablet (with Vista or XP Tablet) or not?

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  5. Speaking of the UX series and the OQO, which one are people thinking is the better mobile device? I know the OQO is not a touchscreen, but does have a digitizer. What about the Sony? I got to play with both, and they are both very cool devices. Just not sure which one I would choose.

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  6. G. Scott Taulbee Thursday, January 18, 2007

    Gaber:

    I love the look of the UX, but can’t stand the usability. The keyboard is an atrociously and suffers from the same Sony user design faults as their old Clie PDA keyboards. Overall, the device looks great, but feels like they forgot the end-user as part of the design quotient.

    I haven’t tried the OQO 2 yet, but I’m going to give it a shot. I’ll be sure to post my impressions if you like.

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  7. G. Scott —

    Thanks for the your thoughts! I would love to hear what you think about the OQO2. When I played around with the Sony, I liked the feel. I didn’t do a whole lot of typing, so perhaps I should take closer notice when I can get my hands on one again. What about the screen comparisons? The Sony is a touchscreen (and digitizer I think), versus the digitizer-only of the OQO2. How should that affect one’s choice between the two?

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  8. Gaber:

    I own a UX and think that it would not really be a good candidate for traditional Tablet PC usage…its touchscreen is just t small for general inking use…the ~7″ screen seems to be the most appropriate sized screen for users planning heavy inking.

    I use my UX differently than a traditional Tablet…I use it as a desktop replacement that is extremely portable…more so than any notebook I have ever owned. It performs very well as an untethered desktop for most business needs (email, messaging, Word/Excel, and limited vertical apps via a VPN), anything requiring heavy text input will not work well with the UX unless you have an external keyboard (I have a BT Stowaway)

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  9. I know this is a tablet-centric blog, but I am actually more interested in the UX and OQO as ultra portable desktop replacements. My interest in digitizer versus touchscreen is more out of what is best for interaction with the device while travelling or when using it in, say, the living room instead of at the desk.

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