Notebook computers have become a huge success story in the hardware world, even replacing many desktop systems, but many web workers may want to take a look at some of the slick notebook alternatives that are arriving. I’ve used the Windows-based examples that I’ll round up in this post, some of which can fit in your pocket, and they are surprisingly competitive with notebooks in terms of keeping you productive. Best of all, they are much lighter and easier to tote.
The HTC Advantage, seen above, fits in your pocket and has a very unique design. Its QWERTY keyboard is detachable so that you can either use the device like a notebook or use it with a stylus and no keyboard. It weighs under a pound, and goes for around $900. The device isn’t a full notebook replacement for every kind of portable user, but does work well for word processing, e-mail and communications tasks. It runs the Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system.
The HTC device has some slick features. It comes with a 3-megapixel camera, a second camera for making video calls, and has built-in GPS and navigation features. Because it’s pocketable, the HTC is a good pick for a mobile worker who wants a very lightweight and comfortable form factor. At the HTC site, you may also want to check out the new HTC Shift, which is a very small and light portable computer that can run Windows Vista.
OQO’s model 02, pictured below, is billed as a full-blown PC, but like the HTC it fits in your pocket. The model 02 comes with a 1-GHz CPU, a gigabyte of memory, and up to a 120GB hard disk, starting at $1,299. The model 02 has an option for integrated wireless broadband for $99, and you can get it with either Windows XP or Vista. For someone who wants to do everything that can be done on a notebook computer with a pocketable device, it’s a great choice. This one has been winning quite a few awards in the press over the past several months.
Samsung’s Ultra Q1 (see below) falls into a newer portable hardware category: UMPCs, or Ultra-Mobile PCs. It’s essentially a small tablet that runs Windows XP Pro Tablet Edition, and you can get one for around $1,000 for a nicely configured one, or as low as $800 for a basic model. If you need to do keyboard-based work on the move this isn’t your best choice, but the touch screen interface works well and the device stands out for VoIP calls and wireless connectivity. I have one at home that resides in a kitchen and den area. You can get lots of business tasks done on it, but I find it best for entertainment–watching videocasts, and the like.
If you’re tired of always toting a notebook, you may want to look into one of these convenient alternative devices.
Do you have any tips on alternative mobile hardware? Have you used any of the portables shown here?