Smart Computing not holding hopes high for UMPCs


Smartcomputinglogo_1 They’re not holding hopes high and I wonder if they’ve ever held a UMPC device in their hands. This story appears to be another "I’ve never used one of these things, but I don’t like ’em" kind of story. Smart Computing has a summary opinion piece on  UMPC models in their June issue, which you can view here called "Too Big to Love?". Comments like "awkward form factor" and "far from what I’d call ultra-mobile" indicate to me that the author is likely either a heavy desktop user or someone who uses a desktop-replacement notebook computer.

The article isn’t completely off-base as some good points are made about the prices being high or comparable to more powerful notebook computers. I could even give in a little on the Tablet PC commentary: "Although the Tablet PC has been around for several years, it hasn’t really caught on, outside from a few niche markets" but there’s a fundamental point missing or skewing the author’s perspective against mobility towards the end of the article.

The closing remarks conclude: "the UMPC may eventually find a following among a handful of users (primarily people who enter data while on the go), " and here’s where I see a real lack of vision. Us "people who enter data while on the go" shouldn’t be portrayed as heathens. The ability to enter data, not to mention receive it, process it and act upon it while on the go is what empowers us.

Consider how Warner uses his Tablet PC in the theater. What about "a day in the life" of James with a Sony U70 or even a VGA Pocket PC? Yours truly has utilized mobile technology and produced far more in a day while "on the go" than most people do in their offices.

Smart Computing: you might be "smart" while tethered to your desk, but perhaps you should consider untying yourselves from wires and heavy equipment for a few days. I’m willing to bet you that you’ll be smarter (and possibly more productive) because of it.



Gavin Ayling

Tablets have flopped because they’re so expensive — I, for one, am looking forward to the arrival of my pre-ordered Samsung Q1

Mark Sumimoto (Sumocat)

Actually, this sounds like a PDA user to me. He points to the smart design of the Palm Pilot and decries the UMPC as being too big. (A desktop/laptop user would have complained about the lack of keyboard.)

To an extent, I agree; the “ultramob” is not as mobile as a one-handed, pocket-sized device. On the other hand, I think he grossly underestimates the impact of the Origami UI and the game console-like design.

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