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.