The misunderstood UMPC

Jk_icon_100pix_5All of the bad press that the UMPC/ Origami has been getting finally got to Kevin and he’s mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore.  Kevin does a great point/ counterpoint with the Inquirer reviewer and even though I have already chimed in on this topic the Inquirer review that got Kevin hopping mad is worth a response from me too so here it is.

Mobile PC– a PC designed to be used away from the normal setting one might use a computer.  That means away from the desk and all the peripherals one usually finds attached to a PC.  The point that most reviewers are missing is that also means a mobile PC can be used virtually everywhere else.  Now I don’t know about you but I don’t want to carry a 5 pound notebook computer with me on vacation, but I have no problem carrying a Mobile PC.  I don’t want to carry the 14 inch screen with me as it’s too bulky and well, big.  That’s why I love a 7 inch (or smaller) screen.  Out in the real world a smaller screen (and thus device) is an advantage, not a disadvantage.  People who don’t work in the field have no business reviewing Mobile PCs if they can’t see that.  It is simple, really.  It is all about using the proper tool for the task at hand.  If I wanted to do some intensive video editing I wouldn’t do it on a UMPC, nor notebook either for that matter.  I’d get the biggest, baddest, most powerful desktop PC I could find.  That’s just common sense because it’s the right tool for the job.  But if I need to get some work with email, or web surfing I don’t need that honking desktop.  I can use a notebook computer for that.  And if I want to do that work in a restaurant at lunch in a place with very limited space, I’ll use a Mobile PC. 

Everybody wants long battery life but to compare the UMPC battery life with that of a large notebook or worse yet a Smartphone is simply missing the boat.  The battery in my car lasts a couple of years, should I compare that to a Smartphone’s battery?  I think not, it’s a silly comparison and I find it just as silly to compare the battery life of a device like either a UMPC or a notebook PC with a Smartphone.  Totally different animal.  Battery life gets better as technology progresses and so it will be with the UMPC.  I have used so many different notebook computers over the years and I always bought a second battery when I bought the computer.  It is the best way to extend the use of any mobile computer and the UMPC is no different.  In this scenario the UMPC is at an advantage as the UMPC spare battery is probably going to be a lot cheaper and smaller to carry in the gadget bag than the larger notebook battery.

Kevin took umbrage at the statement in the Inquirer review that “reviewers are serious PC users” and the fact that that’s why they hit the UMPC so hard.  Excuse me?  I have been using mobile devices (no I’m not going to say it) for years and I am confident I can get more done during the unexpected chunks of time that present themselves during a day (that the reviewer will miss because he can’t use his notebook) than just about anybody.  This is only possible because I can easily pull out my Mobile PC anywhere and be productive when those precious free moments present themselves.  That’s a serious PC user, to me.  The truth of the matter is that most reviewers write for a living and depend on a good keyboard and large screen (due to their failing eyesight) to facilitate their work.  I write a lot too and I can sympathize with them but that is not the normal type of work that most people who are interested in a Mobile PC do each day.  When you read such a review as the Inquirer piece just remember that. 

This entire article was created on a Mobile PC running the Tablet extensions for Windows XP by dictating it into the PC, using the speech recognition software included on all UMPCs.  Serious PC user, indeed.

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