Sydney Morning Herald rates UMPC a 2 out of 5


Dreamvision_umpc_700I’ve been down this path before, so I’ll tread lightly here. The Sydney Morning Herald reviewed the Pioneer DreamBook UMPC (an Amtek 700 device) and gave it a 2 out of 5. One of the two points was "just for showing up."

Keeping my personal opinion short and sweet:

  1. Main stream media (MSM) is killing the Origami concept for Microsoft because they (MSM) don’t understand the concept.
  2. MSM wants the public to think they get the concept by including the right catch-phrases, such as "companion device" yet they then equate the UMPC to full desktop replacement, which it isn’t designed to be (but can be used as one).
  3. MSM tends to pooh-pooh the device without providing detailed use cases or usage scenarios; the typical "review" contains opinions on why the device can’t be used, but never explains why that is or in what situation.
  4. MSM continues to compare what you could buy for the same price or less and touts the extra features, horsepower, etc…you can’t compare a UMPC with a standard notebook that doesn’t even run the Tablet PC Edition of XP. This is a new class of device within the slate Tablet PC genre.
  5. In fairness, there is much to be desired for the implementation of the UMPC concept, but we have to start somewhere. I guess the ratings do too….I just wish they would start in a more accurate range than "2 out of 5" with one point "just for showing up."

’nuff said by me. What do you say?




I agree with Tablet PC User in that “pricing is the #1 reason why the UMPC isn’t taking off…Then tell them about the speed, pricing and specifications of the UMPC. Finally tell them about Windows Mobile/Palm/Symbian devices + laptop/desktop vs. UMPC + desktop/laptop . 9/10 times they will choose the PDA + laptop/desktop and save the extra $$ for software and accessories.”

I’m a Handtop/UMPC, uPC fan, but I fear that just like the PocketPC, the Handtop needs to finds it’s niche, and it is a niche market.

It’s interesting, but if you look at the PocketPC with Windows Mobile, Smart phones with Linux, and Handtops/UMPCs with Windows XP (Tablet) there are definite camps that have various requirements for functionality, performance, and price.

I believe that these requirement have not been fully analyzed and published as of yet. Hint hint, you may want to try writing this up for posterity’s sake.


I think Microsoft was the one that failed by being lazy and not creating a new OS for this thing. I think there is a real market for small PCs, but they must have a portal type OS which is quick and simple to use like the 770, Pepper Pad, PSP, Windows Mobile, and so on instead of a full blown desktop which was simply not built for such a small screen.


I get it, but can’t justify it on top of a PDA and a tablet. Can do enough with the one, and can carry the other where I need more power. Too bad. Looks like fun.

Tunde Odutoye

The Fujitsu 1510D reigns.

All the advantages of a UMPC, + all the advantages of a laptop etc. Absolutely the best thing since sliced bread.

I do agree though that most reviewers just don’t get the UMPC concept.

Richard Kuo

The UMPC does not seem to me to be a good office replacement at all. I think it’s a product with an identity crisis. Too big to fit in your pocket, and without a keyboard it’s incredibly unproductive vs ultraportables with keyboards. I was excited about the concept initially, but having seen one in person I have no idea what I would do with such a device.


i’m content that the general public isn’t in tune with umpc’s. i hope it remains a niche market and everyone sticks with laptops. it makes my sammy so much more special

Tablet PC User

I’ll stick to my guns and repeat that pricing is the #1 reason why the UMPC isn’t taking off. Yes, we can read Linda Epstein’s review of why a UMPC won’t be near $500.00 but the consumer doesn’t care! If it is overpriced and underpowered, no one will want it! I’ve found that the general consumer is willing to sacrifice a little luxury to keep cash in their pocket for other needed expenses.

If you are in doubt, speak with anyone who is a typical computer user and tell them of the UMPC. Then tell them about the speed, pricing and specifications of the UMPC. Finally tell them about Windows Mobile/Palm/Symbian devices + laptop/desktop vs. UMPC + desktop/laptop . 9/10 times they will choose the PDA + laptop/desktop and save the extra $$ for software and accessories.

The best bet for the UMPC is to really cater to the executives and vertical markets that have millions to spend rather than thinking the average consumer will buy them at these prices.

Anton P. Nym

“I’m a die hard tablet fan and even I don’t “get” UMPC’s.”

Lightweight computing, big enough to read and small enough to carry. Office in a paperback. The laptop that goes in your carry-on luggage instead of *being* your carry-on luggage. The go-everywhere computer. Mobile computing for Economy class seating. The commuter’s computer.

You can even send faxes from the beach with one! *grin* (Well, you need a phone with a data plan too, or one of those Sprint USB-EVDO dongles. But we’re getting there.)

— Steve

PS: I now have this overwhelming urge to go to an airport and start passing out paper cranes with the URL printed on the paper.

Please accept this gift from the Society of Origami Consciousness… But I’m not wearing orange; it clashes with my hair.

Josh Einstein

I’m a die hard tablet fan and even I don’t “get” UMPC’s. That’s a big problem. Blaming mainstream media for not getting it isn’t going to get the UMPC anywhere. The only way it will get adopted by the masses is if they appeal to the masses and right now they don’t. Sorry to all the UMPC fans out there… it’s just how it is.

Anton P. Nym

*sigh* And I used to wonder why people were calling the mainstream media dead.

It’s not just the sloppiness of these reviews that gets me… it’s the implied attitude that well of COURSE they’re worthless so we won’t be bothered to write about all the sordid details. Reviews like these read as if they’ve been phoned in. (And not in the good way.)

And let’s at least be fair with the comparisons… the Dell model mentioned is nearly three times the weight, twice the width, and half-again as thick as the Pioneer. The two aren’t really comparable in role, Kevin mentioned… it’s like complaining that a SmartCar isn’t a good Jeep Cherokee replacement.

— Steve

Kevin C. Tofel

Scoobie, I hear what you’re saying, but I’m curious: is it the lack of keyboard? If so, would you say that this is really an issue with all slate Tablet PCs?


In my opinion, there’s a major problem with the form factor and design of all the microsoft UMPC sized devices so far apart from the Sony ux and fujitsu p1510d which come closest to being a good design.

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