Reader question: what’s the best UMPC for me?


Question_markHot on the heels of yesterday’s similar question where your participation added tremendous value, it’s time for another. Lawrence asks what I think is the best UMPC on the market. I always answer that question with a question, simply because "best" is subjective. Repeat the mantra with me everyone: "Choosing a computing device is a personal choice and it all depends on what you intend to use the device for." What works for me or you might not work for Lawrence because we have different needs, right? I asked for some clarity around how Lawrence intends to use his device and here’s what he said:

"I am a real estate developer and am on the go all of the time.  I need to be able to read leases and documents in pdf or word file.  Also, email and use the internet a lot.  Would be great if I could use it as a telephone too.  Down time will use music and like to watch movies while traveling.  Money is not a pressure point, but would like ease of use. "

Off the top of my head, I think there are many current choices out there that fit most of the bill. Very few devices will meet all of these specifications due to the possible use as a phone. However, I can immediately think of one that will do the trick: Dialogue offers several FlyBook models that provide EGDE and HSDPA connectivity plus also allow you to use the device as a GSM phone. I spent two weeks with the older V22 model and at the end of the video review, I used it to make a call to James.

If we remove the phone requirement, you can definitely cut cost, size and weight because virtually any Origami-based UMPC should fit the needs. At that point, it might become a matter of personal preference and how the device "feels". The many offerings from Samsung, Asus, TabletKiosk, etc….would all work for the tasks that Lawrence specified. I’d consider looking at the remaining differences between the devices and see if there’s a function that jumps to the "must have" list. For example: if you want an integrated video-camera, the Samsung Q1 series get’s knocked out. If you want stereo speakers and SRS TruSurround support for those movies and music, then the Q1 is back on the list. The field is pretty wide open once the phone requirement goes away.

How about it readers: what would you suggest to Lawrence and why? Did I miss any other portables that can meet all of the needs, phone requirement included? How about the PepperPad 3 which supports Adobe Reader and can use Google Docs for importing and using Word docs? Perhaps he should wait for the HTC Shift?



check out this ASTONE UMPC,

i think its one of the best!


…HTC also has all the bands including HSDPA, and instant on…


HTC Advantage X7500 phone/pda with WIFI/bluetooth/. You will be able to read the pdfs, the mails, surf the web, GPS. It has two built-in cams, one a 3mp – sufficient to take reasonable photos of your real estate. It has a large 5 inch screen, yet is very light, thin, low on battery, has an 8GB microdrive and fits in a pocket. If you need added hdd capacity just add the new Seagate D.A.V.E. (10-20gb). If you could handle a smaller screen a Nokia N95 with its 5mp cam, could be an alternative.


Being a Sony UX userfor quite a while, I can see a lot of benefits using it for you job. It has two cameras, which let you take the pictures you need and do videoconferencing. It also has an ultra-bright sony display, which is important if you’re using it outside, believe me. It also has optional phone abilities (not sure what the software is like, I use the CF model) and it has a thumboard to make e-mails easier. It also has a double-life battery available, which has been of great use to me.


I’m thinking of waiting for the Q1 Ultra, which might fit Lawrence’s list (assuming it could be end as a phone).


“On the go all the time” means battery life has to be a factor – the Q1B would be good for that – and I agree with Steve/Anton P Nym re screen size – reading pdf’s and word files would be better on a bigger screen (bigger fonts). Having said that, the Q1B only has a mono speaker (boo!), so maybe the Q1P with the extended battery? R2H looks good and has heaps of features, but only so-so battery life.

Don't Panic!

The R2H has the GPS a real estate agent would need but ‘Real’ mobile phone service on a Origami just ain’t happen yet.


Any comments on the R2H, it’s suppose to be better for inking due to the screen (better palm rejection). I know it won’t run Vista without alot a work but Warren seems to be doing a good job at GottaBeMobile figuring it out. I read that the R2H arrived at Mobile Tech Manor how about a review.

Anton P. Nym

“Music and movies” says Q1 to me, but I’m biased. *grin* Still, for everything except the phone part a Q1P would do fine if Lawrence is okay with a slate form. (Or an ersatz convertable with a USB or Bluetooth keyboard.)

I have only two reservations about the OQO 02; screen size (I find it a bit teeny for comfort, especially for video) and the active digitiser (no finger control could eat a bit into the “ease of use” requirement). If those aren’t a problem, since money isn’t really an issue it’d be a good candidate too.

I know of at least one authour cheerfully using a PepperPad 3 for light document work and media, so if Lawrence doesn’t mind Linux that could be an option.

As far as the others go, I have no opinion as I just don’t know enough about them. I’m especially at sea as far as getting cell phone capability for any of these… just haven’t been looking.

— Steve


Personally, I find the Sony UX too small, but it could work for Lawrence. It’s available with Cingular WAN service. I don’t know if phone service can be added to that (would be nice since it can be used as a phone without a headset), but VoIP would work (via wifi, not in violation of Cingular’s rules, of course). Core Solo processor is plenty fast. Good line of accessories, including a Bluetooth GPS unit, which would come in handy for a real estate developer. I think he’d also find the camera and video conferencing system useful.


Fujitsu T4215
+ Indoor/Outdoor screen
+ modular dvd drive that can be swapped out for another battery
+ great battery life

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