With battery life nail in the coffin confirmation from Chippy’s live blogging coverage of the HTC press conference today, it seems certain that HTC is poised to fulfill Jenn’s worst nightmare prediction about how it’s initial UMPC offering could be remembered in the mobile computing community. Two hour battery life on Vista is as Thomas Ricker so accurately describes it over at Engadget: “generation-one UMPC pathetic”. In fact, the date on the post from Jenn at pocketables.net I link to above is dated 3/26/2007, when HTC first unveiled the Shift. That was almost a year to the day after I thrillingly received my Tabletkiosk eo only to discover how pitiful the battery life was (90 minutes with wifi), which prompted a return of the device for a full refund (as Tabletkiosk to their credit made quickly possible).

Chippy contends that the Shift is indeed efficient at power drain, but the problem is the capacity of the battery, and therefore the overall form factor – the biggest selling point of the device to begin with. Whatever the case, for them to be so tantalizingly close to mastering the UMPC equation makes it all the more frustrating that they’re just as close to releasing their own Folly of a device as Palm was…….

Advertisements

MacTouch Anyone?

September 24, 2007

James Kendrick lobbed a hand grenade into the mobiquiblogosphere yesterday with his assertion that the company best capable of producing the “handheld computer” to attract the masses is of course, Apple. Since JK posted at 0dark:30 yesterday morning, a veritable who’s who of mobiquizoid all-stars had all day to chime in with their thoughts in the comments section, and it was a fascinating conversation to say the least. One mobile tech guru glaringly MIA during this discussion: Where for art though Hugo?

My 2 cents: An Ultra Mobile Mac might look like an OQO sized iPhone/iPod Touch minus the slide out qwerty (a MacTouch or iPhone “Fatty” if you will). It might have included in the box the new wireless Apple keyboard, and some sort of Samsung Q1esque Organizer Case. It would weigh less than a pound and the screen would have an 800×600 resolution, scalable of course via the same multi-touch funtionality of the iPhone/iPod Touch. An integrated stand would certainly be nice, but I can’t figure out how to do that in my head while still conforming to Apple’s minimalist design ethos. Ports might include 1 USB, 3.5 mm headphone jack, HDMI Out, iPod like dock receiver, and maybe a SIM card slot. 5 Megapixel camera on the back? Maybe. Under the hood: x86 processor of the Silverthorne variety, 30GB of flash memory and, an embedded but beefier version of the iPhone flavor of OSX with a somewhat compromised version of iWork included. Writing on the screen with some sort of stylus with a Magic Marker like tip – very hard to imagine but imagine how nice an Apple Stylus might be?

Of course this begs the question: who the heck is going to buy this and at what price point? Obvious answer: mobiquizoids at any price point!

Ab$olutely Bluffant!

June 2, 2007

If you’re a real geek then you likely have already read the Google translation from French of  the Akihabaranews review of the Fujitsu “Storm Trooper” convertibleUMPC (translations of hard to translate phrases about things which you know quite well are tremendously entertaining no?).   When I saw the first released pictures of this device my impression was how ugly I thought the device was, especially relative to the devices in Fujitsu’s Lifebook line that precede it.but upon reading the quite positive review and particularly on the ergonomics of the device, I’ve reconsidered my position. Having used the P1510 for a month and fondled other Lifebooks at my local Microcenter, I’m well aware of the build quality Fujitsu’s laptops have.  And a tablet with a 5.6 inch touch screen and a small but usable keyboard might be perfect for my goldilocks mobile computing druthers, so much so that the styling of the device could therefore grow on me?  Having recently sold my Samsung Q1P (to purchase a 12.1 inch Toshiba M400 and then selling that to get a 13.3 inch Asus R1F), and a year prior spending an unfortunate week with the original UMPC, the eo 7110, I’m close to deciding that a 7 inch screen is just too “in between” ( I say close because I might pull the trigger on the Q1 Ultra).  In fact I think the 8.9 inch screen and small keyboard on the Fuji P1510 was also too in between for me.  But you know what 12.1, and definitely 13.3 feel too big from a tablet ergonomics perspective.  It’s surely nice to have that real estate both on the screen and the keyboard/trackpad, but it ain’t real easily manhandled.  In fact I decided today whilst reading about the HUGOMETER in slate mode on the R1F, that any convertible tablet over 4 pounds is going to feel heavy no matter how balanced the weighting. For a tablet to be comfortably used in slate mode weight/dimensions and/or the keyboard must be shed and at 1.28 pounds with a decent keyboard the once fugly “Storm Trooper” is now beginning to morph into a beautiful Siren in my head……..The link from the review to the online store offering it (Geekstuff4U.com) has a cold splash of water posted price of nearly 2k though.  So, I’ll clearly need more credit card pondering, device fantasizing, work up the courage to pull the trigger and put my current device on ebay time now won’t I……..?

Jenn over at Pocketables makes a great point about how confident HTC must be to have given the device this name.  If it fails as essentially all other UMPCs released thus far have in the eyes of the mainstream media, it’s name will surely be altered/satirized the way the BCS acronym has been by college football fans.  In fact, what if we were to acronymize the name Shift:  Shangra La (the codename for the device until now), Hotware, Impossibly Functional and Tiny).

The only real disappointing spec especially in light of the last week’s Samsung Q1Ultra announcement, is the screen resolution of 800×480.  I’m using that resolution now whilst  I type on the Q1P via USB keyboard and it’s tolerable until you need to use the TIP.  Resolution switching is an answer (and a hi res picture at UMPCPortal appears to confirm a hardware button on the Shift that does this), but not the answer: which is a native res of 1024×600 and the Q1Ultra will bring it.

The sweet keyboard and sliding/tilting though look to overcome any shortcomings the device may have, save for battery life though with a Via processor and the aforementioned 800×480 screen juice should not be an issue.

The only real question in my mind is what I will name it when I own it: something Snoop Doggesque, or will I gain inspiration from Samuel Jackson’s wallet in Pulp Fiction 🙂

Jenn over at Pocketables makes a great point about how confident HTC must be to have given the device this name.  If it fails as essentially all other UMPCs released thus far have in the eyes of the mainstream media, it’s name will surely be altered/satirized the way the BCS acronym has been by college football fans.  In fact, what if we were to acronymize the name Shift:  Shangra La (the codename for the device until now), Hotware, Impossibly Functional and Tiny).

The only real disappointing spec especially in light of the last week’s Samsung Q1Ultra announcement, is the screen resolution of 800×480.  I’m using that resolution now whilst  I type on the Q1P via USB keyboard and it’s tolerable until you need to use the TIP.  Resolution switching is an answer (and a hi res picture at UMPCPortal appears to confirm a hardware button on the Shift that does this), but not the answer: which is a native res of 1024×600 and the Q1Ultra will bring it.

The sweet keyboard and sliding/tilting though look to overcome any shortcomings the device may have, save for battery life though with a Via processor and the aforementioned 800×480 screen juice should not be an issue.

The only real question in my mind is what I will name it when I own it: something Snoop Doggesque, or will I gain inspiration from Samuel Jackson’s wallet in Pulp Fiction 🙂

Hugo is on his way to Redmond and I can’t help but wonder if with Gartenberg’s sudden arrival to and departure from filling Scoble’s shoes, someone at Microsoft isn’t kicking around the idea of gaging Hugo’s interest? Is there anyone more enthusiastic about the TabletPC or UMPC than he? I wouldn’t be blogging this from a Samsung Q1P were it not for him and I clearly own a Mac (and love much about it). If you want someone Redmond, who can combat the effectiveness of the Mac vs PC commercial campaign and win people over to the possibilities of Vista mobilized, Hugo is the One.

And yes I now own a UMPC and intend to write periodically about that experience. How do I like it so far? At least part of the Samsung fanboy question has been definitively answered! God they make great looking and performing electronics!

Engadget’s 3GSM coverage is forcing me to consider whether I’m truly happy with my Samsung BlackJack (RIM fanboy I am not!).  After 3 months of ownership I can honestly say I am extremely pleased with it on many fronts:  form factor, WM5 smartphone OS (over PocketPC and never thought I’d say that); HSDPA, A2DP, etc. 

I recently purchased a Samsung 10 megapixel digital camera, the NV10, and it too is gorgeous and has tremendous build quality and functionality.  (review coming soon)

I have also been building up to my virgin HDTV purchase and the Samsung offerings are looking very atttractive to me for the same reasons as stated above.  But then I laid eyes on these shots and specs of the forthcoming Toshiba Portege G900 pdaphone.  The live pictures from Mobileburn look even more attractive than the press shots Engadget and other sites had previously posted.  The only “but” about this device is the 300mhz processor jkontherun is reporting it has.  Surely they had to do this to prevent battery life from being any worse than it’s surely going to be with a 480×800 screen resolution and a HSDPA radio embedded, but we’ll see if maybe some “execute in place” memory overcomes this the way Palm has done with the WM Treos. 

Getting back to my HDTV quest, I found an affordable 32 inch Toshiba LCD TV (768p) at hhgregg recently that has swayed me from the more expensive Samsung equivalent for now, and the fact that I already own an extremely capable Toshiba DVR is also influencing my lean. 

Oh, and did I mention I’m also on a mission to replace my Toshiba Portege 3505 Tablet PC with maybe a Samsung Q1B UMPC……