June 7, 2006

I took a look at the project oragami when it came out first and thought that it’s just another failed attempt from Microsoft at launching a tablet pc, i think this was also microsoft’s first attempt at viral marketing. Well since then its been renamed to a new hardware category called the “UMPC” and has a dedicated site now here. I was surfing through the site and looked at the hardware and software features and to my surprise they are actually pretty impresive! This might actually work!

It is small, lightweight, portable and ink enabled. Its running the full blown Windows XP Tablet PC edition and the inking capabilities of the OS are pretty impressive. I saw a video on jkOnTheRun which walked through a couple of usage scenarios including handwriting recognition and I have read tons of reviews on it and I have to say I am pretty impressed.

I think the most important features to me are:

  • 7” Touchscreen
  • WiFi (roam freely at work and home) and Bluetooth (pair with my cell phone)
  • External VGA port (to hook to a projector)
  • Good multimedia support

So now I am thinking is this something I can really use? I dont plan on using this as a desktop/laptop replacement, but rather an extension to my desktop when I am mobile – be it in the office or at home. Granted I wont be able to blog such lengthy posts while inking but thats why I have all my desktops for.

With that said the UMPC does have multiple input capabilities including a real funky on-screen keyboard [pic on right]. It also has pen input using ink and the regular keyboard that ships with tablet pc edition. My needs are to be able to:


  • Read my email and write short replys, Create Task lists, Digitize my notes and make them completely searchable
  • Do all my web reading while watching TV (laptops overheat on my lap!)
  • Stay connected all the time!

So….. i do think the UMPC might be a great addition to my toolset! I am really tempted to get one now. It is a little pricey (~ $1100) but considering I paid 400 bucks for an iPod (which is a flimsy, fragile, flakey piece of junk) I guess this wouldnt be that bad, and if thats not enought Microsofthas a great video that will talk you into it.


6 Responses to “Hmmmm……UMPC?”

  1. Nikhil, a UMPC is designed exactly for your requirements. It’s really meant to be a companion device or as you say: an extension to your everyday desktop or laptop. I’ve used a full convertible Tablet PC for almost 18 months and I’m giving it up in lieu of my Samsung Q1. Ping me if you have any specific questions on the device or its features.

  2. Nikhil Roy Says:

    Kevin – I really liked your video that you put up. Since you are actually using it, I wanted to know if:

    1. I can upgrage the RAM
    2. I can use it as a GPS/Navigation system with a car mount
    3. What kind of battery life are you getting with the WiFi turned on

    Let me know thanks.

  3. Nikhil,

    1. You can upgrade the RAM with one small issue: the quick-boot media software (AVS) doesn’t seem to boot after the upgrade. See:
    2. Since there are USB ports and Bluetooth, I see no reason you could’t add a GPS receiver to the unit. I don’t know of any car mounts particular to this unit, but I’m sure that some are (or will be) made.
    3. With WiFi on and brightness at 50%, I’m getting around 2.5 hours per charge.

    Hope this helps!

  4. […] UMPC as a desktop extension. […]

  5. Michael Chen Says:

    I think UMPC is a really good idea. I have been wanting a device like this ever since PDA hits the market. PDA is too small for internet surfing, and Tablet PC is too big to carry it in one hand. Ideally I would like UMPC to have following features:

    1. Wifi and bluetooth built-in
    2. GPS built-in
    3. 4-10 inches tactile screen with 7 inches as the main stream.
    4. Less than 2 pounds.
    5. A CPU fast enough to play all types of video clips, audio clips and play small games.
    6. GSM SIM card slot.
    7. Video screen of standard resolutions: 800×600, 1024×768…
    8. Battery life of 4-5 hours.
    9. Price tag of less than US$1000.

    Sony’s UMPC is way too expensive (~US$1900), while Samsung’s Q1 is about right (~US$1100).

  6. […] UMPC as a desktop extension. […]

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