My UMPCI went down to frys electronics on Friday [since they told me they had a unit on display]…and i made the terrible mistake of asking if they had any in stock! They had only one in stock…i had to buy it!! Watching all those videos on jkOnTheRun and getting up to speed with all da buzz on umpcbuzz helped convince me that i needed one! I have been using it over the weekend to browse the web, check the latest scores for World Cup Matches, check email etc. and its working out great till now.

The dialkeys onscreen keyboard is simply awesome! If you learnt to type using a typing tutor software then you should have no problems adjusting. The only awkward thing is the enter key is for the left hand….I wish that was customizable. I would however like the guys from jkOnTheRun maybe do a piece on setting up the Q1, talk about things like what programs are safe to uninstall (since the system tray seems to be overflowing) and also maybe list out a few 3rd party software programs that are a must have. I know they have something like that for the tablet pc but tailor it more for the UMPC. Also I’d like to know about accessories, specifically more on GPS connectivity.

Tomorrow I’m going into work and I need to setup my umpc so its totally optimized for taking notes and generating tasks. Do any of you out there use some 3rd party utilities? I have put OneNote 2007 on it. Let’s see what happens tomorrow at work when the rubber meets the road. I know scoble said he would buy one, did you drop 1G on this toy yet scoble?

Hmmmm……UMPC?

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.

I have always hesitated to buy a laptop. I bought one during the web 1.0 boom since I was traveling a lot and then I stopped traveling and I realized how useless a laptop is on a desk. Small screen, small keyboard, no “real” upgrade-ability, flimsy….etc. But lately my needs have changed and I have been thinking as opposed to buying just a notebook maybe a tablet pc/notebook combo is the way to go. Here is what I need: performance, good usability, security with biometric sensor and good battery life. After looking around here are the contenders:

1. The Lenovo X41 Tablet

2. The Gateway CX200X

3. The Toshiba Protege M400

Right off the bat the Toshiba is looking really good as far as specs, the only one with pentium dual core. But I have heard really good things about Thinkpads, not to say that they also make a good tablet pc. Now all I have to do is go out and get some real reviews!

– Nikhil