Tuesday, March 21, 2006

My next PDA?

    I’ve been a long-time user of the Palm PDA.  My first one was the almost original Palm Pilot Professional…and I loved it.  My most recent PDA has been the Sony CLIE TH55.  I’ve loved my CLIE too. It has all the features I’ve ever wanted in a PDA, including wi-fi, MP3 player and voice recorder.  With it I can work on Word docs, PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets.  I’ve taken notes for many meetings with this baby, and the battery life is measured in days, not hours. 
Unfortunately, I recently dropped it and broke the screen.  Since then I’ve been thinking about my next “external brain.”  I’ve thought about some of the new Palm devices which are rumored to be coming out, including the Treo 700p, which is the next generation Treo running the Palm OS.

    But then a couple of weeks ago Microsoft’s “Origami” viral marketing campagin finally reached fruition with the awkwardly named UMPC device.  The Ultra-Mobile-Personal –Computer is a full featured Tablet PC in a very, very small package.  That means a full-featured Windows XP device in something the size of a half a sheet of paper.    For a pretty decent overview of Origami/UMPC check out this ComputerWorld article (thanks Dennis).

    A number of companies are preparing to roll out UMPC’s in the near future, including new-comer, Founder.  James Kendrick pointing to a Layne Heiny post, gives some more details.  Those include:

  • Memory 256MB/512MB DDRII memory
  • Display monitor 7 "W
  • Hard disk 30G
  • I/O port 1 power source connection
  • 1 microphone jack
  • 1 telephone jack
  • 2 USB 2.0 connections
  • Port duplication connection
  • Wireless
    accesses the net In sets at the blue tooth module and the 802.11b/g
    non- wire card, may through clear the GPRS function the blue tooth
    handset or the wireless local area network realizes the Internet visit
  • Keyboard Folds
is just an example of what's coming.  The first generation will
certainly be missing some things, but I believe that in the long run,
this is the future of handheld computing.  For some more Origami
resources, check out this link
As I said in the beginning, I've been a long time Palm user.  But with
an UMPC I get all the power of a "real" computer running Windows
XP/Vista in an almost Palm-sized package.  These are going to be
devices to watch.

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