Y'know what I'd like done with a form-factor like this? Dual-boot XP and Windows Mobile, with a switch on the edge to toggle before hitting the power button. Instant-on for most of the time with full access to all my collection of PPC apps, but with a full XP tablet OS for those times I really want that software suite and power, which is about 5% of the time. Make a bridge between them for installing software to the CE area, everything installed to flash memory by default. Add in a quad-band GSM/GPRS phone and Wi-Fi, a very compact but complete folding keyboard, and both SD and CF slots, and that'd be quite a competent all-around device.
Heck, as long as we're fantasizing, how about a full-speed WM OS emulator running in tandem with the XP, allowing for realtime toggling between them for the advantages of both? Really folks, there are so many tasks better done y a simpler OS with some goo peripheral support, where booting up a full PC OS is just wasteful and distracting. If I want to record some audio for instance, why launch XP? Why not just have a properly supported microphone jack, record using any number of third-party MP3 or raw audio recording programs, and then later edit these as needed under XP? Same goes for still/video capture using an add-on camera popped into an SD or CF slot. Grab the media fast, using the immediacy and convenient simplicity of CE, then edit as needed using the more power-consumptive and awkward full PC OS.
As for the form, this thing rocks. A nicely sized HPC screen minus the keyboard, perfect for a deep pocket or a hip case. If they can make a keyboard not too big which acts as a screen cover, so much the better. It could be an optional lid/keyboard one left at home or took along as needed. And if it supports peripherals as fully as a notebook, great, I see no excessive power drain problems here at all. A printer or external CD/DVD RW or scanner or whatever has AC anyway, so where's the extra battery drain? If this is all managed wirelessly or using a powered wireless-to-wired hub (my preference - a sort of control/wire center with which the PC communicates to coordinate everything else) then the extra draw on the main unit would be no more than for any other wireless activity. Design it to allow for a bigger backpack style battery and everyone's happy.
The only drawback is screen real-estate. For some users, this will be a problem. Fine, use a connected external monitor at home or work. For folks used to smaller screens, this is positively generous in scale. I'm drooling already over having that much room!
Wasn't Bill heavier not too long ago??? Not wishing him any ill-will....but he has the look of an older guy who had a heart-attack and had to lose weight or was at risk of one and the doctor made him lose the weight. Either way...he's up there in years now...and there is just so good you can look.
The one issue that concerns me about these types of devices is their synchronization with my main PC. As much as we complain about AS, it still keeps my PIM stuff, contacts, calendar, tasks, notes, mail, automatically in sync between my desk and portable device. It also takes care of assorted files and has the facility to allow syncing for third party programs including access data.
I don't think there is a single thing that does this as seamlessly between a desktop and a laptop or tablet, both running XP. Certainly if you have a server based network with Exchange a lot of this can be done by having the portable device connect to Exchange and using off-line folders, but fot the average installation, with a PC and a laptop, keeping the data up to date on both is a pain in the A.
Maybe this won't be a problem in the future when all our data is stored on some ethereal network and we have ubiquitous wirelees access everywhere, but for now, PPCs and PCs keep data in sync way better than PC and laptops/tablets/etc.
Sometimes you are the anteater, sometimes you are the ant.
I don't know. All these new little PC's look cute and tempting and I am at a point in my life where I can buy just about anything I want, but I can't think of what I would do with something like this.
I have a 3.3GHz Desktop at home with 80GB RAID drives, 1GB RAM, 21" monitor, etc. which can handle just about anything I throw at it.
My office supplied me with a 1.7GHz Centrino laptop, with 1GB RAM, 15" screen, etc. At about 5 lbs. this is my workhorse. My docking station at the office has a 19" LCD Monitor, backup hard drive, DVD burner, etc. so I am not wanting for anything. I take it home every night to catch up on work and if it was not for having to take it out at the airport security checkpoint I would take it everywhere. I could have any laptop I want and upgrade as often as I want (I am on my machine 15-17 hours per day) but I am very comfortable with what I have.
Finally I have my trusty 4705 ready to serve me at a tap of the power button. It syncs up with my laptop and provides all the info I need at my fingertips.
I tried a Tablet (Acer) and was quite disappointed. The screen was not clear, it got hot when trying to browse the Web while in bed and it was actually pretty heavy to do anything but lay flat on a desk or table. I can't stand my hand-printing and apparantly so do most handwriting recognition applications (do you remember the CrossPad-I was first in line for that) with no more than a 70% accuracy rate after many hours of testing. Until they make a program that I can teach I am doomed in this area.
These new mini PC's would be nice to travel with, but like with the Tablet, I found that trying to take a live version of Outlook with me and then moving those changes back to the laptop was much more complicated than just taking the laptop with me in the first place. Aside from a short trip though I could not think of a use for these little guys. Could I really develop Access 97 applications on this, where zooming in/out had not yet been considered (try laying out a report with a 10" screen). Or could I work effectively on a spreadsheet with 40 columns or how about Power Point presentations, CAD drawings, etc. Aside from the novelty I just don't see the purpose.
Now how about a nice laptop (or desktop) with a removable hard drive that plugs into one of these mini-me's, so you can take everything with you except, the big screen, the bigger processor, etc. That would be something that I would consider. Instant-on would be nice also.
I did notice how different he looked in that photo - I think he almost looks unhealthy actually...let's hope not. :-)
Well Iíve heard the dark side of the Force can do that to you *Runs away before someone twaks me*
Seriously this is where we will be in 5-10 years. The Pocket PC is a rest stop on the interstate of ultra mobile devices. Only the delusional thought that MS was going to continue to have separate OSís long term. Eventually the PPC and WINCE will go bye bye and everything will be running one OS that probably will be module or something. Its simply a matter of getting the software and the hardware to meet half way....or maybe not. Itís late. Must sleep. I yield the floor to Darth Lord Gates.
PDA History: Palm Pilot 5000 -> Apple Newton 2100 -> Casio E-11 -> iPaq 3650 (64MB Upgrade) -> iPaq 3700 -> Casio EM-500 -> HP Jornada 568 -> HP iPaq hx4705 www.spreadfirefox.com