I Want My UMPC


I'm by no means a gadget enthusiast. I don't do the crackberry thing, and there's no way I'd pay $500 for an iPhone unless it included a personal jetpack or something similarly life-changing.


But the more I read about the ultra-mobile personal computer space, the more I want a UMPC. I do occasionally find myself toting my laptop to odd locales -- friends' house for dinner, my mother's condo, another city during a quick weekend jaunt.


It's not because I need to be in constant, GPS-centric contact with my "circle" or "five" -- it's because I have about 15 minutes of work I need to knock out most every night, and it's usually not associated to e-mail. I need to log on to a business system and approve something.


So I took the news of the Foleo's demise a little hard. Our own Rob Enderle pointed to the Foleo as a precursor to something big in the UMPC space, but most critics apparently were right when they said that you'd be just as well off buying a laptop. Got one of those, thanks.


What I am waiting for is the machine that lets me do bits of work in my copious amounts of downtime, and that I can keep with me comfortably. It should weigh a pound or so. It certainly should come equipped with 3G or other anywhere online access, but the default should be to run off wireless or -- this is gonna sound nuts -- a good old-fashioned Ethernet cable, if that's what's available. (I can't tell you how many times I've been unable to get on a host company's network because of MAC resolution, etc.)


I'm not as passionate about keyboard/touchpad issues as most, given that I want to type as little as possible and seldom have reason to include BFF or LOL in business memos. I want quality voice recognition software, which folks have been promising me for about a decade now.


Of course, this device should support voice, but I'd want it to all operate through a unified communications platform that's pretty much the default config. What's the point of talking into the same device you use for IM if you can't get a consistent picture of your communications?


Standard Web browsing is a must, of course -- even I would want to occasionally get directions off Google Maps. All computers can play media; I have no passion for a device that pushes that fairly banal functionality as a leading value point.


Most of all, I don't want anyone to look at this thing and say, "Wow, that's really cool." That's what iPhones are for. I want a 1-pound computer that lets me do about 80 percent of the work I do now at my desk.


I realize my wish list is way beyond boring, and that all the action is on consumer devices that let you record a snippet of a song you hear on the street and then find it in a database. Very sexy; not interested.


Looks like I'll be lugging this laptop for quite some time to come.

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Sep 7, 2007 8:55 AM Ctitanic Ctitanic  says:
The main problem is that all that you are asking in a UMPC was not in the Foleo. The Foleo was virtually a remote view of what you had in your Palm. This was the main reason why it was so criticized. The Foleo was more a MID than a UMPC. There some options coming now to the market that can do what you are asking for fully. One of them is the HTC Shift. Reply

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