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Unreleased OQO 2+ OLED Version Sells For $6,500

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the no-no-you're-supposed-to-haggle dept.

Handhelds 52

psych787 writes "OQO's product line — much loved by their community at oqotalk — has recently suffered a slow, agonizing death. After dropping warranty repairs, not returning several units sent in, disconnecting phonelines, and leaving trash at their headquarters, a couple of units have survived and found eBay. The last one went for $4.5k. Now the only PC for sale to include an OLED has gone for $6.5k. At that price, perhaps a competitor bought the device to come up with something that meets the same market?"

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disappointed (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28913681)

Sigh...

Fist I have to work on Saturday night, and this is what is on slashdot.

Re:disappointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28915575)

Fist I have to work on Saturday night

I hope you're wearing rubber gloves!

Heh (1, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28913685)

I know I want to pay $6,500 dollars for a laptop with a 5" screen!

Damn, I don't know how this company possibly could have gone out of business with idiots like that. OLEDs aren't *that* great. Take a look at your cell phone and ask yourself if you want that in a monitor. Mine has screen burn in and flickers if I look at it out of the corner of my eye. (Sure, they may have resolved these issues, but they don't look better than, say, an LED TV).

Re:Heh (2, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 5 years ago | (#28913709)

tech evolves over time; it may very well be that future advances will drive the cost down, iron out a few of the bugs and possibly change your mind. these OLEDs are incredibly efficient and can be used to make thin flexible displays.

Re:Heh (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28913731)

He's probably never seen an OLED.

Most OLEDs are used in cell phones. But, most cell phones do not use OLEDs. So he probably thinks his iPhone has an OLED dislpay.

Re:Heh (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28921353)

>>Most OLEDs are used in cell phones. But, most cell phones do not use OLEDs. So he probably thinks his iPhone has an OLED dislpay.

Right. Because I'm a douchebag that needs a trendy iPhone?

No, my cell phone does have an OLED. I read my tech specs, jackass.

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28924277)

which cell phone do you have?

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28913755)

Everyone keeps saying OLEDs can be used to make flexible displays but I have never even seen a curved OLED let alone flexible, I thought at first that was what those wrap around monitors made by NEC and Alienware were but it turns out they're actually just multiple flat panels inside one enclosure.

Re:Heh (5, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28913737)

I doubt that the final price is about a device with a 5" OLED screen, I think the final price is about having a collector's item, a rare prototype. As rare as it is, I would think it would fetch a much higher price.

I wouldn't know, I don't have a device with OLED. I don't typically use devices out of the corner of my eye. I'm pretty sure fading issues have been addressed, a screen made today is going to be a lot better than that made even two years ago. I doubt that an OLED and an LED TV would be comparable, because the LED TV you're thinking about is only LED backlit, it would still be LCD based and as such, still be pretty limited in real contrast ratio.

Re:Heh (1)

zome (546331) | more than 5 years ago | (#28913795)

it has to be rare and desirable to be a collector's item. I don't think the "Sony iPod" my friend bought back from Taiwan will be able to sell that high, even though it's pretty rare.

I don't think OQO is rare and desirable enough to demand 6.5K. Someone who is paying this amount of money either has a very specific reason to do so I think.

Re:Heh (5, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#28913959)

it has to be rare and desirable to be a collector's item. I don't think the "Sony iPod" my friend bought back from Taiwan will be able to sell that high, even though it's pretty rare.

I don't think OQO is rare and desirable enough to demand 6.5K. Someone who is paying this amount of money either has a very specific reason to do so I think.

An OQO is pretty rare. They were expensive computers in their day, and still have the distinction as the smallest complete x86-compatible PC ever made. (You can get pico-ITC boards smaller than an OQO, but you'll need to add storage, RAM, screen and power...). Heck, you could make it the smallest Hackintosh in the world.

The OQO 02+ is considered very desirable as it upgrades several annoying components on the OQO 02 - the CPU is better (Intel Atom vs. Via C7). The OLED version had more RAM (2GB vs 1GB), and the SSD as an option. The "normal" OQO 02+ (the one that went for $4.5k) qualified for the Microsoft XP Home license too (the netbook discounted cost).

Either way, they were also the cheapest OQOs if they were released, with the OLED one starting around $1.5k. Upgrade to an SSD and you'd have a pocketable PC that you could do iTunes, VLC, full desktop Ubuntu, VMWare, Visual Studio, what have you. Or hell, why argue about Flash support, when you can run full Firefox with flash?

I have an 02, and wanted to buy an 02+. But given OQO is out of business these days, oh well. I won't part with that much cash for an unsupported piece of equipment I intend to use. All I can hope for is the upcoming Archos 9 (running Windows 7) will be small enough to be hand-carried. But pocketing a

Re:Heh (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28916291)

I have an 02, and wanted to buy an 02+. But given OQO is out of business these days, oh well. I won't part with that much cash for an unsupported piece of equipment I intend to use. All I can hope for is the upcoming Archos 9 (running Windows 7) will be small enough to be hand-carried. But pocketing a[[[NO CARRIER

With connectivity like that, I can definitely see why you'd want to replace your 02 with an 02+.

Re:Heh (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28914251)

I don't think the "Sony iPod" my friend bought back from Taiwan will be able to sell that high, even though it's pretty rare.

Did the person who sold your friend the rare Sony iPod also offer genuine Rolex watches?

Re:Heh (2, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#28914007)

I doubt that the final price is about a device with a 5" OLED screen, I think the final price is about having a collector's item, a rare prototype. As rare as it is, I would think it would fetch a much higher price.

Rare != Desirable. For an item to fetch a higher price than its normal counterparts, it needs both components.

Lots of rare things out there that aren't desirable. Also, the brand isn't that big. This also isn't a major milestone tech item. The first iPod(s) (by serial number, not just model), or iPhone... those and their prototypes probably will fetch money in years. Maybe even the first razr, if that phone is still remembered.

But the other billions of phones and mp3 players around? Not so much.

I think $6k for this device is plenty in that regard. Perhaps devices like it (the next Zune will be Oled too) will be around come Xmas from another competitor.

Re:Heh (1)

zobier (585066) | more than 5 years ago | (#28922889)

the LED TV you're thinking about is only LED backlit

Wow, I hadn't looked into it. I'd assumed this wonderful new LED TV I'd heard about was, you know, an LED TV -- not an LED backlit LCD TV. Talk about false advertising, I hope they get slapped for that.

Re:Heh (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#28913759)

I know I want to pay $6,500 dollars for a laptop with a 5" screen!

Me too! I heard it plays WoW!

Re:Heh (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28913927)

But does it run Linux?

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28915499)

Yeah yeah... and I, for one, imagine a Beowulf cluster of those attached to a a frickin' car analogy etc. ad mortem, which, in Soviet Russia, will then confirm Netcraft.

Re:Heh (1)

KermitJunior (674269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28916647)

You forgot: sharks, lasers, overlords.

Don't let it happen again.

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28923251)

I had to mix and match. Sharks and lasers are in there ("... attached to a frickin'...", as are the overlords ("I, for one, ...").

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28913871)

You probably did not want a $10,000 (1982 dollars) Grid Compass either, but it is now a collectable.

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28914029)

I still don't want one...

The problem is (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28913899)

That there may not be enough idiots willing to pay high prices for it. You don't make enough money to stay in business selling only a few systems, even if you can get ridiculous prices for them.

Same kind of deal with the Voodoo 5 6000. There were a few people out there willing to spend ungodly amounts to have a special card, but not enough.

The only way you can have a company that survives on a market like that is if you have extremely low overhead. If you don't really do any R&D, then sure you can deal with low unit sales if margins are high. However to survive as a company that actually makes new products, you need a sizable number of sales.

Re:Heh (2, Interesting)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28914083)

For my money, I'd rather have one of IBM's Power6 systems. The least expensive one is only about $5.5k, less than the OQO.

Re:Heh (1)

MarceloR2 (1582565) | more than 5 years ago | (#28916689)

Very likely the person who won the bid already has one ( or something compatible) for when he ( or she) is sitting at a desk and just got the OQO for when he is out and about and doesn't feel like carrying a laptop -- which he also has. Heck, I'm a poor working stiff and I also have a machine for every occasion listed above.

Re:Heh (3, Informative)

blankinthefill (665181) | more than 5 years ago | (#28914119)

Ummm, actually, it appears that the two prices mentioned were payed by bidders on e-bay, and had nothing to do with the actual MSRP of the units. A quick google search shows base models selling for about $1,500 max. Also keep in mind that these were one of the first experiments in a true ultra-portable solution, and that price becomes maybe not reasonable, but a whole lot more understandable. Either way though, they didn't go out of business for charging $6,500 for a small laptop... and, more to the point, just because YOU wouldn't pay money like that for the item obviously doesn't mean no one else will, since the reported price was a winning bid. (Actually, it was 6,101, not 6,500, but whatever.)

Smart competitors (4, Funny)

qbwiz (87077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28913789)

I'm sure they're just dying to get into that huge market that OQO failed to make any money in.

Pricing (4, Insightful)

machine321 (458769) | more than 5 years ago | (#28913833)

I guess it just turns out they priced them wrong... shoot, they've got the market for $6500 laptops cornered.

6.5k != 6101 (!) (4, Informative)

gamefaces (1542337) | more than 5 years ago | (#28913851)

Don't like to nitpick, but did anyone else notice that the winning bid was $6101? Woops

Re:6.5k != 6101 (!) (0)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28914103)

Don't like to nitpick? What are you doing on Slashdot then? Keep up the good work, I say!

And whilst we're about it:

the only PC for sale to include an OLED

A PC with a single organic light-emitting diode? Of what interest is that?

"OLED" != "OLED Display"

Yay pedantry!

Re:6.5k != 6101 (!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28914203)

Re:6.5k != 6101

According to Google, 6101 U.S. dollars = 6 582.36862 Canadian dollars.

Re:6.5k != 6101 (!) (2, Funny)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#28914729)

You must work for NASA - this is metric money, not imperial. Got to be careful with those conversions, you never know when one might accidentally cause a probe to slam into Mars at high speed.

Re:6.5k != 6101 (!) (1)

kamikaze2112 (792393) | more than 5 years ago | (#28918759)

Don't forget the $399 shipping and handling

DeLand, FL (3, Interesting)

aquarajustin (1070708) | more than 5 years ago | (#28913907)

I just think it's hilarious that this unarguably beautiful and extremely high-tech product is originating from good ol' DeLand, FL. I used to live there during high school, and let me tell you, that place is as redneck as it gets. I guess there really are some high-tech rednecks...

Re:DeLand, FL (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28916297)

Not anymore...

Not sure... (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28913913)

I'm not exactly sure why anyone would pay 6.5k for it. Yes, it is a prototype, but its not an interesting prototype. It is effectively just a smaller netbook, a DIY project in a few years.

Re:Not sure... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28914187)

Its no DIY project. the board for the 02+ is 11+ layers, try and do that on your own.

Re:Not sure... (1)

innerweb (721995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28917851)

If it were a sandwich, it would make Dagwood proud.

InnerWeb

Can't be a competitor... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28914095)

At that price, perhaps a competitor bought the device to come up with something that meets the same market?

If the company doesn't have a product in the market and doesn't exist anymore... Their former competitors "own" that ever-shrinking PocketPC market - enjoy!

OLEDs are awesome (2, Insightful)

sofakingon (610999) | more than 5 years ago | (#28914871)

This may be a bit off-topic, but I got a Cowon S9 [cowonamerica.com] (the first commercially available full color OLED device) at release, and man, OLEDs are gorgeous. The refresh rate is nearly instantaneous, the contrast ratio is essentialy infninate, and has half the power drain of a comaprable LED. I can't wait to get one for my main PC monitor.

I can see where someone would want to have a working prototype of one of the first devices with an OLED display, it's probably headed to a museum somewhere.

Re:OLEDs are awesome (0, Offtopic)

CronicBurn (316845) | more than 5 years ago | (#28917737)

Anyone else read that as "Cow On America"?

No...? Screw you guys, I got a laugh out of it.

Re:OLEDs are awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28918999)

It also sounds like the designer's dad was brought in to do the copywriting.

"The Ultimate MP3"? Whuh?

market spoke (1)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28914951)

The OQO's, like all UMPC's so far, is a device looking for a propose. Still too small for touch typing, so you end up thumb typing like a smart phone with a slide out keyboard, except the OQO is much more unwieldy to hold. The 5 inch screen Doesn't add much from a smart phone. Netbooks cover the small portable functional browser. Too big for a pocket so a netbook still easily goes anywhere this does. Consumers have no use for it and industry has specialty solutions. I can't think Vista would be the best OS GUI for a 5 inch screen. Then you realize the greatness about getting to run a windows on something so small lacks appeal because all the apps you would care about run better on embedded devices

Re:market spoke (1)

MarceloR2 (1582565) | more than 5 years ago | (#28917215)

I've got a Vaio UX which is similar to the OQO and was it's direct competitor. These two were really TabletPCs in a small package. The UX has the same OQO form factor with a much better processor (Intel Core Solo.) Unfortunately it has a passive digitizer whereas the last *production* OQO (not the OLED prototype on eBay) had an active digitizer (much better for handwriting) but the processor was a dog (VIA nee Transmeta.) You are right it does not fit in a shirtsleeve pocket but it sure is handy to have. In winter it fits in my coat pocket. Any other season I carry it on my hand in the fashion that you see people carrying their little digital cameras on a strap. What is handy about it, and important to me specifically, is that I have all the PDF articles that I need and can make annotations on them with the stylus. I have all my notes in OneNote (the only Microsoft product that is any good ) and add to it on the fly. It is possible to have a completely satisfying web cruising experience on these as well. In fact I know people who only use theirs for the web when on the road. In other words, a large screen and a keyboard is much overrated when contrasted with this kind of portability. My case, I can do without a keyboard altogether as most of what I do with it involves handwriting on the screen. The built-in hardware keyboard, along with the TabletPC virtual keyboard and TabletPC handwriting recognition are adequate substitute for those people I know who only use it for web cruising on the go. If you haven't used a full size TabletPC then it will be hard to understand this. If you haven't tried an OQO (with a digitizer) or a VAIO UX after using a full-size TabletPC then you surely will not understand how handy these small factor TabletPC machines are.

Re:market spoke (1)

clam666 (1178429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28926605)

I use my OQO all the time. It was becoming irritating constantly hauling laptops and equipment all the time to client sits, and I decided to settle on the OQO due to its form factor. The extended battery gave me plenty of power for all day use, and since it could run any OS I wanted (linux, xp, etc.) I could run all the apps I needed.

I runn Visual Studio, SQL Server, IIS, all my dev tools without a problem and if I need a bigger design environment I either shrink the screen down, or (most of the time) just plug in a monitor and peripherals to it and used it as a portable desktop.

There are some negatives to it though. They hadn't added the ability to charge the battery through USB (would have been very useful), and their Bluetooth implementation could have been a bit more stable.

Although it doesn't compare to a desktop or high powered laptop, I found it had a longer battery life (at least 6 hours on mine), was more portable, and met my needs quite well. It's a shame they went under, or whatever happened to the company.

From an OS perspective, it was horrible to run Vista on, and no one can convince me it was a Vista capable machine; that's plain nonsense.

Haha, that's just stupid (1)

Cannelloni (969195) | more than 5 years ago | (#28915015)

What a useless piece of junk. But yes, even in a recession, some people have money to throw way I suppose.

smudgy pics (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 5 years ago | (#28915959)

I really wish eBay sellers would take just an extra 60 seconds to wipe off and clean their items before taking pictures.

I'd totally buy one, if a bit cheaper. (2, Interesting)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 5 years ago | (#28916091)

... if it were cheap enough. Seriously. OQOs, despite all their limitations and faults, were *awesome* if you wanted what they had to offer. I don't think they had entirely the wrong idea with their product, they were just a) ahead of their time and b) too expensive.

I met a chap at Linux Kongress in Hamburg who was running Linux on his OQO (the original one). He was able to demonstrate his x86 Linux development project on it. It was capable of VGA output, so he was able to run his presentation from it too. And it was small enough to fit in a (large-ish) pocket. The promise of a palmtop fulfilled, in a way. It doesn't matter that it's underpowered - so are netbooks and those are plenty popular.

A netbook-based OQO-like device would totally rock. I'm sure modern technology is up to the task of putting together a *cheap* device in an OQO-alike form-factor. If one were available at a reasonable price (i.e. a bit cheaper or about the same price as a netbook) I'd be very interested in picking one up. Media player, internet browser, ebook reader, running full desktop software. Plug in a keyboard and screen if you need to do anything serious on it - the market also should be capable of producing a docking station with laptop screen + keyboard with a DVI cable on, so that you can carry it around in a laptop case to supplement your palmtop device if you anticipate doing more serious browsing or typing.

The closest things to this that I currently see in development are the OpenPandora (http://openpandora.org), which isn't PC compatible but is pocketable and has a mini keyboard, clamshell design, runs Linux. And the new Intel MID chipset, which may not (?) be PC-compatible from what I've heard but will be x86-based and therefore able to run normal PC software for any OS that can boot on it in the first place. These should give us some of what we want - but hopefully some enterprising company will see the potential for a true netbook-based OQO-alike.

Re:I'd totally buy one, if a bit cheaper. (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 5 years ago | (#28920683)

It's a horrible form factor concept. It only makes sense if you 1) are wedded to an x86 desktop OS, and 2) must have thumb typing. This is the case for very, very few people. Most people are better off with either 1) a netbook for your desktop OS, or 2) a smartphone for thumb typing.

Getting both in one device costs $$ for a reason: tiny market, no economy of scale.

Re:I'd totally buy one, if a bit cheaper. (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 5 years ago | (#28920949)

Horrible for many, useful for others - it depends on price and on what you need it for. I'd use it whilst away from my desk at home and whilst traveling. Most people wouldn't want one but there could still be enough to be a market.

I would not want it enough to pay through the nose for it (a la OQO) - but if they had netbookish pricing they'd have my attention. Basically the same hardware, so seems possible. My own netbook has such a small keyboard that I'd want to bring an external keyboard anyhow - and if I have to do that, no point having a laptop-style keyboard making the device bigger. x86 is a manky architecture but it is also cheap and popular; having it available gets me the full slew of desktop OSes for my "netpad".

What's likely to happen, I fear, is that we'll get some horrible combination of what I want and what you recommend - an x86-ish smartphone running some weird OS. I don't know if that'll be awesome or terrifying.

total misfire (2, Insightful)

metaforest (685350) | more than 5 years ago | (#28923303)

Shoving marginally laptop class computing resources into a palmtop with a thumb keyboard and a dinky, even if cool OLED screen is just stoopid. Either ya have to go bigger and be a netbook, or smaller and be a phone. This OQO concept was a tinker's wet dream, wishing for a market.

When the state of the art gets to the point where a laptop class CPU can operate in a compact mobile phone-sized format there might be some potential for a few vertical markets.. Beowulf cluster in a briefcase anyone?.... Beuler? .... Beuler?

At least for the next few years it's gonna be netbooks and iPhone clones.

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