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140 comments

heh. says it is much heavier (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36141616)

I suppose due to the extra battery needed for Atom. :)
http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/arm-posts-cortex-a9-vs-atom-performance-video-intel-should-be-worried-2010016/

http://netbooked.net/images/sized/images/uploads/articles/arm-vs-atom2-600x217.jpg

Re:heh. says it is much heavier (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141934)

Thought Atom was supposed to be a lowpower chip?

In any case I'd love to have a cellphone-sized Windows PC. I wouldn't run it at 1024x600 (too small) but maybe the older 640x200 standard that I grew-up with (larger icons/text).

Re:heh. says it is much heavier (1)

Hultis (1969080) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142118)

Low power compared to a regular x86 chip, sure. Low power compared to a chip built from the bottom up to give as much power/watt as possible? No way.

Re:heh. says it is much heavier (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142308)

MS PUMPS MILLIONS into crap OEM efforts like this.

It's like pouring gasoline onto a pile of wet, green leaves.

There's always a LOT of smoke - and never any fire. Remember the Samsung and HP tablet computers?

Re:heh. says it is much heavier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36142278)

Everyday I get up and pray to Jah
And he increases the number of clocks by exactly one
Everybody's coming home for lunch these days
Last night there were skinheads on my lawn

Take the skinheads bowling, take them bowling.
Take the skinheads bowling, take them bowling.
Some people say that bowling alleys have big lanes
Some people say that bowling alleys all look the same
There's not a line that goes here that rhymes with same
Had a dream last night but I forgot what it was about

Had a dream last night about you my friend
Had a dream I wanted to sleep next to plastic
Had a dream I wanted to lick your knees
Had a dream it was about nothing

Wrong Brand (1)

Marin3 (988561) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141630)

The device is made by Fujitsu and not NTT. Can you correct the brand?

Re:Wrong Brand (2)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141740)

"The device is made by Fujitsu "

And Fujitsu has been making ultramobile PCs for years, the u810 came out in 2007. [cnet.com] I have a 2 lbs Fujitsu UMPC running Windows 7 with a 9" touchscreen at 1280x768. It's worth about $200 used.

How is this newsworthy?

Re:Wrong Brand (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141808)

A device with a 9" screen is not a UMPC, it's just a small laptop or a medium sized tablet. A UMPC is something in a form factor like the Nokia 770 and successors, which fits in a pocket.

Re:Wrong Brand (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142330)

Which is why he referred to the U810 first, which has a 5 inch screen. I happen to own its successor, the U2010/U820.

Re:Wrong Brand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36142430)

The U820 -- as far as I'm concerned, the finest mobile general-purpose computing device ever, despite its relatively power-hungry Atom CPU (vs. ARM; one of the lowest-power x86es around) and the driver chaos about the Poulsbo graphics, and specifically spurning its "successor" the UH900.

I would kill for a dual A9-based U820, though.

Re:Wrong Brand (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142478)

The UH900 isn't bad, except for the non-convertibility, which relegates the touchscreen to gimmick status.

Re:Wrong Brand (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142966)

2007? Hell, I had a Toshiba Libretto back in the late 90s and I bought it used. About the size of a VHS tape. (Remember those?)

I already have one... (5, Insightful)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141632)

and it's the android phone in my pocket. It does everything that I'd ever want to do on a device with a 4" screen. For everything else, I have a laptop that has a full size keyboard.

Re:I already have one... (2)

m50d (797211) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141692)

I have a wonderful netbook with the same screen size (Vye S18) - it's got a perfectly usable keyboard (far more than the touchscreen on my android), and the processor and screen are up to watching videos and playing my large collection of older PC games. Also little things like normal connectivity (USB host, VGA out, ethernet). It's perfect for e.g. train journeys if I don't want to lug my full-sized laptop around. So I think there's value in this kind of form factor.

Re:I already have one... (3, Insightful)

SlashdotOgre (739181) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141870)

More importantly, Android applications are all designed with a touch based user interface in mind. One of the major issues with previous generations of tablets was that they relied on traditional applications which could work with a touch interface, but they were never designed for it. This made using the device for non-basic functions a headache. I remember the Oqo quite well, and as a geek I wanted one (or a Sharp Zarus...). However as an engineer and end user, I knew it was never practical and would be primarily an expensive toy.

Zaurus (1)

Zan Lynx (87672) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142600)

I've still got a Zaurus although I haven't used it in a while. It is a great little machine and the transflective LCD is the best screen besides e-ink for use outdoors.

It isn't a machine for running Windows though. Who would want to run Windows on a machine that small?

It's also a bit funny that the Zaurus applications still seem as fast and responsive as Android apps on a Galaxy S. The graphics aren't fancy but the CPU speed and flash speed seem just as good. Has there really been no improvement in the last 7 years? :-)

Re:I already have one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36143386)

I recenrly bought an X10 [softpedia.com] so I could ssh without having to use the touch screen, without having to sacrifice the touch screen UI. Very happy with it.

Remember the Oqo ...? (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141634)

No, can't say that I do.

Re:Remember the Oqo ...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36141794)

Really? How can you read a tech blog and not have heard of the Oqo and the Oqo 2? They both ran XP, were pretty decent machines, but were simply too expensive to compete.

Re:Remember the Oqo ...? (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142106)

They both ran XP

Slashdotters generally try to block XP out of their memory, which might explain the failure to recall here.

Re:Remember the Oqo ...? (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142158)

Meh, XP was OK as StarcraftOS, at least until Starcraft started working well under wine. I'd still be running XP for games if it wasn't for DX10.

Libretto revolution will be televised! Heh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36141636)

What was old...

Makes Sense... Pads Too Big (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36141678)

The iPad seems to make sense to those that carry a briefcase, purse or man-purse. But I find that form factor burdensome. I wouldn't mind have a full-fledged computer that I could stick in my pocket. Android, WMP7, and iPhones come close, but miss some important functionality; however, those may be addressed much quicker than another form-factor catching on.

If I had a few million to VC away, I might take a shot on this.

purpose (2)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141680)

what niche would this fill that isnt already handled by current smartphones, tablets or IMT devices?

I considered buying a Nokia N810 once upon a time, but I went with something from Archos instead, because i only needed web browsing and multimedia. This was a time before iDevices or Android devices became a PC in your pocket.

Re:purpose (1)

rabun_bike (905430) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141946)

It could possibly serve as a business person's primary PC upon which the employee simply connect this device up to larger peripherals when in the office and simply uses it as a hand held device on the go. The biggest drawback is that most business user's windows apps are compiled for x86 or x64 Intel. I suppose this limitation could be overcome with a virtual machine running on the device but that would certainly suck more processing power. As time goes on more Windows application will most likely be available on the ARM chip. But I don't see it as a clear "killer platform" from my point of view.

Doesn't improve on what we already have (1)

sjbe (173966) | more than 2 years ago | (#36143390)

It could possibly serve as a business person's primary PC upon which the employee simply connect this device up to larger peripherals when in the office and simply uses it as a hand held device on the go.

They'll need to have a cell phone and a computer anyway so why use this when you could either have a laptop or a desktop at work and use your cell phone on the go? This idea provides lots of limitations and design compromises without any significant advantages over what is already available. There might be a few teeny tiny niche markets for this sort of device but frankly I don't see much point to it. If I must run Windows, a netbook is pretty damn portable and can be plugged into a larger monitor/keyboard. I actually do that and it works great but is still pretty usable when I'm carrying it. I can't really see a Windows machine with a 4 inch screen improving on what I can do with my smartphone and netbook.

Re:Doesn't improve on what we already have (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#36143478)

They don't need to have both if one device really will serve both needs.

The single smaller device just needs to be able to be treated like a real PC or like any other device it needs to.

The iPods already have a prescident for this. There's a sort of "tablet" shell that you can buy for an iPod that will give it a bigger tablet-like screen. You could do the same for a mobile terminal (laptop) or a non-mobile terminal (workstation).

The only real problem is that you might want to treat your device as a phone while using it as a workstation. Although even that could be manageable with the right peripherals.

We are already carrying around more "smarts" in our phones than we used to have on our overpowered PCs. It's just that we are not at liberty to fully exploit it because vendors and carriers don't want us to have that ability and MacPeon fanboys are more than willing to cheer their corporate overlords on.

Re:purpose (1, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141976)

Windows PC market. None of the devices you pointed to can run MS Office 2010 nicely.

That being said, why would anyone want to run and OS that is designed for much higher screen resolutions on a device that can't run those resolutions? I want a device that has an OS that is designed to run at that resolution, like Android or iOS.

Re:purpose (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142362)

Windows wasn't designed to run at 1024x600? That's news to me, considering that minimum res for Windows 7 is 800x600.

Re:purpose (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#36143494)

It used to be that nobody bothered to change their defaults. Those defaults for Windows used to be 640x480.

Re:purpose (1)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142366)

Your second point kind of overshadows your first

Not only will resolution impact usability, but something with a 4" screen will probably resort to a chiclet keyboard or touch screen. Who is going to use Office '10 in any productive capacity with those limitations?

Limited use (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141694)

A tiny computer that runs software designed for a much larger screen will be useful to a limited number of people. For most Android, IOS, WebOS, and maybe WP7 would all be a better OS in that environment.

Re:Limited use (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141834)

The idea, I believe, is that it has enough processing power to be used as a main computing device by a lot of people, and can drive a full sized monitor. When you're at home, it's plugged into a TV or something, and you use it with a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. When you leave the house, you just slip it in your pocket.

Re:Limited use (2)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141968)

The idea, I believe, is that it has enough processing power to be used as a main computing device

According to the spec sheet, it has a 1.2 GHz Atom that "always runs at half speed", i.e., 600 MHz. And by 600 MHz, I mean Atom 600 MHz. Not, for example, Core Solo. Bear in mind also, this is with Windows 7. Do you really think that's enough power to be used as anything more than a novelty?

Re:Limited use (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142388)

A tiny computer that runs software designed for a much larger screen will be useful to a limited number of people.

Much the same target as the 9" MacBook Air, I'd imagine—people who need extreme portability but still need to be able to run existing apps. Think frequent fliers.

Re:Limited use (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142778)

The main difference I between the MacBook Air and this device is that Apple attempted to achieve portability by focusing on shedding weight and thickness while maintaining enough size to have a functional keyboard and trackpad. I don't see this 4" device having that. Using an all touch screen with Win 7 presents a large amount of problems. Btw, the smallest MacBook Air is 11" not 9"

I like the current windows UI (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141722)

its much better than the old standard, but lets be realistic, its still pretty kludgey with a mouse and a giant screen, I cant imagine how poorly it would do on such a tiny interface with that high of a resolution

Re:I like the current windows UI (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142412)

As an owner of a Fujitsu U2010, which has a 1280x800 screen measuring 5.6" at the diagonal, the answer is: not too shabby, being equipped with a thumbstick and touchscreen. Basically it should end up revolving around how decent that pointing thing (looks kinda like a trackball?) works out.

Why Windows 7? (2)

rsborg (111459) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141730)

I can see no reason why a hardware manufacturer would put so much effort into what, in this past decade, has proven a complete failure: putting a desktop OS into a mobile form factor.

Given that Android source exists, why would a mobile device manufacturer even consider a non-free, licensed OS which has proved unsuccessful so far? Perhaps it's because of Microsoft's patent warchest (and their willingness to use it)?

Re:Why Windows 7? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36141778)

People know and understand Windows, and don't have to learn arcane command line syntax or application imcompatibility.

Re:Why Windows 7? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141880)

People know and understand Windows, and don't have to learn arcane command line syntax or application imcompatibility.

The GP referenced Android. It doesn't even come with a way to get to the command line much less the need to learn any syntax. Considering it has the highest smartphone market share, I'd say there are millions and millions of people that "know and understand" it. Application incompatibility? There are 200,000 applications in the Android market and many outside of it. All of the staples anyone would need on a four inch screen device that you shove in your pocket are present and accounted for. And if it isn't? Well, that's just pure opportunity [maximumpc.com].

Re:Why Windows 7? (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142100)

People know and understand Windows, and don't have to learn arcane command line syntax or application imcompatibility.

[...] Application incompatibility? There are 200,000 applications in the Android market and many outside of it. \

You are either being disingenuous or you haven't really tried many of those 200,000+ apps... To say that they are all compatible with every Android device is basically absurd; to say that the average user doesn't have to worry about incompatibility is only true if the user limits themselves to email, social media, and perhaps a few games.

The desktop/laptop hardware platform, for all it's flaws, does an undeniably great job of being astoundingly similar on pretty much every device out there (with the exception of some Macs). The exact same OS cd (be it Windows, Linux, etc) can be popped into any one of those devices, from a timeframe of almost a decade) and crank up a basically fully functional system. At the same time, I am lucky if my Android powered phone from 6 months ago can run the latest version of the OS, not to even mention the apps, and the one app I really wanted (Netflix) is locked the **** out.

Re:Why Windows 7? (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142452)

To say that they are all compatible with every Android device is basically absurd

Whoa, what? I guess it's a good thing I didn't say that then. Of course all Android apps aren't compatible with all devices. Do you really think all Windows applications will work with this cell phone? What the GP was implying with his swipe about application incompatibility was that people (with the winphone device) will be able to use the apps they are used to, i.e., Windows desktop stuff. Which is a very dubious claim as the vast majority of that stuff is not going to be usable on a 4" 1024x600 screen. Furthermore, it's a 1.2 GHz Atom running at 600 MHz so performance is going to be abysmal. The point I was making was that for a 4" phone, what you have for Android is more than sufficient and if there is a need for more, then fire up Eclipse and get paid!

to say that the average user doesn't have to worry about incompatibility is only true if the user limits themselves to email, social media, and perhaps a few games.

I repeat, 600 MHz Atom. So you can probably forget the games and social media. Email, maybe.

At the same time, I am lucky if my Android powered phone from 6 months ago can run the latest version of the OS, not to even mention the apps, and the one app I really wanted (Netflix) is locked the **** out.

There are really only 2 official Android phones [cnet.com]. Both of which run the latest versions of the OS. And both of which run Netflix. Furthermore, if you don't like the Android model, you don't have to use an Android phone. If an operating system is open to any and all to develop on then there are going to be efforts of varying quality. So, the consumer has to *gasp* educate themselves if they want a good buy. That's a small price to pay for the kind of innovation being seen in the Android ecosystem right now. Netflix picking and choosing what phones to support is their choice. I like that they have that choice. I also like that I had the choice to edit one text file (build.prop) on my OG Droid to make Netflix stream as beautifully as can be. Is that the recourse for everybody? Of course not. For everybody else, I would recommend whatever the latest Nexus model on the market happens to be as that's where the mainstream officially sanctioned Android action is.

Re:Why Windows 7? (2)

JackDW (904211) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142206)

Before Android and iOS, those "millions and millions of people" were using regular cellphones without "app stores" or touch screens. Nobody cared about app stores a decade ago, when even the idea of putting a camera on a phone would lead to "Why? What for? But I already have a camera!"

If some new sort of smartphone could introduce a new killer feature, like (for instance) the ability to run all desktop PC software, then that might well leave Android and iOS behind, just as the non-smart cellphones have been left behind. That is, PC compatibility could become a must-have feature like "app stores", "touch screens" or "cameras".

Then again, PC compatibility might be a genuinely unimportant feature for a cellphone. Like WAP or IrDA.

The fact is, we just don't know. Nobody has made a PC compatible cellphone... yet. I personally think it would be pretty useful. I wouldn't need to carry a laptop - I would have a tiny x86/Windows netbook in my pocket. One less heavy thing to lug around... and one that gives me access to an even larger (and potentially more useful) app ecosystem than iOS/Android.

Re:Why Windows 7? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36141888)

Everything on Windows 7 is incompatible with the touchscreen. Including the OS.

Re:Why Windows 7? (2)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142134)

The Windows user interface as it is today does not work well with touchscreens.
I'm currently working on a project that uses a Windows tablet (time constraints won't allow a port to a different OS) and while our application is doing reasonably well by now, working with Windows itself is a major pain in the ass.
Maybe Windows 8 will fix that, but for now I can't recommend using a Windows tablet as general purpose PC. If you need to run only one specific software and the software vendor knows what he is doing, it may be OK though.

Re:Why Windows 7? (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142596)

People know and understand Windows on the desktop. Windows UI simply does not map very well to a mobile device. Small touch screens require a very specialized interface. And they're not running the same applications on the mobile device, so application incompatibility is moot.

Re:Why Windows 7? (2)

rabun_bike (905430) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142006)

Microsoft is aggressively marketing Windows on the mobile ARM architecture after sitting it out on the sidelines for years (Windows CE was available but a weak option for most purposes). It was not until recently that Microsoft agreed to even compile a version of Windows other than CE to the ARM RISC chip set. They see that they cannot simply hide behind their Intel partnership if they want to be relevant in the future. The future is looking more like ARM will be dominate in the personal space and Microsoft wants to be a player. To do so they are going to make offer some very sweet deals for certain manufactures such as Nokia.

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2011/jan11/01-05socsupport.mspx [microsoft.com]
http://gigaom.com/mobile/with-nokia-dating-microsoft-intel-was-just-stood-up/ [gigaom.com]

But... How much will it cost? (1)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142126)

One argument says

It's Windows. Therefore we MUST Charge the same as we do for the X86 version

On the otherhand

It's Windows but we have to compete with OS's that are essentially given away. (Android & iOS) So we have to give it away.

If the ydid that and for some really strange reason it took off then the MS share price would plummet like a stone. In an instant one of their cash cows has gone.
Cue throwing of chairs in Redmond.

Re:But... How much will it cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36142808)

Oh, you mean like how Linux has made Microsoft go out of business because how could they charge for Windows when Linux is free? And if iOS is given away for free, and it has taken off, why hasn't Apple's stock price plummeted like a stone? After all, we all know that while the hardware is Apple made people are paying a premium for that logo just like they do for the Windows logo. Did you put any thought into this?
 
Oh my... just another fanboi living in a dreamland. Keep on making stuff up, you have a bright career as a sitcom writer.

Re:Why Windows 7? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142822)

if it's x86, it would be silly if it didn't run windows at all.
it's too bad sideshow-while-the-computer-itself-is-sleeping-mostly seems like a forgotten idea nowadays.

anyways, they would choose it over android to differentiate. and also to prove that it can run a real os, which can run real programs in a pinch. and also because realistically they would have to co-operate with google to stay current on android, and also perhaps there aren't x86 compatible opengl drivers and such for android on x86.

though I don't see why they shouldn't include a preconfigured android virtual machine instance shortcut on the desktop they ship with(running android-x86). because you can do that and it'll be just about good as android would be on that hardware anyways(and while at it, they should write drivers for 3d accel from inside that virtual machine instance, such support is in windows virtualbox anyways, if they were to write the drivers).

much bigger problem is that nobody wants a foleo.

Whats the need? (1)

jzarling (600712) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141732)

Email, and most other forms of communication can be handled by a smartphone. With my iPhone i can make a VPN connection to my work, and launch an RDP client to do work straight from my phone, its not the most fluid way of getting stuff done, but an emergency password reset, or something along those lines is accomplished easily enough.

Re:Whats the need? (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142000)

Fewer people use PCs in Japan than elsewhere, I think because of commute times. Phones are more often used to do all sorts of tasks. Trying to extend that beyond Japan ignores a lot of cultural factors however.

As a disabled user, all I want is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36141752)

a hand held device that has a full keyboard and runs Linux. This way, I could install a screen reader like Speakup on the thing and have an accessible portable computing device.

Some special companies do make devices like this for disabled people, but they seem to think we exist to be exploited and they charge upwards of $800 for them.

I'm not an idiot: I know something like this could be built on an ARM architecture with 128 megs of RAM for around $150 at most. Perhaps I should start doing this and selling them for $175.

Re:As a disabled user, all I want is... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141798)

Doubtful, unless you're talking about selling huge quantities. In small quantities you end up being bumped to the back of all lines and end up paying more for most components than you otherwise would pay. Other than the price, Open Pandora [openpandora.org] does all the other things you're asking for. Admittedly, I've been waiting for mine for ages, but it does offer the things that you're asking for in a form factor that's easily hand held.

Re:As a disabled user, all I want is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36141910)

Hmm, missed the full sized part about the keyboard.

Re:As a disabled user, all I want is... (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142432)

"Handheld" and "full keyboard"/"full-sized keyboard" seem to be at odds with each other.

Re:As a disabled user, all I want is... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142138)

I still can't believe they want 500 bones for that thing, especially after the charlie-foxtrot that the GP2X turned out to be...

Re:As a disabled user, all I want is... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141844)

Get a used Droid 1, install a normal linux userland and be on your way.

Re:As a disabled user, all I want is... (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142444)

You could probably pick up a used Fujitsu U820 on eBay for less than $500 and install Linux on that.

Magnify (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141762)

Does it also include a pop-out magnifying glass? With all the latest phones be released with such as a small screen to resolution ratio, there comes a point where it's just too painful to read the text unless sitting absolutely still. Will someone please think of the eyes for once? They do have a limitations.

Re:Magnify (2)

fleebait (1432569) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142084)

Back around 1949, or 1950, My dad bought a portable Zenith TV. It weighed about 50 pounds, had 60 tubes, and a 2" screen. A year or so later, he purchased a magnifying lens for the for the set -- it was about 8", sat on a metal stand in front of the TV and made it almost watchable. (At least for me, a 7 year old at the time), sitting about 3 or 4 ft away. A year or two later, we got a 15" Black and White Philco, which was a definite improvement.

So, are we going the same route with cell phones and computers? Small screens with 10 pound chunk of glass for a magnifier to see the tiny hi-res graphics.. And of course a full size keyboard and mouse -- a year or two later, they will be wireless, after enough complain about the rats nest of cables hooked to the cell phone.

System DPI (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142702)

Windows since 3.x has a setting to change the display's effective pixel density (DPI). This would normally be set lower than the actual DPI because a phone is held roughly twice as close to the face as a desktop PC monitor. As long as you stick to those applications that respect system DPI, there shouldn't be too much of a problem with this "retina display".

But does it turn into a robot? (4, Funny)

NitzJaaron (733621) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141854)

I mean, it's from Japan, right? It's gotta turn into a robot, or some kind of odd anime device that does indescribably naughty thing to girls in sailor uniforms.

Re:But does it turn into a robot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36142116)

Or spew radio active isotopes into the nearest body of water when shaken hard....

Sorry, I had to

Screen Resolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36141902)

Until hardware designers accept the fact that so much software out there expects a vertical screen size of at least 768 pixels, these gadgets won't find mainstream acceptance.

The Fujitsu U series has advantages. (4, Interesting)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141906)

I own one and when I corporate traveled it was my constant companion.

The most significant advantage is that the physically small and compact machine that runs your full desktop.
Plug it into the docking station and...abracadabra... you have full size monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
Travel without the docking station? You can still use the tiny dongle to attach to ethernet and VGA while using the USB keyboard mouse.
Battery life SMOKES most smartphones I have owned since 2007.

I can't say it applies to all Ultras, but I still use my Fujistu for the occasional travel.

Yea, but does it run Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36141952)

If I want a PC in my pocket I want one that runs a free OS, just in case I feel the need to meddle with and "improve" it... And a UI that is designed for that size such as Maemo or Meego. Might be an interesting product if there are drivers for Linux.

Re:Yea, but does it run Linux? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142504)

My phone does all I want, if I want more I would want a brick PC with no display but I can plug in a HUD and whip out a fold up keyboard (Had one for my palm that was fantastic and folded up to the size of the palm pilot), pointing device.
At that point I can have a virtual 24" display and a real portable pocket device to type on a comfortable keyboard and use a trackpoint to clicky clicky. then fold up the keyboard, take off the earpiece hud and go.

Bonus points of you make the HUD transparent so it can be used a reality augmentation and now you have something that will be the next revolution in mobile computing.

A Great Idea! (2)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 2 years ago | (#36141960)

A computer that could be plugged into a more powerful computer, where it would either use the more powerful comuter's resources or just the more powerful computer's display and input features.

That would be very cool.

Re:A Great Idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36142348)

A computer that could be plugged into a more powerful computer, where it would either use the more powerful comuter's resources or just the more powerful computer's display and input features.

That would be very cool.

I've been wanting that for years. The way I envision it, I would have a device, probably similar to today's smartphones, that contained the OS, many applications, and important data. When I get to work, I plug it into my desktop, which has additional resources, such as a faster CPU, more RAM, storage that contains my "work-only" applications and data, and of course my big dual monitors. When I get home, I plug it into my home desktop, which has similar additional resources, and contains my "home-only" applications (and games), as well as whatever data I don't feel the need to carry with me. When I'm traveling, I could plug it into a laptop shell.

Re:A Great Idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36142368)

A computer that could be plugged into a more powerful computer, where it would either use the more powerful comuter's resources or just the more powerful computer's display and input features.

That would be very cool.

I used to have a computer like that in the early 90s: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerBook_Duo

PowerBook Duo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36142526)

A computer that could be plugged into a more powerful computer, where it would either use the more powerful comuter's resources or just the more powerful computer's display and input features.

That would be very cool.

Apple did something similar to your idea, called the PowerBook Duo [wikipedia.org] and Duo Dock. The Duo Dock added NuBUS expansion slots, FPU processor, VRAM for larger resolutions, ethernet, and additional serial ports and ADB ports. It turned the laptop into a full fledged desktop computer.

Re:A Great Idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36142678)

Sorta like a docking station.
I'm sorry but hasn't that been done before?
My old thinkpad one has a DVD drive or a 2nd HDD plus extra USB ports.

Re:A Great Idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36142790)

close ... I want one that has no display or keyboard, just bluetooth for input and HDMI for video. I live in hotel rooms, and would rather than having a laptop and a cell phone, have a cell phone, a keyboard and not have to drag the whole laptop around. Maybe I spend too much time in hotels, but I recommend the Hotel Merkur in Khaiserslattaen based entirely on the VGA cable hooked up to the TV.

Re:A Great Idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36143056)

Ideally, the software would have a lower res touch interface/layout and a higher res pointer based interface/layout...that way, you could actually go between smartphone form factor and big screen with mouse and keyboard without any loss.

Treo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36141994)

Long live the Palm Treo... I still use the old Palm Treo 700wx (Windows OS) and with it, I can RDP, telnet, ssh to my servers at work. It does everything else... if you can tolerate the crappy browser. Have not tried the newer ones or the new Windows mobile OS: I do hope there are still good net utils available in the new Windows mobile. They do need to bring these small windows machines back.

Comeback? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142016)

Making a 'comeback'? You keep using that word, but I am not sure it means what you think it means.

Seriously, if almost nobody ever bought an 'ultramobile' computer, and if it was a flop ... this isn't a comeback, this is a second attempt at becoming something people care about.

And, as lots of people have pointed out already ... it sounds an awful lot like current smartphones.

Re:Comeback? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142132)

You have hit the nail squarely with this one. People have been trying to push UMPCs about as long as we've had SMT x86 processors with no success whatsoever.

Meanwhile, as has been pointed out already in this thread, we're getting dual-core phones now, about to get quad-core ones, they're starting to get HDMI output... The UMPC is here, it just doesn't have an x86 processor, and good riddance. I have nothing against my Phenom II X3 but I'm not married to it either.

I don't remember the Oqo, do you? (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142054)

Maybe the obscurity of these past devices is the reason that this one could potentially flop. Or, maybe people just don't like using PCs with 4 inch screens.

Re:I don't remember the Oqo, do you? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142848)

the price was the thing that killed oqo, toshiba liberetto & others. they were cool devices, but not at that price available to people who would have thought of them as cool devices(kids, teens & nerds, the versatility makes it a potent time killer).

Microsoft marketing (1)

hb79 (917595) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142072)

This story brought to you by the Microsoft marketing shills. You can sense their fear and desperation as they cling onto the "Windows also works on small devices" propaganda.

However, the fact that this is posted on /. is the real problem here. If I wanted useless uninteresting news, I would go to digg.

Small computers are useful! (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142194)

I use my original e-pc a great deal, with the default Xandros OS. It's worth having that small computer, they are useful when you need one but can't carry a full laptop, or when you want one for the fun factor ... Do they do it with NVIDIA?

Why not just offer custom sizes? (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142236)

It's a tablet. It's a phone. It's something in between. Meh.

Cut to the chase and offer custom sizes.

The obvious "why not", is that you can't just take a knife and slice some real estate off a full sized screen. You'd have to source screens in multiple sizes, possibly from different vendors.

Battery (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142322)

The long battery life is if you are running Symbian. Running Windows goes down to just 2 hours [engadget.com]. My Linux (maemo) phone runs for 1-2 days, its interface is meant for touchscreens and even includes a qwerty keyboard.

Size matters (1, Interesting)

sootman (158191) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142350)

Many people said "An iPad is just a big iPod touch" and that's technically correct. Also, it is technically correct to say "A swimming pool is just a big bathtub." What some people don't realize is that even if two things are identical in all ways except size, the difference in size alone can make quite a difference in what is possible. You can't swim laps in a bathtub, and you can't deliver the full experience of an app like Pages on a device with a screen that's smaller than a business card.

Similarly, full-blown Windows just does not work all that well on tiny screens. Period. Are there times when it might be useful to have a bog-standard Windows PC in your pocket? Absolutely. Is that a common need? No. Is it a big market? No. It wasn't one a decade ago, and it really isn't one now, not with all the new competition from modern smartphones and touchable tablets.

So, to answer the article's question, No, the UMPC is NOT about to make a comeback. And that title presumes it was ever "here" to begin with.

Reenact Brazil (1)

JsrNull (308454) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142468)

If you put a fresnel lens and a keyboard on it, you could set up a "Brazil" style office.

Could you dock it? (2)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142470)

If I could "dock" it and use it like a laptop for work, I'd buy something like that. Though not with Windows. An iPhone with full OS X, more RAM, decent storage (~100GB would be fine), and DVI/HDMI out would rock. Otherwise, there's no point in running a full desktop OS on a phone. Androids and iPhones are doing just fine.

Re:Could you dock it? (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142706)

I'd be game if something like this came with a docking station like the Atrix does.

Only reason I'm not touching the Atrix right now is the $500 price tag on the docking station.

I suspect the future of mobile computer is a model similar to that - only something the form of a mobile phone would have the processing power of a mid-range laptop you could get today. I'd love to be able to easily swap from my mobile device to my primary computing device - especially if it could handle gaming to a decent level (I know, I know, we've got a ways to go for that, but I can dream!)

Still waiting for a good tablet. (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 2 years ago | (#36142744)

I didn't think Japanese had ever given up on these kinds of PCs. Sony kept making Windows tablets for quite a while after they had given up on the US market. In fact, I think they probably have never stopped making them.

I have an old Sony tablet, running XP, which was released back in 2004. It was sitting around at my old company several years ago so I got it for free. I certainly wouldn't have paid the $1,000+ the thing cost when new.

People seriously underestimate the utility of a full-fledged PC in such a compact form factor. I've taken it overseas with me and have done work on it. At 1ghz it's performance isn't half bad, although battery life is poor. Still, I thought it was awesome, sitting on a subway in Asia, browsing the web long before the iPad was a gleam in anyone's eye.

The real problem with the device was that the concept was ahead of it's time. Windows wasn't designed with touchscreens in mind and Sony didn't have the foresight to develop a custom UI. The big complaint by everyone who saw the thing was how tiny type was. And the touchscreen wasn't very good being limited by the technology of the time. It made typing on screen a hassle, and the separate keyboard was a hassle to use anywhere I didn't have a table available. With subsequent models Sony seemed obsessed with finding ways to integrate a physical keyboard as opposed to actually improving the GUI.

A lot of the limitations of those early tablets will surely be addressed with these new devices. But then a fundamental problem with the Japanese is that while they're great at hardware they're awful at software development. And generally their user interfaces are terrible.

The limitations of that tablet prevented me from truly exploiting it as a mobile device. However, the fact that it's a full-fledged PC means it continues to come in handy. I use it with diagnostics software on my car.

I'm still eagerly awaiting a good tablet that runs a standard OS like Windows.

1024-by-600 screen? WTF?!? (1)

jbarr (2233) | more than 2 years ago | (#36143368)

Oh come on. Haven't we learned anything from the horrible resolution debacle that NetBook manufacturers imposed on us by introducing yet another screen resolution? Making screens that are not at least "standard" (1024x768) relegates many programs to either a crippled status or simply makes them extremely inconvenient to use. Many dialog boxes extend beyond a 600 pixel resolution. Pretty much everything is formatted to display properly in at least a 768 vertical resolution. Or are they trying to ride on the coattails of the mobile phone industry?

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