Being honest about Tablet PCs

I’ve noticed a growing trend in forum and blog posts since the UMPC / Origami was announced – the number of people who have said: I’d get one because I just don’t take my Tablet PC with me to the places I really need it – which really means “ I don’t take it to the places I really need to take notes, because it is just too big and clumsy and I’m not utilizing it fully for what it is intended.”

Dennis mentioned that he doesn’t take his 12” M200 with him alot in and around a client site because it is just too bulky. Warner would consider getting an M280 and supplementing that with a UMPC. Marc Orchant has said the same thing in the On The Run with Tablet PCs podcast – he loves his M280, but doesn’t take it anywhere. When I go to church or to a friends house, I typically leave my x41 behind. I’d seriously consider a powerful desktop with a companion UMPC / LS800.


With all the talk about Tablet PCs being personable, take anywhere devices, are they really? Where do you take your Tablet PC? Do you take it everywhere that you really want to? Are you really getting the notetaking productivity out of it that you were promised? I was talking to my mother in law this weekend. She loves her Gateway M280, but she doesn’t take it anywhere. She held the LS800 and said “ Now that is what I really want”.

I know of several people that are “not allowed” to take their convertible tablets with them – can you say “ significant other?” Even a 12” slate is considered too big and “noticeable”. The TC1100 was the closest to getting to be that “perfect size” – until the LS800 came along.

I’ll be brutally frank here – I’m enjoying this LS800 more than I really ought to and I don’t know that I am going to want to sell this when my review is finished. It is with me just about everywhere I go. Why? It is small enough not to be a nuisance, powerful enough to be what I need it to be when I want it to be, and it contains everything that I need. Plus – it feels soooo good in my hands. It honestly feels like what you envision a Tablet PC should be – personable, everything within a pen or button away, fits in your hands, and small enough to not be a distraction. Microsoft and Intel have isolated a “sweet spot” in regards to mobile computing with the UMPC. Thank you, Motion, for leading the way.


I believe the future of mobile computing is: a cheap, powerful notebook / desktop and a UMPC device. Sound familiar? Looks just like the classic desktop / pda combo, doesn’t it? The big difference being that you will finally be able to take a full computer with you and it be a workable, syncable, productive solution that also recognizes your own handwriting.


I’m not being “Pollyanna” here. Those of you who have followed me over the years know that I have been through the Tablet PCs and I try to call things as I really see them. The X41 still remains my favorite convertible notebook, but as far as Tablet PCs go, I think I’m beginning to see the future with the LS800 and the UMPC. A year from now, I see a UMPC type of device in my hands and a powerful desktop underneath my desk.