Josh Einstein has written a pretty intriguing post about all the UMPC reviews and the Tablet PC folks who are taking the reviewers to task.
I remember the day really well last year at Windows Anywhere when Josh was inking along with his Electrovaya and I was scoping out power outlets because I could only last 2 1/2 hours on battery. That was not a pleasant experience, especially when the conference organizers are giving you dirty looks for plugging in to their surge protectors.
Having reviewed the eo for a couple of days, I can tell you that DialKeys is going to struggle and I believe the whole “keyboard” thing from the reviewers could be coming from that. My first two days with the eo honestly stunk – ask Warner Crocker and Lora Heiny. The whole Windows Touch experience was lousy – buttons were too small, drop down lists, right click stuff wouldn’t work properly, etc. I’m hoping that Vista greatly improves upon the whole touch experience. My main beef with the all of the reviewers we’ve been raking over the coals the past week, is that they all want it to be laptop and it is not meant to be one – throw in a keyboard, through in a cd-dvd, and now that will be the umpc we want. Heck, if that is what Microsoft and the OEMs were going to end up developing, just look to the Sony Vaio.
Josh asks the question: Will someone please explain the advantage a UMPC is supposed to have over a Pocket PC? At this stage of the device, I don’t see one. The LS800 I’m using didn’t replace my Treo phone / PDA. I slipped the phone in my pocket and carried the LS800. That said, I’m trying to take a long view when dual sensing inputs are in place, and maybe even slide out keyboards. The device that excited me the most was the DualCor cPC – that is until I read that they only have 1 compact flash slot and the 3g and wireless cards rely on compact flash. My high end price point on a version 2 UMPC is about $700.
You have to know that Microsoft and all the OEMs are paying attention to all of these reviews, and all of this is going to play in to version 2. Right now, I believe, we are on version .5 of the Origami.
Josh brings up a lot of issues that honestly need to be discussed. He’s right – we don’t need to paint the picture that the UMPC is something that it isn’t or won’t be. However, we do need to expect higher caliber of reviews from these journalists. Gary Krakow’s was the most balanced out of all of them.