Warner wrote an excellent post this weekend about the lack of good note-taking on small mobile devices. He’s absolutely correct. For the most part, I don’t use a UMPC because of the vectoring issues. It is why I use an OQO Model 02 instead.
Motion Computing’s LS800 Tablet PC was the UMPC before there was a UMPC: 8″ screen, slate, active digitizer, 1.1 ghz Pentium M, support for 1gb of ram, SSD option, docking station, extended battery support, etc. When the Origami / UMPC was launched in 2006, I believe the LS800 struggled due to price competition. With prices starting at $1899, a $900 premium was a steep one for a good note-taking experience. However, as an ultra-portable slate computer sporting an active digitizer, the experience could not have been better for the tablet pc note-taker. For more background on the LS800, watch our InkShow here.
When we broke the news several weeks ago about Motion Computing discontinuing the LS800, it concerned us, and many of our readers, that Motion has yet to announce a successor to the LS800. Usually, a successor is announced before a SKU is discontinued. Where is the LS900? Is one even coming?
Besides OQO’s Model 02, there really isn’t any other choice for those who desire an active digitizer in a small form factor device. It is true that Fujitsu’s P1610 has come the closest in touch-based small mobile devices to providing a decent inking experience, but it still doesn’t compare to using an active digitizer.
So, Motion, on behalf of tablet pc note-takers everywhere, I ask of you :
Continue to set the bar for other UMPC OEMs about how to deliver good note-taking in a small mobile device. We need more slate choices, not less.
Come to market in early 2008 with a new 8″ slate multi-mode ( active / touch ) tablet pc. Don’t disappoint the market place.
Bring prices down to offer something competitive to the UMPC. Once people start taking notes on touch based UMPCs, they want something better. You and OQO can deliver on that.
Give us better native resolution than 800 x 600, maybe 1024 x 600
Look at a portable keyboarding solution similar to what HTC delivered with the Advantage Windows Mobile device.