Engadget disappointed me on Origami comments ….

Well, I had a good laugh a bit ago at Engadgets first look at the new Samsung Q1 Ultra Mobile PC at Cebit. It would seem that someone with the level of experience sifting through product “spin” like the Engadget folks would have had a reasonable set of expectations of what a new device actually does once they get their hands on it. Well, it’s obviously not true. It looks to me like they got “spun”! Take a look at this post on Engadget to get the full story, but here is a small byte of what they had to say:

“So we managed to get our hands on an Samsung Q1 / Origami device set to roll tomorrow here at CeBIT. Don’t ask how, but it’ll be awhile before we recover from the brutal caning we just received. From the five minutes we spent with it we can tell you, well, it’s an XP Tablet PC with a 7-inch display. Sorry, that’s about it, nothing earth-shattering here folks. In fact, for all the hype, it’s hard to find anything revolutionary or even evolutionary in the hardware specs or loaded software (perhaps that will come when the price is announced). “

Well, now that sure sounds like an awful indepth review to me — how about you? So they spent 5 minutes with the device, and made a couple comments on the plastic of a prototype device. Am I disappointed? That’s an understatement. Not in the device, but at Engadget’s cursory trashing of something that they spent 5 minutes with. On the other side of this coin, take a look at the ZDNet video piece on the Intel device. How can one see that video and still feel that this new category of devices does not have an extremely high level of cool, PLUS a great potential to be an extremely useful tool for the mobile side of us all? I know of some usage scenarios and apps being worked on that will be very well received. This was a product announcement, not a device launch per se.

But I digress…., let’s get back to expectations. There has been so much garbage spun off of this new Origami concept, that there really is no way it would ever have been able to meet all expectations. Robert Scoble and I have been posting pleading with people to be realistic on what to expect. The Origami project has some excellent (although somewhat lofty) goals, that when achieved will be a great step forward for all mobile people (which is a great majority of the population!). I think Engadget has failed their audience by making a snap judgement. I would appreciate their statement of “We only had 5 minutes to use this thing, and will report back when we have more time” much more than the quick judgement. They have a responsibility to their readers to do good evaluations before making a judgement. Understanding that a sound bite like that without all the facts and proper research has a rippling effect is something any ethical journalist must keep in mind. I have too much respect for all the good stuff that has come out of Engadget to say this is more than just a slipup — I hope.

Hey Engadget — talk to me when you do a real review (do they ever actually do that?).