Ultra Mobile PC’s panned by New York Times

David Pogue says that the Ultra Mobile PCs that are starting to ship answers the who, what, when, where, but left out the "why."

I must apologize. I'm very bullish about UMPCs, but there's something more flawed than what David hints at: the price.

I assumed that OEMs would be able to get the price down closer to $500 than $1,000. At $1,000 you can buy a high-powered laptop. These things just won't do well until they drop in price.

If they were cheaper, I could answer the "why" for David. But they aren't. Until they are, we're doomed to a niche market, no matter how useful or cool they are.

Pricing +is+ important here. It's embarrassing that we haven't been able to get the price down to a noticeable gap between low-end laptops.

When the pricing comes down I'll get excited again. I still will probably buy one at $1,000, because I can see enough geeky uses for it (coffee table picture frame, remote control, GPS device and media player for car, etc) but I'm a geek. The fact that I get excited by something doesn't mean the normal person on the street will get excited by it too.

51 thoughts on “Ultra Mobile PC’s panned by New York Times

  1. The problem is not price. The real problem is these devices are not what most people what thus price and other things get raised. Most people want a touch type keyboard and they want a computer small enough to fit in a pocket yet not too small to affect touch typing. Thus what the industry has been never able to deliver is good pocket computer running standard OS.

    The technology is there to build it now. Just have some engineers copy something like the old Psion 5mx which had an expanding keyboard easy to type very fast yet the unit was a mere 3.5″x7.5″ and less than an inch thick. It has a thin ergonomic feel; only issue proprietary OS.

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