New UMPCs rock

I agree with Engadget. The new UMPCs (basically small Tablet PCs) are MUCH better than the first ones. The new Sony is tiny and interesting. The only thing wrong is still the price.

In fact, at Microsoft they did a lot of price testing. If these ever get to $500 they’ll sell like hotcakes. The OEMs don’t believe Microsoft’s own price testing, though. That’s too bad.

At the Intel Developer Forum I got a demo of one that interacted with a new prototype VW and it was awesome. Those new markets won’t really appear for several more years, but I talked with representatives from VW and they can see a whole bunch of things to do with them.

Comments

  1. Me too!
    At ~1000+, I can get a desktop or laptop. But if you say that…
    I can get pretty close
    And be able to haul it all over the place
    And be able to do (almost) everything I’d do on a laptop
    For half the price!
    …I’ll pay for it very happily :)

  2. Me too!
    At ~1000+, I can get a desktop or laptop. But if you say that…
    I can get pretty close
    And be able to haul it all over the place
    And be able to do (almost) everything I’d do on a laptop
    For half the price!
    …I’ll pay for it very happily :)

  3. Hm, but I’d like to hear what you think of OQO which has been around for a while, very small and I think they were migrating to Tablet OS.

  4. Hm, but I’d like to hear what you think of OQO which has been around for a while, very small and I think they were migrating to Tablet OS.

  5. They didn’t look all that great from that one flip one they showed. I like that they’re going with low-power Core-based chips, but price and form aren’t there yet.

  6. They didn’t look all that great from that one flip one they showed. I like that they’re going with low-power Core-based chips, but price and form aren’t there yet.

  7. Part 2…Alpha morphs sorta Beta. What no viral marketing dust-up this time? :)

    But the problems go well well beyond just pricing, but pricing will never decrease anyways, Microsoft studies notwithstanding. The only way to get them down, is to commodity mass-market them, but that (as everyone well knows) will never happen. So it’s screwed by default. The OEMs know their market levels, slicing off limbs for Microsoft’s lucid dreams, ain’t gonna happen.

    Will hold the same court as Mobile Div. slash Smartphone, Tablet and all…low verticalish market, with minor inroads into the outlay sidelines, fish-stocked with the usual Mircosoft goons, preaching to the already converteds.

  8. Part 2…Alpha morphs sorta Beta. What no viral marketing dust-up this time? :)

    But the problems go well well beyond just pricing, but pricing will never decrease anyways, Microsoft studies notwithstanding. The only way to get them down, is to commodity mass-market them, but that (as everyone well knows) will never happen. So it’s screwed by default. The OEMs know their market levels, slicing off limbs for Microsoft’s lucid dreams, ain’t gonna happen.

    Will hold the same court as Mobile Div. slash Smartphone, Tablet and all…low verticalish market, with minor inroads into the outlay sidelines, fish-stocked with the usual Mircosoft goons, preaching to the already converteds.

  9. I think what UMPC is missing is standardized external connectors. Once it is done, then battery problem could eventually be avoided by numerous scenarios of a 7 inch screen.

    A car could have a standardized docking station. I dock my UMPC there. It serves as a media player, GPS, video screen for the rear camera, car-system monitor, cell-phone dial-pad, calendar and appointment reminder, etc.

    In return car could charge the UMPC battery and the car CD player could act as a CD-drive for the UMPC. Since on my way to work, I need the media-player, cell-phone controler and my calendar, I will have my UMPC with me which I will dock into the car. I reach office and my UPMC is fully charged.

    Similarly on the return journey to home my UMPC is fully charged. It will also be fully charged when I go to a mall or other places, where some of the UMPC scenarios are visualized.

    In my office, I do not need to run the device for more than 2-3 hours on a typical day. If I need to on an atypical day, then I would need recharging it my office too. But for a single atypical day, I do not want to carry a heavier battery in my UMPC all the time. Instead if this is needed frequently, I will need to have a separate replacement battery. Or if it becomes an eventual big success and increased everybody’s productivity then a pool of replacement batteries in my office could be a great for dozens of people to use it.

  10. I think what UMPC is missing is standardized external connectors. Once it is done, then battery problem could eventually be avoided by numerous scenarios of a 7 inch screen.

    A car could have a standardized docking station. I dock my UMPC there. It serves as a media player, GPS, video screen for the rear camera, car-system monitor, cell-phone dial-pad, calendar and appointment reminder, etc.

    In return car could charge the UMPC battery and the car CD player could act as a CD-drive for the UMPC. Since on my way to work, I need the media-player, cell-phone controler and my calendar, I will have my UMPC with me which I will dock into the car. I reach office and my UPMC is fully charged.

    Similarly on the return journey to home my UMPC is fully charged. It will also be fully charged when I go to a mall or other places, where some of the UMPC scenarios are visualized.

    In my office, I do not need to run the device for more than 2-3 hours on a typical day. If I need to on an atypical day, then I would need recharging it my office too. But for a single atypical day, I do not want to carry a heavier battery in my UMPC all the time. Instead if this is needed frequently, I will need to have a separate replacement battery. Or if it becomes an eventual big success and increased everybody’s productivity then a pool of replacement batteries in my office could be a great for dozens of people to use it.

  11. @10, I messed up my comment in the last paragraph. What I wanted to say explicitly is that if I am going to use it for more than 2-3 hours in office besides using it in car and home, I would not mind putting another $200 for a charger and a replacement battery.

    If it serves the scenarios in a car, then I won’t mind paying a four digit cost either.

  12. @10, I messed up my comment in the last paragraph. What I wanted to say explicitly is that if I am going to use it for more than 2-3 hours in office besides using it in car and home, I would not mind putting another $200 for a charger and a replacement battery.

    If it serves the scenarios in a car, then I won’t mind paying a four digit cost either.

  13. I’d buy a tablet at $500 or less… and I’m poor!

    So I think that there are a lot of people that would *like* to have them. But they aren’t a necessity and most of us can’t justify the cost.

    I wouldn’t even mind a minimal OS, as long as I can write on it, pull up the web, etc. I don’t need to play World of Warcraft on a tablet PC.

  14. I’d buy a tablet at $500 or less… and I’m poor!

    So I think that there are a lot of people that would *like* to have them. But they aren’t a necessity and most of us can’t justify the cost.

    I wouldn’t even mind a minimal OS, as long as I can write on it, pull up the web, etc. I don’t need to play World of Warcraft on a tablet PC.

  15. I’ve seen Tablets for under $700 before. That’s pretty close.

    The thing about the Sony is it has 33 gig of Flash memory (32GB+1GB video memory). If you bought that much flash memory in the form of Sony Memory sticks (1GB), it would cost you over $1400. So $1800 doesn’t seem so unreasonable.

    Give it time… give it time.

  16. I’ve seen Tablets for under $700 before. That’s pretty close.

    The thing about the Sony is it has 33 gig of Flash memory (32GB+1GB video memory). If you bought that much flash memory in the form of Sony Memory sticks (1GB), it would cost you over $1400. So $1800 doesn’t seem so unreasonable.

    Give it time… give it time.

  17. I tried one of the new Sony machines last week and although there were some nice features, the whole thing was significantly more complicated than it should have been. Both handles were covered in buttons and toggles and switches – and inside, there were several distinct-seeming “modes” that seemed to have little relation to one another.

  18. I tried one of the new Sony machines last week and although there were some nice features, the whole thing was significantly more complicated than it should have been. Both handles were covered in buttons and toggles and switches – and inside, there were several distinct-seeming “modes” that seemed to have little relation to one another.

  19. >The only thing wrong is still the price.

    Even if it were the only thing wrong, isn’t it a critical thing to get wrong? Who decided there’s a market for the UMPC? Someone that was around a lot of geek bloggers I suppose since those living outside the nerd bubble don’t seem to give a damn.

  20. >The only thing wrong is still the price.

    Even if it were the only thing wrong, isn’t it a critical thing to get wrong? Who decided there’s a market for the UMPC? Someone that was around a lot of geek bloggers I suppose since those living outside the nerd bubble don’t seem to give a damn.

  21. @17. Yea, what Brent said.

    Who the hell is asking for these devices?

    (Wait for it.. here comes Scoble’s: “who was asking for a PC back in 1975?. And if is wasn’t for me telling the whole world about PC’s and CD players…bla bla bla, they never would have been adopted” repsonse.)

  22. @17. Yea, what Brent said.

    Who the hell is asking for these devices?

    (Wait for it.. here comes Scoble’s: “who was asking for a PC back in 1975?. And if is wasn’t for me telling the whole world about PC’s and CD players…bla bla bla, they never would have been adopted” repsonse.)

  23. The air of self-importance with which you guys think about things is amazing. Fundamentally, you’re so ridiculously out of touch with the real world that you have no idea why UMPC will fail… just like how everyone was oblivious to why Web 1.0 failed.

  24. The air of self-importance with which you guys think about things is amazing. Fundamentally, you’re so ridiculously out of touch with the real world that you have no idea why UMPC will fail… just like how everyone was oblivious to why Web 1.0 failed.

  25. If the Sony one is the one that I’ve read about, then it’s not a UMPC because it doesn’t have a touch-sensitive screen (and also doesn’t have the 7″ screen that I think is required). I’m not sure if UMPC is just a broad term or not, but most people associate it with Origami, and Origami has strict guidelines, which this device doesn’t adhere to. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong here.

  26. If the Sony one is the one that I’ve read about, then it’s not a UMPC because it doesn’t have a touch-sensitive screen (and also doesn’t have the 7″ screen that I think is required). I’m not sure if UMPC is just a broad term or not, but most people associate it with Origami, and Origami has strict guidelines, which this device doesn’t adhere to. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong here.

  27. You know Robert…I have watched the last couple posts here and there is only one way to describe your blog lately….chucking grenades. One thing that I always liked about your blog is the way in which you engage in dialog among the comments, sometimes infinitely better content than the original post. But lately…crickets! Hellooooo…..are you there?

  28. You know Robert…I have watched the last couple posts here and there is only one way to describe your blog lately….chucking grenades. One thing that I always liked about your blog is the way in which you engage in dialog among the comments, sometimes infinitely better content than the original post. But lately…crickets! Hellooooo…..are you there?

  29. “The air of self-importance with which you guys think about things is amazing. Fundamentally, you’re so ridiculously out of touch with the real world that you have no idea why UMPC will fail… just like how everyone was oblivious to why Web 1.0 failed.”

    well thats why Scoble and everyone blogs about “here today, gone tomorrow” companies, he blogged about the lickityship company that will also fail, why? because look at the business model. and again, the tablet is just a niche product for companies who are already huge.

    I would like to see growth and profits or a decent business model before I blog about companies

  30. “The air of self-importance with which you guys think about things is amazing. Fundamentally, you’re so ridiculously out of touch with the real world that you have no idea why UMPC will fail… just like how everyone was oblivious to why Web 1.0 failed.”

    well thats why Scoble and everyone blogs about “here today, gone tomorrow” companies, he blogged about the lickityship company that will also fail, why? because look at the business model. and again, the tablet is just a niche product for companies who are already huge.

    I would like to see growth and profits or a decent business model before I blog about companies

  31. Too bad: I’ve been at the Podcasting Expo all week and haven’t had time to get on the computer. Sorry that you don’t understand that sometimes offline work takes priority over online work.

  32. Too bad: I’ve been at the Podcasting Expo all week and haven’t had time to get on the computer. Sorry that you don’t understand that sometimes offline work takes priority over online work.

  33. Scoble’s more about posting entries now than he is in engaging in any type of “naked conversation”. I don’t see any type of “conversation” going on on this blog lately. Scoble, drive by blog posts don’t really do much to generate a conversation, do they?

    If you’re busy finding more names to drop to maintain your narcissim, that’s understandable. Simply say so and don’t post. But when you do post, it sounds like your readers expect a “naked conversation”.

  34. Scoble’s more about posting entries now than he is in engaging in any type of “naked conversation”. I don’t see any type of “conversation” going on on this blog lately. Scoble, drive by blog posts don’t really do much to generate a conversation, do they?

    If you’re busy finding more names to drop to maintain your narcissim, that’s understandable. Simply say so and don’t post. But when you do post, it sounds like your readers expect a “naked conversation”.

  35. Um, you kinda told us the last ones rocked and now those are officially “lame”.

    And now Microsoft is blaming the OEMs for not being able to get the price down? That _is_ kinda lame.

  36. Um, you kinda told us the last ones rocked and now those are officially “lame”.

    And now Microsoft is blaming the OEMs for not being able to get the price down? That _is_ kinda lame.

  37. I work in the software group at Intel and while I can’t speak for Intel, personally I’m not convinced that the proposed plan for a sub $500 Ultra Mobile device is necessarily going to be the tipping point for mass market adoption.

    Intel has been talking about delivering a sub $500 device with a full day’s battery and anywhere internet access. The technical achievement discussed at last weeks Intel Developer Forum really take things up a notch in terms of what can be done with an Ultra Mobile device. I’m working to support software developers advancements in providing the value add that these devices will give the user.
    I see the tipping point being a killer application that allows the users to add value to standard information in a creative way. This will easily trump a multi-use device such as the In-Car Ultra Mobile that replaces existing capabilities of broadcast (radio, satellite), in-car DVD, and MP3 play back.

    I’m thinking that sub $500 is nice but not a requirement for rapid adoption. People balked at the iPod’s price saying that it would not reach mass market appeal until it hit the sum $100 mark. These people were wrong. I believe that a compelling use model will give the product legs at a sub $1000 price point.

  38. I work in the software group at Intel and while I can’t speak for Intel, personally I’m not convinced that the proposed plan for a sub $500 Ultra Mobile device is necessarily going to be the tipping point for mass market adoption.

    Intel has been talking about delivering a sub $500 device with a full day’s battery and anywhere internet access. The technical achievement discussed at last weeks Intel Developer Forum really take things up a notch in terms of what can be done with an Ultra Mobile device. I’m working to support software developers advancements in providing the value add that these devices will give the user.
    I see the tipping point being a killer application that allows the users to add value to standard information in a creative way. This will easily trump a multi-use device such as the In-Car Ultra Mobile that replaces existing capabilities of broadcast (radio, satellite), in-car DVD, and MP3 play back.

    I’m thinking that sub $500 is nice but not a requirement for rapid adoption. People balked at the iPod’s price saying that it would not reach mass market appeal until it hit the sum $100 mark. These people were wrong. I believe that a compelling use model will give the product legs at a sub $1000 price point.

  39. They are quite cool little gadgets to have but I would never pay over the odds for one even if they do go for $500. A Blackberry would suffice for when I’m on the go and when I’m not I have a PC anyway.

  40. They are quite cool little gadgets to have but I would never pay over the odds for one even if they do go for $500. A Blackberry would suffice for when I’m on the go and when I’m not I have a PC anyway.