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Handhelds Technology Hardware

On the Possible Handtop Paradigm Shift 188

captainJam writes " has a piece about the effects of handtops (text version) such as the OQO, FlipStart and others on the computing experience. With a physical size that's slightly larger than a PDA, a handtop has the power of a standard ultra-portable laptop - 1GHz, 256-512MB RAM, USB, FireWire, etc. These factors, coupled with a dock (plug in a monitor, keyboard and mouse) allow one to imagine a world where maybe they won't need a desktop, or laptop, or mp3 player, video jukebox, digicam, etc. Maybe one day companies might even be willing to pay for part of your handtop, knowing that they would have to invest less in upgrading? It's not all rosy, the devices are still under $2000 and aren't due out until later this fall (OQO) or Q1-2 2005 (FlipStart), but this is an important shift worth letting the mind ponder." Of course, the OQO has been in development for a while, now.
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On the Possible Handtop Paradigm Shift

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  • Paradigm Shift

    So, who hijacked the time machine and transported us all to 1998?
  • So,,, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ArmenTanzarian ( 210418 ) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @08:35AM (#9946500) Homepage Journal has a piece about the revolutionary effect of the new handtops? You don't say...

    There's a lot of technology that goes nowhere, even with a vocal group of geeks behind it.
    • My 12" iBook is about as small as a computer can go and still be functional. I have a Clie with a color screen, and while balsy, it's really only good as a datebook and a way subject my victims to rolls of photographs of my infant daughter.

      I've tried the Clie for bus schedules. (SEPTA lets you pull them off the website in PDF) I either have to zoom out to the point that the text is illegable, or zoom in to the point that you are constantly scrolling to figure out which column is my stop. I actually find

      • Exactly, not really "paradigm shifting" kinda stuff. I had a palm for a while, but with a desktop and a light laptop, I was like, why do I need more devices and one that waaaay underperforms?
      • My 12" iBook is about as small as a computer can go and still be functional.

        I've been looking at the 12" PowerBook, and thought the same way. But the Gizmodo people kind of changed that belief with this Panasonic R3 review []. (That's a 12" PowerBook next to it in the picture... Tiiiny.)

    • A true "paradigm shift" (blech!) will come when we have a way to get rid of keyboards all together, or at least for all but the most complicated tasks, and screens are virtualized, appearing in the air in front of us without some gum pack-thing hanging off of our temple []. When my entire hardware kit can be dropped in my pocket like my cell phone -- for that matter, is embedded in my cell phone -- and I don't need to take it out of my pocket to use it, then I'll believe we've had a paradigm shift. Until the
  • by wheany ( 460585 ) <> on Thursday August 12, 2004 @08:35AM (#9946501) Homepage Journal
    It won't replace the desktop at least as long as my fingers are not ultra portable as well.
  • Input (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pedestrian crossing ( 802349 ) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @08:36AM (#9946505) Homepage Journal
    The problem always comes back to the input device. Sure, you have your keyboard/mouse when you're docked, but when you're not, input just plain sucks...
    • Re:Input (Score:3, Funny)

      by Timesprout ( 579035 )
      The solution is easy. If I am going to be away from my keyboard I carry a small philipino child around in my rucksack. When I need to something typed I just dictate to the kid and voila, tiny fingers do the typing.

      Note, kids require air food and water (not included with rucksack or handtop)
    • Re:Input (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CommanderData ( 782739 ) * <kevinhi&yahoo,com> on Thursday August 12, 2004 @08:45AM (#9946579)
      Both the OQO and Flipstart have keyboards and a pointing device (trackstick and touchscreen on the OQO, touchpad and trackstick on the Flipstart). I know these aren't full size keyboards, but there are tons of people who type on even smaller, less functional ones. Look at the keyboards on Pocket PCs, Palms, and the Blackberry.
      • Re:Input (Score:4, Interesting)

        by halowolf ( 692775 ) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @09:12AM (#9946771)
        What I think might help, but probably wouldn't take off is the fact that the keyboards on these types of devices are focused on replicating many keys on a standard keyboard when in practicality less keys than that are needed to perform the same job.

        Phones have the entire alphabet and extra characters mapped to 10 buttons and I personally hate putting in SMS messages with them. But there is no arguing that once you are proficient at it you can put them in quite fast. Though nowhere near as proficiently as if that person had the same capability with a full sized keyboard.

        What I think might help is if there was a standardized mini keyboard with multifunction keys that can represent a number of characters, similar to what a standard keyboard does but with a alot of thought put into efficient and fast typing with fewer keys. That way there are fewer keys required and they could be bigger for those big fingered folk. And since it would be a standardized layout there would be more chance of the design, catching on. Though the current situation of the patent world would proabably put the kibosh on that wishful thinking.

        However I have no illusion on a fantasy like this happening anytime soon, or if its even practical.

      • Re:Input (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Lumpy ( 12016 )
        and they will fail miserably because of one thing...

        Vendor lock in mentaility. Until these "new" systems are based on a 100% open system they will fail. eBooks fail because everyone and theri brother hasto have their own format. So when Danny and his old RocketEbook part ways and he buy's a new-fangled ebook he now has to RE-BUY every one of his books. I'm not about to do that with my data and software. If I rely on a expense tracking system that holds it's data in a special XYZ file and then switch t
        • Re:Input (Score:3, Informative)

          Um, I apologize if I mis-understood your post, but the OQO [] and Flipstart [] ARE full IBM-compatible PCs which last time I checked was a 100% open standard. The both run Windows XP. You could install Linux on them if you wanted to as well (as long as drivers are available for their video/audio chips). Granted they are not available just yet, but working systems have been shown to the public.

          These devices are meant as a single replacement for both your Zaurus and your desktop PC. Why have two devices, constant
    • Re:Input (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Zzootnik ( 179922 )
      Actually, its not just that...there's one other part that needs improvement...the display. They could put a 9 ghz Opteron and Geforce 99999 in it, but watching on the dinky little screen would be a pain.
      I've read ebooks on a pda before and yes- it does work, but I'd really like to see some big innovation in display- like a small holograpic generator...I seem to recall seeing something about a micro projector that might work well even... combine that with that laser-traced displayed keyboard that you can d
  • by ecklesweb ( 713901 ) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @08:36AM (#9946509)
    These handheld devices are getting more powerful and more useful, but with the specs listed (1GHz, 256-512 RAM), you're not really talking desktop or even normal laptop computing power. That's especially true given that these devices aren't coming out until the Fall or early 2005 (yeah, I'll believe it when I see it).

    Post a story when they pack computing power equivalent to a six-month old desktop into a handlheld form factor.
    • true...but 1Ghz is enough for menial tasks like office and webbrowsing...

      i do however think these things should run something like palmos, a tailored linux distro, or winCE to keep the memory/horsepower footprint down.
      • true...but 1Ghz is enough for menial tasks like office and webbrowsing...

        Huh? 500 mhz was more than enough for menial tasks like office and webbrowsing!

        Geez, I have an 800 mhz iBook that I use for Quark, Photoshop, software compilations, etc. Not to mention word processing, webbrowsing, music, and email.

        Talk about software bloat. What are you running, a beta copy of Longhorn?

    • I think you underestimate the power a 1GHz system can have.

      No, you won't be able to play DOOM 3 on it. But only hardcore gamers are playing that. Outside of specialized tasks, currently the rest of the world can do pretty well with 500MHz. My sister is using Windows XP, Open on a 300MHz PII laptop, and it runs pretty well.

      The power of a six month old desktop shouldn't be put into a portable device unless desktops suddenly became 5x more efficient. The desktop replacement devices are IMO wor
      • especially on the U70 which had a 1 Ghz Pentium M
        People severely underestimate the Pentium M because they are stuck on comparing Ghz ratings rather than real benchmarks.

        1Ghz is pretty standard for the new "Centrino" Pantium M laptops. 1.8Ghz is I think the highest they go, but they are good fast machines at that speed.
    • My 800Mhz athlon/640MB PC-100 RAM, is slated for at least a couple more years of use. I dualboot linux and winxp, and run winxp under vmware under linux. Personally, I'd rather double my RAM than double my Mhz.

      In terms of formfactor, as a student, I wish I'd bought a laptop. But really what I need is PIM, notetaking (with adv. math symbols), and maxima & octave & emacs. I can wait to get back to my dorm to do heavy keyboarding, but I want/need to replace my HP-48. So a handheld looks very int
    • I'm not sure about anyone else but I can't think of anything that I'd want to do on a small machine like that that requires any more power than that. My only 'Wintel' PC is a 533Mhz C3 Mini-ITX Via box, and it runs Windows XP nicely with 512MB of Ram (minus a bit for shared graphics!).
    • with the specs listed (1GHz, 256-512 RAM), you're not really talking desktop or even normal laptop computing power.

      Yes, the downside is that they're only as powerful as a 2-3 year old notebook computer.

      The upside is that they're an order of magnitude more powerful than the average PDA currently on the market.
  • by grunt107 ( 739510 ) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @08:37AM (#9946515)
    Maybe one day companies might even be willing to pay for part of your handtop, knowing that they would have to invest less in upgrading?

    Most companies want their information/apps locked into their computers - some even to the point of assigning a company laptop to perform off-site work.

    For small/medium companies with less sensitive data protection needs, it could help some of their bottom line. But employee expenses will be their major reduction focus.
  • Shame... I mean, I can't wait until the prices rises. I'm not buying one until they are AT LEAST $5000.
  • No, it's not time.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sporty ( 27564 ) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @08:38AM (#9946522) Homepage
    Each of my hands, (I have two), in a relatively relaxed open position, are somewhere between 4 and 5 inches wide, from thumb to pinky (narf). When my eyes are tired, focusing on distant objects becomes "hard".

    Tiny screen plus uber small keybaord? No tnx. If i have the realestate, I rather have my 18" or however wide keyboard it is + a 19" monitor. For travelling, I rather have something big enough but not outweigh an every-day text book plus wide enough that I'm not squinting and can see my screen, w/o carrying around a full sized monitor.
    • Its a royal pain in the arse.. I don't even try to use mine anymore. Sony has some nice small form laptops that would be suitable for small workspaces but they are still too big to carry around.

      This palmtop on the other hand would be alot easier to carry and it would fit in at least one pocket of a jacket I wear.

      Like another poster said, some people type on blackberrys and their cell phones.. I wouldn't want to type an essay on one of these but if i'm at the mall and want to type up an email i'm sure it

      • Get a small laptop. I use one all the time, even on planes. I use a backback since I typically carry mine a lot.
        • Sure, i'll go ahead and ask my manager for a new small form laptop right now cause I know he has tons of extra cash to spend.

          I have a laptop now, one with a fancy backpack so I can transport it while on my motorcycle. Its not the smallest but its not the biggest either. But I can still see me being able to use a palmtop in alot more places than my laptop.

  • AH!!! (Score:4, Funny)

    by kinema ( 630983 ) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @08:38AM (#9946523)
    That was way too much hype and marketing speak this early in the morning.
  • I personal long for the time when i will have just ONE portable device for everything (phone, email, calendar, Word prcessing, Internet etc) and one central server at home. I think this would be possible already, but the main problem is the lack of good design and innovative IO-Solutions (wheres my foldable Keyboard?).
  • Heat (Score:2, Interesting)

    by oasis3582 ( 698323 )
    I have a really tough time believing that these things remain at a bearable temperature. Laptops with these same processors can still get hot on the old lap. Does anyone have the Sony or know what sort of thermal protection these have? (if any) Might be a nice feature to have in a $2k gadget. Also, how quiet are these things?
  • OQO has been in "next quarter" status for, what, 3 years now? They get /.'ed about every 6 months with their "any day now" press releases. Don't call me until is ships.

    No, I take that back.

    Don't call me until version 3 actually arrives. Anything with so many delays (usu the result of design or production difficulties) is going to be crap on its first two releases.

  • by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @08:40AM (#9946540)
    You'll invest MORE in upgrading, since these little überdevices are completely closed, from a platform, and probably source/OS perspective. Need the new wireless standard? Sorry. Need a RAM upgrade to run Longhorn? Sorry. Need a dual-head video card for a special project? Sorry. Neat PDA though, can you watch Seinfeld on the way to work?
    I predict that the more this appeals to someone in your office, the less work that person does to begin with.
    • You'll invest MORE in upgrading

      I don't think that's really an issue; in 6 years of S/W development at this job, I have *never* had a computer upgraded piecemeal: IT just rolls out completely new PCs every 2 years (or earlier if we complain about something). Right now we have 1.6GHz Thinkpads with 512M ram running Win2k Pro and that'll be just fine for a few more years development.

      But I don't see the need for any more portability in the office environment. If I have to take my notepad to a meeting, I jus

  • by klang ( 27062 ) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @08:41AM (#9946551)
    Is there any PDA, labtop or the like without any form of screen, only with a set of goggles or a head-up display?

    I want the big screen, but I don't want to carry it around .. I would say that a set of high definition LCD goggles would do the trick .. and be less power consuming as they wouldn't have to be very big?
  • My bullshit detector just went through a Paradigm Shift.

    - Seth

  • This sounds [vaguely] similiar to what the PowerBook Duo was supposed to become. The Duo had several problems that prevented it from catching on; will these "handtops" go the same way?
  • doom3 (Score:2, Funny)

    This must be the pda the doom3 guy was carrying! They really need to put a flashlight on it though.
  • Save your time, the "article" reads like a blatant piece of astroturfing with an unhealthy dose of wishful thinking. Unless the price of these "handtops" drop under $1000 fast, they'll be an even bigger flop than the Tablet-PC.
  • Of course (Score:1, Funny)

    by laserbeak ( 794029 )
    The PDA's will be supplied by the UAC- 'brining you a better future!'
  • by Supp0rtLinux ( 594509 ) <> on Thursday August 12, 2004 @08:45AM (#9946578)
    Here's my company's current standard for mobile users:

    $1700.00 - IBM Thinkpad T41
    $150.00 - Port replicator
    $80.00 - Extra battery
    $200.00 - Motorola T720/T730 Cell phone
    $350.00 - Palm or Sony PDA
    $800.00 - Software... PDA sync software add-ons, cell phone addy book sync software, etc.
    $3300.00 approx

    Compared to the OQO alternative:
    $2000.00 - OQO
    $200.00 - Cell phone with bluetooth and GPRS for all-time internet access
    $2200.00 approx + added productivity capabilities.
    So... in the near future it would seem we could save $1000.00 per user and get increased productivity. Not much justifying and convincing to do it would seem...
  • Here's a funny thing: You have to figure that the vast majority of people buying these are going to be the corporate types trying to replace their Blackberries with something even more functional. So why do most of these damn things have XP Home on them?!?!
  • What's the Battery life like?
  • Shift your Paradigm's till your fucking blue in the face. I want newton '05.
  • by Pidder ( 736678 ) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @08:54AM (#9946650)
    These factors, coupled with a dock (plug in a monitor, keyboard and mouse) allow one to imagine a world where maybe they won't need a desktop, or laptop, or mp3 player, video jukebox, digicam, etc.

    Multifunctional devices are all dandy but I don't see how they could compete with devices designed for one thing only. Sure, things develop and multifunctional devices get better people might say but so does the single purpose device. There are mp3 players you connect to your mobile phone but will they ever get as good or compete with say, the iPod?

    Will the camera in most mobile phones ever get as good as a good digital camera? I doubt it.

    It's just too expensive and difficult to bring the best of everything into a device of this kind. You compromise and hope that someone REALLY NEEDS all these things in small package enough to be willing to pay alot of money for it. I certainly won't.

    • I got a factory job where I need ear protection for safety and listen to music for sanity (listening to machines for 8 hours would drive me MAD MAD I TELL YOU!!!!)

      With travel time that is just a little bit to much for my Nomad Zen. So I got two Mp3 player, an iGb-100 (small 1.5gb player from iRiver) in my pockter and the Zen on my belt. I got my wallet of course. Usually some small change and other stuff and my phone. Keys and the job alone adds one for the locker and one tag for signing in and out. A knif

      • Sure you will beat him in functionality but he doesn't look like a geek.

        I am a geek :-)

      • and the quality sucks BUT there are many times i've been in places where I didn't have my digital camera and was able to snap a pic. Yeah, its not great quality but the picture I got last week of my kid getting a hair cut was priceless.

        This is why these multi-function devices are nice to have. They will never be as good as a standalone device but in some situations they are good enough and in 2 years they will probably be better than the standalone product your using today. Camera phones are low qualit

  • ``With a physical size that's slightly larger than a PDA, a handtop has the power of a standard ultra-portable laptop - 1GHz, 256-512MB RAM''

    Reading that made me feel a bit icky. It has the size of a device one would like to use on the road, but specifications that likely make that unfeasable (battery life?). So it's not good for on the road, maybe it's good on the desktop? Well, I doubt whether such machines will use standard parts, so upgrades/customizations will be expensive if not impossible.

  • Portable hard disk (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xugumad ( 39311 ) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @08:56AM (#9946661)
    Would seem more useful to me, to have a portable hard disk. Cheaper, and about as easy to type on...

    I have a 15" PowerBook. It's a good size. A little small, but definitely usable. I dock it to a keyboard, mouse and monitor when at work. This suits me perfectly.

    Given that I walk wherever possible (any journey under a couple of miles, which includes my trip to work), with this laptop, and weight isn't a big issue, why would I want something smaller and less powerful?
  • Slow? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spectrokid ( 660550 ) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @08:59AM (#9946681) Homepage
    And it takes how long to boot XP? In case you meet a friend in the shopping center and quickly need to give him a phone nr... boot, Login, load Outlook, no I FUCKING KNOW I AM NOT ONLINE,...

    There was this story not long ago on a Laptop that would have primitive PIM functions in BIOS. Sounds a lot cooler to me.

  • I just got back from a summer in Japan and the Sony models (U-50 and U-70) were all over the place there. I never did see anyone actually using one though.

    But as a PDA/Laptop thingy they pose a good compromise. For some reason they (Sony) failed to put in Bluetooth in them which seems like a failiure of biblical proportions. Not only can I then not use it with my phone I can also not use wireless mouse and keyboard with it. For me that made it easy to decide against getting one. (Not sure if I would have o
    • I just got back from a summer in Japan and the Sony models (U-50 and U-70) were all over the place there. I never did see anyone actually using one though.

      After reading about the U-[5|7]0, I actually bought one (the U-70). I've had it for two weeks, so I'm still aclimatizing myself to it, but here's my initial impressions.

      • The screen is REALLY SMALL. This is both a blessing and a curse. It does have sufficient resolution to read a "page", but you have to hold it close to your face. (Being old doesn't hel
  • 1Ghz is surely impressive (if not hot) but it's not a question of how big is it, it's about what you can do with it. Let's see how does it improve on a typical current PDA:

    Q: Can I (easily) type on it? Using 6, 8, 10 fingers?
    Q: Can I (comfortably) watch a 16:9 movie? With surround sound?
    Q: Digicam you say? What, with optical zoom and flash?
    Q: Surely I can take it with me into the wild and the batteries last forever?

    Well - I gonna stick with a handheld instead of "handtop" I guess. No, really.

  • SO you have a machine where everything is there EXCEPT a hard disk, it just has a pcmcia type slot, along you come with your 2.5 inch hard disk, pop it in the slot, boot up and away you go....

    Quite apart from the resiliance linux has towards changing hardware, which beats windows hands down everyone except the most crucial area of all, eg graphics cards, especially nvidia ati, linux will handle changes of motherboard / cpu / etc much better than windows, perhaps some of the EXCELLENT functionality of the
  • by Ragnarr ( 555058 ) <mads0100@g m a i> on Thursday August 12, 2004 @09:16AM (#9946803) Homepage
    It's super that they want to stick faster processors with better screens into smaller devices, however I think we forget the main limiting factor. Batteries have not changed in 10 years, and I think until we can develop a device that runs reasonably well (> 2 hours) on current technology we're still at the same point we are now. Give me better batteries, not faster processors!
  • Rosy (Score:2, Funny)

    It's not all rosy, the devices are still under $2000

    Yes, things will be much more rosy when they are over $2000.
  • Not now, but eventually. Especially now that we have more and more wireless products. I think with wireless this will totally be the way to go.

    Imagine carrying around this thing and it will have all your stuff on it. You get up and go to work, you toss this thing in your suit case. You get in the car and your computer's stereo starts reading your mp3s via wireless. Get to the office, toss the thing on the desk, and via wireless it's already talking to your monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers.

    Get h

  • cheap shitty gear (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    truth is i actualy like to have shitty cheap gear that just doesnt do everything. for example if i go hiking or whatever and my cell falls out of my pocket on some rocks im not worried that im going to lose all of my music, designs, etc.
    its just a cell so whatever its going to be fine, but if i had to tote along along a handheld does all unit id be a little nervouse to have fun with it in my backpack.
  • > ... It's not all rosy, the devices are still under $2000

    Yeah, I can hardly wait for the price to go up myself.. :)
  • Cost (Score:4, Funny)

    by abulafia ( 7826 ) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @09:38AM (#9947055)
    t's not all rosy, the devices are still under $2000

    You're right. These things won't take off until they cost about $5000.

  • by hcdejong ( 561314 ) <hobbes AT xmsnet DOT nl> on Thursday August 12, 2004 @09:49AM (#9947176)
    Without RTFA (it's already /.ed), I'd have to say this sounds a lot like the Apple Newton. I.e. it won't work because it's too big to fit in a pocket, and to small to work comfortably on it. Until we get usable and affordable goggles, and/or plus some kind of input technology that's truly portable [1], these devices won't take off.

    1: e.g. digital paper, so I can fold an A3-sized screen/tablet into an A6 package.
  • by Hanno ( 11981 ) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @09:52AM (#9947197) Homepage
    I own a JVC microlaptop (which is actually built by Asus and rebranded by JVC) and I'm totally thrilled by it.

    Around 900 g, about the size of VHS tape, a keyboard that I can comfortably touchtype with (and I think my hands are pretty normal). This is a great device - it runs Linux, has a 20 GB harddisk and is fast enough to watch movies on its 16:9 display.

    I did own a normal 3 kg laptop some years ago and I'm not looking back. I don't own a car and travel by bike and bus - everything more than 1 kg is an annoyance then.

    Yes, I'd love to own an even smaller device. I once bought the Zaurus in the hopes of having a PDA-sized Linux computer, but without a harddisk and without the possibility of connecting an external keyboard, it wasn't worth using and collects dust as one of the most expensive toys I ever bought.

    I'm looking forward to a PDA-sized x86 computer with a harddisk, a decent display and good battery time. I also need connectors for an external display, keyboard and (if possible) TV. Count me in as one of their first customers.
    • I don't own a car and travel by bike and bus

      It's good to get this perspective sometimes. It's been so long since I didn't have a car I forget how inconvenient some things I take for granted can be. I like my Thinkpad T40 cause I can walk around the building with it and if I take it home, I just put it in a Targus bag and toss it in the back of the car. But if I had to take it on my bike or lug it around on the multiple busses it would take me to get home, it would be a pain: the combo of T40, external po

      • It's good to get this perspective sometimes

        I also travel by train a lot. On German speed trains, you now see lots of people using laptops. You could start lan parties with the people you just met on the trip.

        It's funny how often people in the train approach me and ask about my microlaptop. Although it's already more than 2 years old, it must still be fascinating to every nerd seing it. Some people already asked me how I like Windows CE and are surprised when they learn that it's a full-blown PC and run
  • I remember quite a few years back reading (I believe) a John Dvorak column regarding palm-sized handheld computers replacing desktops. The concept was similar, calling for docks to extend functionality while at home, but enough power to do pretty much anything, anywhere. The idea piqued my interest at the time, and seemed feasible. I think that due to the conceptual shift that is also required so-called handtops have yet to become true desktop replacements and have also yet to achieve a truly ideal perfo
  • Of course, (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AugstWest ( 79042 ) on Thursday August 12, 2004 @10:22AM (#9947538)
    if you get a little projector and mount it in the side of one of these so that it can display a, say, 17-20" image on a flat surface.....
  • ...when they're affordable. It took so bloody long to get color handhelds under a decent price... now these neat little toys come onto the market at prices THREE TO FOUR TIMES that of a typical desktop. WTF?

    Wake me when I can actually afford to buy one.
  • What exactly do you need to do on a $2000 palm top unit that's worth the cost, when for around $700 you can get a Zaurus SL-C860 and a wireless card, install the free pdaXrom [] Linux/X environment, and have decently-functional note taking, word processing, mp3 playing, e-mailing, web browsing, scheduling environment? Sure it's a "slow" ARM CPU, but it's as fast as what was on your desktop a few years back, and with the money you save you can buy a really fast desktop system that you can export you Zaurus scre
  • Seriously. Considering how warm similarly spec'd laptops can get can you imagine how hot these puppies will be? I mean the surface area is so much smaller the escaping heat is going to have be a lot more concentrated. Ouch!
  • one day companies might even be willing to pay for part of your handtop

    Many companies have tried this with laptops. It almost always ends in frustration.

    What would be needed is some sort of dual-boot system or vitualization... where the employee would be free to install games, screensavers and other eye candy, "free" apps that include spyware, and all the other crap that individuals often load onto own computers.... which is entertaining but has a tendancy to interfere with business usage.

    As far as m

  • How about the next version Treo, "Ace" [], due in October? It's scaled down from those "handtops", but not by much - each spec is about 1/3 that of these handtops (except for default RAM, but that accommodates the lighter PalmOS). And the Treo is built around a completely integrated phone, with a DB instead of a filesystem, while its "paradigm" is a mobile peripheral for a networked desktop, instead of making a bloated desktop kinda mobile.

Some people carve careers, others chisel them.