Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Which device...next?

So I’m finally home and after shaking some heavy jetlag and I must admit I am glad. Not only was I greeted by the reality that the holiday was over, but as consolation I now have a plethora of UMPC to deal with! Admittedly the one UMPC I was most happy to see was the Fujitsu U1010. I don’t know why but it just seems to have this certain magnetism about it. Maybe it is the white coloured shell, or maybe the all-in-one design; either way it was a pleasant surprise. The second device which caught my attention was the TufTab. This unit was a little quirky at first sight but now it just seems to make a lot of sense. In a world full of pace and often full of mishaps, the semi rugged case just seemed to make new sense.

As I sit here staring down the barrel of the gun I realise I am facing a new game of Russian roulette. Now that I have returned from abroad I feel it time to change machines...again. As many of you know it was the Toshiba R400 that was my companion for the last several months. There were several reasons why I chose this unit, i.e. large screen resolution, bright display, nice keyboard, lightweight design, great extended battery option, and great tablet PC experience in pen mode. The fact remains however that the predominant reason for taking this device overseas was that it provided the best desktop replacement experience.

Now that I am back I no longer need the desktop replacement experience as I have monitors and large keyboards that I can use from any room in my home or office so (happily) the need to replace a desktop, while on the road, is no longer there. So here is my new dilemma. Which unit next???

Ultimately I have decided to sell the 3-month old Toshiba R400, with extended battery, with 4GB of RAM and with docking station. It is sad to see it go but three months is long enough. LOL. Faced with the decision of finding a replacement device I am however still struggling. What I would like to know from you is if money were no option, which device, out of the current assortment available in the world, would you go for?

I’m thinking the following:

  • Shift: great mobile unit with 3G embedded. Big plus. (crap battery life)
  • Q1U: great device overall with the organiser pack and nice extended battery options (poor pen features and bulky when fully accessorised.)
  • OQO e2 SSD: this sounds like a great unit with lots of positive features. The big plus is I get to use a lot of existing accessories. (Tiny screen when on the road)
  • EVERUN: The Docking station is great and battery life is unbeatable. (specifications are the killer here.)

What do you guys/gals think? I will try the HUGOMETER out on myself and let you kow the results.

PS. If you are interested in buying the R400 with all its gear then (email: hugo at Tegatech dot com dot au). The price is $2500 AUD for the lot ($2,200 USD) + freight.

25 comments:

DH said...

Hi Hugo,
I just picked up a factory refurbished R400 from Toshiba (just couldn't let it go for the song it was advertised for even though I don't need it) :). I must say I'm extremely impressed by it. After my shocking experience running XP on the P1610 when I was vistamised (now happily running XP tablet) I am loving the R400. As mentioned in other reviews the spec's don't add up on the R400, but whatever they did to design it for Vista worked because this is a rocketship of a tablet. Does your edge display work correctly? I wondered if it wakes and checks emails over Wifi as I don't have EVDO in mine I think. I see email notifications but I don't know if it's just showing unread ones or waking and checking. Also my little strength indicator always shows nothing as I assume it's looking for EVDO.
I bought it to resell but now i'm faced with a growing affection for it. So either the 12inch PWRbook or the P1610 might have to go.
Mind you it's not small and it is a brick :) compared to the P1610......

sbt said...

Hugo,

Have you seen the speed comparisons Rob Bushway did on the 020 with and without SSD? I think you just MUST have one.

Sean Tan said...

I would go with the OQO e2. It seems like the perfect balance between power and portability. The small screen shouldn't be too much of a deal since you just hook it up to an external monitor when at home. And when you are out, it's really only being used for web-browsing and emails.

I'm still waiting for my Q1U so I can't tell you what I think about it yet. Hopefully tomorrow.

@dh: If you want to sell your P1610, please let me know since my brother is out for a convertible tablet/UMPC. Not sure how much you are asking for though.

Foo said...

Hi Hugo,

I've been watching the development of UMPCs the last year or so. Thank you for all of your work as a champion for mobile computing. First I liked the Q1U, but then the Shift hit the scene. Since the Q1U should soon have HSDPA, I'm leaning toward the Q1U. What can I say...I'm flip floppin like John Kerry in his last Presidential campaign. LOL

Foo

Hugo Ortega said...

@DH:

Hi DH,

Funnily enough I am in a similar position. My Apple computer sits untouched too. For me there is not enough flexibility so out of every ten devices I own the poor Mac will always come eleventh (IMHO).

I hear you regarding the R400 though. I know that when the first opportunity came up for me to buy the unit I could not resist. It has this certain charm about it that is almost irresistible. It is surprising just how well it works and with 4GB of RAM it works even better. :-)

My edge display works well on WiFi but I must admit I pay little attention to it. By the time the lid is closed on my machine I really WANT to walk away. LOL.

Thanks for the great comment!

@sbt:

Hi Sbt,

You know what...I think you’re right!


@Sean:

Hi Sean,

I think I am leaning towards e2 a lot. I think your Q1U is a special machine and you will be very content. For me the need to have a pocketable device far outways the benefits a Q1U would give me so the OQO wins out over other machines, including the Shift too.
When you do get the Shift let me know star! I can’t wait to hear your feedback.

@foo:

Hi Foo,

Joh n Kerry was a little like you! HAHAHA, although I am sure UMPC was not on his mind! LOL. Like you I like the Q1U a lot, especially with the HSDPA. The Shift is great but I dislike the battery life and the fact that the two Operating Systems do NOT talk to each other internally! BIG NO NO!

Thanks for your feedback, it all helps.

Eugene said...

Hi Hugo,

Is the choice of SSD going to influence your choice of your next device?

Regards
Eugene

Hugo Ortega said...

Hi Eugene,

It wasn't but it sure sounds good! There are so many benefits to having SSD that I think I will find it hard to steer away. :-)

dh said...

Sorry for the typo in the comment meant to say "shocking experience on Vista."
I'm inking this on the R 400.
I only have 2gb RAM but man this thing is fast. I can flip between apps and run all the eye can dy of Vista wiothout missing a beat.
If you don't mind me asking where did you get the 2GB chips for your RAM upgrade? Local. Also a quick question re edge display: did it show email subjects for you? I can't seem to get the notifications display to work. Thanks.

Hugo Ortega said...

hi DH,

The eye candy stuff is great. It runs seamlessly! With regards to the RAM I bought it in Australia. It is not however off the shelf as I bought it from a Distributor so I'm afraid I cannot refer you anywhere.

i know for a fact that Harris Technology and others have this available too. (If you're in Austrlia)

Anonymous said...

Hello Hugo,

In fist place, I would like to thank you for your great work promoting UMPC and TabletPC. Though this is my first post on your Blog, I have been following it enthusiastically for some time now.
I am not yet a UMPC owner, but I am looking for a full featured “pocketable” device to upgrade my Windows Mobile PocketPC. Therefore, I would love to see you review the upcoming ASUS R50 (R3) and put it side by side whith the Everun and the OQO 2.

Greetings from Portugal,
Alex

Chris said...

Thanks for being someone to get and try out all these portable devices for us folks, who by necessity are more cautious. It must be quite a headache to set up all these devices,and then to wipe personal information when ready to move on. Do you have any thoughts on the new Dell tablet specs? I have a heavy, used Fuj. 4010 that works fine that I bought until the Umpc/tablet tech converges into something that is the best of both inking and laptop functionality. The lifebook 1610 seemed almost there.

Hector said...

Hugo,
I just want to welcome you back from that nice long vacation LOL. Not many of us can spend such a great time with our families, but good thing you are able to do this. About your next UMPC I say you go with the Q1U which by the way I have read that they where upgrading the speed. I will try to find out and send you a link. I still have my Q1P with Vista Business and 2GB of RAM and works great for me because I am most of the time on the road and works for me. At home I use my SR MacBook Pro as my desktop replacement. Well great your back and we will be waiting for the VBLOGS.

HG.

Chuck said...

Hugo - welcome back! Now that you are back to work, we can put you to work :)
Please look at the WiBrain B1 as one of your next devices.
If you can find out more about the US700 series devices that are rumored to be out early next year it would be appreciated.
I hope you are going to share how the devices you took on vacation performed (or not, as the case may be...)

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