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Handhelds Hardware

PDA and Subnotebook Killer? 250

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the see,-size-does-matter dept.
Purdah writes "I found this site with a description of a new type of palm sixed PC. It runs windows and would be great for mobile uses like music and movies (says it can store 3 movies). Extracts below are from the official website: complete Windows XP wireless handheld computer, cradle to dock with a keyboard and monitor, transforming the OQO to a full feature desktop machine, media player mode with enough memory for 1000 songs or three feature length movies, optimization for cool running and miserly power consumption" Looks a little vaporous to me, as well as thick. But there's an awful lot of potential if they get it right.
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PDA and Subnotebook Killer?

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  • Vapor, again. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Overzeetop (214511)
    How many times are we going to see this spiffy site touting vaporware posted to slashdot?

    • Have you checked them out?

      OQO, Inc.

      1800 Illinois
      San Francisco, CA 94124

      phone: 415.920.9090
      fax: 415.550.1504


      I do agree, I am tired of this being rehashed/reposted.
    • Probably a lot. Any bets on how long before the site get's slashdotted this time? It didn't take long last time due to the huge size of the flash file.
    • I know this doesn't carry a lot of weight, but its true.. I actually got a chance to play with one of those made by Fujitsu a few weeks ago...and they are sweet.. a little thick but sweet none the less... definitely the future of mobile computing.
    • Re:Vapor, again. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @11:25AM (#3909209) Journal
      Damn, the mods are pretty rabid today ;-)

      I almost got excited. I went to the page and thought "oh, yeah, this has been here before. But hey - maybe they're shipping now. Um, then again...maybe not."

      I was just pointing out that nothing has changed but the snazzy graphics.

      Mod this one down too, I'm just posting again to be annoying.
    • How many times are we going to see this spiffy site
      The site may look spiffy but the user experience is entire unspiffy; that has to be the most awkward scrolling mechanism I've ever come across. It was so frustrating that I even fired up IE to see if there was any improvement. There wasn't.

      I'm not saying that the designer wasn't skilled, he just obviously didn't care very much about the user experience - not a very good sign for their product as a whole!

  • Six (Score:5, Funny)

    by cybermace5 (446439) <g.ryan@macetech.com> on Thursday July 18, 2002 @11:19AM (#3909150) Homepage Journal
    "a palm sixed computer"

    The person who typed this needs a BIGGER keyboard, not a smaller one!

  • Killer app? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jacer (574383)
    this would be awesome... I recently took a 5 day road trip with some pals of mine, in that five days there were 26 hours of driving (eek) with 3 full length movies, it would make the time go by much quicker! however what we ended up doing was taking four laptops, a 1200 watt power inverter, and some wireless cards, made an ad hoc network and played some games
  • Maybe I missed it on the site, but what is the power consumption on this little thing? My old Velo 1 handheld kills a pair of alkaline AA's in about 12 hours. I wonder what sort of portable nuclear reactor this thing is touting.
  • Palm Sixed (Score:1, Funny)

    by b00 3rn5 (593878)
    a new type of palm sixed PC

    Palm Sixed? I prefer Palm Sex.

  • by ralian (127441)
    That was the quickest /. effect I've ever seen - no page after only 3 posts!
  • I could have sworn that this was a story after one of the confrences a number of months back.

    Can we not have so many reposts...
    • "I could have sworn that this was a story after one of the confrences a number of months back."

      This story appeared for about 60 seconds at around 10:30 this morning, and then disappeared. (Look at my journal for details and note the timestamp.) Now it is present again.

  • Ars Technica reported on this back on 04.18.2002....

    http://arstechnica.com/archive/newspro/news-arch iv e-4-2002.html

  • Isn't it time for someone to prepare to port the kernel over to it? Seems to me that it will be rather easy to port the kernel on the basis that it runs Windows XP(not the embedded version).

    If you read the stuff, the makers of the OQO were from Apple. They kinda left the company to develop this lil piece of hardware. It'll be interesting to see if the device is as intuitive as a mac.

    sidenote:
    2002-06-23 16:31:28 Fully functional portable PC the size of a PDA (articles,tech) (rejected) -- crap.
    • //...port the kernel over to it?

      oh, right. port the kernel. great idea. let's get minix up on this thing as quick as possible. er, wait, did you mean that other kernel? well, okay, if you want ultrix instead.
      honestly, there's a pair of kernels i'd like to see running on this thing; i'm pretty sure neither are the one you meant (Plan 9 and Inferno). there is more to the world than Linux.

      anyway, porting the kernel (any kernel running on 386 chips) isn't likely to be the big effort - dirvers are. based on the (minimal) tech info on their site, it sounds like they're using a "special" display and touch screen, and they may or may not be keen on giving out info on those. plus whatever other funky stuff they've done to the AT spec.

      as you pointed out, these guys left Apple to build a Windows XP device. that says amazingly bad things to me about their understanding of building real systems (as opposed to hardware boxes), which is an important and overlooked skill in general that becomes even more important when dealing with handheld and/or specialty systems.
  • OQO resources (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    OQO resources [stevebarr.com]

  • My team often travels and have to set up office in different places. We all have laptops as our main desktop machines and wireless cards. We have discussed before taking a file/print/web server with us which we travel but we've yet to find any hardware which is appropriate. This looks like it might be suitable.

  • by sllort (442574) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @11:23AM (#3909190) Homepage Journal
    Someone needs to put a leash on their PR people.

    "Introducing the world's first ultrapersonal computer"

    Computer: How are you today?
    You: Fine.
    Computer: I noticed that your morning bowel movement deviated from your mean by 170 grams. What happened last night?
    You: Um, you know, I was out with this girl, and... hey, get out of my face!
    Computer: Your face has 7,230 pores today.
    You: Ahhhhhhhh!

    Creepy.
  • Why not just have a shitload of BLINK tags and be done with it?

    That's got to be the most annoying website design in the history of history.
  • Slashdot, slashdot... Twice in two days now.

    http://slashdot.org/articles/02/04/16/1732252.shtm l?tid=137 [slashdot.org]

    This one's been posted before back in April, and then it was considered vaporware too.
  • Apart from being way too big, it's not a cell phone.

    I still insist that the ultimate device would be an iPod with a screen that runs the full length of the device with cell phone and pda technology.
  • Another article (Score:3, Informative)

    by jimmcq (88033) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @11:24AM (#3909201) Journal
    There is an informative article on the OQO "Ultrapersonal" PC at http://sg.biz.yahoo.com/020702/15/304wm.html [yahoo.com]
  • by kaas (458980) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @11:25AM (#3909207) Homepage
    Quote from their web page: "ubiquitous personal computing in a wallet sized device". Is this referring to wallet size before or after you buy the thing?
  • 3 movies? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Oo.et.oO (6530)
    * Powered by Crusoe 0.13 micron TM5800 processor at up to 1GHz
    * 10GB hard drive with storage for thousands of songs or three full length movies
    * 256MB memory
    * four inch, high-resolution super bright VGA color LCD
    * Synaptics touchscreen
    * Advanced lithium polymer battery
    * 1394 FireWire, USB, audio out, OQO-link docking connector, microphone
    * Built in 802.11 and Bluetooth wireless networking
    * 4.1" x 2.9" x 0.9" / 105mm x 74mm x 22mm; less than 9 oz. / 250 grams

    i have a hell of a lot more than three movies on my 10 GB drive. of course they aren't dvd quality, but who needs that? not on a 5" screen!

    besides the fujitsu B series looks better than this...
  • by lo_fye (303245)
    i post'd a msg about dis thang 6 months ago, but da msg didn't go live :( it's purdy kewl tho. Integrated bluetooth and 802.11b as well! that'd be da shiznit!!
  • 1. fairly large Flash app (read: s-l-o-w ) drives the navigation
    2. avoid the hi-resolution image of the device (in hardware, image gallery) as the link opens a 4577-by-3597 JPEG file
  • OQO Photo Gallery (Score:3, Informative)

    by mh_tang (307188) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @11:27AM (#3909222)
    Looks like the OQO website is on the verge of being slashdotted, so here is a photo gallery [tiscali.co.uk] of the OQO.

    Short review (reads more like an advertisement, actually) also here [tiscali.co.uk].
  • No vaporware here (Score:5, Informative)

    by AnimalSnf (149118) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @11:27AM (#3909226)
    This company orignally announced this product a couple of months ago. A write-up on it and some pretty pictures can be found here [infosync.no] and here [transmetazone.com]. What is really cool is that the company was started by people from Transmeta and notebook designers for Apple and IBM. Their plans are to release this thing by Christmas, and with that kind of background I highly doubt they are just blowing smoke up the public's ass.
    • You'd think they'd come up with something a little less slabby given all that background.
  • Price? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ziggy_zero (462010)
    Dude, these things look pretty sweet, and I'll be sure to get one....if the price is right.

    "It's not available yet, and Oqo doesn't expect to manufacture its devices on its own, so it has said nothing about a ballpark price for the units."

    Does anybody have any realistic estimate for what these will cost?

    (That quote is from the Forbes.com article here [forbes.com], btw)
  • .. before it runs *nix? I'm sure it could, it has a Crusoe processor, vga screen (generic vga should drive it if not fbdev. Probably pretty standard... now the question is what is the cost? If it is to much then it will not be worth it. In order to compete with palm / pocket pc it needs to be selling for around $400 - $500. To compete with subnotebooks it needs a slightly larger screen and / or keyboard IMHO.
    • by Mr. Jaggers (167308) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [zreggaj]> on Thursday July 18, 2002 @12:15PM (#3909616)
      As soon as it's released... at least according to mizz Anjel Van Slyke. Yeh, I asked them just that question (the last time this story was posted on Slashdot... *snicker* ;) and actually got a pretty prompt response, one evening turnaround on my email. I think that's pretty good, considering the media hype they generated that month... maybe the issue was one they felt needed addressing anyway:
      From: me

      To: their info email address
      Subject: Oqo Ultrapersonal

      Are there any plans to offer driver support for a linux based operating system?
      Transmeta had done a lot of the legwork and a crusoe compatible linux
      kernel is
      available. Production quality firewire, usb, 802.11b, and Bluetooth driver
      support is also available, so peripherals wouldn't be a problem.

      This sort of thing would be very handy for the networking professional on-the-
      go for setting up and configuring institutional LAN's.

      It's just something to consider.

      Thanks, and I await a response!

      fast forward 18 hrs...
      From: Anjel Van Slyke

      To: by way of OQO information desk
      Subject: Re: Oqo Ultrapersonal

      As full feature, full power personal computer that fits in your pocket, the
      OQO will support a Linux based operating system. The current operating
      system is WindowsXP.

      Thanks for your interest.

      Anjel Van Slyke
      OQO
      www.oqo.com
      Aww... how nice of her! Of course, then she forgets that she responded to me and three hours later I get:
      As a full feature, full power computer the OQO is capable of supporting

      other operating systems including Linux.

      Thanks for your interest and we will definitely take your comments into
      consideration.

      Anjel Van Slyke
      OQO
      www.oqo.com

      Hmm... well, okay.

  • there is not all that much to think about

    transmeta SOC
    RAM
    hard disk
    LCD
    battery

    so in terms of board layout its nowhere near as had to do a motherboard

    the real thing is the battery life and screen because large screen needs more batterys and personally I could not live under 1024/768 if I had to run normal windows

    regards

    john jones
  • Enormous potential (Score:3, Interesting)

    by falser (11170) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @11:36AM (#3909290) Homepage
    I discovered this site some months ago and was awestruck. Finally a portable computer/workstation/storage capacity/web browser/music listening device that would make sense for me to buy. I think a standard PC-compatible device like this has the potential to wipe out, or at least replace, the PDA industry. Why bother having a PalmOS device? Why would you need a laptop? What use is an iPod that can only copy one-way? Just have this little computer, with a big enough screen to view a standard desktop with, and bring that around where ever you go.

    On the site they mention you'll be able to get a Laptop shell accessory that you slide the oQo into, instantly making it a full-keyboard full-monitor laptop. In the corporate world it may be cheaper to buy everyone one of these rather than buying everyone a full blown desktop workstation, laptop computer, and PDA device.

    Also it's built by some former Apple engineers (probably ones who worked on the iPod) which makes me hopefull that it won't be just vapourware.
    • Why bother having a PalmOS device?

      I don't have a PalmOS device, but I do have a non-Windows PDA (an apple Newton). I wouldn't trade my Newton or a PalmOS device in on this thing. I used to have a Windows PDA, but I got rid of it. Why? Because a PDA needs to be FAST -- not just fast in terms of CPU power, but fast in terms of data entry and fast in terms of the number of "taps" required to do a given task.

      My Windows CE PDA was SLOW on these fronts... To get anything done, I had to go to the start menu. To make a note I had to to Start -> Programs -> Note application -> File -> New note, and then after I was done entering the note, I had to do File -> Save note, then enter a filename. To retrieve it, I had to start the application the same way and then do a File -> Open -> [file dialog] -> Ok. People would be giving me information and I'd be saying "hold on --" while going tap, tap, tap, tappity, tap. Plus, the damn thing crashed all the time and had to be rebooted, which is not only embarrassing ("hold on, my PDA froze, I need to reboot") but also required turning the unit over and stabbing at the recessed reset button with the stylus.

      I don't know if Windows CE PDAs have evolved since this (CE 2.11) or not, but this device that has such "great potential" is actually running a full-fledged Windows operating system (XP). That's too much going on, too many menus and settings, and too much room for something to go wrong for any PDA I care to carry. I'll keep my Newton.

      For replacing laptops... Maybe. It does have an XGA screen according to the site and my eyesight is pretty good... But on the other hand, if you're writing a book, you'll still have to carry a keyboard. And if you're going to carry a keyboard, you might as well carry the entire laptop so that you can get the nice, large screen.

      So if I were to buy one, I'd probably end up with FOUR computers -- desktop, laptop, Newton, and this thing. Arrrrrgh!

      • Oh Pocket PC 2002 (CE 3.0 based) is MUCH better then WinCE 2.11. It has a whole new look and every thing is much better then the crud that was 2.11. To make a note, I poke at the start menu, and it's right there. Two pokes!:) Also, any app you have used recently has an icon at the top of the start menu. Also, you can close them, but that really just puts them in background. You can use WISbar to do a true program close, or use the memory applet under settings. One thing I like about some apps is some are putting a exit action on a menu that closes the app (PocketTV and several others....). It's real important to manage how many apps you are running so your PDA does nto bog down. It would have been real nice if Microsoft would have listened to the user here. Sure, they say it will automatically close the apps as it needs resources, but I don't trust it. Current Pocket PC's are very good compared to the old WinCE. Sure, it may not be a Zaurus running Linux, but at least you can get apps for it (instead of having to write all of your own...you can still write programs, but you'd use eVB or eC++).
        • But, to bring you back on topic, winXP is NOT designed to do PDA things well or quickly. Like the Newton owner, I wouldn't give up my PalmOS PDA for a portable PC. When I want to jot down a note, I poke one button on the thing and start writing. Want to add a contact, I push one button, tap the "new" soft-button on the screen, and start entering data. It's fast, reliable, and responsive. I don't want to wait while the contact managment app comes up. I don't want to wait while the thing launches notepad.

          I think people who like this device do not understand what a PDA is for. Microsoft sure as hell doesn't. Is it an interesting and useful device? You bet! It's really cool! But it's NOT a PDA.
    • corporate world it may be cheaper to buy everyone one of these rather than buying everyone a full blown desktop workstation, laptop computer, and PDA device.



      Especially if your running non-Free software; the savings in licensing costs would be worth considering.
    • by Sloppy (14984)
      Why bother having a PalmOS device?
      Because there are some stubborn luddites that prefer to change their batteries once every few months, instead of twice per day. Imagine that!
      • Maybe they should try these new fangled rechargeable Lithium-Ion things instead of Everready AA's.
      • I only have to slip my Palm V into the cradle to charge it about once a month, and since I'm usually home more often than that, it gets a daily charge, and is fully charged in a few minutes. I really wish the other Palm devices had lithium ion batteries as well.
  • Specs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mr_Silver (213637) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @11:36AM (#3909291)
    Looks a little vaporous to me, as well as thick

    Well ignoring the first part, lets get some perspective on this:

    The OQO is:

    • 0.1" higher than the 10 gig iPod
    • 0.5" wider than the 10 gig iPod
    • 0.06" thicker than the 10 gig iPod
    A little thick ? Christ, you have a 256 meg product with a 10 gig HD running up to 1 gigahertz and you're a little worried about it being a paltry 0.15cm wider than an iPod!!??

    My only concern is the battery life? What do you reckon? 45 minutes tops?

    And of course the insane price this will be.

  • Another nice system. (Score:2, Informative)

    by zik0 (450949)
    Xybernaut makes a similar system [xybernaut.com].
    They also sell a wearable [xybernautonline.com].
    • Barely similar. There is a huge difference between 128 MHz and 1 GHz. Also a huge difference between 32 MB RAM and 256 MB RAM.

      If this oOo thingy is real, I'd really be interested in getting one as it would actually be useful as a general purpose computing device.

      The reason I've never bought a PDA is manifold:

      1. I don't want to be locked in to some else's idea of what my computing tasks are or should be;

      2. I want to be able to use the software of my choice and upgrade/change it as I need/want too;

      3. I don't want to take a big performance hit in exchange for size.

      So, I've just been waiting for the technology to catch up with my requirements. This little box could do it!


  • And this is bettern than a Compaq iPaq becuase? Or a Palm? Once again, another company makes a product too big to be a handheld and too weak to be a laptop.

    Unless it is priced very competitively against PDAs, it doesn't have a chance.

  • by mosch (204)
    Until I actually use one of these things, I have some serious doubts about it's usability. After all, their website puts the text of the specifications into a gif [oqo.com] that's nearly impossible to read, and then puts this hard-to-read black text over a dark backgrounded making it even harder to read.

    Now go to news/press, and read the article with a nice high-res monitor. You'll find that the text of their press release is inside a borderless box that doesn't offer a vertical scroller. Instead you have to put your mouse over some up and down arrows, and wait for the text to slowly scroll into the visible area.

    It's a nice idea, but if they can't make a usable website, what are the odds that they can make a usable PDA? Anybody who ever counted themself as a Palm user knows that the key to a good PDA is quality interface design, not speed or memory.

  • Found here [linuxdevices.com] yesterday.
  • I know -- off subject -- mod down if you like. I was really interested in the story, but 5 seconds into the website I had decided it was not worth the price.

    Flash must die. This website is a good example of why flash is a bad, bad, thing. As a matter of fact -- the only time I see flash as a good thing is for kids games. IE -- PBSkids.org [pbskids.org] where my kids can play games with cookie monster and such. But if you are a company trying to peddle a product and you build your whole site like this --- the web Gods must strike you down.
    • by SlashChick (544252) <ericaNO@SPAMerica.biz> on Thursday July 18, 2002 @11:58AM (#3909449) Homepage Journal
      "Flash must die. This website is a good example of why flash is a bad, bad, thing."

      Please STOP BLAMING THE TOOL!

      This is like saying "I know this really annoying website... and it's made from HTML, so HTML must suck." You even said in your original post that you have found a great Flash site ("PBSkids.org [pbskids.org] where my kids can play games with cookie monster..."), so what is the problem?

      Yeah, the linked site is ugly: puke-green coloring and big blinking annoyances. But this isn't Macromedia's fault. Please stop blaming Flash for bad site designers. Bad site designers will be bad site designers, regardless of the tools you give them.

      The best thing you can do is to contact the company's marketing department (obviously without using the webmaster@ email address, as this will likely go directly to the site designer) and tell them that you don't like their site. Instead of saying "it's ugly", give concrete reasons why you didn't want to buy the product: "the blinking text obscured what I was trying to read", for instance. In other words, instead of complaining on Slashdot, complain to someone who can actually do something about it.

      *sigh* I have to wonder why this is such a hard concept...
      • I hate flash because it's slow to load, hard to stop animations, and (unlike java) impossible to turn off once you've installed the plugin. So when I installed mozilla, I did NOT install flash - and I've been happy with the results.

        I suppose I should get on bugzilla and ask for a "Turn Off Flash" option (and also other plugins like MIDI - **shudder**) rather than bitch on slashdot, but why do that when bitching on slashdot is so much more fun?

        You're right, though, that Flash need not suck. Yatta is a good example of what one should do with it.

        • ... impossible to turn off once you've installed the plugin.

          No problem disabling flash here:

          C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\regsvr32.exe C:\WinNT\System32\Macromed\Flash\swflash.ocx /u

          Remove the /u to re-enable, and adjust your paths if necessary.

          Make two shortcuts and put them in your "Links" toolbar.

    • Without Flash, how else are you going to make your vaporware product which you have little or no hard information on still look professional and exciting?

      The other reply is correct, too: Don't blame the tool, blame the user.
  • If you look closley at the high res image, you can most certainly tell that the case is a machined alloy, with bead blasted finis, you can also spo a hair on the unit to the left middle of the screen.

    This isnt rocket science guys, its a Transmeta Cursoe proc, right for power consumption, and a 10 gig HD, nothing special there.

    I think its slick, anywhere under 1500 I'd buy in a heartbeat.

    Beside, you know its real from ONE SIMPLE ting in the high res photo, its got Quake on it, what developer at a company wouldnt just have to see how it quakes :)

  • Wade through this horrible flash site and you'll eventually see pictures of this thing. It is not a PDA killer unless you like carrying around something the size, weight and appearance of a 3.5 inch hard disk. And running XP? Ugh - I suppose you have to be running Outlook to get anywhere near the functionality that a PDA requires.

    This thing is definitely and obviously useless as a PDA.

    It would be a cute toy however and might be useful replacement for a laptop if you're going to plug it into external monitor, mouse & keyboard. Assuming it had a decent battery life, it might make an awesome personal media player too.

  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Thursday July 18, 2002 @11:59AM (#3909457) Homepage Journal
    Why, when every trend in television, desktop computers, and movie theaters is towards more immersive, bigger screens, does anyone think that that a palm-sized screen will ever truly work for viewing movies?

    Every time I watch a movie on the small screens in airplanes, I feel like I'm staring through a keyhole. It seems to me that in order for a new product to be successful, (in general, discounting the monopoly and marketing advantages some companies enjoy) it has to offer something better by a noticable factor than previous products.

    All the efforts to squeeze video onto palmtops, cellphones, and so on seem to be missing the point that the user experience is really crappy on these things.

    The genius of the iPod, imo, is that it makes listening to music easier. Downloading, sorting, and selecting the tunes you want to listen to is easier than with competing players. It might not be by a huge factor, but the accumulation of slight advantages here and there results in a superior product.

    Shrinking video down to such a small size may seem akin to putting video games on a Gameboy screen, but I think it's different. Movies are not made for such small screens, whereas Gameboy titles are specifically produced for the screen size used for display.

    I'm skeptical that this will ever appeal to anything but a limited audience.

    • Why, when every trend in audio is towards more immersive, bigger speakers, higher fidelity records and reel-to-reel tapes, and quadraphonic sound, does anyone think that a palm-sized low-fidelity "compact casette" 2-channel system through a pair of lightweight (and bass starved) headphones will ever truly work for listening to music?

      Every time I listen to a subway performer, the excess reverberations and din of the cars make me feel like I'm listening through a seashell. It seems to me that in order for a new product to be successful, it has to offer something better by a noticable factor than previous products. ... and with that last sentence, my friend, you've hit on the exact answer. Well, almost. Form factor. People will find imaginitive uses for this - and, as in the case of the Walkman, portability will offer new and very different ocassions to use the product. Watching a movie may not be the best use, but people will find others... no one caries around pocket video games anymore, but whoever thought that video games on a cell phone (a different form factor) would be so popular?

      Bah, if someone wants to get sweaty listening to music, they'll go to the disco where the DJ will have a proper sound system and the necessary funkadelic light show -- none of this "jogging with a pair of headphones".
      • I had to laugh at your *ironical* comments about portable music. Definitely, you make some good points. Perhaps my problem is that I simply can't envision what those future uses of small video might be. Of course, that doesn't mean that someone won't come up with a killer application of the technology.

        I can see vertical market uses, for folks like real estate agents, salespeople, and so on, but it still seems like a technology in search of a use. My guess is that if a fantastic new use for small screens pops up, it will be entertainment-driven.

        Someone must have ideas for a killer application of small screen technology. Comments?

    • Personally I've wanted to watch movies on my PDA for a long time. I've got good eyesight (for now) and the reduced video quality would be a decent tradeoff for portability. My 60 minute train rides to work to and from work everyday would be much more enjoyable if I could pop in a movie to pass the time.
    • I think that the real value of this device will become apparent once we get our hands on some high quality display devices that can be worn like glasses or beamed straight into the retina. One of those palm sized folding keyboards and an in-eye display with this thing would rock. Otherwise, I kind of agree with you that the display is a little kludgy.
    • I agree. However, when these smaller screens have better resolution than the larger screens, it becomes a trade off more than a loss.

      I can watch Eyes Wide Shut on my iBook, and put the screen two feet from my head. It's a hell of a lot prettier than my 512x384 pixel TV. At least I imagine it is :) Of course it's only going to be recorded at the lower resolution, but I wont get the same kind of distortion from a curved screen, and the image won't run off the edges, etc. As long as the image is high enough resolution, I don't think the experience will be that bad.
  • or three feature length movies, optimization for cool runnings

    I can think of a few better movies to optimize a computer for....

    But seriously, I like this idea, or at least the direction its going, and I don't think it really needs to be vaporware (if these guys don't do it, someone else will). As tech gets more advanced, smaller, and cheaper, more will be intergrated into a personal device.

    Currently I'm happy with my laptop and palm, but I could see buying something like this if all these features were included:

    A modern easy to use OS and interface that can read multiple audio/vidio formats, can view and modify standard spreadsheet and text documents, and a simple e-mail client.

    A suite of wireless interfaces (8011x, digital cellualar etc) that allows voice and data communications to existing pay cell networks and the growing wireless networks.

    Easy and inexpensive docking hardware that allows you to have access to more triditional PC input/output devices.

    Decent handwriting interpritation software to take notes on.

    Make it small enough to fit inside a coat pocket, give it a realistic 12 hour battery life, and sell it for less then $200, and I'll buy it.

    I really expect something like this to come about in 5 years.
  • In the screenshot where they actually show the device running, you can see on the desktop that they've already installed DivX and Quake II. The real use come out! Gaming and movies on the road! Woo!

    Of course, that's all laptops are used for anyway.
  • I'd love to see something like this with a
    cell phone on a PCMCIA card.
    Maybe it would have a headset & boom microphone I'd wear while the computer clips to my belt.

    Then again, with Linux hitting the cell phone market, who would need the PCMCIA part? Maybe my dream computer really isn't that far away.

    As cool as this is, I think I'd have more use for a portable phone/Internet than an expensive portable movie player. I'll give them credit though. They realize the hassle involved in syncing up your devices - elimating the problem by only having one device.
  • This is going to have all the same old problems, that every other ultra-small laptop/pda has either the handwriting reconition is lame or carry the keyboard is too difficult. The Palm folding keyboard is nice but almost the same size as this device. The VGA screen probably looks good, but XP is going to be pretty cramp on 640x480, it may run MSWord but by the time the start bar, window header, tool icons etc ... fill the screen ther isn't going to be much room to read or write a document. If you want to watch DVD's get a DVD player, if you want hours of MP3s get an I pod, a VGA screen with hadwriting just isn't going to fly. MS's tablet computers with 1024x768 are going to be expensive ~$2000+ but you could actually use it as a coputer. Don't get me wrong I love small boxes but Windows/Linux can't ever happily exist on such a device. This isn't the first miniPC, there have been lots, but they are too expensive, too hard to use, and when people don't buy the price goes up and the company dies. Either you need a superPDA (people will still compain abou the cost) and target it at things that are approriate to a small device, MP3, camera, portable video etc... Mini PC will never fly, laptop will always be cheaper and more useful, PDAs SHOULD NOT be PCs, or try and use PC OSs.
  • What I'd like to see is something like the Cappucino [thinkgeek.com] get an LCD touchscreen and battery installed on it. This little subnotebook, as far as I can tell from the website, needs to be hooked up to a PC for software to be installed (unless you do it over Wireless). The Cappuccino, though larger and heavier could, with a screen and battery, be an actual fully functioning PC. If you hook a keyboard up. You know.
  • against inventing a term, and then claiming you are the first to have one. "Ultrapersonal computer". Christ, many peoples computers are already as personal as anyone would want. How many have seen the um...side effects...of viewing porn?
  • Maybe I'm odd or something, but all I want in a PDA is something that can hold addresses, remind me of things, play a few games when I am bored, and perhaps run a lisp interpreter or something similar. I have no wish to carry movies around on a little screen everyplace I go, nor do I want something that drains batteries as fast as a full sized laptop. That's what I like about palm devices. My Visor (Manos, the Handspring of Fate) is wonderfuly simple, Just Works(tm), and lasts 2 to 3 weeks on rechargable batteries. Seems like the perfect setup to me...
  • Man if you put this 1 gigahertz in your pocket you'll really get some sweaty balls. My laptop, with a fan cooks my desk and its maybe 5 times larger. I saw no ventilation on the case. Forget sweaty this thing will be just damn dangerous.
  • It runs windows and can play three movies! That's great! What three movies can it play? Well, let's see. Gone with the Wind is out. Copyrighted to high heaven. Maybe Matrix? Ooops. No way. No MPAA-licensed DVD player on this one. Uh. Thumbwars? Nope!

    I want my money back.

  • by NickV (30252) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @01:02PM (#3910140)
    According to this new (ok week old) dow jones article [yahoo.com], the OQO will be out by year-end and range in price from $1200 to $1500

    Sign me up!
  • Whine mode: When I submitted an article on this and IBM's entry two weeks ago it wasn't interesting:
    2002-07-03 17:22:22 Your Next Desktop: the Size of a Deck of Cards? (articles,news) (rejected)

    There's a teaser at Business 2.0 [business2.com]. Another fluffy article is at TechExtreme [techextreme.com]. The best coverage, on C|NET [com.com], came out in April.
  • not to replace PDA (Score:2, Interesting)

    by astrx (594068)
    you must realize this is not going after those with PDAs, you cant slip this nicely into your pocket like a sony clie. this is for those who want to carry a pda, an mp3 player, and a cell phone (there is an option for GMS and GPRS supposedly). with that in mind, many will like this. especially if you get a bluetooth headset and mayby bluetooth headphones to listen to mp3s while this little thing just sits at the bottom of your bookbag or saddlebag or whatever if its under 1500 id probably buy one
  • 9 ounces isn't going to fit in my shirt pocket unless I'm wearing a John Popper Geek-o-vest.

    The size is slightly larger than portable especially if your're going to drag it to a meeting to do some powertyping.

    Once you add all the gunk - uh I mean add-ons you're going to need a gig bag for it.

    So here's what I think:

    This thing was built to support XP applications. That's it. You need a keyboard and a touch screen because that's how all those XPish applications are written.

    It'l be pitched as the ideal mobile platform for people who can't live w/o that business criticial paradigm winning logistical Siebel CRM whatnot application in the field for one muthafuckin degree o seperation. All hail OQOdotnet!!

    Or I was cynical which of course I'm not I'd say this is XBox 3.1.
  • I truly do. If it isn't vapourware then I will eventually get one. If this actually establishes itself inspite of it's pig ugly design (army meal trays look similar) it has the specs to beat the iPod (same Toshiba drive), iPaq (much better processor and a full OS), and all the PDA's out there in later iteractions. Good on them. The screen alone is amazing in having 200 dpi. What's more Linux will run without any problems on it, and application designers will not have to make specialised PDA versions anymore.

    And the size is just right.
  • Whenever I see a unit like this, I think of my garage.

    I'm sure you are thinking, "WTF is he talking about."

    Well...let me tell you. I look into my garage and I see a snowblower, a lawnmower, and a generator. Each of these does the same thing, burn gas (petrol) and create mechanical motion. One thing cuts grass (circular motion with a sharp blade), the other throws snow (circular motion with a reel), and and the third makes electricity (circular motion with a ... well generator). I've often wondered why I have to buy three motors, why can't I use one motor and just attach it to the what I need to run at the time. I rarely need to use any three of these things at the same time. (OK Einstein, I know that each has different power requirements, don't go all techinical on me here. This is a metaphor. Remember that from Literature class??)

    What can't someone make a device that that does nothing except process inputs, store and retrieve data, and play CounterStrike everyday at lunchtime. (I love my job!!!). Why can't they create a keyboardless, monitorless 'computer' with only a CPU, memory, and a disk drive (maybe a small battery so I can move it from one device to another w/o powering down) that I could plug into my desktop, laptop, PDA, or even my cell phone. I would think that would be pretty damn small. I rarely use any of these items at the same time.

    Now I can have my high-end video card in my desktop, a small color LCD panel for my PDA, or a smaller B/W for my phone and not have to transfer data from one place to another.

    Remember, you saw it here first!!!!
  • Yawn (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gidds (56397)
    Nope, still nothing that'll replace my Psion 5mx [series5mx.com]. Doesn't have a keyboard, and won't run for tens of hours on a pair of AAs.

    Not bad in other respects (size, speed, storage, Bluetooth, USB). If it runs something other than Windows, that's good too. I'm not sure that portable HDs are the way to go, though; flash technology is getting bigger all the time, and gives greater speed for much less power.

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