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Can REDFLY sell in an EeePC market? 132

Posted by Zonk
from the how-it-feels-to-be-a-fembot-living-in-a-manbot's-manputer's-world dept.
palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller) writes "I was lucky enough to get a chance to evaluate an early beta of the REDFLY device and just posted some initial impressions at ZDNet. As a person who commutes on the train 2 hours every day and usually always has a Windows Mobile device in tow, this is actually a perfect device for me; real productivity is possible with text entry and enjoy surfing on a larger display. However, at $500 can this device really compete in the Asus EeePC market or will it die like the Palm Foleo?"
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Can REDFLY sell in an EeePC market?

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  • well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @01:05PM (#22797180) Homepage Journal
    it costs more than the eee pc and has less funtionality. I'm thinking no. As someone who has a windows mobile phone provided by my employer let me just say that they suck. They are slow, buggy and make for a terrible phone and a nearly as bad pda. How they ever came to be more prevalent than palm - I don't know- the ease of using with exchange maybe? I really don't know because everyone I know who has one (my whole team of 9 people and many others in my department) hates it. The company provides them so we use them, but seriously - they are awful. So spending 500 bucks to get a little bit bigger screen and keyboard doesn't really sound like a great idea to me.
    • by Abreu (173023)
      As a Palm user, I gotta say that Palm got itself in the mess its in... Sad

      Complacency does that to you...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Cecil (37810)
        As a former Palm user, I've gotta agree. I was a Palm user back during the heady Palm V days, when Palm was undisputed king of PDAs. Definitely resting on their laurels was a huge factor. WinCE was adding multimedia features, had better resolution, and way better color support than PalmOS could handle. Syncing a WinCE device became easier and easier. Extending a WinCE device with external memory cards, add-ons like wireless adapters started happening. Palm just sat there. They added half-assed color support
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by itsme1234 (199680)
          Correct, what Palm did this century was bad. I don't know what happened recently with PalmOS but by 2004 they were still having no real support for this great invention named folders, no practical multitasking, internet access was a joke, grainy resolution and washy colors in most devices and even though the hardware was much less powerful than WinCE/mobile devices the battery life was even worse usually. At the same time Windows Mobile devices were sporting brilliant screens, "real" support for the file sy
        • Palm was just being a typical business... If you read about Jeff Hawkins and the other initial inventors of the Palm Pilot, it's pretty apparent that the design innovation followed them around with the invention of the first couple of palm pilots. They got bored with the direction that USRobotics and then 3com took the device, so they spun off to form Handspring so they'd have the freedom to add what was missing (expansion modules, speed). And then they got reabsorbed by 3Com, spun off as Palm, and final
    • Re:well (Score:5, Informative)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @01:11PM (#22797240) Homepage Journal

      How they ever came to be more prevalent than palm - I don't know- the ease of using with exchange maybe?

      I think it has more to do with a lack of updates from Palm. They effectively stood still for so long that hardware finally reached a point where WinCE could be run at a reasonable speed. When device makers looked at the (non-existent) multimedia features of PalmOS and the (competent) multimedia features of WinCE, they chose WinCE almost by default.

      Now if Cobalt had been pushed out the door, maybe things would have been different. But instead, Cobalt sits on the shelf with not a single device maker using it. Not even Palm hardware.
      • Yep (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:50PM (#22798428)
        Palm made the often fatal mistake of resting on their laurels because they were the top dog. This is a bad idea in business in general, but a particular bad idea if Microsoft is after your market. For whatever else you want to say about Microsoft, they are highly tenacious. If they believe there is a market they can compete in, they just keep trying. Many companies will roll out an unsuccessful product and go "Oh well, guess we can't compete," and pack up and leave that market alone. MS doesn't do that, they ask "What do we need to fix?" and then try again, and again, and again.

        So sure, when Windows CE first came out, I can see how Palm thought it was laughable because it was. The problem comes from assuming that is all MS will ever put out. Well, no. With each version they learned more about what they needed to do. Pretty soon CE had surpassed PalmOS and Palm was scrambling to catch up.

        In business in general you can't just sit stagnant and assume nobody will surpass you, but when MS enters the market that is particularly true. They have numerous times released a product that was quite poor in its first version, only to continue to refine it to the point that it surpasses it's competition.
      • Re:well (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hey! (33014) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @03:53PM (#22799098) Homepage Journal
        Having worked in the field, I have a slightly different perspective.

        It was never the case that slow hardware plagued Microsoft's PDA offerings. The problem is that the use-case models (if there were any) for the Pocket PC user interface were absurd. They have a kind of "desktop replacement" mentality; yet to the degree something is convenient to carry in your pocket, it is awkward as a general purpose computing device (with an interface mimicking a desktop no less). And vice versa.

        It is the badness of the Windows Mobile interfaces, coupled with the excessive bulk of the early WinCE PDAs that made them crap. It was a cascade of bad consequences, all starting with the attempt to be good at everything: to give a desktop-y kind of experience, you needed lots of pixels, and those pixels had to be color and they had to come cheap, so you ended up with a large device with a big honking battery to drive the backlight through the cheap lcd. It's the hi-res displays and the high capacity batteries that make modern Windows Mobile PDAs tolerable. Not the CPU speed.

        Palm, in its heyday, created a niche product that was convenient to carry, and performed in a few limited roles very well. Think about this: that very same description also fits Apple's iPod. Now, there were people like me who exploited the fact that Palm was a platform, and made a nice living off it for a while. We could define new roles for the device.

        It is true Palm made some mistakes, but the idea that they failed to make a spiffy enough OS is a myth. The real problem is that the PDA niche became unprofitable as prices dropped. Most who had a Palm V would probably be happy with one today -- if it cost about $35. But that's not the kind of thing Palm sells; they sell stuff in the 200-$500 range. So, they began to add spiffiness to their products, spiffiness that their users neither needed, nor wanted, but was mandated by the price range they wanted to occupy. So they blurred the distinction between PalmOS and PocketPC by becoming more PocketPC like.

        In the end, it was not so much a case of Palm moving too slowly, as not having a very good place to move towards, other than into smart phones.

        In smart phones, business friendliness continues to be a weak spot for Palm and a marketing strength for Microsoft. But Microsoft isn't as dominant as people here seem to think. It is the carriers rule the smart phone market, not Microsoft. I see the smart phone as only an interim solution, not because PDA functions need to be liberated from a phone, but vice versa. We're in a state of incredible flux at present, with categories of mobile devices multiplying rapidly, and the boundaries of those categories being very fuzzy.
        • by pimpimpim (811140)
          As a user, I agree. A coworker has a windows CE PDA, the menu is based on a menu-bar with start menu. This works perfectly on a Desktop PC, but now try moving your touch-pen along the tiny startmenu through all the startmenus. Try doing this while standing in the subway. As soon as you are a few pixels out, you can start again. That is a very frustrating experience. The EEE, even without touchscreen, has a few simple tabs, and big big icons on each of them. Can't go wrong, even when you are balancing the th
        • The real problem is that the PDA niche became unprofitable as prices dropped.

          For me, as an end user, it was even simpler: they lost Graffiti. I don't remember the details, or even if they had the ability to keep Graffiti around. But when I bought an m130 with PalmOS 3 and Graffiti 2 [0], I knew I'd never buy another one. It was awful, just awful. Half the letters took twice as many strokes, and while it was maybe easier to pick up for a new user, it was horribly slow for more experienced owners.

          Again, I don't remember if Palm could have done anything about it, but when a han

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Alex Belits (437) *
      You don't market phone OS to users -- you market it to cellular carriers.
      • That explains it. (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Mactrope (1256892)

        Cellular carriers, you mean ATT - that little company that did not want people using 300 baud modems? That would explain everthing about the US market but iPhone. Even iPhone is understandable when you hear about multiple thousand dollar "data" bills.

        • Re:That explains it. (Score:5, Informative)

          by blueZ3 (744446) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:04PM (#22797950) Homepage
          I don't like AT&T that much, but I do have an iPhone with them and the data plan is $20 a month for unlimited EDGE. Not sure where the

          multiple thousand dollar "data" bills
          idea came from, but I don't think that's the way iPhone contracts work.
          • by kfort (1132)
            the story was about international roaming charges
          • by jridley (9305)
            From people roaming out of country and forgetting that they left the iPhone in "check for new mail" mode.
    • by Boron55 (1060136)

      Not to start a fanbois war here, but you did not say what Windows Mobile phone you complain about. Personally, I have BlackJack II and I love it. Plenty of RAM (256 MB RAM, 128 MB ROM), Windows Mobile 6, 2 GB microSD card, 3G Internet, hardware GPS and full QWERTY keyboard. Plenty of Office applications included. There is no touchscreen, but I can live with that. The phone (red variant) even looks great!

      I agree that most of Windows Mobile devices are slow, but this one looks like a good compromise to me.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by stoolpigeon (454276) *
        I have a Sprint ppc-6700. Windows mobile 5, 128 meg of sdram and I've got a 2 gig mini sd card in it. Battery life sucks. I'm lucky to get 8 hours out of it, if I don't talk to anyone. Waiting for apps to load is painfully slow. I have to 'reboot' it more than once a day. More than once I've had an inbound call, I'm clicking the button to take it over and over but the phone is hung up - need to reboot and call them back.

        The phone itself is junk but I'm trying to focus primarily on the problems with wind
        • by op12 (830015)
          I think this illustrates the GP's point perfectly. I too have a WinMo device on Sprint (a Moto Q9c), but with pretty much the exact opposite experience. It has all the features I could want, battery lasts 1.5 days under normal (for me) data/video/talk usage, etc. The size of the phone and layout of the screen and keyboard allow me to easily use it with one hand if I want. The only problem I've had is Windows can be a little sluggish at times, but it's a pretty infrequent occurrence for me.

          The best part is t
        • by lordkuri (514498)
          The 6700 was a horrible POS smartphone. HTC didn't do a damn thing to fix most of the problems with the hardware or OS settings that were needed to work with that hardware properly. The "Mogul" (PPC6800) is a *little* better, but it's still problematic.

          Have a look at the WM5 Treo to see what a quasi-properly set up smartphone should be.
    • by torkus (1133985)
      Get a blackberry and be done with it. The latest devices and OS code offer adequate to good multimedia support, lots of the nicey nice cute crap (MP3 ringtones, custom skins, etc.), along with the full blackberry functionality.

      Blackberry needs two things and then i'll be out of complaints entirely: 1) HTML email (i mean, c'mon already) 2) improved browser

      Neither is a show-stopper. I have a company provided BB...well i have about 7 of them being the Desktop Manager...and use it for my personal cell as wel
      • by rho (6063)

        I'm using BBSmart's Email Viewer, and it works pretty well. Worth the $24 IMO. There's another that's only $10, but BBSmart's had good reviews. Annoying to spend $24 on something so simple? Sure. But then again, it's just $24.

        I don't have much trouble with the Internet Browser on the BB Curve (8320). It works well enough. My biggest problem is my flakey wifi access point.

        The BB Curve is a good device. Now if only there were a decent text editor...

      • by jp10558 (748604)
        Does Opera Mobile work on the blackberry? I would think that would be about as good as you'll get on there.
    • Re:well (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BUL2294 (1081735) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @01:28PM (#22797482)

      it costs more than the eee pc and has less funtionality. I'm thinking no.
      I agree. Such a machine ties me to WinCE, which means stripped-down versions of .NET, SQL Server, IE, MS-Office--and nothing else. USB support will be limited to the 5 devices that WinCE supports out of the box. (Who writes WinCE USB drivers for their devices?)

      With the multitude of super-subnotebooks out there that can run a real OS (WinXP, Linux) with real applications that don't require a "host PC" (even my Toshiba Libretto 110CT with 64MB RAM from 1998 has more potential than this pice of junk), and given the eeePC + XP-Home costs the same as this, what is the market for such a machine at this price??? Cut the price in half and it might be worth talking about...
      • by eldepeche (854916)
        Amen to the Libretto 110CT. Mine runs Gentoo (slowly), so I can connect with a normal WiFi card to any access point and use Mutt to check mail, use Vim to write, use one of the many console mode RSS aggregators, etc. And it cost me $50 at a garage sale. Smart phones can suck it.
      • by Bert64 (520050)
        That's my biggest gripe with windows mobile (and in this case ce)...
        It's marketed as "windows", trying to take advantages of people's familiarity with with an existing product, but it's not windows...

        It comes with a set of stripped down apps which are often way behind their desktop counterparts, desktop IE is bad enough but the mobile version is just a joke compared to the mobile opera or safari on the
        iphone.

        The interface is trying to mimic desktop windows, it doesn't work well on a phone... The blackberry
    • I've got a Samsung SCH-i760, and I have to agree. Not since my oldest kid hit the terrible twos has anything proven to be such a threat to my mental tranquility. It takes all of my self restraint to stop myself from smashing it to bits two or three times a week.

      It's slow. It crashes frequently. It randomly doesn't work. Like right now - I was taking pictures with it earlier (always a risky proposition) and now it's dead. Gotta hit the reset button and wait until it reboots. If I want to use the brows
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lumpy (12016)
      It's the implementation. I though the same about Windows mobile phones. until I got my current Samsung Blackjack.

      I recently upgraded it from WM5 to WM6 and it's fast, stable and works well. It seems the smartphone edition of WM5 and WM6 works better than the touchscreen enabled version.

      I even like it WAY better than the Windows Mobile Treo and palm Treo. It's all in the hardware being designed for the software it runs.
      • by aj50 (789101)
        I suspect your usage enjoyment depends a lot on the hardware.

        I had the misfortune to use an HTC smartphone with WM6 on a development project last year and it was dire. Slow, unresponsive, unclear (all I was trying to do was enable wifi, I said enable, it said ok and I look and wifi is still disabled) One of my most painful memories involving technology was watching it change from portrait to landscape when you opened the mini keyboard.

        It was a great disappointment, the phone looks awesome (nice size, nice s
    • 500? Hmm...for another $200 you can get last year's lower end Thinkpad, if you just look for the deals.

      While the OLPC did not hit the $100 mark they set for themselves, it did show the bigger companies where the last big group purchasers were hiding. And now these groups are throwing development resources into attaining the last dregs of large untapped group buys.

      So now, what lies ahead for the consumer? Well, how do you want your data? For the morning commute, something ultraportable and more reading tha

    • Hmm.. the Nokia n800 and the EEPC have much more features than the REDFLY.
      Plus they cost less.
      Both the Nokia and the EEPC are great at finding wireless access points and
      cracking them! Gotta love airoscript.

    • by 71thumper (107491)
      The thing is, the eee pc doesn't do one major thing this device does -- work on data on your smartphone (that is, you don't have yet another device with data that has to be transfered). And with the phones it works on, you don't have to set up yet another email client (which, depending upon how your company runs exchange, might not even be available).

      The idea, remember, is just a remote console for your smartphone, its apps, and its data. So a lot different than the eee pc.

      Mind you, I'm not saying I see t
      • by Jason Earl (1894)

        The question is what sort of person spends $500 to put a bigger screen and a semi-usable keyboard on a smartphone? I mean seriously. The EEE PC has access to better applications (including nearly anything Windows XP will run if you poke it hard enough), it has better hardware, and it costs about half as much.

        Heck, a little googling even turns up a version of the vnc server for Windows Mobile. With a little hacking your EEE PC could probably even replace the Redfly for the one thing it is good at.

    • I never see anybody complaining about the eee keyboard. Is it truly usable ?

  • Well it's a 2 pound, fully functional computer with a bunch of standard features you'd find on a laptop so that's pretty cool. But why is it suddenly some sort of innovation to see who can squeeze by an almost normal computer with pathetic hardware? If they were able to put something comparable to even an AMD X2 processor into it, these things would be crazy popular! But I guess if you don't plan on bringing it everywhere and using it as a full business laptop, and just wanna do basic stuff on it then yo
    • If they were able to put something comparable to even an AMD X2 processor into it, these things would be crazy popular!

      I can think of at least three things: heat, cost and battery life.

      For many tasks a 800MHz PC is more than enough. Heck, 600MHz is enough for light surfing, email, light development, light office work. I had a P-III 600MHz laptop with 512Meg RAM running XP Pro just fine and doing all that and more. (It only replaced it because it physically started to fall apart) Now, I might sound l

    • by Hatta (162192)
      But I guess if you don't plan on bringing it everywhere and using it as a full business laptop, and just wanna do basic stuff on it then your expectations will probably be met.

      As it happens, that describes a lot of people. A whole lot. People did real work on computers not as fast as the eee not that long ago. You can do a lot of real work (and have real fun) on the eee today. It's really not that surprising that the eee is a big success. I just wish it had a bigger screen.
    • But why is it suddenly some sort of innovation

      Because it's cheap and tiny. And because no one else has made a fully functional computer that is this cheap and this small -- generally, it's been just the opposite, where smaller costs more.

      If they were able to put something comparable to even an AMD X2 processor into it

      You speak as if an X2 is slow?

      And...

      As for me, I want to carry around something faster than my PC

      Why? Seriously, why?

      What is it that you need to do on the train, bus, plane, in a car, in

    • by 2short (466733)
      Speaking for myself, I DO bring it everywhere, which is why it has to be 2 pounds, rugged enough that it probably won't get broken, and cheap enough that it's not a disaster if it does. If you want to carry around a lot of processor power and a big hard drive, the EEE is not for you. I'm content to leave those on the other side of the network. Note, it does have really, really good batteries and efficient hardware. They've just prioritized "light weight" more than you apparently desire. It's an innovat
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @01:11PM (#22797244)
    "I am Palm Foleo. I need TP for my bum hole."

    • The thing about Palm Foleo, above all else, is that Palm is dying. They've been dying by inches since 2002 or so... When they still had over 3/4 of the handheld market share (and when people still cared about PDAs) they were on top of the world. After that they did pretty good with the Treo - which, IMO, could have given them a solid future - except they were too slow about following up on that success. It turned out that other hardware manufacturers were also capable of producing hardware with similar
    • Thanks :)
    • by James McP (3700)
      The sad part is that if Foleo hadn't been tethered to a smartphone it would have been the EEE. $500, 5hr battery life, Linux-based OS, 10" LCD, Blue Tooth, WiFi, and a flash-drive for storage.

      Switch to the much cheaper commodity 7" LCD screen and you're now in the same price range as the EEE but with better brand recognition and BlueTooth-internet support. If they made dev gear (and maybe cash) available to Mozilla, they'd have Firefox and Docs To Go is fairly well known to the ultra-mobile client base.
  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @01:13PM (#22797266)
    If it can run Linux with Compiz, possibly. Here is an ASUS eee (eeePC) with Linux running Compiz http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biRzKj3XxCY [youtube.com] with graphics far more impressive than anything Vista can ever achieve, with or without Service Pack 1 (SP1). That VideoTube link shows an eee (eeepc) link running graphics super and more user friendly than Vista. OK, you can have the ASUS eee with the old-fashioned XP (i.e. yesterday's version), but then you have to Pay MORE THAN $100!!! Go figure what is the best choice for you...
    • Thanks for sharing. I did not know Xubuntu did that or that it would give accelerated graphics support. Xandros on it's own is great for most people but this video shows what is on the way. Windows mobile won't be able to hold a candle to the next generation of Linux devices.

    • by Aetuneo (1130295) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:16PM (#22798076) Homepage
      As someone with an Eee which can run Compiz (I installed it yesterday), I have the following comments to make:
      1. It kills the battery life.
      2. It's actually not that useful. No more user friendly than eeeXubuntu is, and, like I said, the decreased batter life prevents it from being that viable.
      3. Shininess does not create usability.
      4. The Eee is great, can't argue with that.
      5. You are a bit too excited about this, and your grammar has suffered. It should be "then you have to pay more than $100 extra," not "then you have to Pay MORE THAN $100!!!"
      6. Using more than one exclaimation mark makes people think that you are insane. It makes people pay attention for the same reason that people pay attention to the crazy people on the street - if you don't, they might stab you.
      • I have to agree about Compiz. It seems to be more about looking cool than being useful. The spinning cube virtual desktop is a good example. Is that really useful? Wouldn't it perhaps be more useful to have a little widget that showed your virtual desktops and when you moused over showed a zoomed in realtime view of them?

        That isn't to say I'm against nifty UI enhancements. I think that the whole task-switching preview thing that you see in Compiz/OS-X/Vista is great. However I find that Compiz has not a who
        • by udippel (562132)
          Have you eventually used it, or are you talking out of some place?
          I tend to find people who equate "the cube" with compiz, to only having seen a YouTube. While it is impressive, it is pure eye candy.
          But a good handful of other features are not. Definitively Preview is not. Like now, when downloading, a mouse-over shows the status, speed, etc. Minimizing and closing are two different effects, and somehow I got hooked to 'knowing' what I did by using the effects. The rotation right/left is a great indication
    • http://www.openmoko.com/ [openmoko.com]
      http://wiki.openmoko.org/ [openmoko.org]

      Cheaper, open from top to bottom, and you can do anything on it that a 400 mhz ARM linux computer can do.

      As a bonus, super high dpi screen (480x640, 2.8"), GPS, full bluetooth (not that watered-down, headset-only crap most phones come with), 802.11 g, two accelerometers for potential phone-as-magic-wand fun, and of course it's not locked to any carrier and you get a linux terminal.

      Downsides: about one month still until release (now you can only get the Neo197
  • by stuporglue (1167677) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @01:15PM (#22797302) Homepage

    Colin Cook (CTO of Celio, makers of Redfly) came to speak to our Information Technology guest lecture class at BYU, so I've seen this thing in action.

    I asked them about computers like the EEE PC and there was a definite brief look of worry, then he claimed that people didn't want to carry around a whole extra computer, and that by being able to keep the PDA on your person, the Redfly would be more secure than a laptop which you might leave in a bag or briefcase. He also said that the target customer (Windows PDA users) wouldn't want to buy an EEE PC because it had Linux on it.

    He also seemed to get slightly flustered when I informed him that you could buy EEE PCs with Windows on them.

    I think that when they started working on this project, there was a need and a market for it, but now that it's almost ready their market has disappeared because functional affordable UMPCs are finally on the market. That said, it was kind of neat, but not $500 neat. Maybe PDA accessory neat($50-$100).

    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      ``He also said that the target customer (Windows PDA users) wouldn't want to buy an EEE PC because it had Linux on it.''

      He's probably right about that one. I know enough people who won't touch Linux unless it's forced on them. Usually because of some imagined defect of Linux's, but the reason doesn't really matter. If it's new and it's with Windows, they'll love it. If it has Linux, they will stay as far away from it as they can.
    • by LWATCDR (28044)
      I am hopping that the anti Linux feelings will soon be a thing of the past. I have used Linux for years but even I felt it was really good at being a server and as a hobby desktop. That is until I installed the latest Ubuntu. I was shocked how easy it was to use. I really didn't have to do too much mucking about to get it working. No fiddling with X windows at all. I just had to install it and go. There was the one stupid pet trick I had to do get DVD playback to work but other than that it really does j
  • Have an eeePC device (Score:4, Interesting)

    by baggins2001 (697667) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @01:18PM (#22797334)
    I have loaded my eeePC device with a Web Server and 2 databases and use if for development work on the road and keeping up with emails. I just don't see that a keyboard and screen that plug into a PDA are going to compete with that. This has way more functionality than my PDA and is a great cross between a laptop and PDA. Sorry Matthew it's no contest.
    Plus are you going to sit on a train juggling a display, a keyboard, a mouse, and a PDA.
  • Touch iPod has wireless, email, web browsing and soon VOIP. It also has a patch coming out to integrate it better with Exchange servers. Why would you need anything more than that? Need a phone too? Get the iPhone.
    • by FooAtWFU (699187)
      I like to type stuff. The iPhone, well, it's not exactly the sort of thing you'd want to write a novel on, you know?
      • by darjen (879890)
        Yeah, I enjoy having tactile feedback while pressing a key, so that pretty much rules out the iPhone for me as well.
    • It's not programmable at will (Yeah, yeah, the SDK is coming, but you won't be able to install non-Apple approved software) and for the iPhone, it costs a whopping 399€ with contract. Thanks, but no thanks...

      Another poster here said that he installed a database server on his EEE PC for demos. I doubt your fancy iPhone is even in the same leage.

    • by Moraelin (679338)
      In addition to what FooAtWFU already nailed dead-on: because the Eee is a PC. You know, fully unlocked and runs anything that you could run on a PC.

      This isn't about ideology wars. It's purely pragmatic. I want to do stuff like load Eclipse [eclipse.org] on it, and type code while on the train. Or any other program that I already know from the PC. Even if a PDA sorta-equivalent exists, maybe I can't be arsed to learn it, when I already have a perfectly good program that I'm familiar with.

      In that vein, I plan to buy an Eee
      • by Foofoobar (318279)
        Well considering that alot of the apps you mentioned either exist on the iPod touch or as a web app, I still don't see the prob (except typing which is a good point as typing on any PDA sux).
        • Huh? I can run Eclipse on the iPod Touch? And compile and run my own Java programs, as I damn see fit? Including such stuff as developping a servlet and running it in a web container?
          • by Foofoobar (318279)
            if you are looking for a replacement for your Blackbery, I SERIOUSLY doubt you would have been running Eclipse (much less developing) on your Blackberry; thats what the original conversation was.
    • by Stevecrox (962208)
      Interesting point but if cost is your main issue then get a Windows Mobile 5/6 phone, you get several days of battery (with use) wi-fi is standard, many have GPS built in (that works well) I've yet to see one which didn't have expandable memory so you can put that 4GB mini-sd card in for your music, skype already works on the format, it already works near perfectly with exchange, you can open/edit word/excel/powerpoint documents and if a decent keyboard is on your list then you can get a full (usable by fat
  • by Thelasko (1196535)
    Am I reading this right? Is this thing just a glorified keyboard and monitor? For $500? I could get a crappy laptop for that much.
    • by (H)elix1 (231155) *
      YMMV [dfsdirectsales.com], but I just picked up a 12.1" 1.8ghz (Pentium M) / winxp pro / cdrw / 1g RAM / 60g HDD dell referb for $450 for my little one. Thought about the eepc for $350, but the screen size was wrong for her. Might for me with the new cut. Point being, is you get a lot of computer for under $500 these days. A windows mobile smartphone for that price... yikes.
  • ... and it might have a chance.
  • No. 'nuff said. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by alcmaeon (684971) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @01:26PM (#22797456)
    Lame idea. Lame implementation. Expensive. Glad I'm not an investor in their company.
  • by British (51765) <british1500@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @01:28PM (#22797480) Homepage Journal
    Do not, I repeat, DO NOT REQUIRE a smartphone to use said sub-laptop. You are missing the point entirely. The EEE pc doesn't require you to have a pricey smart phone, nor a potentially pricey data plan to use. It has this wonderful concept of not requiring it at all. That's what bewlidered me on the ill-fated Foleo. Why spend so many dollars that is a parasitic device where you can just get a laptop already?

    These convergence devices bug me to a certain point. I turned off my wireless data plan and opted for a plain-jane phone when I realized I never used it enough to justify its cost. So with the few poeple like me that are cheapskates when it comes to a cell phone, you lost a customer if your 'top requires it. What if I just want to use existing free wifi spots or just go offline to whip up some notes or play games?

    Let's not add a needless layer of complication to the equation. Pricing it to $100 less than a real laptop is just asking for failure. So if you sell off your cell phone, do you sell off the redfly as well?
    • by darjen (879890)

      These convergence devices bug me to a certain point. I turned off my wireless data plan and opted for a plain-jane phone when I realized I never used it enough to justify its cost. So with the few poeple like me that are cheapskates when it comes to a cell phone, you lost a customer if your 'top requires it. What if I just want to use existing free wifi spots or just go offline to whip up some notes or play games?

      I'm the same way. I've been very tempted lately to purchase a Nokia n810 tablet to use at wifi

    • Here, here.

      Y'know what I want from a phone? Text and voice. Sure, it's fun to have a camera sometimes and all that, but that's really it. The Eee PC is nice, but a bit too overpriced right now. So making an Eee PC competitor that's wedded to the smartphone market, and does nothing without a smartphone, for about the same price as an Eee PC?

  • What's this?! Folio II?!
  • I usually always mostly kinda for the most part often more or less totally believe and completely guarantee that I am entirely certain of the definite possibility that >.
  • Right there is enough for me to not even consider it. I bought a laptop with a Geforce 8400, 2 GB or ram, and a dual core processor for $600. Why the hell would I spend $500 on a crippled machine like Redfly?
  • I'm not sure if it'd compete well or not, but posting it on slashdot surely doesn't hurt.
  • I'd rather just have software that lets me do the same thing on my laptop. Why would I want to carry yet another device? I love my Motorola Q but if I wanted to use it in this manner I'd figure out a way to use it with my laptop, which I have to carry with me on business anyways.
  • Not that that's a bad thing. I don't see why you can't attach it to anything that's a USB master, say a Linux smartphone, or use it as a dumb terminal for a desktop system.
  • I think... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CFBMoo1 (157453)
    I made out better forking over $500 for an EEE PC, a 2 gig ram upgrade, 16gig SD drive, and USB drive enclosure.

    The USB enclosure made nice with my spare DVD drive and let me put XP on my EEE which lets me do work things and have fun with Doom and Quake when I'm waiting at the car shop while my car gets its regular maintenance done.

    If you don't have a spare copy of XP like I did then you'd have to fork out another $200 for it. Still.. thats a whole PC for something the size of this dumb terminal (It doesn't
    • by Hatta (162192)
      I don't know what work things you require, but Doom [zdoom.org] and Quake [tldp.org] both work well on linux. Duke3d [eduke32.com] too. If you like old games, you'll find that very many of them are well supported on linux, either through source ports or emulators [dosbox.com].
  • Im my eyes like something from out of 1993. Old and ugly, with a rather poor operating system. It has ZERO chance in the market place.
  • by mpapet (761907)
    If they had an advertising budget to shout like Apple does AND Microsoft coordinated market activities with them, then I'd say they have a 50/50 chance.

    I may be the only one who has dealt with Microsoft when they promise a vendor big things in order to get a Microsoft-reliant product to market, then mysteriously all of the promises evaporate.

    What makes matters worse, is Microsoft's OEM OS business will screw new device makers every time. You bet Microsoft will choose the probable volume of the EEPC versus
  • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @02:29PM (#22798210) Homepage
    I can see the appeal of the EEE PC, because it's small, cheap, and PC compatible. You can even load Windows on there if you're so motivated. From design to application, it's a mini-laptop.

    Redfly is small-ish, but it's not cheap, and it runs Windows Mobile. That makes it a bastard PDA, and the industry has proven time and time again that PDAs suck, and PDA phones are just bulky overpriced phones with crap features. No love.

    At $500, it's within kicking distance of many cheap full-featured laptops from ECS and Acer, even Dell! If you really want to be a road warrior and get some work done on the bus, you don't want an oversized Blackberry, you want a real laptop! With a real keyboard, real apps and 100% compatibility with your existing software investment and infrastructure. The hardware is peanuts these days, it's all about the software.
  • It's a Trojan (Score:3, Interesting)

    by giafly (926567) on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @03:56PM (#22799120)
    This is one of those rare occasions where a company deliberately sabotages their own flagship product
    1. If implemented as written, OOXML will massively increase the "attack surface" of Office
    2. Microsoft must actually try and implement it, or face anti-trust complaints.
    3. It will become a target of choice for botnets and virusses.
    4. And they will have to kill it. Only question is, "How Soon"?
  • by gilesjuk (604902) <giles@jones.zen@co@uk> on Wednesday March 19, 2008 @04:10PM (#22799294)
    People expect full versions of applications or at least the same level of functionality.

    Eeepc gives you just that, full blown Linux applications (or Windows if you have to install it).

    Powerful PDA's need to run Linux or Windows these days or at least have ports of popular Linux apps.
  • What about an old laptop + PdaNET Software (June Fabrics)? Verizon Treo 700w data plan: $54 a month. Treo 700w cradle from Ebay: $15. June Fabrics PDANet: $35 + tax. Old XP Laptop = $300 more or less.

    This is the solution I use on the train. Works just fine.
  • by nguy (1207026)
    People who by crap like Windows Mobile will probably buy this crap, too.

    For everybody else, there are better choices.
  • Do I have this right?

    Redfly is not actually a full-fledged subnotebook computer, but rather a portable dumb terminal that you can use to run software that resides on the PDA/mobile phone in your pocket?

    And it's only compatible with a small set of Windows Mobile devices?

    And the only color it's available in is burgundy?

    And it will cost $500 when it comes to market -- more than the Asus EeePC, which IS a full-fledged subnotebook?

    Does this thing have ANY positives at all?
  • The device is too small to be a laptop and too large to be an ultramobile. The functionality is limited, yet the price is not all that low. And the biggest failing, the device doesn't even look sexy. 1996 called, they want their palmtop back.

    I am extremely impressed that people can find funding to start projects like this. I am jealous that I have not been able to come up with more than a quarter of the money necessary for any of my projects.
  • My Zaurus does more than this thing, and I got it for $100 off of eBay. My Libretto from 9 years ago does more than this thing. All of this time has passed, and this is where we are? Seriously?

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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