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OQO For Sale 207

captainJam writes "After many delays, the OQO is available for sale, or pre-order actually. However, they will begin shipping in the middle of next month. Read the scoop for how much it'll set you back. Check this link if you're still not sure what the OQO is." Update: 10/13 13:49 GMT by H : I've got a Model 01 that was sent over for review; I'll be checking it out with both XP & Linux; it's definitely one of the cooler handhelds out there.
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OQO For Sale

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  • Panurgism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mirko ( 198274 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @09:42AM (#10512973) Journal
    Panurgism is the reaction to an ever repeating tired joke :
    The fact is that I am not interested anymore, I just do not believe what they kept repeating while postponing their product.
    • Re:Panurgism (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TAGmclaren ( 820485 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @09:49AM (#10513027)
      The fact is that I am not interested anymore, I just do not believe what they kept repeating while postponing their product.

      So true.

      And the world has changed a fair bit since that product was announced by the OQO (ex-Apple) guys so long ago. Their former employer came back to trump them with a portable device that people actually want - the iPod.

      The thing that Apple now gets(TM) is that there's no point putting forward a product so far ahead of its time that people don't want it yet (e.g. the Newton). I'll bet that the OQO is going to fall squarely into this category; a great idea that's overpriced, underpowered and breaks too easily.

      -- james
    • Um, where did you get this word, "panurgism"? I can't find it anywhere.
  • Underpowered? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RichardThree3 ( 818335 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @09:44AM (#10512991) Journal
    Yes I'd seen this over in mip's scan [] that the OQO has finally [] launched and is taking orders on their website. I'm not sure though - it seems pretty underpowered for the price. The Flipstart seems to be a more promising unit.
  • that the internet bubble was a hoax?

    Proof it wasn't - you better have a bunch of grade A stock options to fling at a handtop.

    For the "under $2000 price tag, you get a box with:
    - state of the art OQO handtop
    - power cord & AC adaptor
    - docking cable
    - desktop stand
    - digital pen
    - carrying case and a manual/guide

  • For sub-$2000 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @09:46AM (#10513003)
    I get basically the same thing as a newer, clamshell Zaurus, but without Linux? I get a used Apple iBook, but without OSX or Mac goodness? Where's the compelling reason to buy?
    • Based on another poster's description, it is a fully functional 1GHz processor intel-compatible PC. In that case you can run Linux on it if you want, but it comes with XP as standard.
  • by gpinzone ( 531794 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @09:46AM (#10513004) Homepage Journal
    Wow. No description of what the hell this thing is, but he does give links to find out and they're both slashdotted.

    Can the editors please institute a policy that they only accept/post stories that are adequately descriptive?
  • by toetagger1 ( 795806 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @09:47AM (#10513012)
    "Check this link if you're still not sure what the OQO is."

    You couldn't find enough room in the cover story to describe what it was, so you linked to a web page that was /.ed when there was a total of 1 comments posted. Great Job!

    • Just go to
    • Actually it was /.ed during the "subscriber preview". I was going to mail daddypants about it, but since noone reads and/or does anything with mails to daddypants its kinda worthless.

      Another interesting feature I would like to see on /. is a 10 minute or so delay before anyone can post to an article. That way people might read the article or think before they post. This would make for a "flatter" discussion instead of the first person that has something to say get replied to with every tangent under the
  • From the OQO Website (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @09:48AM (#10513018)
    The OQO model 01 ultra personal computer (uPC) is a fully-functional Windows XP computer. The OQO has a 1GHz processor, a 20GB hard drive, 256MB of RAM, a color transflective display, and integrated wireless, as well as Fire Wire and USB ports. It is powerful enough to run your most complex applications.

    Just 4.9 inches long, 3.4 inches wide, .9 inches thin, and weighing only 14 ounces, the model 01 can fit in a pocket or purse and go with you anywhere. For easy typing and cursor control it has a complete thumb keyboard with TrackStik and mouse buttons as well as digital pen and thumbwheel. It is the much anticipated device for people who previously had to choose between the bulk and awkwardness of a laptop and the limited capability of a PDA.

    The OQO model 01 is also the most versatile computer to date. With the OQO docking cable, it can easily connect to projectors and Ethernet. Placed in the desktop stand it is a desktop computer, allowing you to connect easily to a variety of peripherals, including full-size keyboards, printers, scanners, and high-resolution monitors. It shifts easily from one mode to the other with no data synchronization required. With an OQO model 01 you can move throughout your day and enjoy constant access to all your information and Windows XP programs. You can use the same computer for high-powered applications at work, sending email at home, listening to music on a train, or watching a movie on an airplane. It is the only computer you need.

  • by close_wait ( 697035 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @09:49AM (#10513024)
    Why do I have to follow a &%$@ link just to find out even the vaguest idea of what the article is about...?

    lack of editing mutter mutter not like that in my day mutter mutter youth of today mutter mutter ...

    • You can always spot a good story on /. - theres more bitching about the quality of the /. coverage that no one even bothers to talk about the topic.

      I guess we'll just wait for the dupe to comment on the kit.
    • Maybe its a marketing gimic on Slashdot? Hype up a product and provide little/no information so that the consumer really wants to find out about it. Even the "Update" for the article has a link to handheld reviews, which has absolutely NO information. Slashdot, now a nerd marketing firm?
    • Good grief! It's only been mentioned in 14 Slashdot stories by now. Do you want explanations of what Linux and Sun Microsystems are, too?
    • OK, what's the deal with the 'tell us what the hell this story is about' meme? It's only in the past week that I've seen several posts like this, all modded up to 5.

      Here's an idea: If you want to find out what something is, do a little reading. If you don't have enough time to do that, it's not important enough for you to know. If it's not important enough for you to know, it's not important enough to bitch about. It's that simple.
  • And tomorrow, hell freezes over... OQO has got to be the king of vapor, and now they are actually ready to sell a product!? Now what were the odds of that at your local bookmaker? Someone could have made a fortune. Might be a pretty cool device from what I have previously read about it though!
  • by inkdesign ( 7389 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @09:50AM (#10513032)
    Guess they're using one to run the webserver!

  • Nice toy (Score:2, Interesting)

    For a few nano seconds it will look cool as you have the latest flashiest toy on the block. If that's worth $2,000 to you then fine but I won't be buying.
  • Unfortunately for Linux users, there is no option to not have any OS installed.

    The USB is currently 1.1

    So you have to pay M$ royalties, regardless of whether you intend to use Windows, and no USB 2.0 support. Lovely.
    • Actually, no matter what vendor you purchase a PC from, you're paying M$ royalties. In order for the company to get the M$ discount, they just pay M$ $15 per "desktop" shipped (workstations and servers are usually excluded from these deals).

      In other words, if you order a linux machine from HP, $15 is paid to M$ for that purchase.

      How do I know? I just finished a complete survey of computer vendors to try and find one that wouldn't do this. The only ones are those that would charge you around $100 for Wi
      • Actually, MS does allow OEMs to sell computers without the MS tax. Those computers "just" have to have different hardware and different product numbers, so customers are not "confused", and they have to be delivered with some sort of OS (FreeDOS counts). However, this guarantees that there won't be many models available with Linux, since it is a pain for companies to have model lines with very few units sold. If the OS was an option like memory or hard drive size, OEM's could handle it much more easily. Ala
  • by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @09:54AM (#10513068) Homepage
    I've looked at that one, as well as the Sony U series, but basically, I've come to the conclusion that I really want a keyboard as well, not a writable screen. So much of what I do involves writing in one form or another. I've ended up ordering one of these [] instead. Sure, it won't (quite) fit into a coat pocket - you need to have it in your bag - but it is a lot more computer for about the same price.
  • Here's what it is... (Score:5, Informative)

    by kidgenius ( 704962 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @09:54AM (#10513072)
    You'd think our boy Timothy would at least link to the page of the manufacturer where there are images, and stands a better chance against /.'ing. Here you go's some sort of portable computer [] thing.
  • Specs (Score:2, Informative)

    by Sgt_Nikon ( 131875 )
    model 01 ultra personal computer

    1 GHz processor, 20GB HD, 256MB RAM, WiFi, Bluetooth, USB, FireWire, audio, thumb keyboard, 800x480 indoor/outdoor readable LCD (ships with: removable lithium polymer battery, docking cable, desktop stand, power supply, carrying sleeve, and digital pen.)

    Windows XP Home $1899.00
    Windows XP Pro $1999.00

    Microsoft Office Small Business Edition Pre-installed $300.00

    I believe prices are USD.
  • by nels_tomlinson ( 106413 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @09:56AM (#10513085) Homepage
    ``Under $2000'' for something which is too small and wimpy to use as a desktop replacement or for gaming (from the article: ``... the OQO isn't designed to be a desktop replacement, nor intended to be a portable video game machine ...), and too big to put in your pocket?

    I think this fills a need that too many folks don't have.

    Also, the article says that many of the specs are out of date, but they're going to launch anyway. That tells me that the second generation OQO is going to have more guts, and be out as soon as enough suckers have bought enough of the wimpy ones to finance further development. I'll wait.

  • More info links. (Score:3, Informative)

    by will_die ( 586523 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @09:56AM (#10513088) Homepage
    Here are some info links
    extremetech []
    The register []

    Since this is not the first machine of theses types of machines, nor has it been modded to run Linux how does this rate as News for Nerds?
    • It uses a Transmeta processor. Linus used to work for Transmeta. = News for Nerds (at least in some eyes).
    • Since this is not the first machine of theses types of machines, nor has it been modded to run Linux how does this rate as News for Nerds?

      Let's see, I'm going to click on this link thing in the summary; I wonder where it goes? Hmm, what's this? "OQO CEO Jory Bell confirms that the x86 architecture is capable of being used with any x86 based OS, such as Linux. Further talks have revealed that some OQO employees have already tested out Linux on the device with success."
      Gee, it's an x86 computer that doesn't

    • What mod would be needed for an x86 computer? Just so long as the drivers exist, but that is true of any PC you buy... Modding not required here.
    • ... nor has it been modded to run Linux how does this rate as News for Nerds?

      No modding needed. Does it need to run Linux to qualify as News for Nerds? A lot of Win-whatever, Mac, Solaris, BSD, etc. people will be upset if it only qualifies as news when Linux is involved.

  • About this OQO... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by LilMikey ( 615759 )
    I don't know why the news kept pointing to some arbitrary handtops site but the actual site for the device is []. Basically, the thing is a 1ghz laptop with a 20GB HD, 256MB RAM, and 800x480 LCD. It's been shrunk to the size of a PDA but runs full Windows XP home. So, for the unreasonably high price of $1900 you can get a laptop from 2 years ago running an OS that isn't designed for the size of the device. There is no market for this thing.
    • For example, IBM Thinkpad 240 has 800x600 LCD, but it is larger; still, some people say it is "too small to read". I guess 800x480 with size twice as small would be just a vision killer. Also, Thinkpad 240 (which is about 6 year old by now) has 6 GB HDD (which is plenty for the purpose), about 192 MB RAM, and PCMCIA (where I usually keep a 802.11b card). All that, together, can be had today for about $200 on eBay. Even new, this notebook was less than $2K back then.

      So indeed, I see no use for the device,

  • I got a TC1000 Compaq Tablet at ebay for sub-$1000. The specs are not that different (e.g., same disappointingly slow Transmeta CPU). The OQO is smaller and more portable but the TC1000 already feels "slightly below the minimum" with regards to comfortably reading webpages. It will be interesting to watch if this form factor succeeds but, for now, I'm staying with what I have.
    • I can comfortably read webpages on a PowerPC G3 300Mhz. This is surely not slower than that. 90% of webpages shouldn't need more than that. Too much useless junk of webpages today.
      • From the parent:
        The OQO is smaller and more portable but the TC1000 already feels "slightly below the minimum" with regards to comfortably reading webpages.

        just a guess, but i interpreted that as "my device is already slightly too small to read web pages comfortably, so something even smaller would probably be worse"
        • Your guess is 100% correct :)

          I have to admit that sometimes reading on a TabletPC can be worse than reading on a smaller PalmPilot type of device. The reason is that a tablet runs XP and programs are usually designed for mainstream XP machines. PalmPilots however, they use PalmPilot specific software that does take into account the smaller screen. The OQO runs XP as well, I would expect similar problems in this respect as the Tablets
  • by cyngus ( 753668 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @10:03AM (#10513152)
    Of course this is expensive. Ever notice how most things work on an exponential curve? As you get smaller and smaller the price begins to go up disproportionately. Why? Cause its hard to cram a whole computer into something the size of a 1990 cell phone! If you think this device is too expensive you don't understand the market its aimed at. Its not really for Joe Sixpack. Its for Joseph Suit that wants to take his computer with him and not carry a laptop.
    • The beauty is I don't have to understand that market to know these yo-yo's will be luck to break even. They'd better get to know their own market. Tablets, handtops, flip-tops etc. aren't exactly booming and price is one reason. Couple that with the fact that you can't find these at Best Buy and Fry's and you get the picture. Then these marketing guys will be sitting around saying, "there isn't a market for these things so sales are limited." Well, let's see...there are a legion of laptops offered UNDER thi
      • One major reason why this won't fly with businesspeople is ... size. All "sales engineers" and other travelling public out there give presentations with their laptops; sometimes the laptop is all they have (no projector.) So they want to have at least 15" screen, and 17" monsters are also of interest. I see no reason for them to carry a bloated cell phone, it's of no use to them. Besides, many middle-aged people don't see very well any more, and 5" screen would be of no use to them just because of that.


  • by johnthorensen ( 539527 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @10:03AM (#10513156)
    Sounded at first like OQO the company was for sale. My fist thought was, "Sheesh...after all this waiting!". Kind of like your woman telling you at the last minute that she's got a headache :-)

  • From what I can tell, it's a grossly overpriced small laptop with a touchscreen. Wow. Where's my wallet? Really, what's the incentive to buy this instead of a much cheaper, much much more powerful laptop? Are most people not able to lug around the gargantuan, 5-8 pound laptops available today? Jesus, most books are heavier than today's laptops.
    • Wow, I guess people just don't get it. Most PDA's these days are just a "small overpriced laptop". You pay for convenience, and I for one think I might very well buy one of these. I currently use a 750MHz P3 laptop which needs a big cushioned bag to lug around, on the other hand this thing probably would be fine with a small lined carrying case that would fit in the oversized pockets in my wool coat. I could always have my computer with me, including all of my apps and the ability to connection to any clien
      • Buy one, but wait for the second version of the model.

        The price isn't too bad, and the specs are decent. But USB 1.1, the processor, etc are a bit out of date. I would but they want enough money from the 01 model to fund the 02, and to get 02 on the market as fast as possible.

        One of these machines, with 512meg RAM, .11g wifi, and a bit beefier processor(1.4ghz+) and I could see myself looking toward getting one.
  • Check this link [] if you're still not sure what the OQO is."

    Apparently, one or two of us were somehow so behind the times as to need to click the link ... gee, I feel so "yesterday" ;) How could I not have heard of this wonder?

  • by gillbates ( 106458 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @10:19AM (#10513271) Homepage Journal

    However, the OQO isn't designed to be a desktop replacement, nor intended to be a portable video game machine

    So, what exactly is it supposed to be? An overpriced PDA? A toy for high level executives?

    Oh, I get it - I'm going to spend twice the money I would on a desktop to get less than half the machine.

    I really like the concept of the OQO:

    1. Full keyboard
    2. A reasonably sized screen
    3. A 20GB hard drive
    4. Transmeta Crusoe processor
    5. 256MB RAM
    6. It's small enough to fit in a large pocket

    So it has everything I want in a portable, except: price. I can hardly justify spending $2000 for this thing when the Sharp Zaurus has a full keyboard, runs Linux, and costs about 1/2 to 1/4 as much. I don't think I'd have too hard a time finding at least half a dozen other comparable handtops that cost less than half as much.

    Overall, I'm really interested. This would be a really cool machine, but at $2000, it will never be accepted by the mainstream. Price it at $500, and two years from now people will be saying, "Palm who?", and "What's an IPAQ?"...

  • Grab it while it's hot. Going fast!
  • FINALLY a PDA/Handtop that will run Linux that's priced at the same price as it's Win version! I'd expected them to offer Linux for $100 more, you know in keeping with the spirit of PDA's.
  • The update to the article contains three of the dumbest links I've seen on Slashdot. Linking XP to Microsoft? Handheld links to the OSTG IT Manager's Journal (which, incidentally, has little useful content)... Sigh...
  • Specs (Score:3, Informative)

    by Remlik ( 654872 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @11:16AM (#10513836) Homepage
    Ok here are the specks from the site.

    "1GHz Transmeta processor
    20GB hard drive (shock-mounted)
    256MB DDR RAM
    Dimensions: 4.9" x 3.4" x .9"
    Weight: 14 ounces
    800 x 480 W-VGA 5" transflective display (indoor/outdoor readable)
    3D accelerated graphics with 8mb video RAM
    QWERTY thumb keyboard with mouse buttons and TrackStik®
    802.11b wireless
    Bluetooth® wireless
    4-pin FireWire® (1394)
    USB 1.1
    3.5mm stereo headphone jack
    Digital pen
    Removable lithium polymer battery
    Battery life up to three hours, depending on usage
    OQO docking cable includes:
    3D accelerated 1280 x 1024 VGA video output
    Additional USB
    Additional FireWire (1394)
    DC power
    Audio out

    additional features
    Active hard drive protection that safely parks hard drive heads upon detecting freefall
    Screen that slides on rack and pinion mechanism to reveal thumb keyboard
    Shift, control, function and alt keys that have smart-lock with LED indicators
    Thumbwheel allows for traditional scrolling as well as enhanced features
    Ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts backlight to appropriate level
    External antenna connector for 802.11b (in addition to built-in diversity antennas)

    Now the part that stands out to me (besides the USB 1.1, I guess Firewire is the way to go) is the 3 hour battery life, depending on usage.

    Ok so we've basically stepped back in time 5 years to ultra crappy laptops that don't last long enough to fly half way across the US.

    I'm guessing that if you're using the wifi that battery time is probably less than 2 hours. Reminds me of the Ipaq I used to have that lasted all of an hour without plugging it in. Talk about your useless wireless POC.
  • by LordMyren ( 15499 ) on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @12:06PM (#10514281) Homepage
    pay half as much and get the smallest USABLE laptop. The fujitsu p1120. 800mhz crusoe, 4.5h battery life (with extended battery) and touchscreen. keyboard i can code on all day. its a beautiful beautiful system. shell out the cash for the extra ram. and laptops inc/portable one should gladly upgrade your hard drive, if you so request, usually at very reasonable prices.

    Fujitsu p1120. Purchase here [] and forums for it here [].
  • No innovation here (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Scooter ( 8281 ) <owen@annicnova[ ] ['.fo' in gap]> on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @12:10PM (#10514306)
    This has to be the most un-imaginative approach to mobile, and unbiquitous computing: take the hardware and OS of desktops and small to midrange servers and make it all smaller. Granted there's a nod to the portability issues with the touch screen and built in wireless technolgoies but this is bolt on stuff from a design point of view.

    Of course it's a remarkable acheivement in engineering to cram all that in to such a small and light device, but the design demonstrates a really blinkered approach to the requirements.

    Think about what you are liekly to do on the move. The input devices fixed to the machine should reflect tese activities: you can't write seriously on a keyboard like that so why bother with the keyboard at all? Voice recognition can handle serious text input with ease these days leaving only the editing to be done when you get back to base and plug it into it's cradle giving you access to a full size keyboard and mouse.

    What is the power hungry and delicate hard disk for? This should be in a datacentre somewhere and presented on the device via an intelligent caching back end that makes it look like the stuff is local.

    Why is it running an OS that has it's design roots derived from hardware designed for the server and desktop computer ? Do we really need all that baggage in a portable device?

    The PDA approach is a much better place to start. With the addition of the right client software it could communicate with larger systems when placed in it's cradle (using protocols like X or framebuffers like VNC), and using a full size monitor/keyboard/mouse. Storage could be central and the device is then also small enough to function a phone.

    Condensing Windows, a desktop OS which in turn has it's philosophy derived from other multi-tasking operating systems for small computers like Unix et al into a small package like that is amazing, but ultimately misses the great opportunities that global networks, wireless connectiivty and a tiered approach can give.

    Still - I'm sure it'll find many fans due to the familiarity factor - same as your desktop/laptop but smaller..

  • I can't seem to buy it without XP installed. For $1900 it's doesn't offer very much in the way of configuration.
  • WSJ's [] The Mossberg Solution [] reviews it today; pix both undocked and docked. Bottom line: he doesn't like it much; get a laptop. A quote:

    But the worst feature of the OQO is the awful way you have to use it on a desktop. It has a sort of docking cradle, but the cradle lacks the array of ports and connectors familiar on laptop docking cradles. Instead, the OQO comes with a very long, stiff, weird cable that has various ports and connectors embedded in it at intervals. You plug the cable into the cradle.

  • I'm sure I'm totally alone on this, but this thing looks incredible. Yeah, the stats aren't the greatest, but I've always wanted a pocketable computer (not PDA, but computer) that could be plugged into a full sized monitor, keyboard, and mouse, when home or at the office.

    If I were rich, I'd get one of these and use a bluetooth cell phone (or Wi-Fi, where available) to VNC into a cheap OS X box running at the office. I can't stand Windows.

    1. If they only had:
    2. More storage and memory or a faster processor,
    3. B
  • I think what they are missing with the OQO is not providing a more capable dock. Why couldn't they put more smarts into the cradle? Add another processor, better graphics, and more RAM into the cradle. When it is undocked, the OQO could act like a more powerful PDA-like device.... pretty much like it is now.

    When docked, however, it could use its on-board processor along with the dock's processor and add the dock's RAM to the pool of RAM available. A large hard disk could be in the cradle and a smaller
  • "Cool" or hot? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Great_Jehovah ( 3984 ) * on Wednesday October 13, 2004 @07:01PM (#10518643)
    I've heard things things are real handwarmers.
  • might want to check out an insightful, positive review [] over at the NY Times.
  • The New York Times is running and article on the OQO. It should shed some more light on the specifics of the device, assuming they got one for review.

    Here []

    No I didn't read the article. Yes I wanted to be the first to post it. So there.

A quarrel is quickly settled when deserted by one party; there is no battle unless there be two. -- Seneca