Just when we think we’ve reached our mobile limit, something always comes around to blow our minds. PDA’s hit the mobile business world and exploded into an overnight sensation. Laptops use to be a rare purchase, but are becoming almost as common as a regular desktop now. Tablet PC’s haven’t taken off like everyone had hoped, but they do have some great uses. PDA phones and other internet ready phones are almost a necessity, not only delivering email and internet, but now video and other mobile entertainment. What could possibly be next? How do you get better than what we have now?
Introducing the Ultra Mobile PC (or UMPC) standard. What is an Ultra Mobile PC? It’s a standard developed by Microsoft, in what they dub the “Origami Project”. An Ultra Mobile PC will be similar to the tablet pc, but much smaller, and with a much more specific purpose.. to deliver information and entertainment “on the go”, in a small form factor mobile pc. It would essentially be a cross between an internet ready pda, and a tablet. A UMPC will be larger than any pda on the market, but still small enough to carry around easily, without all of the bulk you get from a laptop or tablet.
It’s important to remember that UMPC is a standard though, like the term PDA is a standard. There won’t be two exactly alike, except maybe certain brands that have similar models, but they will all be similar in most ways.
So how is a UMPC going to be so small, yet powerful enough to do anything?
Well, quite honestly, it’s actually pretty simple to make such a thing so small and still powerful. Without a full sized keyboard, with a touch screen replacing any mouse or touch pad, and with usb and memory stick slots replacing floppy and cd drives, you’ve reduced the necessary size tremendously. So you essentially end up with something nearly as powerful as a laptop, yet less than half the size, and so much easier to carry around.
While most of the specs from the different brands will be slightly different, here are some features that you can come to expect among most Ultra Mobile PC’s.
It’s also important to note that the price tag is looking to be between $600 and $1000, though I would expect those numbers to drop over time, similar to any other new computer products. I’m sure there will be some extremely high end models as well though, depending on the stats, but this is what the market is saying right now anyway.
A UMPC won’t be a replacement for a pda, and it won’t necessarily be a replacement for your laptop either, I see it being more of a companion to all of the above. You probably won’t want to type up an essay on it without a full sized keyboard, and you most likely won’t want to carry it around with you all day just to view your calendar like you would with your pda.
So what would you use a UMPC for then?
Well that’s simple really.. everything else. Mobile internet, music, movies, games, research, news, and about everything else you would have to lug out your laptop for or go sit at your computer for.
How great would it be to be able to do most of the things you would normally do on a computer or laptop, easily on a portable device? Not only at home, but on the go?
The possibilities are endless, and I could go on forever talking about the things you could do with an ultra mobile pc. The point is that when UMPC’s hit the mainstream, they’re going to change the mobile world as we know it. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.