Aug 20

The UMPC Craze

When Asus came out with the EEE PC, its first ultra-mobile personal computer (UMPC), the world went nuts. Here’s a gadget that has a bigger screen than a PDA, bigger keypads, yet small enough to fit into a woman’s handbag. The earlier UMPCs were forgotten. My officemates rushed to get one because it was even cheaper than a smartphone. It was a mini laptop, except for one drawback — the data storage. I held back because of the limits in the memory. The data storage was too small and it would defeat the purpose of getting a portable laptop if you have to carry along a removable hard drive (At that time, flash disks or thumbdrives were only up to 4 GB). I also found the screen too small. For me, it’s still not comfortable enough to write on or surf the net with. Good thing too that I didn’t join the bandwagon. A few months later, HP came out with its own UMPC. But they rushed into it and came up short.

The newest kid on the block for UMPCs is the MSI Wind. They say this is loads better than the Asus EEE. The first batch that was released wasn’t enough and availability became difficult. Some who made reservations didn’t even get their units. It had become so hot that sellers decided to make extra bucks and canceled those who reserved at the original price. Sellers were able to mark-up extra on the price because of the demand. Before I started this post, I was planning to get my own Wind. But while reading about it, I discovered there were other brands that are coming out soon. So, I sit back again and wait.

The brands everyone is waiting for is Lenovo and Dell. If these 2 are coming out with their versions, why settle for MSI? If Lenovo comes out with its model Ideapad S10 in October 2008, it’s my choice. But I am also waiting for information on Dell’s model. The good thing about waiting is that other brands work out the wrinkles on the earlier releases and find a way to make their versions better than the earlier ones. There is still no word on Sony or Apple making their UMPC. I’m certain that it’s in the works. They are just waiting in the sidelines scouting to assure that they come out with the best in the market.

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