Posted by Tom Foremski - March 9, 2006
Microsoft has managed to produce a product that combines all the disadvantages of a PDA and a notebook with none of their advantages.
A PDA such as my Treo fits in my pocket has very long battery life, has a cell phone, a camera and a touch screen and has my calendar, email and contacts database.
My three-year old 12 inch IBM ThinkPad X31 is lightweight, has a good keyboard, has decent battery life of nearly 4 1/2 hours, and is my main and only system.
Combine the two and you get Origami, a form factor that is too small for a keyboard, won't fit into a pocket, has a battery life half that of my notebook, and at a price similar to a notebook. And it doesn't have a cell phone. Brilliant.
My ideal ultraportable computing device would have a 12 inch screen as in my ThinkPad, have 12-hour battery life, have a touchscreen, have ubiquitous wi-fi, it runs on a simple microprocessor, doesn't require Windows, and I have access to all my information and applications on any device. It all lives in the cloud but uses AJAX-based technologies to bring things down to my client should my wi-fi connection be interrupted or unavailable--but all this is done seamlessly, and transparently.
I can record voice notes on the device, take photos, video, I can tag my geographic location with my notes (great restaurant, order the wings) I can throw all my personal data into the device, maybe even record every minute of my life - and retrieve it later through search algorithms that become tuned to me and my habits. All for $300.
I described something like this last year calling it a portable wiki or a Walkabout Wiki. It would be so durable and robust that you can play Frisbee with it, with your dog, and it would still work: dog slobber and all :-)Tweet this story Follow @tomforemski