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UMPCs

Last response: in Mobile Computing
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September 1, 2007 12:02:03 AM

THG:

Please make a Ultra Mobile PCs Forum subsection.
Since they should be in a class different than Notebooks , tablets, and PPCs/PDAs

Ok thanks.
Now the only hard part is someone making a really good UMPC.

More about : umpcs

November 8, 2007 5:28:30 PM

I agree!

Thus far UMPC's have been re-creating the wheel with form factors that are not mainstream. I feel there are too many techies and geeks designing them. What most business users whom make up most of the 103 million notebook computer sales each year want is a pocket version. At least 25% would buy a less powerful laptop if it ran windows, had a touch type keyboard, and most importantly would fit into a jacket pocket. Something like a retro version of a Jornada 720/728 or a Psion 5mx. When everyone prefers a touch type keyboard why on earth are all the UMPC's not using common sense? Nobody wants a thumb input computer and the reality is pen input is not ideal nor mainstream.
November 9, 2007 1:27:55 AM

enewmen said:
THG:
Please make a Ultra Mobile PCs Forum subsection.


Didn't see this one back in the day, it was during my week off in the Okanagan Valley in BC.

I'll pass it along.

T.

PS, wish I had a Sony UMPC with me in Australia last Xmas, would've been perfect. The PSP was OK, but really could've used all the extra goodies and 16-40GB of space for photos and maybe to dump some footage off the DV cam.
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November 9, 2007 2:38:04 AM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
Didn't see this one back in the day, it was during my week off in the Okanagan Valley in BC.

I'll pass it along.

T.

PS, wish I had a Sony UMPC with me in Australia last Xmas, would've been perfect. The PSP was OK, but really could've used all the extra goodies and 16-40GB of space for photos and maybe to dump some footage off the DV cam.

Thanks for getting back..
I spent 3 months backpacking in Southeast Asia doing development work via. Visual Studio & cell-phone Internet. The Sony UMPC would have been an awesome way to get productive work done those long nights getting entertained at the bar. The 40 gigs would have been a great way to store my 1000s of camera photos and a few divx movies.
Anyway, I can appreciate having real computer power that fits in my pocket.
February 24, 2008 3:46:59 PM

I plan on getting an Samsung Q1U and a full sized rollup silicon keyboard.

A Motion LS800, Half priced, updated and a few bugs fixed would be very nice

An Itronix GoBook MR-1 would be great, but is well out of my budget
February 24, 2008 9:11:19 PM

groo said:
I plan on getting an Samsung Q1U and a full sized rollup silicon keyboard.

A Motion LS800, Half priced, updated and a few bugs fixed would be very nice

An Itronix GoBook MR-1 would be great, but is well out of my budget


This thread is kind-of old, so I guess there has been some progress since then.
Some newer ones I've been looking at is the Fujitsu LifeBook U810 and Asus eee-PC.
The Fujitsu is like a nano PC where the Asus is more like a compact network device.
Since the Asus is a lot cheaper, I think you can get a well equiped model. Then add a X-Large 32gig secure digital card which will give near 1.8" drive level of storage. Then you can keep the friendly/turn-key Linux OS or try installing Windows XP to run Windows apps (lots of forums on this). Also the Sony's good, but that's pricey. These are just other ideas.

Please let me know how this goes.
February 24, 2008 10:23:35 PM

I guess it is old, didn't look at the last posting date.

the problem with using a CF card as a hard drive is that it is no-where near as fast as a hard drive. it might work good in conjunction with a Sandisk Vaulter on an eee, but the vaulter will likely be expensive.

Asus did thier best to keep HDDs out of the eee so as not to hurt sales of real laptops.

The fugitsu looks like a good piece of machinery, but I'm nut sure about memory upgrades.
I'm seeing sony UXs comeing down on price on ebay, but no memory upgrade and 4.5" is a little small for my tastes.

I'd still get a full sized keyboard with either an U810 or a UX (I've got big wide non-nimble hands), so might as well get a Q1U (or R2H series) and save a few bucks.

Fugitsu also has a 9" tablet that might be an option, but once again, pricy
February 25, 2008 12:07:01 AM

groo said:
I guess it is old, didn't look at the last posting date.

the problem with using a CF card as a hard drive is that it is no-where near as fast as a hard drive. it might work good in conjunction with a Sandisk Vaulter on an eee, but the vaulter will likely be expensive.

Asus did thier best to keep HDDs out of the eee so as not to hurt sales of real laptops.

The fugitsu looks like a good piece of machinery, but I'm nut sure about memory upgrades.
I'm seeing sony UXs comeing down on price on ebay, but no memory upgrade and 4.5" is a little small for my tastes.

I'd still get a full sized keyboard with either an U810 or a UX (I've got big wide non-nimble hands), so might as well get a Q1U (or R2H series) and save a few bucks.

Fugitsu also has a 9" tablet that might be an option, but once again, pricy

Actually, CF cards are VERY fast, faster than any hard-drive. The speed comes from the access-time which is near zero. See an example HERE of what's possible: Just don't expect a lot of speed from a USB2 interface.
http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/11/21/mtron_ssd_32_gb/page6.html

I also noticed Asus kept the small hard-drives out of the eee PC to keep prices low, but I'd MUCH rather see a simple empty bay where a 1.8" hard-drive can be added later.

Also, don't let the small keyboard scare you. I hear complaints about small keyboards, but they are still better than on any cell-phone. If you REALLY need to type fast, bring a normal-compact USB keyboard with a small REAL USB mouse. The rollups/folding keyboards don't work well and don't give much feedback. Do a realistic test before buying a compact keyboard.

I think if you wait a few months, you will see a better 2nd-gen eee-PC or a cheaper Fujitsu. There may be an ultra-low volt Core 2 Duo SU9400 or Silverthorne, but that may be asking for too much this soon. I wish I had one of these when I was "tele-communiting" from southeast Asia rice field a few years ago!
February 25, 2008 1:34:30 AM

those are all SSDs, CF is much slower in read/write. I looked into an IDE to CF adapter to use pretty much as a vaulter in the past, it would work, but be very slow. I think OSs on CF cards are pretty much limited to linux because they need to read much less than windows. CF was never built for HDD like speed.

The vaulter, when it lauches will be a true SSD in a mini or full PCIe slot.


Asus could have made it upgradeable, but like I said, they intentionaly chose not to for bizness reasons. if enough people keep modding eees maybe eeeii will be better geared toward people like you and me, but I still think they'd rather sell a $1000+ UMPC than a $300 kid's notebook


I'm at the point were I've considered oversized keyboards, no compact keyboard would be a real option for me. I played around with a silicon keyboard a little, and it seamed fine to me, plus the keyboard can cussion the UMPC in my bag some too if needed.

February 25, 2008 1:52:10 AM

Ok,
I think you decided.
Also, thanks for the info. I'll read more about SSD in a PCIe slot.
I'll still ask around about how the Secure Digital performs as an internal hard-drive. Dog slow or useable.
February 25, 2008 7:35:46 AM

groo said:
those are all SSDs, CF is much slower in read/write. I looked into an IDE to CF adapter to use pretty much as a vaulter in the past, it would work, but be very slow. I think OSs on CF cards are pretty much limited to linux because they need to read much less than windows. CF was never built for HDD like speed.


The high end of CF is not much slower, it is slower but about 10MB/s slower @ 54MB/s read than the low end SSD on that list, and they are faster than pretty much all 4K RPM drives, and similar and even better than many normal density 5400RPM drives (the new high density WD Scorpio 320GB being faster than the Hitachi 200GB 7200RPM drives). Anywhoo the fastest of the CF cards does an ok job considering that the spec is so old and that it's still really just limited to the chips within. Most SSD drives rely on dual-channeling the memory to achieve the fast speeds, add the ability to RAID them and that makes them very attractive, and gives them the speed advantage.

Quote:
The vaulter, when it lauches will be a true SSD in a mini or full PCIe slot.


Yeah but the transfer rate is still only 10MB/s faster in the read, and from the looks of things slower writing than a high speed PRO CF card's 50/40, and that's despite the dual channel nature of that vaulter drive.
February 25, 2008 2:43:01 PM

sounds like CF has come a long way, and the Vaulter will only be good for battery saving in a laptop then. Not a minor thing, but why would they even release desktop version of the Vaulter? you'd want to disable hibernating at least.
February 25, 2008 3:23:50 PM

The vaulter would probably still be good for page-filing and other buffer style work, not large file transfer but lots small I/O transfers.

CF has been pretty good for a few years with the 333X professional stuff like that I used in my borrowed cameras, in 2007 though they just pushed the write from 40MB/s to 45MB/s after being stuck there for a while. Read has been above 50 since about 2005 IIRC.

They are supposed to be pushing the spec out again for HD flash camcorders and for the large format cameras like the Hasselblad & Mamiya & Rollei.

The major problem is that USB 2.0 and Firewire are to slow to take full advantage (with their theoretical maxes being below 60&50MB/s respectively), and with the low adoption of FireWireB/800, it's this question as to whether the format would be able to trickled down to the masses.
The thing that makes me laugh is that I doubt anyone cares about slow read time as long as the camera can capture at full speed, if it transfer to the computer at half speed that likely isn't as big a deal, because usually people can walk away and have a coffee or work on something else.

Anywhoo I suspect we'll see SSD push even further past CF and all, right now I think CF's major barrier is the whole interface issue, which just should be an issue, especially since proffesionals would easily spend some coing on an ExpressCard or PCIe based read if it mean faster speeds for them.

However I suspect 333X will be the max we see in 'retail' memory cards for a while. I just wish SD would catch up to CF and MMC+, if MMC can do it SD should be able to, but first it takes a spec revision.
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