David Pogue had an interesting article in the New York Times recently about the uselessness of Microsoft’s Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) idea (also touted by Intel). I agree completely. And it reminded me of some thinking I did recently about my ideal form factors.
Basically, I want one device, I can carry in my pocket, that can do everything a pocketable device is good for. If the device doesn’t fit in my pocket, then it might as well be a 15″ ultraportable laptop, because I’m going to have to carry a bag to put it in. I don’t see anything in between making sense for me.
My ideal pocket device has a bright VGA screen about 2.5″ across. It also has a qwerty keyboard (I’m spoiled by my Blackberry). To fit in my pocket, the keyboard likely needs to slide out. It can take high-res photos and videos, and play and record mp3s. It works as a phone, and I can hold it up to my ear as well as use a headset. I don’t care about WiFi, because I’ll have EVDO or EDGE, and that’s fast enough for the limited surfing I’ll do. I want email, with the ability to file messages on the server. I want GPS and basic driving directions. Obviously it needs to sync with my desktop and web services for contacts, appointments, and todos.
For just about everything else: heavy email, spreadsheets, powerpoint, photo editing, etc, etc, I will use a laptop. Don’t try to shoehorn these things into my pocket device, please.
We are getting pretty close. Some of the new HTC phones seem pretty cool. But I’m still waiting…