Monday, May 15, 2006
When the size obsession goes too far...
Some of my longtime readers might remember my inclusion of a small laptop in A Writer's Best Friends, a post I made back in December. My laptop is everything I think a writer needs: small enough to take anywhere, yet large enough to type easily. I can't imagine a writer owning one of those super-sized laptops that you normally see - how on earth do you whip out a 7-pound laptop and start working at a moment's notice?!
However, it seems that the "size obsession" - that obsession that motivates men to want their dicks to be bigger and everything else to be smaller - has gone too far. Behold, the Ultra Mobile PC: a laptop so small you can't do anything with it. It literally has no keyboard or trackpad - just a touch-screen with a pop-up keyboard. Speaking of the screen, it's so small that you can't see whole windows or even what you're typing when you have the keyboard pop-ups up! It's slow, too - probably the first computer with a processor under 1 gig that's been marketed in at least a year. And for all this, it's not that much smaller than my own computer: compare 9" by 5.5" (the Samsung Q1) to 10.5" by 8" (my Averatec). Moreover, it'll cost you a grand - the same price tag that was on my Averatec. The size advantage is definitely not worth everything that you lose.
Realistically, who is going to want one of these? Gadget geeks, probably, and that's about it. They're no good for working on - can you imagine trying to type using a pop-up keyboard on a touchscreen? Even sending a quick email would take far too long.
The critique on the New York Times is definitely well-deserved. The tongue-in-cheek video about Ultra Mobile PC is quite funny, too!