Friday, March 10, 2006

Origami for me

by Nick
Ever since I spilled coffee all over my faithful old Dell laptop (how does a computer sound when it dies? *pssssssss... rum-rum BEEP! Plop* blackness), I've been looking for something to replace it.

In my haste to complete some schoolwork I bought my current desktop for $350 on an auction site from some suspicious looking Iranian, and it's worked fine so far. But I still miss the manageability of the old guy, and so on and off I've been looking at the latest laptops.

The biggest reason for me to get a laptop is because I can bring it to the library, or just plain with me, and do my work away from home, where my internet connection just lures me away to other exploits (like now...).

While the old one was good, it was still a nine pound baby, not including the bag and wires, making noise and getting warmed up. All I wanted this time was something that was easy to handle and could do the basics. Front-runner up till now had been the Sony Vaio laptops (not an Apple bitch, so forget the iBooks). But even they felt like a bit too much.

I don't need the big screen. I don't need a dvd-player. I hate those little mousepads for your index finger. I don't need high performance. As long as I can use Word, Firefox, Winamp and the VLC media player, and see what's onscreen, I'm happy. If I can download some films and play some SNES emulations or old Lucasarts point-and-click adventures, that's a bonus and I'm even happier. Just something small, practical and easy.

Now I'm hesitant, cause it looks like someone heard my prayer. This Microsoft thing seriously has everything I'm looking for.It was unveiled at the CeBit in Hannover some days ago, and is supposed to be released over the second quarter. Microsoft is letting companies like Samsung, Asus and Dell do their own versions. Touch-screen with applicable keyboard, 512 ram, 30-40 gig, around 1 ghz, wi-fi, weighs two pounds. They're aiming for a price of around $1200.

It's always been a question of price vs manageability, and this thing looks like it passes the grade in both areas.

But I'm wondering if it's too good to be true. Microsoft's evil, right? Anyone else have any tips? I'd probably afford and buy one this summer, so there's still time to see how the whole thing pans out.

Video commercial here.


Blogger Brian said...

Is Microsoft evil? Or rather, does it even really matter if they are? They've conquered the world. Any resistance is mere posturing. Deal with it, people.

Oh, and my girlfriend purchased a refurbished Dell about a year ago and it works fine and is very small. And cost about $1000 or so.

3/10/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

What does a Tablet PC not have that you want (other than I think it's being abandoned in favor of this marketing push behind "Origami," which will then be abandoned if it's not wildly successful)? Or are they still too big?

I'm a bit jaded, having once lived high on a succession of top-line Palms, only to find Palm didn't care when they made serious engineering mistakes, making expensive products with one-year lifespans. And in the end it turned out they just wanted me to buy a cellphone with a too-small PDA screen, anyway.

Methinks Brian is either directly or indirectly in the employ of Microsoft. ;-)

I may start accessing Gone Elsewhere exclusively with Linux if further prompting occurs. ;-)

But I do give thumbs-up to Dell. Their phone tech support might suck, but then I've never needed it.

3/10/2006 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Methinks Brian is either directly or indirectly in the employ of Microsoft. ;-)

Well, he has said that he works for a 'software company.' Hmm...

Just kidding, admin! I hope.

What does a Tablet PC not have that you want

Tablet pcs are a bit too big. Small and light is the keyword.

I agree that Dell is great, until the product does fuck up. Then you're screwed, and/or in for a big bill.

Their pocket pc's were tempting, but too weak and couldn't do everything I need in a computer.

And never heard of anyone that actually enjoyed his Palm as anything other than a showoff product. And like you said, they fuck up easily.

Which is why I'm wary of the umpc (Origami better name). Looks just a bit too good to be true.

3/10/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

I absolutely loved my Palm VIIx with wireless internet access. When it broke after 18 months and I had to replace it with an i705, I grumbled, but, hey, that new one got e-mail pushed to it (Blackberry did such a better job of selling their closed version to corporations than Palm did)! But then Palm shut down their wireless network, thinking I really wanted one of their cell models with a teeny screen and a thumbboard (I loved Graffiti and never wanted to go back to a thumbboard after ditching my Sharp Wizard). Their Tungsten|T was way cool, but it turned out the slider design was prone to decalibrating the touch screen to the point of having to replace it, which they would gladly do until your warranty ran out--in a year (now 90 days, I think). *pfft*

I think a nice-sized PDA with Wi-Fi would be great, but I've been fooled three times already--$400 a year for a PDA was too much for my budget. Plus I just have a problem with things that break or are made obsolete far more quickly than I think they should.

3/10/2006 03:54:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

That's the kind of thing I'm afraid might happen with the Origami. Some annoying fault that makes it unworkable in one way or another.

But you being wise with technology, you think it looks good? So far?

3/10/2006 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

The Origami does intrigue me, but I think I want something even cheaper and smaller. MS always wants portable stuff to run some kind of Windows, even when it may not make sense in such a small device. I think that Nokia 770 "Internet Tablet" is something that interests me more. Say, why don't you get the umpc and let me know how it is? :-)

3/10/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

You know, I might just do that.

3/10/2006 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I have a friend who has a TabletPC and loves it. She never shuts up about it. I think the origami looks really neat, but there's really no way to tell how it will be until it has been out for 2 months and people have started bitching about it.

If I were you I would just get a laptop. But no a Vaio, my mom bought one and it comes pre-loaded with sooo much crap freeware that it will take you weeks to get it all off without formatting. Pre-loaded software is a huge pet peeve for me, nothing pisses me off more than getting a computer with both Works and Office installed.

Personally, I think it is best to go to a small computer store (or online store) and have one built. They are usually cheaper but you don't get the service plan and you'll have to buy your own software unless you know someone who can "share."

It really is much easier to go with a Dell though, and they make good, reasonably priced computers that last a lot longer than palms and tablets.

3/10/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Right now I have the luxury of waiting until summer, though. And getting one built, means getting them built big. I want small. But how small do they make Tablet pc's? Have to check that out.

But the Vaio thing is good to know, though. I hate preloaded software, as well, even if I guess an Origami will have the unholy triumvirate of Windows, IE and WMP in the package. But that I can live with.

I have most of the software I need already, so that's not a problem.

3/10/2006 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Lest I incite confusion, the Nokia 770 "Internet Tablet" is not a Tablet PC.

3/10/2006 07:07:00 PM  

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