As a highly-mobile gadget nut, I'm always looking for new
gizmos that will fit in my pocket. But I just don't understand why I should
spend $1,000, or even $500, for an oversized PDA. Microsoft and PC makers have
recently unveiled a series of minitablet
PCs. These lightweight, low-wattage devices will run a variant of Windows
XP developed through Microsoft's Origami Project.
Current models will set you back about $1,000, but manufactures are promising$500 systems by mid year. So again, I have to ask why.
Sure you can browse the Internet,
send e-mails, and listen to MP3 files, but the drawbacks are many. Without a full-size
keyboard, document creation and editing will be all but impossible. Even
writing e-mails with a stylus is a chore. Sure, I see some limited applications
for these smaller-than-laptop devices. Doctors and nurses can easily carry
them around a hospital. But beyond a few very limited markets, I don't see a
large segment of consumers rushing out to spend $500 on a glorified PDA. Perhaps,
I'll change my mind if I get one to try for a few months. But for now, I'llpass.
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.