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’ll