The UPCs Swiss Army Knife Approach Doesnt Compute
A new class of portable computers tries to do it all, but doesn't do anything particularly well.I see Robs fallen for the latest pretty girl to walk down the street. In his column about the UPC, a new class of tiny yet powerful Windows-based portable computers, he waxes enthusiastic. According to Rob, these tiny and cramped devices are poised to steal market share, and ultimate market leadership, away from notebooks and PDAs. I disagree. To start with, these UPCs are still halfway between usability and portability. Yes, they are small enough that you can carry them in a purse or briefcase more easily than todays wonderbrick notebooks from Dell and IBM. But they still dont deliver the ultimate of portability, where you stick it in your pocket and forget about it.
Rob thinks a high-resolution, 5-inch screen is good enough for reading long e-mails and documents. But on airplanes and trains, where many of these will be used, overhead lights and windows can turn a pretty screen into a faded dowager pretty quickly.