Ultraportables: The Next Big Thing or a Flash in the Pan?

Two eWEEK.com columnists debate the potential of the ultraportable PC.

A new class of computing device known as ultraportable PCs is sparking debate here at eWEEK.com. Columnist Rob Enderle thinks that UPCs, which attempt to cram the performance of a laptop into the form factor of a handheld computer, could eventually overtake the notebook and PDA markets. On the other hand, Ziff Davis Internet Editor in Chief Jim Louderback thinks they are doomed to failure.

/zimages/1/73135.jpg Enderle argues that "handheld computers and PDAs, as good as they are, dont work for viewing long e-mails or documents. Theyre also poorly suited for developing or giving PowerPoint presentations, and lack the storage capacity to hold the critical documents we sometimes need while on the road. The laptop, on the other hand, has all of the capacity and capability we need, but it is big and often not with us when we need it."

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read the rest of Robs column.

/zimages/1/51910.jpg Louderback counters: "The whole concept of cramming everything into a single device is just wrong. I dont want one $1,200 device that does everything. Instead, give me a portable DVD/media player for music and movies, a smart phone with my calendar and address book, and an ultraslim tablet-sized notebook, like the Sharp MM20, with a big screen and full keyboard, but half as thick as a deck of cards."

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read Jims rebuttal in its entirety.

/zimages/1/28571.gifCheck out eWEEKs Desktop & Notebook Center at http://desktop.eweek.com for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.