Toshiba Demos UMPC Hand-Held Tablet Prototype, But Thinks it's Too Small

Illustration for article titled Toshiba Demos UMPC Hand-Held Tablet Prototype, But Thinks it's Too Small

At a recent presentation, Toshiba demoed a little hand-held UMPC prototype, indicating that the company is considering that product market. The silver-framed machine has a 5.6-inch touchscreen, and runs Windows Vista on an Atom processor and 64GB of SSD storage, and even packs in GPS. Though the onscreen touch keyboard takes up too much real estate, it's a great-looking little package. But apparently Toshiba isn't going to turn prototype into product as it's considered too small for practical use. That'll interest fans of the fabled Apple touch tablet, I'm sure. What do you think guys: would you buy a PC this size? [PCAuthority via Gizmodo.au]

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DISCUSSION

UMPCs are a nice concept if you accept that having one is "in addition" to a regular laptop or workstation, not "instead of".

They are great for email, browsing, and media players. (With or without an attached keyboard.) The issues that confront them are battery life (but all laptops suffer from this, so it is not specific to UMPCs), and from price.

This device from Toshiba will suffer the same lack of adoption as all the other UMPCs have because the battery life is not long enough and the price is too high if Toshiba prices it in the same neighborhood as other UMPCs. And the SSD drive is going to push it somewhere in the $2000 range.

Windows XP 2005 Tablet edition and Vista are both problematic to use on a screen this size because they expect the resolution to be higher than you'll get on a 5.6" screen unless they top out the graphics card, and that will also raise the price up.

It's probably doomed to failure.

Woadan