OQO basic model repriced to $1,199
Sunday December 17th 2006, 1:14 pm Category: Nokia 770 competition

The OQO model 01+ ultra personal computer, a fully-featured Windows XP computer, has been repriced to $1,199. The OQO has a 1GHz processor, a 30GB hard drive, 512MB of RAM, a color transflective display, and integrated wireless, as well as FireWire and USB ports.

Google Talk to support mylo, too
Saturday August 12th 2006, 6:37 am Category: Nokia 770 competition

Nokia 770 is getting what looks like a heavier competitor, as Google announces support for upcoming Sony mylo. Never a leader in the Internet space, Google seems to push its client heavily on every portable client that’s WiFi-compatible, which might play well with the rumored nationwide WiFi coverage that started off recently in Mountain View, CA. Om even suggests a competition where Google Talk would be ported to Symbian platform, which would suddenly make an entire family of devices compatible with one voice network. From the Google announcement:

The mylo comes with built-in Google Talk IM support so you can see who’s online and available, manage your contacts, and hold multiple chat conversations at once. It also features quick access to Gmail.

Sony is launching a new wireless handheld
Tuesday August 08th 2006, 12:33 pm Category: Nokia 770 competition

Business Week and Associated Press are both reporting on Sony launching a WiFi tablet.

The Sony mylo, slated for availability in September at a retail price of about $350, is a first-of-its-kind product that uses Wi-Fi networks, analysts say. It is not a cellular phone and thus doesn’t carry monthly service fees. And though it could handle Web-based e-mail services, it doesn’t support corporate e-mail programs.

Mylo - new handheld from Sony

The Inquirer reviews Origami/UMPC products
Sunday June 11th 2006, 5:38 am Category: Unrelated news, Nokia 770 competition

An interesting review of the upcoming Origami tablets from The Inquirer:

My impression of each of these mobile tablet PCs was the same: they’re a bundle of compromises. They try to fill a lot of different roles, but are second best at all of them. The manufacturers have made a valiant first effort, but Microsoft’s UMPC blueprint is not ready to be turned into a viable product.

Intel is ready to go with ultra-mobile PC
Thursday February 09th 2006, 12:18 am Category: Nokia 770 competition

Intel is preparing to launch its ultra-mobile handtop PC, TGDaily says:

According to Paul Otellini’s keynote speech at IDF Fall 2005, UMPCs will integrate a new category of processors that will consume as little as 0.5 watts. Intel executives also mentioned that UMPCs will achieve a continuous operation time of about eight hours. Our sources now tell us that at least the first generation of UMPCs may not include such a new processor, but rather rely on a proven platform, which will consist out of ULV Pentium M processors with 90 nm Dothan core as well as a 915GMS chipset. Intel is also very aggressive in extending the wireless feature set of UMPCs. Wi-Fi capability is a standard feature by now, but Wireless WAN - such as EVDO and HSDPA - as well as integrated GPS capability will be able to draw some attention to those devices.

PepperPad gets a South Korean partner
Tuesday January 17th 2006, 5:22 am Category: Nokia 770 competition

Sean came around the other day and pointed to new strategic licensing agreement between Pepper Computer and HANBiT Electronics Co. Apparently we’ll be looking at a new price point for PepperPad some time soon, so the battle intensifies.

It’s tempting to root for one winner in the battle of Internet tablets, but hey, the cheaper they are, the more benefits there are for the final users and software development community around mobile tablets.

PepperPad improves software
Wednesday January 04th 2006, 2:19 am Category: Nokia 770 competition

PepperPad issued a new press release today touting a new e-book reader from MobiPocket (an Amazon company) and photo-sharing app for Flickr (a Yahoo! company).

New PepperPad

They seem to target the digital home concept heavily, introducing a software TV listings reader as well (although one could always browse to Yahoo! TV or numerous similar sites, one would assume):

The eBook reader from Mobipocket, an Amazon.com company, enables users to browse and download books, magazines or newspapers and read them on the Pad’s 8.4-inch SVGA TFT screen. Publications can be easily organized and stored for future reading on the portable Pad. Decisionmark’s TitanTV offers the only real-time household-level online programming guide available to consumers. It provides household-specific program listings of all sources of programming, whether off-air, cable, or satellite, with high-definition programs highlighted. TitanTV allows viewers to sort, filter, customize and search listings with unmatched ease. On the Pepper Pad, the listings information is available through the Pad’s built-in Wi-Fi. With TitanTV’s Watch Now feature, consumers can simply select the program they want to watch and via IR the Pepper Pad will select the proper channel.

There’s also a bunch of free e-books available for MobiPocket.

New Itronix tablets
Tuesday November 22nd 2005, 6:31 am Category: Unrelated news, Nokia 770 competition

What do you think of the new Itronix Internet tablet?

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Spokane, but generally Itronix products, generally sold to defense contractors and what not, are selling for thousands of dollars, since they use those Tablet PCs in the battlefield, etc.

Mid-sized, lightweight and ergonomic, the Duo-Touch boasts the rugged and weatherized features you’ve come to expect from Itronix. With up-to-four integrated wireless options in the same device, including GPS, the Duo-Touch is ready for any wireless network. It offers the performance and flexibility needed to keep field-deployed, mission-critical workers productive. The Duo-Touch combines the features of an active digitizer with the flexibility of a passive touch screen. Never fear losing your tablet stylus again!

PepperPad fails a PC Magazine review
Thursday October 27th 2005, 1:26 pm Category: Nokia 770 competition

More than a month PC World magazine reviewed PepperPad, and wasn’t quite happy with what they had to offer, now PC Magazine runs a gadget review, where PepperPad receives 1.5 stars out of 5 possible.

“We weren’t impressed by the features either. The rubbery little keys are difficult to type on with any speed or precision, hobbling e-mail. In addition, the touch-screen user interface feels generally balky—often we tapped on buttons (especially in the Web browser) four or five times because we couldn’t tell we had pressed them, only to have all our button-presses take effect several seconds later. The photo application is fine and Web pages looked great, but the browser’s performance left a lot to be desired—it kept us hanging for several seconds at a time—and plug-in support was uneven. For instance, the Pad supports Flash 6 but not yet Flash 7, and streaming movie trailers from Apple’s QuickTime site came through without sound.”

Would the PC Magazine guys give the same treatment to Nokia 770?

Let’s do a point by point walk-through to see what their main complaints are:

Price point. At $850 a pop PepperPad has a lot to offer, but this kind of price range seems to be outside of what most teenagers and gadget lovers budget for their electronics spending. Released at $350, Nokia might suffer from competing PDAs, but it’s at the point where it’s still acceptable. However, the price for a 20 GB Creative Zen with 3.8″ screen just went down to $180, so expect heated competition in the field. That’s 20 gigs, folks, support for all Microsoft DRM formats, but no wireless.

Which brings us to the next point. Support for Microsoft DRM. Be it Yahoo! Music or MovieLink, the DRM is here to stay, and while one can complain, when it becomes too restrictive, it’s unlikely just to go away. More of the media we consume daily is using Apple or Microsoft DRM and neither PepperPad nor Nokia 770 have anything to offer. They’re going to lose points in PC Magazine reviews.

Large video files. You’ve got a nice large crisp screen, you want to watch the last episode of Simpsons or your favorite Matrix movie. Sony gets it, but I don’t think Nokia does, as reduced storage capabilities are surely going to kill the enthusiasm of the fans trying to upload something worthwhile to their devices.

Battery life. PepperPad got points ducked on that one, and Nokia 770 is going to lose some as well. You and I know why.

Overall, the chances are not too good, but there’s always a chance that sales will pick up, so none of that would matter.

I tried OQO last night
Sunday October 23rd 2005, 12:22 pm Category: Nokia 770 competition

Several images of me playing with OQO. Overall, pretty impressive, except for keyboard being not too convenient, and mouse buttons not too convenient.
A TechCrunch attendee playing with OQO
Lady from OQO
I asked them about Nokia 770, they didn’t really think of it as competition.

Thanks a lot to Mike Arrington for organizing the event.