FTC Disclosure

Life is complicated enough without getting into hotwater with federal agencies so: TAKE NOTE Many things I review I got at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Consider this as informing you that ALL things I review may have been gotten at no charge. Realistically about 60% but in order to keep things above board just assume that I got the stuff free. Words like, “sponsored,” “promotion,” “paid ad” or even just “ad” are clear ways to disclose that you’re being paid to share information and links so BE AWARE that some of what I write can be described as an AD by the government. BTW I will NEVER say a product is great, super or even acceptable if it isn't whether I got it free or NOT!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

SubNotebooks-Oops they did it again or Déjà vu all over again!



WhooHoo subnotebooks are predicted to be big….AGAIN. Is there any recollection of the the Poqet PC, Psion palmtop computer, Newton or the Jornada. After 28 years in the computer business, I find many of the headlines Yogi Berraish. Now it is subnotebook vs. the smartphone. Which will be the winner? Reality check, it will be the first vendor to successfully morph the notebook and phone into a easily carried device that is SUPPORTED. Follow through in the computer industry is much like a bad golf swing…non existent. I have owned many incarnations of the subnotebook genre.

I currently have a Smartphone, I can access the internet, get email and take iffy 3 megpixel photos. The screen is bright and way too small to be useful. Admittedly subteens and other species with acute vision may not find it so but for those of us approaching adulthood, the screen is too small. I opted not to get the Treo since my son has had limited success with his even after several warranty replacements. Instead I got a PDA to accompany my phone.

I have a great PDA. Sadly it is a Dell but nevertheless I like it. The main reason I got it was the 2 memory slots. It has both SD and Compact flash slots which allows me to bump up the memory to realistic states. It is fairly quick, it latches onto wireless access points reasonably well, I can get my email and surf. The MS software included allows importation of Word docs and spreadsheets which are legible and very useful. The screen is very tiring trying to play scrabble. I have 75 books downloaded into it and find the back lit screen easy to use under many conditions. I also have over 600 songs and several games besides scrabble with plenty of room to add more. Admittedly after seeing the iphone screen I am dissatisfied with my screen but not grossly so. I bought the infrared keyboard since I find stylus typing tedious at best and astoundingly frustrating at worse. I suspect part of my concerns about screen size is habit. The little screen seems just that, little. If I could get a phone that would successfully do all of the things my PDA does, it would be a winner. I don’t carry the PDA with me most of the time. I always carry my phone which is about 50% smaller than the PDA.

Obviously if I am an incessant blogger, internet surfer, e-buyer ad nauseaum, I obsess over internet access. So in addition to the phone and PDA, I have a nice laptop that accompanies me whenever I expect to be away from my desk for more than a week. Unlike some addicts, I can go an entire week without major withdrawal symptoms. A few twitches, a couple of what if someone needs me moans and a serious feeling of being disconnected notwithstanding, I can do it. Regardless of how good the PDA is, it still isn’t my notebook which can do practically everything my desktop can do. In fact, if I didn’t already have 6 desktops, I would put a 21” monitor and real keyboard on the notebook and never look back. I am not good at trashing workable stuff so until all the desktops die, I will continue to use them.

Verbosely later, smart phones and subnotebooks are cool. Until they have someway of keeping the physical unit small and yet having a large display with ease of use, they will not displace notebooks. As much as I liked my Poquet Computer and my Jornada, as much as I like my phone and my PDA I don’t see them replacing my need/want for a more comfortable work tool. Conversely I love being able to carry a veritable suitcase full of books in my shirt pocket and reading in lousy lighting so I don’t see my laptop replacing my PDA.

So good luck marketing the subnotebook/smart phone controversy, it is just one more chapter in the never ending tech story.

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