Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Random Thoughts 4

Yet again, it is time for our newest feature, random thoughts! I am using the Sharp Zaurus C700. This is a great PDA hardware wise but it lacks a good bit in the software department. Much like the Sig3, it is a lack of software really. I am on a car trip today, and I took a couple of devices with me. I have the iPaq HX2495B, the Treo 700P, and the Sig3, as well as my Vaio N320E since I need to take at least one laptop. You might have noticed this is also a longer post.

This Zaurus can use a few little tweaks though, but for me, a lot of the stuff that I have can use some tweaks in my opinion though. The Zaurus has a great keyboard but there are some things that I would change. Firstly, I wouldn't mind having an option for sticky keys, since it can be a pain if you forget to hold the shift key down for capital letters. Also, I would really like to see a backlight for the keyboard so you could use it at night easier.

The Zaurus runs on Linux, which is great but there isn't a whole lot of software for it since it wasn't sold in the United States, it doesn't have the user base like Palm or Windows Mobile. There were a few models sold here in the United Stated though. You would think that with Linux, it would have had more of a following, but I guess it was just released at the wrong time for it to catch on well.

That is one of the problems that I have. Finding a dream device is hard since what I want doesn't really exist. That is why I had gotten the Android tablet, since it fit my needs the best of what I could get for what I was willing to spend. Technically, what I do want does exist in some form, but not what I would ever be willing to spend.

So what do I want? Technically, I want a palmtop computer. This shouldn't be confused with something like a Palm handheld, or even something like my Sig3, but rather a full computer that I could fit in my pocket. There have been a few of these devices, such as the OQO, Sony Vaio UX, and even ones from the days of Windows 3.1 like the IBM PC110 which was a 486 palmtop released in Japan.

The problem for me is there was the whole UMPC, or "ultra-mobile PC" craze. This was what I originally wanted, but could never justify spending that much money on something that wasn't exactly the fastest thing ever. There have been some that have had the Intel Atom CPU, which were referred to as MID or "mobile internet devices", but even they had cost double what I spent on my tablet.

There have been some older ones like the Toshiba Libretto line and Vaio Picturebook line that were actually just very tiny laptops, since the UMPC devices had tended to be more of thick tablets than anything. The problem I have is what I want now is technically more of a combination of things, the best fitting retail product would be the Asus Transformer tablets, but I would like to make a bunch of changes.

So here is one of the things that if I had the money, I would develop and sell, providing that Apple wouldn't sue me. I would take the Asus Transformer as my base model, including the keyboard dock of course. I think that this would be a great starting point, since it has a good sized screen and a keyboard that you could remove when not needed, as well as having a second battery in the dock for when you need more power.

The processor and memory would be fine, but I would like to add a hard drive to the dock, which would be removable so you change the drive, or add one later to save money up front. The point of this would be for storing movies and music, without needing to worry about how much space you have. You could store a lot more on a 500GB hard drive than on a micro SD card.

I would also replace the touchpad with a pointer nub like a ThinkPad has, since I have always found them to be much easier to use while in a car or on the move, since you don't need to move your hands off the keyboard, it is ideal for cramped spaces. I supposed that leaving the touchpad would be alright, as long as it has a pointer nub, I know my one friend would be happy.

Now, the stylus is making a comeback it seems. My HTC Flyer has one, and so does the Samsung Galaxy Note line, which also comes in a 10" model now, as well as the one ThinkPad tablet from Lenovo. I want to stress that I mean a pen, not a typical Palm stylus or even these iPhone ones they sell now. I mean a pen like a tablet PC had, and as I said before, some tablets now have.

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