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Portables Hardware

OQO Examined 127

D4C5CE writes "The vapor solidifies... After years of waiting and an appearance at CES early this year, some people have finally had the opportunity to try an OQO 'Model 01 ultra personal computer (uPC)' at CeBIT America, and published this report. The device is available to a few lucky pilot customers, but for the rest of us they still won't be shipping before this fall, and they have yet to beat the Zaurus line (hopefully also with wireless connectivity in its clamshell versions soon - Are you listening, Sharp?) to justify a $1500+ price tag."
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OQO Examined

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  • my thoughts (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mandalayx (674042) * on Saturday June 05, 2004 @03:09AM (#9343000) Journal
    Before you ask "Why?", I listened to a presentation of OQO's business plans and was told that they're aiming for a market of CEOs and folks like pharmaceutical reps (i.e. NOT slashdot readers).

    I would be worried, though, about the plan to underproduce in the first year. I think they're going for something like the PT Cruiser, where undersupply is supposed to generate immense demand. I personally don't think that it will be a winning idea for OQO. Maybe for the iPod mini. But one of their competitive advantages is being "first-to-market" (in this particular product space of the ultra-portable) and they'd lose that if they tried to artificially underproduce.

    I was told that the price will be $1500 and that it would beta on first-class seats of trans-Atlantic flights this fall. But of course that could all change. These signs all point OQO trying to position itself as a luxury product and thus wouldn't do so well in the mass market.

    Interestingly, the presenters suggested that customers would have a desktop, laptop, AND an OQO (i.e. an OQO would not be a replacement for a laptop). I wonder if that is too many gadgets. Personally I will be going for a full featured ultralight laptop (IBM X31 and Sharp MM20 come to mind) instead for that price.
    • Re:my thoughts (Score:5, Interesting)

      by vocaro (569257) <trevor@vocaro.com> on Saturday June 05, 2004 @04:37AM (#9343174)

      Interestingly, the presenters suggested that customers would have a desktop, laptop, AND an OQO (i.e. an OQO would not be a replacement for a laptop)

      Odd, because if you watch the promo video on their site, the final words are: "It's the only computer you need." It also makes a big deal out of OQO's docking station, saying that it "eliminates the need to sync or use other operating systems." Clearly, OQO's marketers aren't sure how they want to target this thing.

      Of course, if OQO only runs Windows XP, it is certainly not the only computer I need. ;)

      Trevor
      • I met one of the OQO designers, who said the thing is already running Linux. One of their programmers is a Linux fan, and made sure all the devices have linux drivers.
    • Re:my thoughts (Score:3, Interesting)

      by PhotoBoy (684898)
      I think it's also being aimed at evil international terrorists who want to release chemical weapons. Well the terrorist in the lastest season of 24 had one anyway, he even used it to escape from Jack Bauer!
    • Re:my thoughts (Score:2, Insightful)

      by amix (226257)

      Before you ask "Why?", I listened to a presentation of OQO's business plans and was told that they're aiming for a market of CEOs and folks like pharmaceutical reps (i.e. NOT slashdot readers).

      Ah! That saved me smashing this device down right on. ;-)

      Hmmm...I think I will smash it down anyway. And pretend I did not know it was not for Slashdot users ;-)

      I don't own a PDA, but if I'd do, than it would be the SHARP Zaurus SL-5500G.

      The device in question here has best of both worlds of portable computing (

      • Right, this device has no future whatsoever. It's always a mistake to produce a unit that fits "between" a high-end and a low-end device, especially if it is clobbered by the low-end price and offers quite nebulous advantages over the low-end unit -- AND if it's not very competitive price-wise with the high-end unit. It will be squeezed from both sides. Buh-bye.

        There are plenty of examples of this phenomenon. For instance, who will be left standing in the commercial database wars? Oracle has the high
    • I listened to a presentation of OQO's business plans and was told that they're aiming for a market of CEOs and folks like pharmaceutical reps (i.e. NOT slashdot readers).
      Yes, but we (I'm medical student) have already PDA like Sony Clié... ...Oh, Wait !...
  • Awesome device (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lancomandr (785360) * on Saturday June 05, 2004 @03:12AM (#9343010)
    Finally this this thing is coming out. I sure have been waiting for a while. Its hard to find a device with the right combination of connectivity media, good input interface, powerful enough hardware, but in a very mobile form factor. I have an eNote Lite, AKA the Lindows MobilePC, which is a pretty damn small machine. However I still have to pull it out and boot it up etc. I tried an iPaq but solely Bluetooth didn't cut it, and text input was too hard. The OQO is something I could take with me in my pocket when I don't want to bring a bag, be always ready to go, has a full qwerty keyboard albeit awkward looking, and with hardware that packs a punch. The only other thing I could ask for is telephone, but thats going a little overboard. $1,500 might seem a little steep, but I'd definately shell it out for this seemingly perfect solution to all my problems.
    • Re:Awesome device (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Amiga Lover (708890) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @03:24AM (#9343035)
      The only other thing I could ask for is telephone, but thats going a little overboard. $1,500 might seem a little steep, but I'd definately shell it out for this seemingly perfect solution to all my problems.

      I'm with you there. Predicting whether this particular machine will be a success is a bit iffy. It's pricey, the specs may be a bit behind due to the time it's taken to come to market, but to me the concept is all there. Why have a different OS (XP vs WinCE) on a desktop and a handheld when the tech is there for both to use the same for *most* users? No reason.

      Consistency is king, and this concept has it. It's just needed an implementation.
    • Re:Awesome device (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
      I tried an iPaq but solely Bluetooth didn't cut it, and text input was too hard.

      I've seen an iPaq that has both 802.11b and bluetooth. You can buy little keyboard add-ons for them too, and it would cost less than half as much as OQO.
      • The idea of one unit seems to suit my fancy more than having dangly periphery or strange IR keyboards that I have to line up in some particular fashion with my handheld.
  • gaming (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jest3r (458429) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @03:18AM (#9343023)
    Would make an awesone handheld gaming system if it were priced about $1000 lower ... for $1500 I might as well go buy a 12" Powerbook ...

    • There seem to be plenty of handheld gaming platforms around, however there are very few handheld computers of this design. And I don't know how big your pockets are, but I sure can't fit a 12" Powerbook in mine.
      • If your pockets can hold the OQO your a bigger man than I.

        For real though do you not realize that carrying this thing would be like walking around with a brick in your pocket. Forget how uncomfortable ti would be to sit down, heaven forbid you don't get the stylus in all the way. Ouch... Hurts bad enough with a 1/2" PDA imagine the extra leverage 2-3 inches more would give ya.
        • Re:gaming (Score:5, Informative)

          by lancomandr (785360) * on Saturday June 05, 2004 @03:39AM (#9343068)
          Perhaps I am some sort of a radical dresser but I have what are known as "cargo" pockets that have more than enough space for an OQO. The OQO is not 2-3 inches thick. It is 0.9 inches thick as stated on the specifications page. 4.9" x 3.4" x .9". Thats thinner than my cell phone. Wow, wait, whats this? People have been carrying objects roughly fitting those dimensions for hundreds of years in their pockets with no problem.
    • Re:gaming (Score:3, Insightful)

      by XaXXon (202882)
      You. Completely. Missed. The. Point.

      How quickly you Mac people for get the Newton..
    • sarcasm

      Because clearly, the Mac is a superior gaming platform.

      /sarcasm (apologies to the Mac fans in the audience)
  • by Bodhammer (559311) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @03:19AM (#9343025)
    If Sony can sell the TH-55 with WiFi (and also bluetooth in Europe) for $300 (which I assume there is a software cost for Palm OS) why can't Sharp release a Zaurus Clamshell with WiFi for US even at twice that cost?

    Now that Sony is leaving the US market by pulling the Clie, maybe Sharp will get their shit together...

  • That's a lot of money for what is essentially a miniature laptop. Is it really worth it, when you can buy a 2ghz laptop with 256+ MB of ram for less than $1000?
  • I"m a proud user of an e805 with wireless infrared keyboard I love it and from everything I have seen on brighthand and there website there is nothng that could convince me to even thing about such a piece of hardware.
  • Pretty cool... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by midifarm (666278) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @03:26AM (#9343040)
    But not something I'd use. I think it's too small for doing audio or video editing. I might consider something like that if it ran OSX, but it doesn't look like my upcoming PowerBook purchase will be deterred. I can see what they're trying to do, bravo for a PC company trying to innovate.

    Unfortunately for then I think this is a "Mac" type product. No offense to OQO, but I think Apple would be able to pull off something like this.

    Does anyone have an idea how well the screen would hold up to scratches and all, being exposed the way it is?

    Peace

    • That's what I was thinking. Is there no way to flip the screen around to protect it?

      This would be a really great thing for those of us who don't do super-intensive tasks like gaming on our PCs... Since plugging it into the right peripherals would make it a full desktop PC. Then again, with the $1500 price tag, most people are just going to get a sub-notebook.
    • Re:Pretty cool... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @05:27AM (#9343252) Homepage Journal
      It looks like it would easily be able to do light A/V editing, just not on that screen but when docked.

      I don't think such a device was meant for such tasks. Keep in mind that this device isn't for everyone, and no device should be viewed as a do-everything device. Not many people edit AV files anyway, but rather just play videos, surf the web, write email, write an occasional Word file and so on, which are all tasks that the OQO should be able to do.

      Well, video would be a bit tight on a 10GB drive with XP and no optical reader, but I imagine that larger capacity drives can be stuffed into that thing, but streaming video from a web site shouldn't be a problem, and files can be stored on nearby servers connected to the wireless network.

      I doubt OQO would mean the end of laptops, because laptops haven't meant an end to desktops, and desktops haven't meant an end to mainframes, and the installed base of systems in all of those categories have grown. In this case, I think it might fill a good niche.
    • "I think it's too small for doing audio or video editing."

      Why? It has a 20GB disk, and a FireWire port. You could always use an external FireWire drive.

      Now, with 256M of memory and a 1GHz Crusoe, don't expect it to be super-fast. But it's certainly doable.
      • If you notice Firewire is only available via the Dock.

        I wonder if they licensed the term from Apple or not?

        Peace

      • I think the original poster was complaining, quite rightly, about the low screen resolution. Modern video editing programs really need at least a 1024x768 screen and even that's not the full experience.

        Of course as a Mac user he's almost certainly a Final Cut Pro loyalist in any event (as am I), so it would take radical change to switch him to XP in any event.

        Of course if Apple did make a similar device, it would sell like hotcakes to obsessed Apple users all over the place. Ever since the Newton was di
  • Apple (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WasterDave (20047) <davep @ z e d kep.com> on Saturday June 05, 2004 @03:28AM (#9343044)
    As soon as Apple make one, my PowerBook's for sale.

    You listening? Are you? It simplifies the battery life problem, it simplifies the 'supply of large LCDs' problem, I don't care that the performance is not all that good (provided it's still a G4). I want one. I will give you money for it.

    Dave
    • Re:Apple (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Evets (629327)
      They already did. Like 10 years ago. They called it the Newton.
    • Re:Apple (Score:4, Informative)

      by fastdecade (179638) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @05:05AM (#9343214)
      As soon as Apple make one, my PowerBook's for sale.

      Apple will be shivering in its boots. With unconditional love like this who needs competitors.

      Apple *could have* released this, because the founder is ex-Apple, but Steve Jobs rejected it [macrumors.com]:


      Within weeks of leaving his job at Apple Computer (AAPL) in 1999 -- as a lead developer for Apple's PowerBooks -- Jory Bell pitched his former boss, Steve Jobs, his killer idea: a portable PC slightly bigger than a deck of cards that would pack all the punch of a high-end laptop, cost less than $1,500, and give Apple a chance to license its operating system to a product that could render traditional handhelds like the Palm Pilot obsolete.


      I thought that was a bad move when I first read it, but in hindsight, he possibly saw a conflict with the IPod strategy.

      In any event, you'll probably get your wish as the IPod is halfway there anyway. It's got the hard drive and some basic PDA functions, now it just needs full-blown PDA action.
      • He wasn't pitching for Apple to make it, he was pitching to get Apple's OS on it. That's a big difference in who controls the stakes and Steve is a bit too much of a control freak to allow anyone else to have control over a piece of hardware with Apple's OS on it.
      • "In any event, you'll probably get your wish as the IPod is halfway there anyway. It's got the hard drive and some basic PDA functions, now it just needs full-blown PDA action."

        It lacks a kb, the size(the oqo is 2-3x larger) it lacks the color display, and the processor to run mac os x. the ipod is a mp3 player, small, light, quick to navigate... they won't bastardize an mp3 player by morphing it into a PDA.
    • > As soon as Apple make one, my PowerBook's for sale.

      Well, the PowerBook G5s are coming out next week...

      Ok, next *next* week...

      Ok, next *next *next* week...
    • i've got os X installed on my ipod.

      obviously, you can't boot into os X while not "docked" to a computer, but generally how much computing does one do while not "docked"? more or less just watch videos, or listen to mp3s... which my ipod still does otherwise.

      the irony is, i've got itunes installed on my ipod. ;)

    • You know what? I loved my Newtons - all three of them - and I love the idea of an OQO running OSX. You don't need to right-click in OSX, eliminating my biggest beef about WinXP Tablet.

      Anyone seen any of the various iPad renders? One of them looks an awful lot like this...
  • PDA vs UPC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kakos (610660) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @03:32AM (#9343049)
    The comparison with the Sharp Zaurus is sort of stupid. The OQO is meant to be a compact PC, not a personal digital assistant. Comparing them is somewhat stupid.

    However, if you must compare them, I think the OQO is light years ahead of the Zaurus. 1 GHz processor, lots of RAM, 10 GB HDD, Firewire, Full-size USB, the ability to run non-embedded OS, etc. I'm personally going to be very willing to shell out $1500+ for one of these. Being able to carry an actual PC (not a quasi-PC) in my pocket is beautiful.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      How dare you pick a non-embedded, non-OSS, Microsoft-produced OS instead of Linux on /.! Heretic!
    • The comparison with the Sharp Zaurus is sort of stupid. The OQO is meant to be a compact PC, not a personal digital assistant. Comparing them is somewhat stupid.

      Do you work for these people or something? It makes quite a bit of sense from a utility standpoint to compare the devices that is if you use them and they are not some glorified toy. If all you want is the newest kewlest then your right not to compare this to a PDA because it is much more. From the standpoint of what it does for the end user it

      • That is 4.9" x 3.4" x .9". Notice that is [.]9". Not 9 inches. One tenth of an inch less than one inch. The way you write the dimensions make it seem it like is portrait oriented and is nine inches thick.
        • Those dimensions are still pretty much demanding cargo pants to make it "pocket" capable.

          I have some softcover books about that size and they don't fit well into normal pants or shirt pockets. You can force them in, but it's uncomfortable, and the OQO is probably inflexible so it's going to be a big flat bulge, bigger than anything else I cram into pockets.

          Mind you, it still is a very interesting little device, simply not all that "pocket"-fitting to me.
      • Might I add, if you think this will fit in your pocket you need to read the specs. With dimensions of 3x4x9, it might be wise to check for the ACME name before attempting to cram it in your pocket.

        You mis-read the specs and didn't look at the photos. The dimensions are 4.9" x 3.4" x 0.9"

        • You mis-read the specs and didn't look at the photos. The dimensions are 4.9" x 3.4" x 0.9"

          I think this is a case in point to show that a leading zero on sub-decimal numbers is necessary for best readability. Decimal points are tiny and can disappear, depending on the font chosen. I think leading zeros are dropped for aesthetic reasons, but I think it is helpful as a cue, because the decimal spaces the numbers apart.
        • I did misread the specs and I did look at the picts but it is somewhat difficult to determine a specific aspect ratio unless you are or have an interest in mechanical engineering. I can still say that with the updated specs that it will still be a rather tight fit in anyone's pockets and could potentially result in damage if you sat down with this in your pocket. I can't imagine those screens are to cheap.

      • With dimensions of 3x4x9, it might be wise to check for the ACME name before attempting to cram it in your pocket.
        Nonsense. I've seen one of these things (working) -- it might be awkward if you just wear t-shirt and jeans, but it's no problem with those "cargo" pants that you kids wear these days, or jackets. (That's 0.9 in those numbers you quote, not 9 -- 3 x 4 x 0.9.) I'd find some way to justify the $1500.
    • > ..the ability to run non-embedded OS..

      The Zaurus runs Linux, it's not really an embedded OS. In fact if you plug in more compact flash storage you can affectively install an entire distribution of any major Linux system. It's not that slow but 64M of ram would make OpenOffice start a tad slowly.

      If you plug a Monitor and Keyboard+Mouse in to a Zaurus you end up with a system which is ample to use as a full desktop. This becomes awkward as you are limited in expansion slots available, it has IrDA (k
  • by ErichTheWebGuy (745925) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @03:36AM (#9343058) Homepage
    It looks only slightly bigger (I have a Palm VIIx) which I hafta keep in my laptop case, it's not very portable at all and I am pretty unhappy with it in general... But that's a different story.

    Hell, this here little beauty could replace both the laptop and the palm. Now, instead of carrying a briefcase around, which holds my laptop, power supply, net cards (802.11, ethernet, modem [winmodem builtin :( ]), portable kb for the palm, etc etc... I can carry this cool device on my hip (?) and be just as productive while I am mobile as when I was carrying that big bag of shit around.
  • What's the answer? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JessLeah (625838) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @03:41AM (#9343074)
    "Oh Kwo"? "Oh koh"? "Ock oh"? "Oh Queue Oh"?
  • Nice Features (Score:3, Interesting)

    by klausner (92204) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @03:42AM (#9343077)
    I can see this as a PDA and laptop replacement for guys like me who use both. Looks like the PDA market is going to crater in the next year anyway. They have just about all the right features [blogspot.com] except for 802.11g. I particularly like the accelerometer to protect the hard drive.
  • The AC adapter for this thing is probably nearly the same size as the computer, and it probably weighs more...
    And what good is a computer with a 2 hour rechargeable battery life? [sure it might last 6 hours if you arent using it,but then, um..why would you have it on?]
  • does it run MAME?

    I recall thinking this would be swell when it was first announced back in the day, but it seems to be a glorified iPod with a color screen and built in keyboard.

    Apple talked about using the iPod as your 'mobile home directory' (that feature disappeared) - this OQO would allow you to enter data, which AFAIK, the iPod can't do. However, you could potentially use the iPod for many of the uses mentioned in the article, and can use it for several (contacts, text files, etc.)

    Apple! Give me a

  • by Gldm (600518) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @04:12AM (#9343132)
    I dunno, 4.9x3.4x0.9" seems just a little too big to fit in my pocket if you ask me. So it's too big for pockets but too small for a real keyboard or anything.

    If you're going into the $1500 price class, you'll need to take on things like Acer's c110 10.4" tablet PC [acer.com]. It's in the same priceclass, has equal or better specs (what's the battery life on the OQO anyway?), and is still smaller than an 8.5x11 sheet of paper and around an inch thick. I'm betting the pen support is better and the ULV centrino will really give the transmeta chip in the OQO a run for the money. Plus I'm betting the RAM and HD are more expandable.

    There just doesn't seem to be a realistic compromise between size and function right now, and one of the main reasons why is we're still too keyboard-centric with interfaces. It's just really hard to do even a modest text document on anything the size of a PDA or this thing. Voice recognition keeps being touted as the holy grail and end of all these problems but where is it? I remember VR demos from the 486 days, you can't tell me a 200-400mhz PDA can't manage that much horsepower.

    What I'd really like to see is disjointed systems. With bluetooth finally hitting mainstream I want to see a PDA that can autodetect when I've got some portable storage device or HD based mp3 player in my backpack and mount the volume automaticly. If they had that, you wouldn't need much more space on the PDA than just the OS, everything else you could keep on multipurpose portable drives.

    • > Voice recognition keeps being touted as the holy grail and end of all these problems but where is it? I remember VR demos from the 486 days, you can't tell me a 200-400mhz PDA can't manage that much horsepower.

      Having worked on such systems, a few reasons (not to say it isn't coming someday...):
      1. Audio systems on most PCs, especially portables, have historically been of poor quality so accuracy suffers.
      2. You have to wear a properly configured and positioned microfphone, or accuracy again suffers.
      3. A
  • by my1wong (152358) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @04:26AM (#9343158)
    Now that we have Sony Vaio Type U [sony.co.jp], I wonder why this OQO took so long to design/produce/whatever!

    I have seen Sony Vaio Type U in person. They are sold in shops already. And obviously, the Sony Vaio is more appealing.

    BTW, OQO's weight is 14oz (or 397g). Sony Vaio Type U is 550g.
    • Of course the Sony is more refined, but the most redeeming features of the OQO are not even being realized (those features that are part of the IBM MetaPad design from which this is licensed) and that is that it is a truly modular piece of computing hardware. The computer can be removed from the LCD and be inserted into a desktop cradle or you can swap functionality by moving it to a different type of system (say slipping it into a car system.) The design is meant for the computing power to all be contained
    • by Bushcat (615449) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @07:04AM (#9343408)
      The Sony U70 is a very nice machine, running Windows XP Professional on a 1GHz Mobile Pentium. It's slightly cheaper sibling runs XP Home on a 900 MHz Mobile Celeron. They're great little machines, with a Palm-style folding keyboard. But my favorite is the old U3 which they effectively replace. Since the U3 is about $900 on the used market, I'm thinking of getting one and warming it over with a better HD, etc.

      In fact, the only fault with the U series is Sony's determination not to useful-sized hard drives in them. I kinda get tired of my need to purchase Sony stuff because it's all marketing and no customer support, but it certainly looks right when it's sitting on the store shelf.

      The OQO is a perpetually delayed unknown, and if their business model includes limiting supply to keep people hankering after it, then I think they're getting it wrong.

      • I doubt the limited supply is actually part of their plan. I'm pretty sure they're simply unable to get more units produced right now, and they're just spinning the situation to make themselves look less incompetent.
  • dimensions (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    14 ounces = 0.000396893324 metric tons
    4.9 inches = 0.00012446 kilometers
    3.4 inches = 8.63600 × 10-05 kilometers
    0.9 inches = 2.28600 × 10-05 kilometers

    Ok ok... (don't complain about cm vs mm)
    14 ounces = 396.893324 grams
    4.9 inches = 12.44600 centimeters
    3.4 inches = 8.63600 centimeters
    0.9 inches = 2.28600 centimeters

  • But can it run linux? No really...
    • There's the question. If you can't use this machine without Windows at all (preferably without buying a copy of Windows, as well), then I'm not interested.
      I keep reading that it's a "Windows XP" system. What does that mean? Is it a general-purpose computer like a desktop or a laptop or not? Or something weird like Windows in a ROM?
  • by bungley (768242)
    • 1GHz Transmeta processor
    I don't know anything about Transmeta (other than the fact they employ Mr Torvalds) - is this processor x86? (I'm guessing so because of the XP thing - but XP should actually be actually quite portable)

    Also, how do these things perform relative to Intels and AMDs of the same "speed"?

    • Yes, and no. They aren't natively x86, but they have firmware built in that translates x86 to their native code on-the-fly.

      They run slower than Intels and AMDs of the same speed, but they also use less energy.

      Also, I recall reading recently that Linus wasn't working there anymore (but I could very possibly be wrong)
  • by stecker (263711) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @05:07AM (#9343217) Homepage
    The Fox TV show 24 [fox.com] has been a paid-placement bonanza for interesting tech gear for a while. An OQO was used by the CTU (for non-24 fans, that's the "Counter Terrorism Unit") pretty heavily in hours 20 or 21 this year (Season 3). I'm pretty sure that the screens it was throwing off were dummied up, but the hardware was unmistakable. In season 1, there were so many Apple computers used, that it seemed at times like an Apple commercial. In season 2 (and even the previews for season 2), a new Powermac G5 showed up just after they were announced, but before the time that anyone but the Pope and Steve Jobs himself actually had their hands on one.

    I've been dying for one since the announcement, and will be first in line to try one (to complement my laptop, multiple desktops and army of servers that I have). Then again, I was first in line to buy a new Newton, the first Linux Zaurus, and the original Rio MP3 player.

    I suppose I'm one of the 50,000 suckers [handheldco...rdepot.com] that Handspring co-founder Donna Dubinsky described by saying in a talk I once heard as "50,000 people will buy anything. Talk talk to me once you've sold 200,000." (my weak-memory paraphrase).
  • Not feeling it.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PierceLabs (549351) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @05:18AM (#9343238)
    The device seems to be priced beyond the PDA market so the average person using it would be expecting more functionality than it provides (i.e. laptop capability). But if a CEO really wanted a portable system do they really want a stripped down laptop that is still laptop size or do they want something like the Treo 600? Its smaller, its a phone, and it has the nice data connectivity options all for a fraction of the price.

    Now perhaps people really DO want to carry around something this big, but it escapes me as to what they would really want to do with it. Devices in this smaller factor seem to be more suited to trimmed versions of large applications for viewing and light updating/editing of data as opposed to being full time PC replacements. I'll bet good money that by the time this device really hits mass production, there will be better smart phone style devices out there which will offer MUCh more utility while having their costs subsidized by cell phone companies and being overall more useful to the end user.
  • by sPaKr (116314) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @05:36AM (#9343262)
    Have you seen the new Archos AV500? Its arm just like the zaurus, should be run openzuarus roms with a few hacks. but it has an 40GB drive.. and soon a 80Gb drive. Supports TV caputer and mpeg4 (D)encoding. Now that rocks. It doesnt have the keyboard, but for an 80Gb drive with a full running linux system Ill suffer the keyboard. Im just waitng for a full mandrake arm port now that would rock!
  • I do not believe it is a real device. All so called photos on the website looks perfectly like a rendered images only.

    Also, 1G industrial (non-coolable) cpus with 256Megs draws more than 3A of current from 5V, I can't believe such device could run on such small batteries at all (with display and hard drive, at least 5A on 5V, that's 25Watts to dissipate. My omnibook 800CT with 30 Watts dissipation raises it's temperature up to 60-70 degrees of Celsius, and it's volume size is 4 times larger then OQO.

    So, t
    • Most current in a CPU is used in charging and discharging capacitance. Now the energy of a charged capacitor is 0.5*C*V^2, if you go down from 5V to 1.8V (and possibly less), the energy goes down to 13% of what it was at 5V. If you then take care to shut down all bits of the CPU that are not needed at that moment, it goes down a bit more, at the expense of some delay when an inactive function needs to be activated. There are many more tricks which also help.

      I don't think comparison with a standard 5V CPU is

      • Most users of PDAs etc don't care about the OS, they just want the thing to work, and exchange data with their PC. No need to reproduce XP exactly, with all its serious deficiencies,

        The whole point is that this is not a PDA, and does not need to be synced to anything. It's a portable PC which docks for use with a full-size display, keyboard, and mouse. It runs XP because that's what the target market runs on their desktops now, and this device is meant to replace those desktop systems altogether.

    • I'm posting this from an OQO device. So I assure you that they are not vaporware :)
  • Linux compatibility? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JessLeah (625838) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @06:43AM (#9343379)
    "The OQO Model 01 ultra personal computer (uPC) is a fully-functional Windows XP computer."

    Yet another wonderful toy being sold with the word "Windows" plastered all over its site, just because that's necessary to sell anything nowadays...

    I remember an old joke that stated, basically, that Apple could come up with an amazing computer that fits in your pocket, is more powerful than a supercomputer, and makes your penis bigger, but the first question people would ask is "Yes, but does it run Windows?"

    Will this thing be Linuxable/BSDable?
  • FORGET the GIZMO (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Perdition (208487)
    Wherza guy meet dat chickadee in the picture? She's gorgeous!
  • by Grandmaster Mort (731817) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @10:35AM (#9344045)
    ...oh wait, that's nothing new on /.

    You people keep trying to think that this OQO device is marketed as a oversided PDA with a keyboard. You people seem to think it's too big to fit into pockets. You couldn't be further from the truth on both counts. Why don't you try to see this device in action before passing such ignorant judgment on it?

    http://news.com.com/1606-2-5222650.html

    This is supposed to be a single ultraportable solution that's supposed to replace a business-oriented desktop, laptop, and PDA. It had a docking station that allows it to hook up a full-sized keyboard, montior, and mouse so you can use it more comfortably and efficiently as a desk environment. It's supposed to replace a laptop because it's ultraportable yet still runs the same WinXP apps that a business person might need (full versions of M$ Office, Visio, etc....not just some watered down PocketPC incarnations of any program). It's supposed to replace the PDA because there is absolutely NO need to sync between a PDA and a laptop/desktop since it will replace all 3 devices.

    Granted, this comes with a slow-ass Trasmeta proc, and the movie URL that I showed above, the guy admits it only gets about 3 to 4 hours of battery life even with the Transmeta proc not consuming so much power but with its power-hungry WiFi hardware. You're probably not going to bother to edit audio on this device since it doesn't have any optical drives built-in for you to rip and encode music off CD Audio. Since it's using a Transmeta proc, you can be damned sure you're not going to be doing any video editing with this. You won't be playing EverQuest either, so forget it. This is NOT what the device was marketed for. Keep in mind that this device doesn't even support wired Ethernet on the base device but only through it's docking cable.

    For the business executive on the go, this makes the perfect all-in-one solution. Set up a docking station at home and at the office so you can use the device with comfort and efficiency at the places where you get the majority of your work done, and then use the device detached from its docking cable when you're on the move. You will always have your data with you without having to sync your data between PDA and laptop/desktop.

    Get it? Probably not, but I've done my part in attempting to educate the ignorant masses.
    • For the business executive on the go, this makes the perfect all-in-one solution. Set up a docking station at home and at the office so you can use the device with comfort and efficiency at the places where you get the majority of your work done, and then use the device detached from its docking cable when you're on the move. You will always have your data with you without having to sync your data between PDA and laptop/desktop.

      The above is something totally detached from life. Business executives don't k

  • OQO discussion (Score:2, Informative)

    by gunfinger (729227)
    for those who aren't convinced by the OQO, there are a few other handtops coming out -- comparison chart [handtops.com] that might be better targeted to your needs. i reckon most people will be into the FlipStart PC because of it's clamshell design, slightly better specs and cheaper price, but it's not due out until Q1 2005.

    read this basic introduction to the FlipStart [handtops.com] as well as this updated [handtops.com] one if you're interested in the FlipStart (and other handtops).
  • How long until Apple sues over the power button?
  • Hey, I have an original Pilot. How do I arrange to get one of these things? oh, and can I get Linux or FreeBSD to run on it or is it just a really small blue BSOD?
  • Video Interview (Score:2, Informative)

    by BobPaul (710574)
    ZDNet has had a nice video interview [com.com] for the past few days. Check it out.
  • Now watch Paul Allen get his cheap ass and start funding his current vapor-ware [flipstartpc.com] project
  • by pbryan (83482) <email@pbryan.net> on Saturday June 05, 2004 @01:17PM (#9344860) Homepage
    Of course. Sharp's entire Zaurus business model is based on the rantings of Slashdot posters. That's probably why IBM also jumped on board and distributed the Zaurus under their own brand. They're building street cred.
  • It's not the end all be all of speed and raw power, but I've got a basic web browser, email, AIM, and an ssh client. The network is modem slow, but it gets signal anywhere I'm not roaming.

    I don't know about Windows users, but I use my computer to do things, like work, and I remote admin servers, get email alerts, and chat with coworkers. This does all of those things, and has a usb port and a dev kit from danger.com, if you want to write your own apps.

    Bummer is the terminal monkey (ssh client) used to b

  • I've tried it (Score:3, Informative)

    by edrams (778721) on Saturday June 05, 2004 @04:26PM (#9345855)
    A few months ago, I got to try the OQO out. I was playing in the orchestra at my friend's church and the conductor's husband is on the OQO team. My friend's dad asked me if I wanted to see it. I'd known about it for quite a while and said, "Sure!" It's small. Holding it was quite different. It has the IBM stink-pad eraser nub to move the mouse. The keys are slightly smaller than the left over "dots" from a piece of hole-punched paper. The surface was smooth and warm. The only thing I can really compare it to is the casing of the GBA SP, but slightly more substantial. The screen was crisp and the standard XP "teletubbies" background looked crisp and defined. I saw iTunes on the desktop and opened it. I noticed it was a little sluggish compared to my desktop, but opened only a few seconds later. iTunes looked as good as the desktop background. I asked about heat and the guy (I've forgotten his name, but he used to work for Apple) said that they had run the little fan inside at full speed on the prototypes for fears of melting were, as one might expect, rampant. This particular unit, however, had very little fan noise and was warm, mostly from being held. Someone else who was there asked about frame rate. The guy said they got about 30 FPS in Quake (Which one? I don't remember). I had to leave and give the OQO back, but decided that it was worth the wait and vaporware accusations.
  • 1. You need to be able to flip the LCD display to a hard shell. Having the LCD exposed is not a pocket PC. It's a pocket disaster if you bump into anything sharp like a table corner.

    2. You need a Sony Handy cam strap. Unless this thing can handle fall from 6 feet.
  • Although I like the OQO form factor a bit better than the FlipStart [flipstartpc.com], it appears that the FlipStart will have the upper hand when it comes to market.

    For example, the FlipStart has a larger, higher-res display (5.6" 1024x600) than the OQO (5" 800x480). The FlipStart has USB 2.0, the OQO has USB 1.1. The FlipStart has a 30 GB hard drive, the OQO a 20. Most of the other specs for the two units are just about the same (e.g., both support a docking cradle).

    Furthermore, the FlipStart does all this while bei

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