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Apple Newton vs Samsung Q1 UMPC 226

Posted by Zonk
from the ready-fight dept.
An anonymous reader writes "CNET has run a comparison between the 1997 Apple Newton and a modern Windows ultra mobile PC, the Samsung Q1. Remarkably, the Newton comes off as the winner. From the article: 'An operating system designed for a desktop computer will rarely shoehorn well into a portable device, yet that is exactly what Samsung has tried to do with the Q1. Very little consideration has been given to the differing priorities of desktop and small-form computer users. Windows is a one-size-fits-all solution, whereas the Newton OS is very specifically built for the efficient use of a small screen and stylus.'"
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Apple Newton vs Samsung Q1 UMPC

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  • Not compared (Score:5, Interesting)

    by andrewman327 (635952) on Friday July 28, 2006 @08:40AM (#15798168) Homepage Journal
    I have always liked the Palm OS the most. I currently carry my LifeDrive with me everywhere I go and I am very happy with it. People need to learn that they cannot carry their desktop with them in the palm (had to) of their hand. Instead of scaling down desktop OS and apps, they need to start small.
    • Re:Not compared (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lumpy (12016)
      I loved my lifedrive until I had to start travelling and got an iQue. now my lifedrive sit's in a drawer unused.

      I have a pda, a 4Gig SD card in it for storage and a full GPS with the best dataset I can get. Having the gps with not only road data but store, hotel and resturant data is far more valuableto a travelling schlep.
      • "I loved my lifedrive until I had to start travelling and got an iQue. now my lifedrive sit's in a drawer unused."


        You know, I could always use a spare! About your sig: after being an intern for a semester, I mostly agree with you.

    • Re:Not compared (Score:3, Insightful)

      by andrewman327 (635952)
      How can the first post be redundant?


      Anyway, I do not view the Newtown as the winner, the way that TFA is written it is more that the Q1 is the loser.

  • by Clockwurk (577966) * on Friday July 28, 2006 @08:41AM (#15798176) Homepage
    mobile OS. Having 1 set of menus and a dock for applications would work really well on a vertical screen.
  • "Winner?" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Grey (463613) * on Friday July 28, 2006 @08:42AM (#15798182)
    The summary makes it seem like the Newton technologically outperforms the Q1. Not so. "Winner," in this context, means "a better value." From TFA:
    ... the Newton has 12 times the battery life of the Q1, so ended up winning the fight with sheer stamina. Add to this the Q1's inflated price and it's a no-brainer ...
    If you actually read the article, the Q1 includes much better technology and has a lot of features and capabilities that appeal to the majority of computer users -- Windows users. Since the Q1 would be someone's second (or third, or fourth) computer, it has much more appeal. The MessagePad's handwriting recognition and overall interface may be cleaner, but that's not as impressive to most people as running Microsoft Office on a tiny screen.
    • Re:"Winner?" (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SpecTheIntro (951219) <spectheintroNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday July 28, 2006 @08:52AM (#15798262)

      Furthermore, get a load of this gem: "It would be easy to dismiss the Newton's greyscale screen as inferior to the Q1's full-colour display, but Apple's choice of a greyscale LCD is one of the reasons the Newton enjoys over 30 hours of continuous battery life, compared to the Q1's 2.5 hours." WTF? This is biased reviewing at its best. An LCD screen should be reviewed based on the qualities of the goddamned screen. Which display is sharper? Which is brighter? Which is clearer? Which screen allows more versatility? Battery life is a separate goddamned category. It should not be a factor in deciding which screen is better than another unless all other things are equal--which they clearly are not. The entire review is basically the reviewers saying: "Yeah, the Q1 is really nice, but we want a PDA, and that's not what the Q is, so Apple wins."

      • Re:"Winner?" (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:09AM (#15798374) Homepage Journal
        Newton enjoys over 30 hours of continuous battery life, compared to the Q1's 2.5 hours.

        Actually this is a really important. You don't want to be finding yourself a power socket to charge your PDA every two and half hours. Gray scale screens are usually very high quality in commparison to colour screens, with the omission of colour.

        The entire revue is probably biased, but the general gist is that if you think of how your device will be used you will be better off. Trying to fudge a solution may provide a working solution, but not necessarily one which is worth using. The fact that the Newton is still being using by people today is a testiment to how well it was thought out - what was against it were: size, price and the fact it was too early to market for most.
        • I think the point the parent post was trying to make is that they're counting battery life against the Q1 twice: once when discussing the battery, and then again when discussing the screen.

      • Re:"Winner?" (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hpavc (129350) on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:11AM (#15798386)
        Well the apple screen is clearer, sharper, more vibrant when the other model has no battery and isn't able to compete. The devices are all about utility and ease of use. You cannot use something that cannot be counted on to work. The time of 2.5 hours seems insanely short to me, I couldnt use that during a ten hour work day as a tool. If its really really cool looking, that isn't going to help.
        • The reviewer counts the battery against the Q1 when reviewing the battery, and then AGAIN on the screen. In other words, he's counted a Samsung flaw twice. He should compare the screens directly. Which one is easier to read, crisper image, etc etc.
      • I like this bit It's not just guess-work either -- the Q1 uses a neural net, which means that it uses several information sources to determine what you want to write, rather than trying to translate ink strokes into letters and words.
         
        That is not the definition of a neural net (don't let me stop you from making up your own definitions for things, CNET), and I would be very surprised if it does use an actual neural net. Very cpu intensive.
        • And this... "Though it's easy to argue the Newton has security through obscurity, you do have to question whether it was wise to bring all the overheads of Windows to a small portable device like the Q1."
           
          It is not security through obscurity that is keeping the Newton safe. It is the fact that it has a well protected OS, is not as common as Windows, and has limited connectivity.
          • Re:"Winner?" (Score:2, Insightful)

            by SCPRedMage (838040)
            It is the fact that it has a well protected OS, is not as common as Windows, and has limited connectivity.
            Psst... that second one IS "security through obscurity"...
      • Re:"Winner?" (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rthille (8526) <web-slashdot@@@rangat...org> on Friday July 28, 2006 @10:38AM (#15799122) Homepage Journal
        Well, you can think about it this way. "I prefer a screen that stays greyscale for 30 hours, vs a screen which is color for the first 2.5 hours, then just black after that."
      • Re:"Winner?" (Score:3, Informative)

        by podperson (592944)
        An LCD screen should be reviewed based on the qualities of the goddamned screen.

        True, but the way the article was written each side tries to defend its position round by round. While the pro-Newton side made that argument in the screen round, Newton was judged to have lost that round.
    • Re:"Winner?" (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mgblst (80109) on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:09AM (#15798373) Homepage
      The Q1 is just a differently windows shaped notebook computer. If what you want to do is write a document, check your email, check the web, then the Newton is perfect for that - and it lasts 30 hours. This was made 10 years ago, the Q1 only lasts 2.5 - because is is a full on pc. Sure, you can watch videos, play music and so much more, but if you want to do something simple, you still only get that pathetic battery life!
    • Re:"Winner?" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by duffel (779835) on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:23AM (#15798475)
      not as impressive to most people as running Microsoft Office on a tiny screen.

      It's a tiny screen and fully half the screen is toolbars.

      This article is really about the modern portables industry going off-mission, and sacrificing core features of portables in favour of gimmicks. The Samsung machine tries to be a swiss army knife of portable computing, and it does everything it claims, but it lacks the most important aspects of such a mini toolkit: portability. 2.5 hours isn't portable, that won't even last you a flight of any distance, and it actually places an upper limit on the length of movies you can watch with it's much praised video playing capabilities (chances are it's more like 2 hours with something as processor intensive anyway). The prime advantage of this is that you can amend, for example, powerpoint presentations last minute. But then you could already do it much better and faster on an ordinary laptop.

      Remember those swiss army knifes? On the one hand you get the ones with 6 or 7 fold out tools... A mini toolkit in your pocket, very useful. Then you get the one with 150 tools that's so bulky you wouldn't want to carry it around in your pocket, and so it sits unused in your toolbox where you have better tools anyway.
    • The Cnet article gushes over the Q1 a lot actually -- for a lot of bizarre reasons. Under part 1, design:

      "The Samsung logo at the bottom of the unit, the SRS surround-sound logo ... hint at the device's massive potential."

      So the Q1 wins for having lots of prominent logos? Logos = massive potential? I'm sure glad this guy doesn't design iPods.
    • Re:"Winner?" (Score:2, Redundant)

      by MikeBabcock (65886)
      There's a massive difference between saying "wow, it has Word" and actually writing notes in a meeting on the thing.

      I've yet to see someone do so successfully with a Windows device and not hate it within a month whereas I've done so for years with my Newton MessagePads with no problems. Most important are shape recognition (for doodles), delayed handwriting recognition with auto-scroll (screen moves up to give you more writing room automatically) and easy note creation (just draw a line across the screen).
    • If you actually read the article, the Q1 includes much better technology and has a lot of features and capabilities that appeal to the majority of computer users -- Windows users.

      I'm going to stick my neck out and speculate wildly here, but IME most palmtop devices are used as glorified filofaxes. If this is going to be the case, then 90% of the "extra features" of the Q1 are "Look Gran, see what I can do!" features of precious little real benefit.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Eat up Martha"
  • anything (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Friday July 28, 2006 @08:43AM (#15798193) Homepage Journal
    just about anything would beat the q1 in my book on battery life alone. 2.5 hours? That's just not going to cut it. Throw in the price on top of that and I just can't see it. I can get a nice laptop for less. This isn't that much smaller than one anyway-- they recommend carrying it in a bag.
  • UMPC = Stupid Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the linux geek (799780) on Friday July 28, 2006 @08:43AM (#15798195)
    I have no idea what M$ was thinking with these "ultra-mobile PCs." They manage to combine the speed of a PDA with the lean-ness of a full Windows with the spaciousness of a small screen, and the result is pathetic. They seem to be trying to doom themselves to a flop far bigger then that of the Newton.
    • The idea is sound, it's the hardware thats the problem.

      MS is trying to start a market based on hardware that will basicially doom it. PDA's work because their designed to run for long periods of time using almost no battery life. The Hardware industry just isn't equipped to produce a x86 based device that can even remotely compete with a PDA's power curve.

      Eventually, you'll see better screens, hybrid or even flash hard drives and more efficient processors that can make this market more viable if not desirab
  • I love my Newton (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Boccaccio (762644) on Friday July 28, 2006 @08:45AM (#15798210)
    I love my Newton 2100. I so wish Apple would release a new version. I'd buy it in a second.
    • Re:I love my Newton (Score:4, Interesting)

      by hey! (33014) on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:13AM (#15798399) Homepage Journal
      I love my Newton 2100. I so wish Apple would release a new version. I'd buy it in a second.

      Why? How could the Newton be made better and still be a Newton? Color? Don't need it. Memory and processor? Got beacoup for a PDA. Wifi and bluetooth would be nice, but with two PCMCIA card slots, that's not a big problem.

      All we really need is updated software.

      The two things that Newton got wrong were price and form factor. I'll be a bit heretical here and say that price was probably the bigger issue in its market failure. People aren't going to snap up any mobile computing platform for $1000 unless it's a laptop.

      Form factor is a two edged sword. The Newton was far to big for a address book and calendar device. But it is far better for viewing text and entering data than any pocket PDA.

      If the Newtwon were available today for less than $200, it would create its own application niches.

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:52AM (#15798701) Journal
        How could the Newton be made better and still be a Newton?

        It could be made thinner, and the borders around the screen could be made smaller. The handwriting recognition could probably be improved slightly.

        Using the Newton UI is a kind of Zen. Everything it does is so obvious you wonder how anyone could possibly conceive of any other way of doing things. You write some text on the screen, and the text is added there. You draw a square, and you get a square. The only way I can see some someone being surprised at a Newton beating a Windows machine is if they had never used a Newton.

      • by metamatic (202216) on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:52AM (#15798704) Homepage Journal
        1. Lose the PCMCIA, replace with SD.

        2. Built in WiFi and Bluetooth.

        3. Make it slightly smaller and lighter. May require shift to AAA instead of AA. I'd settle for any size larger than any current Palm OS PDA but smaller than the 2100.

        4. Give it USB instead of serial.

        5. Make it work with iSync and define an open communications protocol.

        6. Maybe a higher resolution grayscale screen.

        7. Faster CPU.

        8. PDF support and web browser in the core OS.

        I'd buy the result for pretty much any amount of money up to $1000, seriously. I don't care if people in general want it to be less than $200, I don't see anything on the market that competes so I'm prepared to pay more.

        It's a damn tragedy that the Newton was killed by Jobs. It's the one thing he's done that I'm still bitter about.
        • by hey! (33014)
          Most of your ideas are sound. Lighter: definitely. SD card: certainly. But there is no way that any mobile device priced near $1000 is every going to be a runaway hit.

          Anybody seriously considering spending $1000 for a mobile device too big to put in your pocket has to consider a laptop as an alternative. Heck, event the current generation PDAs are competing with laptops. And losing.

          That's the problem with adding too many features to a mobile platform. It creates confusion, and undermines the appeal o
          • I wasn't suggesting that $1000 was a viable market price; I was providing that figure as an indication of how damn much I want such a device. A laptop is not an alternative, because laptops are too big to carry everywhere.

            Really, it's like I'm saying I want a copy of The Elements of Java Style [amazon.com], and you're saying "Well, anyone who can afford Java books will just get a copy of the hardback Java Professional Library [amazon.com]".

            Yes, the latter encompasses the functionality of the former, but the form factor makes it use
      • "How could the Newton be made better and still be a Newton?"

        Well, check out the Nokia 770 for inspiration. I just got one, and it may just be the closest thing to what I want, in terms of form factor. If Einstein gets off the ground, I /do/ have a better Newton.
      • The Newton was far to big for a address book and calendar device.

        As the popular Newt-owner saying goes: "Palms & PocketPCs are the right size when you're not using them, but too small when you are, whereas the Newton is too big when you're not using it, but perfectly-sized when you are." As an avid user of both (and I have an eMate 300, too), I can say that this statement hold absolutely true.

        I do agree with you, though, that there's not much that Apple would have to do to improve the Newt: give it abo

    • I've still got a Newton 120 sitting on a dock next to me. I havent used it in forever though, just trying to charge up the original rechargables from 1995.
      • I have a couple of 2000s and a 130. Amazing how the rush to get the "New Thing" leaves behind such interesting and useful tools. Back a decade ago I could not afford a Newton, today, I use them more then the common PDAs Now that a TCP/IP stack, and various Net (Browser, News reader, telent, etc) tools have been developed, as well as expanded storage , the Newton has just grown in usefulness. The form factor? well, Chinos are perfect for pocketing a Newton!
  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday July 28, 2006 @08:47AM (#15798223)

    Of course the Newton won -- considering that it runs software custom-designed for mobile PIM use, while the Q1 is more-or-less running normal desktop Windows (tablet edition, whoop-de-do), was there ever any doubt?

  • Newton Advantages (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Feneric (765069) on Friday July 28, 2006 @08:48AM (#15798227) Homepage

    I wrote a bit about this before [blogspot.com]. The Newton does a lot of things well as it was designed from the ground up to be a hand-held device. As a consequence it's still seeing use, still seeing third-party development, and still more usable than some devices currently getting produced.

    It's not ideal, either; it could definitely use a diet to shed some weight, and these days features like wireless, bluetooth, etc. shouldn't have to be added via cards. An evolutionary development of the Newton platform could easily beat almost any other device on the market today, though.

  • by blueZ3 (744446) on Friday July 28, 2006 @08:54AM (#15798287) Homepage
    The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is "Never use a desktop OS, when your device isn't a desktop." (maniacal laughter)

    How many situations do you know of where something that was a good solution to one problem has now become the default solution to every problem? It's the old saw about when your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

    When you choose Windows as your OS, every device works like a desktop. It doesnt' matter that the screen is tiny, you use the "desktop" metaphor and the "Start" menu. It doesn't matter that there's limited memory and a slow processor, you use the Windows applications (lite versions, but still bloatware). This is why I've never seriously considered a WinCE device, even though I've owned a PDA since 2000 and a phone/PDA combo since 2004, and two of the computers in my house run Windows.

    I want something that's designed for the use it's being put to -- fit for purpose, we used to call it. If Microsoft's vaunted usability expertise were real, they would have abandoned the "Mini Windows" metaphor on mobile devices long ago.
    • or was it: Never go in against a Sicilian, when death is on the line?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      How many situations do you know of where something that was a good solution to one problem has now become the default solution to every problem?


      Obligatory:

      When was Windows a good solution for anything?

      (Sorry, couldn't resist. :)
    • I've been using a PDA since 1994 when I got my first Apple Newton (later replaced by my Newton MessagePad 120) and I must say I've never found a suitable replacement since. Its quite sad, really.
    • When all you have is a hammer, all of your problems start to look like nails.

      Microsoft has poured a lot... a LOT... Of money into it's OS. They want to re-use as much as possible on it, because they want to:

      1. Keep costs down.
      2. Keep the interface as similar as possible, to minimize learning curve
      3. Introduce as few new bugs as possible, and to keep bug hunting down to a minimum when they do crop up.

      So Microsoft's hammer is its OS. And it is a very big hammer. Its not even suited to hammer out the nails tha
  • by mattybinks (619554) on Friday July 28, 2006 @08:57AM (#15798304)
    just in segmented form. It's sprinkled throughout OS X and the iPod. One can only hope that an iPhone would bring the bulk of that functionality and organizational power back in one device. And if you're really obsessive about using a Newton on newer technology, check out the Einstein project [kallisys.com]. It's moving along at a good pace.
  • I have gone through a number of palm, handspring, and Win Moble devices and my eMate despite it's size is still probably the best one out there. For a device thats been dead for ages I can go wireless, use it as a email device, type a report without distractions, pull up index cards, and just about everything else a moble platform should do without being flashy and running faster than any of the devices I have used since. Quite frankly the MIT laptop SHOULD have been a redesigned eMate. 99% of what they are trying to do with it is exactly what the eMate did except was expensive at the time.
    • What wireless card are you using? I bought one of these a few years ago for $50, spent another $75 on various cards and adapters to try and get the information from the newton into my Mac, to no avail. Could not get a wireless connection to work, and could not get it to sync information to the Mac using serial adapters and whatnot. I LOVE the emate form factor and would use it in a second if I knew a way to transfer the information on there to my desktop or to email. Even better if I could use it to brow
  • by Migraineman (632203) on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:04AM (#15798343)
    I've always thought the "Apple Newton" [wikipedia.org] was an unfortunate name choice. I prefer the Nabisco product myself, though the "apple"-types appear to have been discontinued in favor of Strawberry and Raspberry. There's a new "Caramel Apple Newtons" [taquitos.net] on the market, though.
  • by LS (57954) on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:06AM (#15798355) Homepage
    Should they be comparing the Newton with a minaturized desktop PC, or should they be comparing it with a Palm Pilot or Windows Mobile? It seems like the comparison is really between *cough* uhh apples and oranges. The Q1 device is clearly targeted at a market that wants power and functionality in a handheld, while Windows Mobile devices are aimed at efficient usability (or at least that's the goal). Anyway, this comparison is a non sequitur of sorts...

    LS
    • I think the point is that "functionality" is a little more complicated than how much you can actually cram inside a particular sized box.

      The Q1 technically can do all of these bullet points that it has listed, but in every day use, the limitations in the design make those bullet points infeasible in real, everyday use. The battery life being the most significant example. It sounds to me like the Q1 needs to spend half its time plugged in to the wall, which basically kills the whole "handheld" aspect of it.

      I
  • by RingDev (879105) on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:07AM (#15798362) Homepage Journal
    "Although the Q1 won more points, the Newton was declared the overall winner of the battle and was crowned by CNET.co.uk in an emotional ceremony."

    In other words, the Q1 beat the Newton 5 to 3. Although I personally think the Q1 should have won the Price point also as you can not buy a new Newton like the one they tested. So it just comes down to the editor being a Mac fan or Windows hater.

    -Rick
    • not to mention that the newton won on the highly subjective design category with one of the arguments being that it's uncluttered with buttons. kind of like the ipod not being cluttered with an on/off button when it can't ever be turned off (it only pretends to be off). Apple has a history of sacrificing function for form yet always gets credit for it.
  • by Ant P. (974313) on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:11AM (#15798388) Homepage
    (and I don't blame them, it's crap)

    Here's an analogy: Q1 = PSP, Newton = 1989 Game Boy.
  • by Weasel5053 (910174)
    Of course the whole point of the Samsung Q1 is that it runs regular Windows XP and therefore Windows XP compatible applications. Obviously an OS specifically developed for a mobile format would be superior in some areas on a mobile device.
  • I wrote an article [jimstips.com] a few months back on my attempt at simplifying my PDA use, and after a couple months, I really prefer the PDA simplicity over the bloated complexity of handheld PC's.

    You see, the problem with so many current handheld devices is that they simply try to do everything, and they end up doing nothing well. The new handheld devices (Windows-based or otherwise) completely miss the point of handheld efficiency and productivity. I had a chance to play around with an oQo for a week, and once I got
  • Reality check. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PFI_Optix (936301) on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:22AM (#15798469) Journal
    The Newton is essentially a big PDA.

    The Q1 is a small tablet (laptop).

    The article seemed most interested in their roles as PDAs. OF COURSE the PDA will win.

    Let's compare the Newton with some good CE-based handhelds and see what we find.
    • Let's compare the Newton with some good CE-based handhelds and see what we find.

      That would be a impossible since "good CE-based handheld" is an oxymoron.

      If you mean "current CE-based handheld", the Newton would still win.
  • I've been using Palm since 1997.

    For the past few years its been a Sony CLIE, PEG-SJ22. Nice simple unit, good form factor (Palm always makes its smaller Palms skinny and long, rather than reducing the width), good everything, though the touchscreen is very "noisy".

    I've had a few ok doodle/sketch programs for it over the years, including some that used smoothing algorithms, but nothing that was A. color B. smoothing and C. transfering a doodle to PC via IR or over a network

    Right now I'm jonesing for a Fujit [tabletpcreviewspot.com]
  • by hcdejong (561314) <hobbes@xm s n e t.nl> on Friday July 28, 2006 @09:47AM (#15798662)
    The USP of the Newton was the way its applications worked together. The ability to write 'lunch John' and have the system guess the time and which person you were referring to is what sets it apart from most information managers.
    The fact that this feature still is this rare is mindboggling, by the way. What have the world's application developers been doing for the last decade? The future's there for the copying, but instead we get more crap shoveled down our throats.
    • Color screens that eat batteries for lunch
      Portable video to small to watch
      Ability to run desktop apps that are too complex and are unusably slow

      Hmmm...oh, and wireless connectivity, because every year batteries get better and everyone want's to stay in that 4 hour "sweet spot"

      *shakes head*
  • If you want to bask in the glory of 17.6 million colours while browsing still images and watching movies, grab yourself a Q1.

    Last time I checked, 24-bit color = 16.7M colors, not 17.6M. Hey, don't look at me, this is a typical Slashdot comment! :p
  • by BenjyD (316700)
    I can't really see a purpose for the Q1. With a 2.5 hour battery life (probably more like 2hrs in real usage) it's no good as a media player and it's too big to be a PDA. It's not going to replace a laptop without an add on keyboard and stand, which would make it even harder to carry around and increases the price further.
  • by OfNoAccount (906368) on Friday July 28, 2006 @10:00AM (#15798762)
    The whole point of the UMPC is that it's a real x86 PC that fits in your, admittedly rather large, pocket.

    The Newton is a PDA. Can you run Photoshop on it? No. Watch video? Not really. Store all your pr0n^C^C holiday snaps? No. If you want to do any of those things (like I do) then the Newton scores -1, the UMPC is +5

    At the moment they're good at different tasks. If you want a PDA, buy a PDA. If you're after a PC that fits on your pocket, buy a UMPC (or a Vaio UX, or OQO, or...)

    I used my Vaio C1F for many years, I also used a variety of Psion/PocketPC/Palm devices. The C1F I upgraded and want a replacement for, the PDAs were gathering dust pretty much as soon as they arrived home - for me a simple pocket diary works better than a PDA, as it doesn't require batteries, doesn't erase all your data, is smaller, and way cheaper. At the end of the day though, everyone's different.
    • Why would you want to run Photoshop on an 800x480 screen or watch movies on something which has a 2.5 hour battery life (probably rather less if the backlight of the LCD is constantly on and the hard disk is running continually, which it would be for a movie)?
  • I've used PalmOS since 1998-9 (can't remember which), when the Palm VIIx was released. Every one of the palm devices has had wireless internet in some form, and I later owned a Treo 600 and 650 before abandoning both for the T-Mobile MDA/HTC Wizard and Windows Mobile. I never had the joy of owning a Newton, but I did get to try one out (an eMate), and I must say I was extremely convienced. It was like an iBook expect light, turn on type, turn it off, etc. I almost dropped 300 for it then and there for it. U
  • by bsandersen (835481) on Friday July 28, 2006 @10:05AM (#15798800) Homepage
    As a former Newton developer, I am not surprised by the comparisons made today. I've carried Palms, Psions, Blackberrys and everything in-between all the while wishing for some of the very nice features my various flavors of Newton MessagePad had.

    The point made that a desktop OS cannot be easily shoehorned into a smaller place cannot be overstated. Software designs, all software designs, have a "design center" that is the embodiment of the environment the original developers envisioned when they made their design decisions. Go too far from that vision and you find some of the tradeoffs those designers made are no longer best, and now possibly may be very bad indeed.

    The Newton's programming environment, based on SELF, was augmented with lots of supporting functionality that made creating high-quality applications for the device pretty easy. But, the MessagePads themselves (and remember: this was about 13 year ago now) had insufficient processor power for the really good stuff. Then again, think back about the kinds of junk that infested Palm Pilots and other hand-helds back then! If the MessagePad had been allowed to grow as a platform as all other surviving brands had done, it would have been a powerhouse.

    Finally, as a developer, I must point out that one of the problems that all devices like this face is that developers hate investing time learning a new platform. The Newton faced an extra challenge in that you had to learn a whole new programming language and programming model, too. For those of us who gave it a chance, we found the learning curve to be reasonable and the results satisfying. For many programmers, though, inertia and sheer laziness precludes anything that ventures out of their comfort zone.

    This last problem, the lazy programmer problem, has cast shadows on much more than just Newton MessagePad sales.

  • I would much rather see how the Newton stacks up against an oqo, a Nokia 770, or a palm device. I have been really thinking of getting a Nokia 770, when a few more apps get ported to the new OS I might pick one up.
  • Not that remarkable (Score:4, Interesting)

    by penguinstorm (575341) on Friday July 28, 2006 @10:26AM (#15798989) Homepage
    Ask anyone who owned a Newton -- ok, maybe not the FIRST generation but the later ones -- and this is not remarkable. Newton's worked extremely well, and functioned as my only "personal" computer when I had my First Real Job(tm)

    It's a shame really, because Steve killed them as much -- I think -- out of spite for John Sculley as anything else. I'm not saying I *blame* him -- I can only BUY a Mac because Steve did what he did -- but the motivation was very clearly personal on some level.
  • I remember a brief flurry of activity here on /. about the sharpness and power-saving promise of these displays. It seems like if Apple were to incorporate this display tech into something, say, 1/3 the size of the Newton and retain a lot of the old device's capabilities, we'd have a sure winner on our hands.

    Where is this tech now? Are there any (viable) devices using it. The last I heard, they were using it mostly in e-book readers, which never quite seemed to get off the ground.
  • by Cheerio Boy (82178) on Friday July 28, 2006 @11:03AM (#15799380) Homepage Journal
    The last of the Newton line. And I regularly use that with WiFi, networking, faxing, as well as any appointments I need to make.

    I also share the opinion that the handwriting recognition on the Newton is the best I've ever seen. A friend of mine writes fantasy novels in her spare time and with all the weird names and spellings the damn thing had about a 90% recognition rate for her out of the box. And that was without a lot of training up front. And the thing learns so it's only going to get better.

    Plus there's still people developing for the Newton - not too many but they're out there.

    My only complaint is that the person who wrote the ATA/CF storage drivers [kallisys.com] wants almost $100 per Newton to be able to use large CF cards. :-(

    But from that same site people are even emulating the Newton on other hardware [kallisys.com]. That say something in my mind as to how "right" Apple got it with the Newton.
  • How I Miss My Newton (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ImaNihilist (889325) on Friday July 28, 2006 @01:04PM (#15800508)
    I wish they'd bring it back. They actually made a color version, but it never saw the light of day. They had it on display at Innovations at Epcot in Disney.
  • are people sure this is a apple device at all?

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