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> Form Factor - Handheld Pc, Or Zaurus-style?
raduga
post Nov 1 2006, 08:44 AM
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QUOTE(chiark @ Sep 26 2006, 01:26 PM)
Wow, this has really captured my imagination biggrin.gif !

For me, the zaurus is too small for comfortable use, both in terms of screen and in terms of the keyboard.

Perhaps I'm too old, but for me the sweet spot of form factor usability vs portability is in the shape of the Psion Series 5, and the Sigmarion 3.

The psion's keyboard is great, the screen is adequate if a weird shape...

*


Having used both a Zaurus and a Psion S5, I'd have to say I'm still struggling
to find a "sweet spot". The Zaurus is a little too small to type on comfortably,
but is close to the maximum size for a device that comfortably fits in ones' pocket, or atop one's palm. The Psion has fantastic keys, but is a little too bulky for comfort.
That its very light makes up for its bulk, but I can attest that a Psion-sized handheld with "modern" hardware is probably going to be unwieldy for most users; the Jornada 7xx is just slightly larger, but much heavier (and more Zaurus-like in its specs).

A very slightly larger Zaurus, or a very slightly smaller Psion, might just do it,
but would have to be done *right*. A Zaurus made bulkier with a slot for AA/AAA batteries (like the Psion) wouldn't hurt, either wink.gif
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MONVMENTVM
post Nov 1 2006, 09:31 AM
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yeah, besides that the ds has a small display, no keyboard...

I just would like the hardware of the pocketpenguin to be in a DS-like case, as you can see in the pic I've made.
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Da_Blitz
post Nov 1 2006, 07:16 PM
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nice pic. i wish i had a ds to play with now to get a feel for it.

the ds has one thing goiung for it and that is the screen and body are the same thinckness which in my other postare fully explored.

we will see but i am aiming to make the design no bigger than the screen i use so that there is no boarder so it all comes down to the screen (looks like 800x480 5" screen at the moment)
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Snappy
post Nov 5 2006, 03:00 AM
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I second the 5" screen on the calmshells. I would so fork out $$ for a second C#00 zaurus if SHARP release one with a 5" screen. I don't need any higher specs than that of a C1000. (I have a C1000 as it is).

Oh just one thing ... if the 5" screen is transflective ... I'll so get it right away! 8)

Keyboard wise ... I still have a Jornada 720 ... with a dead keyboard, but functioning unit. And I do miss the typing on the 720 compared to the thumbing on my C1000. But given that the C1000 is smaller and handier ... (and lighter?) ... I'm fine with the thumbing. 8)
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kahm
post Nov 8 2006, 09:26 AM
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QUOTE
The UMPC is a technical product looking for a marketplace. They don't know what people are going to do with it. What I wanted, and still want, is the Libretto u100 with a decent keyboard in that form factor.


I've got a Libretto U100, and I absolutely love it! It is astonishing, however, just how BAD the keyboard on it is. I have the smaller 110 CT and the keyboard is far and away easier to type on, and I'm not sure why. sad.gif

That being said, I'd have to chime in for the DS-sized option. Any bigger than that would make it too hard to thumb type on it. (And how else do you expect to use it on the go - find a flat surface and set it down to type anything?)
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futaris
post Nov 18 2006, 09:18 PM
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Around the DS lite size seems good. The mock up picture looks a lot like a more modern 200LX.
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chiark
post Nov 20 2006, 03:48 AM
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yes, the 200lx would IMHO be a great design ethos to follow for this, but with a slightly more user friendly keyboard.

BTW, I've given up on the U100 for the moment and have bought a Sony PCG-U3 which is surprisingly useful... (end off topic wink.gif )
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speculatrix
post Nov 20 2006, 04:55 AM
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QUOTE(chiark @ Nov 20 2006, 12:48 PM)
bought a Sony PCG-U3 which is surprisingly useful... (end off topic wink.gif )
*


sorry to try and have the last word, but I felt the weakness with the U3 was that you'd end up carrying too many dongles and adaptors round with you. That's also the failing of the Zaurus line, without built in wifi or usb, you also have a (admittedly small) pocket full of adaptors. With the Sony TX2, the only things you "must" carry are cat5 and modem cables, if at all.

I think if I could swap the internal CF microdrive in the 3{1,2}00 for a wifi/bluetooth combo card and lose the mass storage, I would - especially now that 4GB sd cards have been tested and shown to work with the new kernel.
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Da_Blitz
post Nov 20 2006, 03:39 PM
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i use to buy pants based on how large the pockets were. now i have too use a backpack

the more i can chuck on board the better. i agree with you carying around adaptors is a PITA

anyway ill be "off th grid" for 2 weeks so feel free to discuss amoungst yourselfs wink.gif
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BarryW
post Nov 20 2006, 07:54 PM
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QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Nov 20 2006, 02:39 PM)
i use to buy pants based on how large the pockets were. now i have too use a backpack

the more i can chuck on board the better. i agree with you carying around adaptors is a PITA

anyway ill be "off th grid" for 2 weeks so feel free to discuss amoungst yourselfs wink.gif
*



So the new handheld will have a hand crank?? blink.gif
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Da_Blitz
post Nov 20 2006, 08:37 PM
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actually no net accsess for 2 weeks, its tempting me to chuck wibro in there. also thats 2 weeks without accsess to a laptop and nothing for me too do so i cant veven prototype the board (this would be the perfect opptunity to do so)
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kahm
post Nov 21 2006, 04:51 PM
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QUOTE(chiark @ Nov 20 2006, 05:48 AM)
yes, the 200lx would IMHO be a great design ethos to follow for this, but with a slightly more user friendly keyboard.

BTW, I've given up on the U100 for the moment and have bought a Sony PCG-U3 which is surprisingly useful... (end off topic wink.gif )
*


The U's (U1/U3/U101) look like a beautiful form factor - almost a full inch narrower than the Libby. Can you thumb type on it? I think it'd be *just* small enough for it.

(For an on topic comment, maybe splitting the difference between the U3 (184mm) and the Z (124mm) would find a good size for the wide of the Pocket Penguin. Thumbtype-able, but with a little extra room for a better keyboard.)

The unfortunate thing about the U's is the price - they're still pretty expensive for what you get. The PCG-U101 from Conics is exactly the same price as what I paid for the Libretto, and the Libby has better specs and more modern hardware. The U3 is worse - much older hardware, no wireless, and a weaker CPU, for only a couple of hundred less. I'd love one of the Sonys, but it'd have to be for a pretty good deal...

We're going to be ordering a Kojinsha SA1 (the new tablet-like thing with the AMD Geode LX800 processor) for a friend of mine. That will be an interesting device to play with...
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Ragnorok
post Nov 23 2006, 09:42 PM
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- The Psion 5mx is actually approximately the same size as a 6000 ... before the Cxx0 line came out I was looking to get a 6000, and I made a cardboard mockup based on the dimensions to see how well it fit in my butt bag (fanny pack, belt pouch, whatever). Any PDA I buy has a certain volume available in my butt bag along with the phone, wallet, checkbook, etc, etc, and that volume is actually defined by my old Psion 5.
- The SL5000 fit there with room to spare, and so does Hiro, but I'd be more than happy if the PocketPenguin were the size of the Psion. I'd be ecstatic if it also had that keyboard. Hiro has an okay keyboard, but it's too "chiclet-like" for my taste. The Psion 5 series (I have two ... 5 and 5mx, both fully functional) were simply the cat's meow for typing. I bet I could do 30wpm one including typo corrections. I'd send the 5 to Da_Blitz if he'd use it for the form factor.
- I'd not be nearly as happy with this unit if it had a thumb board. They're far too slow to use ... I only have two thumbs, but I could use five fingers (index & middle on each hand, and one thumb) with the Psion 5 series. I rarely get more than four in use on Hiro, and often only three. Hiro's key spacing isn't too bad, but there's just not much real estate there for the keyboard.
- Whatever gets used, it must never fail to register a keypress. When typing quickly on Hiro, keystrokes are often missed even though I know for certain they are all pressed past the "detent", which should ensure they are engaged and registered. That's downright annoying.
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kahm
post Nov 25 2006, 05:19 PM
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QUOTE(Ragnorok @ Nov 23 2006, 11:42 PM)
- I'd not be nearly as happy with this unit if it had a thumb board.  They're far too slow to use ... I only have two thumbs, but I could use five fingers (index & middle on each hand, and one thumb) with the Psion 5 series.  I rarely get more than four in use on Hiro, and often only three.  Hiro's key spacing isn't too bad, but there's just not much real estate there for the keyboard.


I consider the Cx000's keyboard thumb typable, and it's a far cry from a thumb board. A little wider would be nice, but I'd still want the ability to thumb type on it. Thumb typing allows for decent typing speed in a very secure and stable grip for computing "on the go" - without a level surface to sit the device on. Make the keyboard too big and you're stuck holding the machine in one hand and typing on it with the other which is neither secure nor comfortable. (And if I've got space and time to set the thing down, I'll probably be using my desktop or my Libretto...)

OTOH, I have both a 5500 and a 6000, and can't stand the keyboards on either of them.

QUOTE
- Whatever gets used, it must never fail to register a keypress.  When typing quickly on Hiro, keystrokes are often missed even though I know for certain they are all pressed past the "detent", which should ensure they are engaged and registered.  That's downright annoying.
*


Odd. I've never had a problem with the keyboard on the Z, and I've typed for 4-6 hr periods straight. (Notably on the shinkansen between Kyoto and Tokyo, and the flight back). In fact, I've owned every generation of Z and I've never noticed a problem with missing keys.
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Ragnorok
post Dec 1 2006, 06:52 AM
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- Dunno. I just know when I really get flying on Hiro, keys are often missed. Some I know I haven't pressed them fully, which certainly isn't the Z's fault! (heh heh) Others I know equally well that I have pressed them fully. (shrug)
- I've never had this problem with any other PDA, but then the only other PDA that has had a keyboard I could even get any typing speed on is the Psion, so there isn't much comparison. (chuckle)

- I agree Hiro's keyboard is thumb-typable, and that can be an advantage in certain situation, like on public transportation. Living the hinterlands of the USofA, there is no public transportation here, so I basically never use Hiro for thumb typing.
- Not saying you're wrong, or I'm right. Just pointing out differences. A keyboard I can actually type on is significantly more desireable for me, and significantly less desirable for you. This whole deal will be a series of compromises.
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