Oct 23 2007, 08:13 PM
While looking around for a suitable upgrade to my C1000 I checked out the two leaders in the available-in-the-U.S. UMPC market. After handling a UX and reading extensively on both the next-generation UX and OQO models I have begun to wonder... what is WRONG with these people?
From the beginning, the Sony UX's primary complaint has been "the keyboard is really, really bad." And now, how many models and years later, the keyboard is still simply, absolutely, crap. I tried to type out a sentence on a brand new UX390 the other day -- a machine which retails for ~$2000 -- and had to stop in disgust. The keyboard was completely unusable. My hunt-and-peck $30 cell phone is more usable for text entry.
The main issue with the OQO from day one has been the processor speed (that pretty much goes without saying, as soon as you read the word "Transmeta" in the specs for the 01 and 01+). But in their latest model they've "upgraded" to a processor that *again* significantly underperforms its competition (as in, 2-3x slower)! And they're *also* asking quite a bit more for this little wonder than they ought to be given its shortcomings.
Why haven't OQO and Sony caught on yet? I really can't understand why these old hands have failed to address their machines' primary issues in the past several years. I also don't understand the market force that gets people to actually buy these things (especially the horrid UX) for many times the hoped-for UMPC price point. They're failures of the UMPC model, but they SELL so well!
Getting back to my initial question, though -- what's up with Sony and OQO? Are they that unresponsive? Is this what we have to look forward to in the UMPC field? Brand stagnation, with the only real innovation being caused by new companies entering the market?
Just wondering. :-)
Oct 23 2007, 09:27 PM
Actually I've suspected the inflated/underperforming umpcs to be status toys rather than serious technology...a sort of ultimate one-up box for the blacberry crowd. If I'm right, then these things don't really need to perform well at all, but absolutely must look cool and carry an outrageous price tag--and they do those two things very well.
Oct 24 2007, 03:35 AM
part of the problem is that they bump up the specifications but they also load the latest resource hungry OS.
I've been setting up a toshiba tecra m9 laptop at work which is a centrino/core2duo, came with (spit) Vista, and it was dog slow until I turned off all the flashy interface stuff (set theme to windows classic, closed side bar, maximised use for performance - no animation on interface), and afterwards it's not so bad.
I'll bet that if u did that with the UX, or even installed (if drivers available) win 2000, it'd run pretty damn quick! With linux it should absolutely fly - the tosh tecra m9 is very zippy with linux.
Oct 24 2007, 03:40 AM
Agreed. My friend has a Latitude C600 (1GHz, 256MB, 20GB) that took 7 or more minutes to boot into Win2k, but after loading Xubuntu on it, it boots in under a minute, not to mention all the other benefits of Linux.
Oct 24 2007, 04:34 PM
QUOTE(speculatrix @ Oct 24 2007, 11:35 AM)
and it was dog slow until I turned off all the flashy interface stuff (set theme to windows classic, closed side bar, maximised use for performance - no animation on interface), and afterwards it's not so bad.
At that point you might as well be running xp or win98 even. The "flashy" graphics are the only "benefits" of vista to the user, all the useful features of longhorn had been axed so m$ could concentrate on the real purpose of vista - the draconian drm.
Oct 24 2007, 07:27 PM
adf -- that's a really interesting theory and consistent with the products and the uses that I've seen these things put to. Interestingly, I found myself comparing the UX to my Blackberry this morning, just randomly thinking, and found that the BB won hands down in the necessary respects... i.e. I can actually type lengthy emails on the thing if necessary, and it only costs $100.
speculatrix, may I henceforth refer to Vista as "(spit) Vista" in my written communications? That's awesome. I saw a brand-new notebook with decent specs die on the altar of free-upgrade Vista. It was horrible, but if XP or 2K had been loaded on the thing... Anyway, the moderately non-techie owner returned it. (!) Not fast enough for him.
You know, Capn_Fish, I enjoyed Ubuntu for all its great facets, but could never reconcile myself with the resource hogging. Compared to Slack or Gentoo it just seems a bit... not bloated, but heavy. I guess that's the Gnome talking. Last time I gave Fluxbuntu a shot, though, it was a mess. What's Xubuntu like first-hand?
And lastly, desertrat... yep. Although there's lots of modern software that won't run on 98. I'd recommend 2K, which is what most of my machines run.
Oct 25 2007, 07:11 AM
Xubuntu's not bad for speed, but not great, either. It comes with WAY too much software, IMO, though. It feels a little slow with stuff like FireFox (remember what machine this is running on, though), but otherwise pretty snappy. It even works well with some 100 MB of PDFs opened in 6 windows.
I mostly chose it for my friend as it mostly "Just Works" (with a tiny bit of tweaking here and there) and it has many modern packages, not to mention is very easy to use. I like Debian with Xfce, as it feels lighter. I never got Slackware to install, and Gentoo got messed up with some packages (like Python).
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here