Discussing the nuts and bolts of software development

Friday, May 23, 2008


UMPCs And The Race To The Bottom - Or how much more does a Flash SSD weights, when it's full with data?

Our last Macadamian Barcamp session focused on Ultra Mobiles and Netbook PCs. The whole race to the bottom seem to have started when the One Laptop Per Child project took the initiative of creating an affordable ultra-mobile PC aimed at developing countries school children. Asus followed shortly and its Eee PC grabbed most of our attention with its slim size and crispy screen.

On top of portability, we found that most UMPCs offer the following advantages:

There's always the power versus battery life aspect, which is generally slim compared to smartphones. The One Laptop Per Child PC battery lasts longer but its intentional Fisher-Price looks and ruggedness make it only valuable for either elementary-aged children or front line military soldiers.

The Nokia Internet Tablets looks very promising since they seem to have a good balance between battery life, available applications and horsepower.

Now that most computer vendors have embraced the idea of making Asus Eee-like PCs, we can only expect UMPCs will follow the same fast-paced evolution as cellphones and competition should keep their costs low. Both Eee PC and OLPC can now run WindowsXP. This doesn't make them gain an extra gram, they might even cost cheaper but personally, I feel using them without their native OSes just ain't Kosher.

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The more data we store in our flash drive, the more electrons we trap in our system. For a 32 GB system, the difference comes out to be around 8 x 10-17 grams between a fully loaded an empty USB drive.
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