Posts Tagged ‘u820’

Refreshing a model vs improving a model: perfect personal computing device

I have been giving this a lot of thought today.  Since I don’t have my OQO back and my UX280 has one foot out the door I have to wonder, why did Sony not improve the two things that virtually everyone complains about in newer models?

No one  can deny that Sony makes some of the best computer products, even if it is at a premium.  I don’t know my history of handtop computers so I don’t know whether the OQO 01 or the Sony 750 debuted first.  When Sony went from the Sony 750  to the UX180 (or previous Japanese models) they added the keyboard most were hammering for in the 750. 

However, from the UX 180 to the current 490, what has really changed???  Yes, the jump from 180 to 280 got a significant increase in RAM (512MB to 1GB), but most state the 1GB max for all future refreshes was simply not sufficient.  Since the UX came out the screen, forum, keyboard, WWAN module, and weight did not improve or change.  I for one would have been willing to put down the $2000+ price tag a year ago for one that simply had a better keyboard and 3g/EVDO instead of that slow EDGE. In higher models you got Vista instead of XP (most hated it) an SSD instead of an HD (nice but I could live without it).  As far as I know the cameras didn’t get any better.  Most who have used an OQO and a UX state the UX is more powerful, but the keyboard on the OQO is 3 times better and I happen to agree.  Why keep refreshing the same model instead of improving on it?

OQO has done a pretty good job of improving their model in the latest refresh, am I making any sense?  They changed the screen to a passive touch (which lots of people were clamoring for), they added the GOBI to allow people to CHOOSE their poisonous WWAN (not like the lockdown job Sony did on the P series), they have gone with a better? processor (better on battery and more powerful than the current VIA chip in their 02 models), the only thing that prevents me and calling it an improved model instead of a refresh is that they kept the same form.  Now some may say, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, but while I find the size and general form GREAT, others wanted a card reader and I would like the power plug to be standardized and somewhere other than the bottom of the unit.

Why can we not get the best of both worlds?

This is what I would want in the perfect model

  1. Keyboard at least as good as the OQO
  2. Screen at least as good as the UX (note, I am talking about the crispness of the color, not the touch vs active digitizer)
  3. A screen that can switch between touch and active digitizer with the flip of a switch (does this even exist?)
  4. An extended battery that doesn’t protrude from the unit (like the OQO)
  5. Reasonable prices for the accessories (Sony’s dock wins but OQO’s batteries win, even if their batteries only have a 6 month warranty because they are garbage)
  6. 2GB RAM option (when you have a resource hog like Vista, this would be nice)
  7. Decent video playback (I don’t know what is needed for this, is it a better processor?)
  8. A quiet fan (some say getting a SSD helps with this, but does it really?)
  9. Multicard reader (or at least something universal like SD)
  10. Not too heavy

I am really talking about all of these in a slider, because I have to admit the Fujitsu u8xx series has most of this at a decent price compared to the other two.  This is in a clamshell form.  I talked about my likes and dislikes of my u810 over on Pocketables,  but the two things that drive me bonkers are the spread of the keyboard and the placement of the fan.  I would be much happier if I could go from the keyboard to the mouse keys without shifting my hands and if hot air didn’t blow out on my right hand as I held it.

It has AT&T 3g, it has a pretty useable keyboard, it has a nice size passive screen with palm rejection to make handwriting easier, it has a SD card reader, it has a cheap extended battery $99 (with 4.5-5 hours on wifi) that sticks out the back, not affecting use, and finally it is made by Fujitsu (which to me is just as good as a Sony).

So why in the hell did I buy an OQO 02 instead of a new u820, I have no freakin’ clue.  If you know, you let me in.

However, I would just be happy if a company (preferably one of the giants) would make my perfect device detailed above.  I would be willing to pay a premium and I think others would too.  I don’t care if you call it a handtop, UMPC, microcomputer, etc… what about just personal computing device (PCD)?

Wanting WWAN on lower models (Fujitsu u820 and OQO 2+)

There has been a lot of discussion over on about the inability to order the upcoming OQO 2+ lower end model (starts at $999) with WWAN.  Mind you, no one is asking for the WWAN to be included as a free upgrade.  Just the option of paying the additional $149 on a cheaper model would be nice.  They are only offering the WWAN as an upgrade on the best model (starts $1499).  So, before you even pay the $150 extra, you are paying an additional $500 for a better screen, more RAM, and larger hard drive.  I personally don’t need any of that, hence my frustration.
EDIT: the $500 bump also gets you a faster processor, which maybe I need to play video.

However, I was reading over my posts on and remembered Fujitsu did the same thing when they announced the u820.  Now, my frustration with Fujitsu stemmed with the fact that they didn’t announce the WWAN model until almost 3 months after the unit started selling.  However, the only upgrade you are required to get on the u820 in order to add WWAN is a 120 GB harddrive.  Now, the complaint is why in the hell do I need a larger harddrive just to get WWAN. 

In both cases, it is about limiting the number of configurations each company has to produce.  It does make sense, since WWAN is considered a high-end upgrade it would make sense that statistically people who want the upgrade might already be more inclined to order the high-end model.

But still, why not offer a service where a person can send in the unit of their choice and have the WWAN unit added post-sale?

Sale at $100 notebooks and tablets, Tokidoki u820 with 3G featured