Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Achieving portable computing nirvana

Over the last couple years, I have bought two Asus netbooks, the iPod Touch, a SmartQ 5 mobile internet device, and a Nokia N810 internet tablet in the quest for the ultimate portable computing but none of them really did what I wanted them to do.

Despite their small form factor and adequate processing power, the netbooks were really not as “pocketable” as the other devices. The iPod Touch was great but could not display Flash content. The SmartQ 5 and the N810 suffered from all the pitfalls of that plague underpowered Linux-based devices. It was not until I came upon the UMID mbook M1 that I felt that I have achieved real portable computing.

The UMID mbook M1 is one of the smallest netbooks in the market. When I say small, I mean tiny. Its dimensions is close to the size of two stacked checkbooks. The best part is that it’s powered by an Intel Atom processor and runs Windows XP. This means that I can have a complete web experience that includes being able to view Flash content. Since it’s on WinXP, I can install Adobe Reader to read PDFs without buying some kind of app. I can install MS Office or OpenOffice to open and edit my documents without worrying about compatibility and conversion issues. The mbook also has a 1.3 megapixel web cam so you can use it for video calls using Skype. It can do everything that the iPod Touch, SmartQ and N810 could not do. It even has a touch screen so you don’t need a mouse.

Now the mbook M1 is not perfect. It’s the first generation of mbooks and suffers from a mini USB port that needs an adapter to use and a semi-proprietary audio jack. All of these issues have been addressed in the newer mbook BZ model, which, in retrospect, was the model I should have gone with but I was trying save some money and got this older model instead.

Despite it’s flaws, it’s still a very capable portable device and I love it. There is nothing like having the ability to experience the web the way it was meant to be and the ability to watch Hulu on a device that fits in your pocket is also totally awesome.

Learn more about the UMID mbook M1 (or BZ) at Dynamism.com

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