Mobile kit considerations part 1


There are a few things to consider other than just the computer when putting together your ultra-mobile office. Sometimes what seems like the ultimate umpc will actually compromise your mobility.

Overall size

Take for example my LG P100. This was the most powerful convertible tablet at the time I bought it (and still remains one of the fastest given it’s dedicated graphics card), it was small (ish) and light. But the 10inch is a widescren so it’s not as small as I’d like. Form factor it’s not that much smaller than the G4 powerbook it was replacing. Widescreens can make a huge difference. My 12 inch Toshiba R400 was the same size as a standard 15 inch Dell laptop! And with weight my LG’s 1.3kg’s became 1.6 when I found I had to always use the extended battery when mobile as I can only get 1 hour 45 minutes on the standard battery.

For me a 7 inch screen is the perfect compromise between UMPC form factor mobility and usable screen size. 5 inch is just too limiting for my usage: it’san OK size for occasional web surfing or emailing or PMP functions but not for extended use or photoshop! 10 inch is just a bit too big and requires a standard laptop bag or the like.

A 7 inch screen like on the Samsung Q1 or the Viliv X70 makes the unit not large enough to require a laptop bag, and are a bit bigger than pocketable but can still be carried in a small sleeve case and not appear bulky, and are still big enough to do serious photoshop, Onenote or word processing work. Read on to find out other considerations…Power adapter (or power brick)

P100 AC versus HTC Shift

P100 AC versus HTC Shift

The Power adapter for the HTC Shift is half the size of my LG’s one. And the LG one is half the size of the Dell XPS’ power brick. The S5 (and hopefully the X70) has a plug only adapter like a mobile phone charger which is awesome. Power bricks can add weight and bulk which we don’t need when on the road.

Battery life

If you have to carry extra batteries or use an extended battery because of bad battery life (i.e. the LG) then this can defeat your mobile kit. If you carry from home to work or whatever location with power to another location with power then maybe this isn’t a consideration but if you need to work away from mains power then you don’t want to have to carry extra batteries. The Viliv’s have this kind of long life so that’s awesome too.

Required extras like keyboard modem screen

If you need to carry an external keyboard then your UMPC either better be a slate (no keyboard hence lighter) or be extremely light with it’s keyboard (HTC Shift). The Stowaway keyboard is tiny and since typing/inking should be good on the X70 won’t need to be carried all the time. The S5 is so small and light that having to carry the external keyboard isn’t really an issue, but I wouldn’t want to carry a 1kg machine and then also have to carry a keyboard – every gram counts!

Cables

Every extra cable is annoying. I love the fact that the HTC hift had a VGA port right on the unit. The Viliv’s require a cable adapter which is one more thing to carry and will probably need to be carried all the time as you never know when you will need to plug in to a monitor or projector. I use a Sandisk USB plus SD card which converts from a SD card to a USB drive by folding in half so I don’t have to carry a thumb drive. It’ll work on any computer I need to use even if it’s a desktop without a SD card reader.

continued in part 2

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