Ultra Portable

The Pepper Pad 2.I’ve been interested in ultra-portable computers for some time. My first such computer was a Newton Message Pad 2000, which remains useful despite its age. The Newton was replaced by a Palm m125 that cost less and did less. No more email, web browsing, no writing or word processing. In short, nothing more than addresses, calendar, to-do lists, and a note or two jotted down using the infuriating Graffiti text recognition. Oh, I had games and e-books too, but my Newton had all those and did them well. I had a nice case that held a nearly full-size keyboard and would prop up the Newton for extended writing, and the character recognition remains among the best I’ve ever used.

My current PDA is a Sony Clie PEG TH55 that I’ve covered well here at MaisonBisson. I like the built-in camera, the larger screen, and WiFi, but it’s got its own frustrations. Biggest among them, I can’t use VoIP software from GPhone. Worse than that, even with an external keyboard I still can’t do meaningful word-processing on it. NetFront can handle current web standards, but doesn’t allow me more than one open window at a time. My work habits have changed now such that I find it almost impossible to do anything useful with only one browser window and no multi-tasking.

It’s in this context that I find news of the OQO and Pepper Pad interesting. The Pepper is cheaper and allows me to avoid Windows, the OQO is smaller and maybe more useful. Thing is, I’m not that interested in finding out how many virus I can carry in my pocket.

OQO links: what is the OQO? and OQO price and release date speculation.

Pepper links: about, specs, the MaisonBisson ohh-ahh story, coverage at MobileMag and LinuxElectrons.

Of course, I have to wonder will I ever really be able to give up the full-computer experience? Should I just give up and buy a 12″ PowerBook?

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