Sunday, March 11, 2007

Roadblogging Gear



Well, now that I am back home I can show you the roadblogging gear. The PC is a Sony Vaio VGN-UX280P with 1 GB RAM, a 40 GB hard drive, Windows XP Pro, and an Intel dual core 1.2 GHz processor. It is only slightly larger than a standard Palm Pilot or Windows Pocket PC, but it has full PC power.

Pros:

  • Small. At 1.2 pounds and the small form factor, it is easy to throw in a backpack. Even the docking station shown in the picture is only a few ounces.

  • It can be used where a laptop would be cumbersome or considered a social gaffe. This machine is scarcely bigger than the fancier cell phones and most people don't think of it as a PC.

  • Geek Value. People are amazed that a tiny thing like this is faster than most laptops over a year old.

  • Easy wired connectivity. Bluetooth, Wifi, and Cingular EDGE hi-speed cellular (for pay) are all available. The Sony SmartWi utility allows me to turn wierless functions on or off quickly to save battery.

  • Wired connections. The PC has one USB port built-in, but with the docking station, 3 more are added along with a VGA monitor plug, miniature TV video, one firewire, and a LAN plug. There is also a "quick dock" plug that allows monitor and lan connection for those rare times when taking the docking station with you is too much.

  • Remarkable resolution: Though the screen is only 4.5 inches, I get 1024 x 600 resolution.

  • Cool: as in runs much cooler than the standard laptop, although I believe it is warmer than a PSP or Nintendo DS unit.

  • 2 cameras allow minor digital photography and short videos



Cons:

  • Price. At over $2000 including extended warranty (a must for an all-in-one device), it costs more than most laptops.

  • Remarkable resolution: Since the screen is only 4.5 inches and the resolution is fixed on the small screen, it is tough to see items on the screen.

  • Max Video resolution is only 320 x 240. Makes crummy YouTube movies.

  • Operating system: Windows XP is fine, but this unit really needed the tablet PC edition of XP. The little keyboard is too small for long blog posts or e-mails, so some handwriting recognition would have been ideal. Either that or some decent voice recognition software.



The floppy keyboard is better than I thought it would be. It types fairly well, but the space bar needs to be more responsive. It is also missing the Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys. COMPUSA should have had those on there. It does the job I need it to overall.

The bleeding edge can be a bit difficult, but it is fun to play with all this new technology and see what better things are coming down the road.

5 comments:

Pa've said...

Interesting toy. Small PC's won't be truly revolutionary until they employ voice recognition software that can do away with the keyboard all together, and that day is coming faster than we think.

Try to imagine a PC in your sunglasses with an ear bud and a heads up display.

Info Geek said...

pa've said...
"Try to imagine a PC in your sunglasses with an ear bud and a heads up display."

There's no need to imagine... it's already here

OK, so these are not commercially available, but as pa've suggests, these items will be here before you know it.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Wow...and I thought that roll-up keyboard synth a woman had in Star Trek TNG was wild...

It sounds like your Vaio is about the same size as my Zaurus, but is like a Porsche compared to a Suzuki Alto in terms of power...

Pa've said...

Those links were pretty awesome. I expect that the Alphabet soup agencies have something like this factory built, though.

Swinebread said...

Blog from your cell phone ;)