So Much for Portable Computing


I’ve switched over to a new work laptop, and it’s significantly bigger than my old laptop. Yes, bigger. I decided I wanted a large, wide-screen device since I stare at it virtually all day long. The trade-off, of course, is that my new laptop is harder to carry around. Should I get a UMPC for portability purposes? (assuming I could afford one) Or would I just hate myself for complicating life with multiple, every-day-use computers? What do you think?

18 thoughts on “So Much for Portable Computing”

  1. UMPC will never work for me. I need a keyboard and I don’t want yet another accessory to tote around. For years all I used were ultraportables (small Thinkpads, even a Dell, and a Sharp Japanese import: cv50), but I’ve been trucking this 15″ Mac around for 6 months now – considering all the other junk I need to carry, the MBP really only adds 2-3 lbs to my load. The large screen and extra battery life are worth it. (I use a backpack, not shoulder bag. And I’ve gotten pretty good at ending up in the exit row on planes with plenty of computing space.)

  2. All the syncing stuff would drive you crazy. I tried it for awhile with a Palm and it was just generally a pain in the tushie.

  3. Pros and cons abound of course. My recommendation to anyone considering the UMPC andor laptop scenario: make a list of your computing tasks and your locations. Rank each list by importance or amount of actual usage. If most of your tasks are light computing tasks in a variety of locations, a UMPC is a perfect complement to a notebook. If you’re sitting in one spot most of the time or you’re doing CPU intensive tasks, it probably isn’t.

    Plan B is to do what I originally did 15 months ago: throw all caution to the wind and order a UMPC. ;)

  4. i had the same problem, thats why i got a Q. i can do most everything i need to with a device that i was already carrying around. i check imap mail, gmail, read sites and news. get a smartphone, it’ll make up the difference

  5. No kidding, Dave. Tell my boss, would ya? ;)

    Jon- good to hear about your experience with the Q. I’m hoping to try out the Q9 soon.

    Bob- Think I’ll wait for later versions of the Folio…

    Kevin- Sure, throw caution to the wind. Why save for my kid’s college education anyway? ;)

  6. Mari,

    I was sort of kidding… Who knows, Folio might be a blogger’s dream come true.
    Now if Tivo came out with a UI for it, I’m sure it would be a hit.

    If I was really on the road all the time, I’d get a ~5 lbs notebook. It would probably end up being a ThinkPad. Mostly because I’m really fond of the ‘Access Connections’ utility.

  7. Alex, Mari’s last Dell laptop had an Apple sticker over the logo. Ha! ;)

    Bob, I’ve had two hands on with the Folio (events in NYC and SF) and it doesn’t seem bad at all – very small/light, and the OS seemed quick. In fact, before Palm announced their Vox partnership, I told them they might have the ultimate mobile blogger platform on their hands if they beefed up the software a bit. (And they did announce some new stuff, including image editing.)

  8. If you just need your programs and/or data, but can get onto a PC wherever you’ll be, what about portable apps from a USB flash drive?

  9. I have been struggling with this same issue since I had to return my laptop to my last job. Kevin has been very helpful to me so far, so you are getting some great feedback here. I just can’t decide because new things are announced every day it seems, like the new Dell tablet. I think the advice about writing down all your computing needs and locations and then judging from that is a great idea, by the way.

  10. Dave-

    BTW, that is hilarious about the Mac logo over the Dell logo! I did the EXACT same thing with my D800!

  11. I certainly understand your reasoning behind getting the larger screen laptop. My question is why did you get such a bulky one? The new 17″ Macbook Pro with high rez screen at 1920 x 1200 is absolutely amazing and the computer is thin and sleek. That’s where I’d put my money (along with Windows in BootCamp and virtual technology).

  12. I would recommend getting a Thinkpad X series, which is their ultra portable, with a docking station, and a 24″ monitor for your office and home. That way you have portability, but also a big monitor and keyboard when you want it.

  13. I had similar experiences Mari. Always funny… My favorite was from before you could really run Windows on a Mac and people would ask me how I was doing that.

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