Here I am, blooging again, after an article on Tom's Daily made old dreams come back ;)
Let's neglect the above article, as you can read it (and my comment) later :P ;)
What's my "dream" portable? Here is the short list:
- has to be easily portable (dooh!)
- has to be usefull (dooh! ^2)
Ok, now for the long list, as above doesn't give too much info.. I'll mostly list same things here that I had have listed several years ago, just with updated components. Meaning it has to:
- be powerfull enough to run any modern OS;Vista excluded for now - Win XP, Linux, OS X, any of them
- for that it has to have x86 CPU, and the more powerfull the better (Intel Atom or VIA Isaiah would be nice)
- ofcourse this same CPU has to be low-powered 'cos there isn't space for huge batteries or cooling systems, hence Atom/Isaiah preference
- further on it has to have at least 2GB of DDR2 RAM (800MHz preferably)
- big storage is a must, and we're talking at LEAST 40GB disk at a very minimum, but the bigger the better, anything over this value that can be cost-effective and power-effective at the same time (SSD is out cos of price, flash cards 'cos of storage space)
- usual suspects for I/O have to be included meaning several USB 2.0 ports (4 would be perfect, 2 for optional mouse/keyboard, one for external drive, and one free for "other"), Gigabit Ethernet, DVI (integrated video of any sort as long as it can run video and OS just fine) and audio out
- wireless I/O should be well supported by Bluetooth, WiFi and even IR if there is space
- speakers of any sort except mono, and an integrated microphone ofcourse
- and on top of all the hardware - touch screen with as much pixels per inch, and as much inches without getting too big to stick in the large pocket or a briefcase/backpack/purse/whatever-you-use-to.carry-stuff-around
- battery which can endure at least 2 consecutive full-length movies, meaning 3h of full-throttle usage
Now above listed things are bare minimum, but on top of that, I'd like to see some cheapo and not-so-cheapo additions. "Cheap" part would be these:
- add a nice "higher" quality camera (don't give me 0.3 Mpix camera, if my 2-year-old-back-than-50$ cell phone had better!); should be at least 2.0 Mpix
- FM radio would be real nice, as even cheapest MP3 players have it, so it can't be expensive or complicated to implement - and please not through proprietary headphones (like in some cells), I want to use any speaker or headphones for listening!
- soft carry-bag, to protect from scratches and not adding much weight/size to the package
And a several "advanced options", even if not all models would have all of these:
- bundeled external DVD writer, or at least as a VALUE-added option (value means that it should be cheaper than me going to the store and buying burner plus an external case!)
- those multitouch functions from iPhone sound just nice (pinching, zooming, rotating and stuff like that)
- projected keyboard - to save space, but add functionality at the same time
- intergrated space for SIM-card and mobile phone functionality, including 3G+ connectivity would be great option, unless you can bundle a cheap phone with it :)
Now, if you can make all of the above, minus advanced stuff, for let's say 500$? I think it can be done, although I don't have a source for all the prices here are my "best guesses":
- 49€ Atom CPU + board (80$)
- 40$ for 80GB 2.5" HDD
- 45$ for 2x 1GB SODIMM DDR2
- 200$ for LCD and chasis (I threw this number from nowhere to say the truth, but I think it's more than enough)
- 5$ for integrated speakers, 5$ for FM, 5$ for bag (I gave more than enough space here ;P )
- 20$ for Bluetooth/IR
- 25$ for power adapter
- 40$ battery
-- rough total
So - going under 500$ is attainable for this device, and you have enough space to earn some money if you sell it for 499$.
For extra 100-150$ I think you could have all the "advanced" stuff in it as well, together with a more powerfull battery to endure all of that.
To tell the truth, it is still pricey in my book, but when I see phones selling for the same price, this would indeed be CHEAP. As nothing can measure with using your favourite desktop apps on the move, and not having to lugg around a laptop..
Am I living in a fantasy world? Please, do comment..
As for a remainder of my thoughts about this device, please check back later today or tomorrow, as I intend to illustrate a week of life using such portable PC, and what could you do with it, that you usualy do in other ways right now ;)