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St.Ego Asks Engadget: Best portable internet device?
When considering a portable internet device, it is important to consult someone with a bit more experience with a wider range of devices. I have owned a Nokia 770 for a few years now and it is great for what it does: which is give me access to the internet and allow me to update the site.
Over the years, however, I've begun to notice some aspects of the experience that could be improved upon. When the Nokia 770 first came out, I was more eager than I've been for anything that didn't come from under a christmas tree. All I wanted was convenient portable access to the internet, and that's exactly what it gave me.
Of course, the general reaction to it was "what else does it do?"
Well, all it needed to do at the time was connect me to the internet. Now that time has passed, my needs have been refined and my priorities re-evaluated. It's time to shop for a new WiFi tablet!
Who better to ask for advice than Engadget?
Based on all of the feedback from Engadget readers, it would appear that there is certainly a much better offering in the product category this year. The iPhone clearly wins the popularity contest, but would seem to be about par in the technical area when compared to the Arcos and Nokia's successors to the 770, the N800 and the N810. There are, of coures, several other competitors, but those represent the primary devices championed by Engadget readers.
I read Engadget...
There is a narrowing margin, however, between the mobile internet device product category and some of the ever-shrinking "laptop"s that are becoming available. My personal favorite, when browsing the local stores, is the Fujitsu Lifebook U810. It only has a 5.6" screen, but if I'm looking to replace a WiFi tablet, that's about the right size. Plus, the Fujitsu has a USB plug (and not just a mini for syncing to the PC), so you can attach a real mouse, for example.
My dream is to have a WiFi tablet that I can plug a pair of those Vuzix head-mounted displays into, instead of always being forced to use the little screen on the device. Unfortunately, I don't think that this technology is "there" yet; it seems mostly styled for 3D gaming, not private casual browsing... unless you have an iPhone, which Vuzix makes a different version for, and doesn't require USB.
And it needs to have USB capabilities. Why? Because I want to plug at least one peripheral into it. We may not have a viable replacement for the keyboard with truly mobile computing, but the mouse for the job is already available. It is called an "Air Mouse" and they are available from several different manufacturers.
Logitech makes one that is unfortunately bound to it's receiver base, which requires AC power.
Gyration, however, makes a nice portable one that runs on batteries and uses a USB dongle reciever, just like I need it to.
Figure, with the Fujitsu U810, a Vizux VR920 and a Gyration GO 2.4, I should be able to get the mobile experience I've been looking for. Not sure if all three of those components would truly play well together, but I like the idea.
The only thing missing then is some type of ulta-portable replacement for the keyboard as a peripheral. If I don't need a monitor to see my desktop and I don't need a table to push my mouse across, why should I need a keyboard anymore? This is one technology that is truly lagging behind the rest. For years now we've continued to do nothing more than add more buttons to the existing keyboard design. Certainly there are a few technologies out there that are buttonless? Keyboardless? Alas, none seem ready for commercial deployement yet...
What is the point of all this, you may ask? I can manage most any site that I've developed from one of these little devices.
I don't need an office.
I don't need a desk.
I don't need leave the beach if I can get WiFi signal.
Thinik about that for a moment. If your entire business is online and you can manage it from a little WiFi tablet, what more do you need?
Think about it like a portable control panel for your website and never again have to think to yourself "just wait until I get online" because you are already there.