TabletKiosk eo v7110 UMPC vs Nokia 770 Internet Tablet The Final Showdown
This is the final post in a four part series. Already we covered:
I've been carrying around both tablets as much as possible lately trying to get people to hold them in their hands, play with them, and talk about them.
Robert, a 27 year old student, was seated in front of a 17" Powerbook and described himself as "pretty nerdy." He never heard of the Nokia 770 before, but heard of the Origami project though never saw one in person. He had some fun playing with the Nokia 770, but can't think of any use he'd ever have for it in his life. He liked the familiarity of the Windows XP interface more, but the size and weight of the device put him off. "If I had to think about bringing the device, a charger, a keyboard, and a case, I'll just bring my laptop."
Kristi (19) was very enthusiastic about the TabletKiosk eo. She described it as "very cute" and "would bring it everywhere." Other young adults (age 17-20) interviewed about the tablets had similar reactions. In that population segment, only Linux geeks were more excited about the Nokia 770 than the eo (but then were interested in porting Linux to the eo too.)
Margaret (32) owns a bookstore and could see the TabletKiosk eo as a handy device for business, but emphasized that it should come with a docking station in the box. I have to say that I agree: The major flaw of current UMPCs on the market is that they are not bundled with docking stations. As a person who does not own a cell phone, she had no use to the Nokia 770 at all.
Matt (30) is a computer science educator and laptop owner. He had heard of Origami and of the Nokia 770, but like Robert had never seen either. He was enthusiastic about Linux in embedded devices because o the vast developer base and free applications, but admitted that he would personally rarely use one. The Origami caught his eye, but after holding it in his hands for a while he changed his mind: it felt too heavy, looked "like a toy," and got too hot in his hands.
I was fortunate enough to have a few family members in town last week. My mother, a certified Nurse Practitioner, uses a Toshiba tablet PC at work every day. She liked the size of the eo, but the trade-off between "screen real estate" and "readable font size" was a deal breaker for her. She also mentioned that she takes notes on the tablet while seeing patients, but then immediately sits down to type additional commentary when she's out of the room. Without a keyboard or docking station, the TabletKiosk eo would be of no use to her. She had no use for the Nokia 770 because the screen and fonts were just too small for her eyes.
My brother Christopher (31) was in town briefly before his deployment to Iraq. He loves electronics too, but always calls me with the "what to buy" questions. I let him play with both devices for some time. He liked the hard case and size of the Nokia 770, but wifi hotspots are few and far between where he's going. He told me he'd love an eo UMPC in the field but only if it were more rugged and had an easy to attach optical drive for watching DVD's.
My seven year old niece Sydnie (shown above) loved the Origami. She drew the picture below and then proceeded to save it and (with only little help) Email it to her mother. She's brilliant. It's a shame she lives so far away with my sister and brother-in-law or else I'd turn her into a little hacker before she turned 10.
The general response to the Nokia 770 is that it's a very impressive compared to PDAs, but needs to be faster and have more application support. While it's supposed to be web, chat, and VOIP, and it needs more power for the web, a keyboard or thumb pad for chat. It's great for VOIP, but so few people use VOIP so far that it settles into a niche. The main advantage to the Nokia 770 is that it's truly a "carry everywhere" size.
The TabletKiosk eo v7110 elicited a different response. The familiar look, feel, and operation of the Windows platform appealed to a good handful of people, but the "in between size" (too big to carry everywhere, too small/weak to use as a regular workstation) was a deal-breaker for most people. Teenagers and young adults were the vocal exception to this. If the UMPC market wants to really take off, they need to appeal to teens and college age adults.
So come on, ThoughtFix. Stop chattering on. Tell us who wins: The Nokia 770 or the TabletKiosk eo UMPC?
Okay. Here it is. They both win and they both lose.
The Nokia 770, coupled with a Brando case and a ThinkOutside Stowaway Universal Bluetooth Keyboard is now my "go everywhere" machine. It's always in my pocket or geek bag. It can even mount to my windshield for GPS use - something I never expect to do with my TabletKiosk eo. However, it is not the end of my portable computing needs.
The TabletKiosk eo v7110 has wholly replaced my laptop for all my mobile computing needs. Indeed, my laptop hasn't left the desk since the eo arrived. Again, coupled with the Stowaway keyboard, I can now do all my research, reading, and writing on the road (at the local internet cafe) on my eo. More intense tasks (recoding and editing video, gaming, etc.) is done at home on a powerful machine. There are recognizable weaknesses to using the eo over a laptop, but the much lower weight and increased mobility (not to mention the eo was only half the purchase price of my laptop) makes it a more clear choice for light to moderate mobile computing.