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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

To UMPC Makers, please, do not reinvent the wheel.

I know that by asking this I put myself in a very uncomfortable position of receiving an answer of "We reinvent the wheel because we can" but after a lot of thinking I decided that somebody has to say it. If the Fujitsu U810 was just one centimeter wider then the keyboard would have became a useful keyboard. And here is the proof and here is why I said, please, do not reinvent the wheel, please use the experience of other in this field.

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 The above two pictures show the Fujitsu U810 and the HP Jornada 720 Handheld. As you can see the Jornada is about One Centimeter wider. And that one centimeter wider made the difference between having a touch keyboard and a none touch keyboard. For those who do not understand what touch keyboard means in this case, it means that you can type with all your fingers touching the keyboard. And that's the only efficient method of using a keyboard. And when I say efficient I mean, the possibility of reaching speeds of more than 50 words per minutes with the less possible effort. With just one centimeter more this machine would have had a lot more potential buyers than all you have now Fujitsu. I have to be honest, any serious executive will die for a device like this one but one where they can type fast. And that was one of the powerful points of those Jornadas from HP. Unfortunately, the Jornada did not have a Operating System capable of handling all the executives needs and that was the major reason why HP dropped that project.

Talking about writing... Did somebody at Fujitsu really thought that you can write using that small stylus? And it's not just small, it's the most uncomfortable stylus that I have ever held in my life.  


 The above picture shows the Fujitsu U810/U1010 stylus on top, and the Jornada 720 Stylus, the best stylus I have ever used in all the Pocket PC, Palm, SmartPhones, Handhelds and UMPCs that I have owned, used or reviewed. And believe me, the list is large.

Once again, why to reinvent the wheel? Just because you can? Well, just because you can does not make you smarter, do you know that? I know that there was a lot of pressure from the market asking for keyboards in UMPCs and I know that now as consequence the market is full of almost useless keyboards but if you have the chance of making it right then why don't you try.

I'll keep writing about this device sent by Alltp in the next few days, including of course a formal review. So stay tuned!

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 [Discuss This Topic]


  1. I couldn't agree more. In fact, that's one of the thing that has kept me from getting one - though I can't really say I'm not considering it still...

    Will there ever be a perfect UMPC?

    At least it seems we're heading the right direction... :)

  2. I do wish that UMPC manufacturers would consider using the spreading design that IBM did so well with the old ThinkPads. I suppose that technique is patented and perhaps expensive, but I think it would be worth it. Not sure what the $3 stylus is that you MVPs get, but I have one like the combo pen-stylus model that the GBMers were giving away at one time; I love that thing so much I'm often afraid to use it (I've lost a lot of tablet pens walking away from users' desks without them). The U810 stylus is smaller than the one on the P1610, and I consider the P1610 stylus too small to use comfortably.

  3. The Jornada was jacket pocket size and easy to touch type. The Fujitsu missed the point of making a computer small. It needs to be pocket size yet still touch typable. They should have copied the Jornada configuration. Too many computer companies forget about making the computer useful. The OQO as an example goes the other way it is very small but the keys are thumb which is why I would never buy one.

  4. The U810 extends by about an inch if you hold onto the black top and pull it out, making it about 4 inches total. There are still longer styli out there, of course, but 4 inches seems about average. It's the same size as all the other styli I have from other devices, at least.

  5. Sorry, I meant to write "The U810 stylus extends by about an inch."

  6. Jenn, still very uncomfortable to hold. But like you said it's not just off this machine.


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