Joanna Stern from Laptop Magazine makes many good points on why MIDs make no sense.
Still not sure what MIDs are? MIDs are meant to be different from smart phones in that they intended to have specific connected purposes. Intel told us that some MIDs will focus on navigation, others on multimedia (watching movies and listening to music), and a large selection on productivity (checking e-mail and reviewing PowerPoint slides, for example). But the driving force behind them all is Internet connectivity.
Do consumers really want to carry around different devices for different tasks? Unless youâ€™re big on parachute pants, itâ€™s not the most convenient solution. And canâ€™t you do all those things with a $199 smart phone? Applications like Google Maps and TeleNav turn your phone into a GPS navigator, and people are ditching their point-and-shoot cameras for phones like the Samsung Memoir, which sports an 8-megapixel camera. Devices that can do it all make a lot more sense than ones that do a specific task really well. Isnâ€™t this why iPhones and Blackberrys get more popular every day? [Laptop]
MIDs as they currently stand, are ‘tweener devices and that’s a hard sell. If someone could make a smaller MID-like device with the power to get through a day of use I’d be sold. Current devices seem to offer around 3 hours of battery life for $1000 which just does not cut it and none really fit in your pocket. I want a computer in my pocket but MIDs are the only thing trying to push these limits.
And by computer I don’t mean something that offers background processing through “push notificiations” or pseudo-multitasking because email can arrive when I’m listening to music. I mean the real thing. I want killer browsing, intelligent memory and task management, unified communications with presence and access to applications. I’d also like the power to both create and consume media on the go as well while we’re at it. Is that too much to ask for?
I’m not sure I’ll be a one-piece mobile device user anytime soon, but if a single device offered what I’m suggesting it would make quite the consideration …
Mid Moves is a new site focused on highlighting the power and capabilities of Mobile Internet Devices and the full internet experiences they offer. There are four writers and each will be taking at least two of the latest MID’s with them for a real tour over the next 8 days. It’s a mega-mobile extravaganza!
There’s some great unboxing content as well as very real world experience being shared to understand how these pocketable devices perform. If you are interested in the category, it’s a must read.
A team at VentureBeat was able to get Android running on an Asus EEEPC 1000H netbook, which is certainly a cool hack.
I’m not sure this is something I would personally want in the current state other than as a proof of concept. Though once things are perhaps more optimized for a larger touch screen it might be cool on a MID.
So I’ve had some great comments and discussion since yesterday’s post on finding my likely netbook (the MSI Wind) and it seems the Samsung NC10 is clearly worth a serious look as well.
For starters it offers a considerably larger keyboard (93% vs. 80%) and battery life is well over 6 hours … possibly closer to 8 through conservation. Both of these features are well worth a pause over the Wind and believe me, I’ve spent some time researching again today. What I think is really driving me though is the option for a SIM slot. Apparently, the Samsung NC10 has a SIM slot hiding behind the battery (a 6-cell comes standard) though it’s unclear so far if the current model actually has a modem inside. The modem / SIM combo is what initially drew my attention towards the HP Mininote, but it seems the MSI wins on a few counts there – for now anyway. Netbooks are hot and the competitive nature of the various companies is bringing new features and enhancements pretty rapidly.
Back to the Samsung… I need to confirm the SIM slot is functional of I’ll be waiting for the next rev to arrive — or will just wait it our for that updated MSI model. You can get an Acer at Radioshack now for as low as $99 if you are willing to sign up for a 2-year data plan with AT&T though I’m quite certain I can get data for less than $60/mo. The Acer did feel quite solid though – especially compared to the ASUS systems I saw recently at Best Buy.
via jkkmobile of course!
This new MSI Wind U120 system sounds killer!
- 10 inch 1024 x 600 screen
- 1.6 GHz IntelÂ® Atomâ„¢ with1GB RAM
- 160GB HDD
- Wifi b/g/n
- Bluetooth 2.0edr
- 3G HSDPA/HSUPA
- 3 x usb2
- 4-in-1-card reader
- 1.3Mpix cam with mic
- 4400mAH 6 cell battery
- XP Home
Of course I’m still more than capable of being swayed by a surprise from Apple if they feel up to it at MacWorld.
Steve aka Chippy at UMPCPortal has compiled an amazing 5-part, 11,000 word, 28-page Ultra Mobile Computing Buyers Guide into a single FREE PDF file. This is highly recommended reading for anyone interested in ultra mobile computing …
Thanks Steve – this is a fantastic resource!
I’m clearly in the two piece camp at this stage of my mobile life.Â Andy talks about the Camps of One or Many todayÂ and links to another post written by Alan Reiter on the same topic.Â Today I use the N95 with the N800.Â I recognize the benefits of each as well as the overlaps but choose to use one of the other to maximize my enjoyment or enhance the experience across the two.Â I’ve tried all in one with the iPhone and lasted a few months … A few years ago, I was a heavy Treo user and pushed that to the limits as well.
While I really see the enhanced benefits of browsing, reading and viewing photos and video on a larger screen, I also use my devices so heavily that having a second thing ready to back me up when the battery in one fades is quite helpful.Â As we see the release of MIDs with embedded WWAN like the WiMax units shown at CES or the alluded to but not yet seen WiMax N810 from Nokia things will get even more interesting.
My normal day works something like this:
- Wake up with the N95 alarm, and then check email and Jaiku on the phone right out of bed.
- On the one hourtrain into NYC, I fire of the N95’s music player and listen to music or podcasts (which I update over the air through the day)
- The N800 usually then slides out of my pocket and I tether to the N95 to start diving into my feed reading.Â I usually also fire up IM, Email and Mauku, a Jaiku client.
- Depending on which device happens to be capturing my attention at the time, I check in with Jaiku, Gmail, Twitter and Google Reader.
- During the day I swap the N800 for a work issued blackberry as the second device in my pocket but really only use it for email as it actually sucks (yes sucks) at most other things.
- My return trip is pretty similar to the morning though I’ve watching a fair bit of video over the past few months instead of feed reading on the N800.Â I do multi-task with the N95 and find myself staying connected with Jaiku and email.
I also sporadically snap photos, shoot video (which upload or stream as they are captured).Â 3G service (ATT) kicks in after about 20 minutes in my ride towards NYC and substantially enhances the overall online experience…
I could probably do all of this on the N95, though it is actually more convenient to have two, in the same way it’s more ideal to work on two monitors.
When I had the N810, I was actually writing posts on the go, not just consuming them and that’s purely a factor of having a built in keyboard and the availability of applications like Maemo WordPy which is offline blog editor for the tablet.
Maybe it’s that I miss my Nokia N810 (still waiting to get a release version swapped with the proto I tested) or maybe it’s the sheer lack of excitement from this year’s CES, but now I really want to get a MID.Â The Intel booth showed off all kinds of cool devices and for me this really is a category of interest.Â I know MIDs are not likely to become mainstream in the next year (or two) but for the power user, they really fill a beautiful spot in my mobile life.
TypicallyÂ a MID is pocketable vs. a UMPC which is something you need a bag to carry.Â This distinction is something that makes the experience for a mobile power user like myself.Â I can’t see going to a single device anytime soon.Â I think the SDK and pending apps for the iPhone are a very interesting thing to watch here, but more interesting to me would actually be a slightly larger connected tablet from Apple …