Official Origami blog/community launches...
Mar 9, 2006
Origami devices currently run XP Tablet PC Edition, as expected, but there are some nifty new things that enhance their useability. Take for instance the customizable Program Launcher with a slick, MCE-like UI, optimized for touch-based input:
Or the thoughtful arrangement of the on-screen keypad (DialKeys) for quick typing with your thumbs.
Being a first-generation line of products, however, the Origami is aimed primarily at early-adopters and enthusiasts. The battery life of these early models is only about three hours, which is seriously inadequate, but it's expected to get much better in future revisions, with more power-efficient CPUs and hardware coming into the market. In the meantime, batteries are swappable, so it's possible to carry a spare. On the bright side, there's a good chance these devices will actually end up being pretty affordable this time around, especially as additional OEMs step into the arena. Here's an encouraging excerpt from the official press release:
"Pricing will be determined by our OEM partners. We anticipate pricing in the US$599-$999 price-range. Part of our objective in creating the original reference design for the UMPC category was to engineer a platform that’s both very compact and, through careful component choice, possible to sell for $500 MSRP."
A two pound, seven-inch wide, touch-enabled Origami running a full-fledged Windows OS, with a solid battery life, and a pricepoint of about $500 would make one hell of a device. These first gen devices may have not lived up to the hype that was created by the eager community during the last couple of weeks, but I think they really have some serious potential going forward.
Update: Marc Orchant shares a similar opinion and says it best in one sentence - "My interest, frankly, is less about the first generation devices announced this week and more about the implications this in-between form factor represents for anytime, anywhere computing." Right on!
Also included in Marc's post are a couple of choice quotes from Jupiter Research's Michael Gartenberg and ArsTechnica's Ken Fisher.