Microsoft annouce “Origami’ – tablet PCs

Microsoft have annouced their latest Windows flavor, for the ‘Ultra Mobile PC’, which up until now which has been referred to a Project ‘Origami’.

Ultra Mobile PC is a version of Windows Tablet PC Edition together with smaller form factor hardware. From looking at the pictures on the Microsoft site though, the devices really aren’t that small, and certainly not small enough to fit in your shirt pocket – you’ll still need a laptop bag of some description to carry it around. Plus what I defintely don’t like – no keyboard. If you really need a touchscreen capable laptop, then I would go with one of the existing Tablet PCs that come with the foldable/rotatable screens that fold down over the keyboard – these I think are the best of both worlds.

I deliberately abandoned my Palm Pilot because I got frustrated for not having a keyboard (ok, so I got an add-on keyboard, but thats not the same). I had an original US Robotics Palm Pilot from 1998 up until just a couple of years ago. What I got instead was a Windows CE device, the HP Jornada, because it comes with a keyboard. If I need to type notes or work on a document, I am not going to sit and scribble with the stylus on a touch screen – it’s just too much effort. Even the Windows CE Palmtop version I think was discontinued in favor of the Pocket PC Palm Pilot form factor, so I had to pick up a Jornada on eBay (which actually worked out as a good deal).

Other options I would consider if you are looking for a small laptop:

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