The problem with the UMPC

Microsoft, along with various hardware manufacturers, is trying to convince the public that the next “little” thing in PC’s is the ultra mobile.  Pictured below is the Sony product offering (coming in at $1800).  It is essentially a Windows XP Tablet that is geared toward multimedia, portability, and connectivity.  My complaint is that none of these products so far meets my qualifications for connectivity.  Sure they come with wireless A/B/G antennas, but what about when you are not near a hotspot?

Sony comes close to addressing my concern by incorporating wireless WAN connectivity to the Cingular EDGE network.  Unfortunately, I’m not a Cingular customer for mobile broadband.  I’m with Sprint.  So I need a PCMCIA slot for my Merlin card.  Trouble is – none of these devices offer that simple slot – one that has been around for more than a decade.  Think people – think.  Don’t incorporate one carrier’s technology.  Deploy an interface that will scale and grow over time as technology changes.  Show me a UMPC with a PCMCIA slot, and I will seriously consider buying one … maybe.

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