Note: This blog has been corrected to reflect the new price of the OQO Model 02.
I wonder if it's OK to feel bad for UMPCs. They're cute, cuddly (OK, maybe not) and perhaps even useful, but unfortunately, not very practical. The PC industry wants us to buy them, but very few of us are biting so far. Part of the problem is how expensive they are--more than twice the price of the cheapest notebook--which is why the price drop of the FlipStart is fairly good news.
Not great news, though. Chopping $500 off a UMPC that was originally $1,999 is nice and all, but it's still $1,499 for a palm-sized computer.
OQO also recently lowered the price of its Model 02 ultramobile PC just a few months after its launch, bringing it from $1,499 to $1,299.
The FlipStart debuted earlier this spring and keeps its same feature set: it's still a 6-inch-by-4.5-inch miniature notebook, with a 1.1-Gigahertz Intel Pentium M processor and a 30GB shock-mounted hard drive.
It runs the full version of Windows XP Professional or Vista Business and has a variety of cool inputs, but it's difficult to figure out why exactly the mass consumer would need one of these in light of options of powerful smart phones that are much cheaper and more portable. And if power plus mobility is what you want, notebooks are getting smaller and easier to lug around.