Origami – Many Folds Make a 7″ Tablet PC

kinnon —  March 9, 2006 — Leave a comment


  1. The art or process, originating in Japan, of folding paper into shapes representing flowers and birds, for example.
  2. A decorative object made by folding paper.
  3. The code name for the launch of Microsoft’s Ultra Mobile PC initiative.

I just watched the Scoble bunny’s interview with Origami Ultra-Mobile PC product manager Otto Berkes. Some key points:

  • Price range will be in the $599 – $999 range for this first generation product
  • 1 Ghz PC running Tablet PC software that will be upgradeable to Windows Vista Tablet Version (without some of the processor/graphics card intensive features in Vista like Glass)
  • 7″ screen – same as the standard automotive DVD screen with 800 x 480 native resolution (a widescreen format that will work well for Media Center playout)
  • 30Gb to 120Gb Hard Disk Drives
  • Thumb typing capability (will lead to new medical term – Origami Thumb condition)
  • VGA connector to drive up to a 1024 x 768 monitor
  • WiFi and Bluetooth wireless capabliity
  • Battery life will be somewhat limited on the initial versions – 2 to 3 hours.
  • Eventually models will be available for desktop docking stations, in-car mounts, etc

My initial thoughts are that the product is interesting. It’s almost intriguing for this Mac guy – but the initial versions of the product seem a little clunky – they need to slim down. Berkes showed a mock-up of a very thin version of an Ultra Mobile PC which I think would be very cool and would definitely be of greater interest for me.

Microsoft has high hopes for the UMPC line, believing that this product will range will fill the hole between phones and larger Tablets and laptops. I think it’s an interesting first step – but I’m not sure that it will experience the huge success that Microsoft’s initial hype machine seems to suggest they expect.

Build me a thin version with EVDO, built-in GPS, flash drives, a foldable bluetooth keyboard and 8 hour battery life – and I’d probably become a believer. An interesting product.

PC Mag has a good article on the CeBit launch of the Samsung product.

UPDATE: Om Malik has a great response to Origami where he asks something I found myself wondering earlier today:

My view on any new digital and mobile device is that – both Microsoft and Intel – should stop thinking Windows and try developing a new platform. In other words, think different. Look even Steve “OS-X or nothing” Jobs had to go get another OS platform to get the iPod done. Imagine, the mess a OS-X Inside iPod would be. Microsoft has a product precedent – XBox 360, which does things very well, because it is not hampered by the Windows legacy. New thinking … but then that’s too much to ask from old companies.

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

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