jkk checks out another obviously named UMPC/Phone running XP, the XpPhone [video]

Updated on 05 June 2009 by

XpPhone Earlier you may have seen the DigiCube MIDPhone, and the idea behind the XpPhone is not much different. Take a look at the video and you’ll see jkk looking at another slider device which runs Windows XP, and also has voice capability. While I somewhat lambasted the DigiCube MIDPhone for its 2 hours of battery life, the 5 hours that the XpPhone purportedly provides is just barely starting to reach a level of practicality as a phone. Of course these devices are probably best served as concepts of even ultra-early adopter devices, but once Moorestown hits, we’ll have good battery life such that a device (hopefully smaller than this) can be viably always-on and in-pocket, functioning not only as a phone, but a computer as well.

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21 Comments For This Post

  1. Ben Lang says:

    New article: jkk checks out another obviously named UMPC/Phone running XP, the XpPhone [video] http://cli.gs/6t5GZs

  2. Genjinaro says:

    The smartest of Smartphones, I’ve been looking for such a thing to use as one since the Everun S6. Mobile OS’s are sometimes not enough. Softmaker on Windows Mobile has helped but I need more power in the bundle.

  3. alex says:

    Bit bulky, but some clever additions to the MID/UMPC form-factor here:

    This has a nice dedicated number-pad that smartphones in a similar ‘slider’ form-factor might benefit from having. Also i like the mini touch-pad. Wish the aigo slider had a touch-pad or navigation stick!

  4. yves says:

    Too many keys in such a small keyboard – at least for my taste: the keys will be too small for a good productivity, I think that I would not be able to thumbtype as well as on the Aigo P8860.
    As it’s a slider, why not put the navigation keys on the (large) screen bezel: you could easily reach them with your thumbs when the keyboard is open, and also use them in tablet mode.

  5. Al says:

    Are companies that stupid? It looks like an OQO, which has failed after years of trying to sell that type of device. Windows requires a touch type keyboard NOT a thumb keyboard, plain and simple. What they need to do is make it about 7″ by 3.6 to 4″ with a good touch type keyboard, otherwise these are all geek toys that will never make money.

  6. tmarks11 says:

    bwahahahahaaaa.

    That being said, while this will not satisfy the (only) “mainstream Primaz”, I doubt it will satisfy the rest of us either. It looks like a monster; thicker then my everun even?

    And putting a seperate numeric pad on something this size is insane. It just means all the keys are so much smaller, and the QWERTY keys are offset, making thumb-typing difficult. I know OQO used this arrangement, but I don’t buy it.

    Since it is a phone, I guess they think it needs anumeric keypad. I would feel pretty stupid having to slide out the keyboard everytime I dialed (not to mention how stupid I would look holding this thing up to my ear). I will admit to being a geek, but even I could not be this much of a geek.

  7. JC says:

    Rather than looking stupid, wouldn’t you just use a bluetooth headset instead? Every time I hear the “looking stupid” argument, I wonder if it is International Forget All About Bluetooth Day again. There may be other reasons to dislike the form factor, but the “looking stupid when I hold it up to my face” reason isn’t a very good one when there is such a simple solution.

    As for the numeric keypad, I borrowed an OQO for a week once. It has a high quality thumbboard with separated, easy to hit keys. (It didn’t have the problem that the N810 has of your thumb hitting the screen when you try to type something on the top row.) In that situation, having a numeric keypad off to the right works out really well. I was pleasantly surprised.

    Of course, what’s on the video is just a prototype. The proof of the pudding will be trying out an actual production model to see how well this thumbboard actually works. Each manufacturer seems to do something different.

  8. Al says:

    If they keep it a thumbboard then it will never sell. Full Windows needs a touch type keyboard for most people to buy one. A modern version of the old Psion 5mx design would be perfect and still pocket size. That is what we really need to see, not more similar designs to the OQO which failed. Thumb keys are just not very useful for full Windows.

  9. tmarks11@yahoo.com says:

    I tried the bluetooth headset route with my Verizon XV6600 PPC; didn’t really like it. The XV6600 felt like a brick, and it was about a third the size of the xp-phone!

    The OQO keyboard looks a 1000 times better then the keyboard above; look at those microsized buttons. This is just a prototype, and I am sure they would do some “mainstream user” testing (“make it a clamshell!”, I can hear it now!) before they release it.

  10. LeeN says:

    I would say there were 2 main factors controlling the failure of oqo. 1) Price. 2) Battery time. At least those were my 2 gripes, that is why I bought a Viliv.

  11. jeremy says:

    Don’t forget the biggest one, the one thats responsible for so many business going out—– EGO —-

  12. LeeN says:

    I would think EGO would indirectly be covered by my #1! :)

  13. BC says:

    I think that any computer that is running Windows needs a keyboard. Adding a phone to me is not going to make me want to buy it nor somehow make me think writing my next work report without being able to touch type is just as good by hunt and pecking with two fingers. To me I want a Windows computer to do the job of my laptop. I do not need it to be a phone.

  14. yves says:

    Maybe it’s not optimized for Windows, but at least if the keyboard is usable for thumbtyping, the device will be usable with Windows. And I don’t think that the keyboard of a pocketable device (max length 16 or 17 cm / 6.5″) can be much more productive for touchtyping than for thumbtyping.
    Take it for what it is: not a full replacement for your main laptop, but a pocketable device that you can use on the go, sitting or standing anywhere (what you couldn’t do with a mini laptop, touchtyping oriented form factor).
    Also think that you don’t really need Windows on such a device: no matter the OS, we only need it to be enough reliable and user friendly, and to support software compatible with the most commonly used file formats, protocols etc…
    I’m using Mozilla firefox and thunderbird, OpenOffice, etc… as well on my Windows PC as on my Linux “gadgets”. I can read and create Word, Excel or Powerpoint documents. I can connect my MID as an external usb disk on my PC when I’m back at my office or at home, so I can use it as permanent storage for the files I’m using everyday and work on these files as well from the MID as from my “normal” PC. And when I’m moving from an office to another one or to a meeting room, and need to have some docs with me, and the ability of writing quick notes or reading / answering to my emails, I don’t really need to take my laptop (and to take care of its HDD).

    But if you try to integrate a “full WIndows” keyboard in such a small device, with 70 keys or so, and some space wasted for adding a touchpad, YES, it will be unusable!
    Just try to imagine a better solution, with 50 / 60 keys, but with some useful control or nav keys inserted in the screen bezel or (why not) on the back of the device. Perhaps the learnig curve will be a little longer, but after that the productivity will be better. even with Windows…
    And try to understand that a device should be designed for a better use of the applications you are working or playing with, and not for a better use of the OS that allows you to run these apps. It’s the OS which should be optimized for the usability of a class of devices, and not the devices which should be designed for a specific OS.

  15. Al says:

    A pocket size Windows optimized device can easily be made but so far not one has been created yet. The old Psion 5mx was 6.9″ x 3.6″ x .90″ and had an amazing keyboard that had large easy to touch type keys which I could type about 80-85% of my desktop speeds. That would be one size that would work great. An even better design would be to build off of that Psion 5mx using the same keyboard design but increase the length to 7″ to 7.5″ which would make the keyboard even better. Also most inside jacket pockets can easily take a width of 4″ but definately no wider than 4.25″ and that would make the keyboard amazing!

    That is the size we really need so that anyone could easily touch type with good speed yet it would still be portable enough to carry everywhere.

  16. tmarks11@yahoo.com says:

    you want a phone that is 7x4x1″?

    I think I saw that on MASH.

    I know that I don’t speak for the “mainstream user”, but I am sure that NOBODY will buy it as a phone.

  17. Al says:

    I do not need it to have any phone functions at all. What I want is a pocket laptop to eliminate the need to carry a laptop.

    This device to me would be better suited being redesigned to be more of a pocket laptop as adding phone features to a device with thumb input is not going to sell.

  18. Suppy says:

    I think it might be a great device like a MID/UMPC with voice possibility rather then a “phone” with Windows XP OS. Forget the green/red phone buttons and use this space for a better usage.

  19. fixup says:

    This device looks as perfect as it can be, I have only one question for 800×480: can it do virtual 800×600 or even larger?

    Without a way to see more than 800×480, a user will be screwed up with many dialog boxes.

  20. Jane Johnson says:

    Has anyone else feel like the global downturn has hurt the board industry?

  21. Another guy says:

    Who on their right mind would carry a mobile phone of that size??? There is no need to integrate UMPC + phone because no one will use a UMPC as their single phone device – it’s just too bulky!

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