The Secret Life of a Desktop UMPC.

Posted on 19 March 2010, Last updated on 10 June 2018 by

It’s been about 2-weeks since I last used my daily desktop PC and 2-weeks since I’ve heard that horrible background noise of fan and disk. For the last two weeks I’ve been using a silent, modular, ‘grab and go’ solution based on the Fujitsu U820 ultra mobile PC and it’s working out very well indeed. You won’t find many solutions like this out there because this is one of the secrets of the ultra mobile PC world that marketing teams and board members get scared about – a multi-scenario device!


To be more specific, it’s a Fujitsu Loox U/B50N that I’ve been using; the Japanese version of the U820 also known as the U2010. It’s a 1.6Ghz Atom-based device with 1GB RAM. Not very impressive in the tech-specs department is it! The reason it’s working so well though is  1) A clean build of XP with a carefully chosen application suite. 2) An excellent Runcore SSD which replaces the 120GB Hard Drive. 3) I have cloud/browser-based working practices.

For reference, I didn’t exactly have the most powerful desktop around before I switched to the U820. PATA 7200RPM drives on an Athlon 2200XP-based system running 1.5GB RAM with Windows XP is something you might have only found exciting in 2005 but it was more than good enough for my day-to-day work and bringing in the U820 has been a near-transparent change which has even brought some advantages.

It’s the SSD in the U820 that has elevated this device from acceptable, to ‘transparent’ in my opinion. Application start times are as good as on my desktop and everything ticks over smoothly although my definition of ‘everything’ is probably slightly different to the average desktop scenario. I use a lot of web-based services in my daily work which allows me to contain most applications within the browser and that’s the reason I can get away with such a low-powered system. Here’s the list of apps I go through in my daily work:


  • OS: Windows XP Tablet Edition
  • Windows Live Writer: For offline blog creation. I’m using it to write this.
  • Firefox 3.6 – Firefox is more than just a browser; it’s an ecosystem. Here are the extensions I use on top..
    Grab and Drag (for touchscreen use when on-the-go)
    Echofon – Simple but efficient twitter client
    Weave – For syncronising Bookmarks, cookies, tabs etc.
    AFOM – Memory management plugin. Firefox 3.6 gets memory hungry without it.
    – I don’t use a flash blocker although I’ll probably install Flashblock soon.
  • Google Chrome – Used for site development work / debugging.
  • Putty – SSH to my servers.
  • Foxit Reader
  • Google Talk – IM and email notifier.
  • Paint Shop Pro – An old version (7 I think) that starts up very quickly.
  • Windows Live Photo Gallery – Great for importing and organising photos, uploading to Flickr/Facebook. Basic Edits.
  • player – Used for daytime music streaming.
  • Mobilink Software – If my cable Internet goes down, I would just switch to the MiFi.
  • Synergy – Mouse/Keyboard sharing. Was used when I ran both desktop and U820 together. Not used any more.
  • Audacity – Used for podcasts on-the-go with a USB mic.
  • Opera 10.5 – Part of my mobile toolkit. ‘Turbo’ is a great tool to have when using GPRS.
  • Skype – Sometimes running in the background. I use the excellent Everyman USB Skype Headset.

For email I use GMail. For documents I use Google Docs although I know that Open Office would work fine on this system if I needed to do any offline work.

External hardware.

I’m a huge fan of docking stations and without it, this scenario wouldn’t be half as easy. Docking stations increase the availability and capability of a mobile device by far more than their cost. They often come with additional ports too. In the case of the U820, I have:

  • VGA port connected to 1440×900 monitor. It will drive a 1920×1080 monitor if needed.
  • USB port connected to Nokia charger adaptor
  • USB port connected to 160GB 2.5 inch SATA drive
  • USB port connected to wireless mouse combo. Note: I’m having a few problems with my Logitech EX110 which sometimes locks-up or repeats characters on the U820.
  • USB port connected to Everyman Headset.
  • Audio-out cable (not on docking port) connected to HiFi.
  • USB to Micro USB cable for charging/file tx/managin  Archos 5 / Mifi

Memory Usage:

There’s only 1GB on this unit but i’m not having any memory problems of note. Firefox 3.6 used to leak memory but since I installed the AFOM plugin, that problem has gone away. Right now I have FF3.6 with 3 plugins, 3 tabs runing alongside the Last.FM client, LiveWriter, Gtalk and the complete Windows XP Tablet PC edition and I’ve got 300MB free which is good headroom.

CPU limitations.

Of course a 1.6Ghz CPU limits certain activities. Here are the things I have to be careful with:

  • YouTube. No full-screen HD
  • Movie-Maker. Yes, I use Movie Maker but it takes 3mins for every minute of video rendered (M-JPEG source) Previews are sometimes not smooth.
  • Flash. Occasionally I’ll see Firefox taking up a lot of CPU. It’s normally Flash content. I will probably install a flash blocker to solve this.


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57 Comments For This Post

  1. Gretchen Glasscock says:

    The Secret Life of a Desktop UMPC.: It’s been about 2-weeks since I last used my daily desktop PC and 2-weeks sinc…

  2. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    RT @umpcportal: The Secret Life of a Desktop UMPC.

  3. rob says:

    i’m curious – forgetting the specs, what’s your favorite umpc form factor you’ve used? i know you have different categories for different usage scenarios, but what was the best fit for you form-factor-wise?

  4. Chippy says:

    For me, 5″ slider although I also get on well with 5″clamshell.
    I would like to try a 5.6″ and 6″ slim slider in the future.

  5. Epizephyrii says:

    That sounds kind of like what I’m doing at home except with a UMPC format rather than a full laptop. It’s not completely fanless, but I find it far quieter than a full fledged desktop and I get the advantage of having a decent videocard in there too. I wouldn’t mind dropping down to a UMPC or even a nettop of some sort, but at the moment I have no compelling reason to.

    I fully support the idea of more UMPCs/Netbooks with docking stations, though. I think that is the wave of the future. Something nice that can be used for a portable, but then docked for some decent muscle.

    Also, Zeuxidamas, Flash Block is better than disabling Flash because you can selectively enable content you want to see. I like being able to use flash, but blocking flash content by default takes away the majority of those annoying audio/video enabled ads and some of the popovers.

  6. Morganj says:

    I’m using HP’s universal USB docking station with all my mobile computers, from my full laptops, to my netbooks all the way down to my umpc’s and mid’s.

    Apart from the issue of not being able to charge the device, i find them more than suitable for most of my needs. I actually have 3 of them on the same desk at the moment one setup permenantly with my oldest laptop as a fixed desktop setup. One is setup to receive my U810 (older 800mhz stealy) 512mb version of chippy’s u820, in much the same way as chippy, and one is currently driving whichever device i decide to be using on that day.

    All of them are connected to a LAN hub and each to its own monitor all sharing one keyboard and mouse.

    Just like chippy I am finding myself using the “sudo-desktop” full laptop less and less, mostly using mu U810 and/or UMID for most jobs. And my T91 or my new HP mini 5101 (which i am totaly in love with by the way) when i want something else to play with.

    At work i have a 3 desktop setup and I wish i could get rid of it all and replace it with the setup i have at home.

    As people were asking late last year “Will MID’s take over the world?” Well, i dont think so, but they already are taking over the desktop.

  7. Zeuxidamas says:

    Nice to hear Chippy. I too, use a Fuji U820 in desktop-like scenarios, although with a mobile USB keyboard + the docking station + USB Mouse + iMO 7″ USB Auxiliary Monitor.

    I would ask why the need for a Flash blocker? I have been disabling the Flash Plug-in on all of my devices and that has worked well without the need to install anything else.
    – Vr/Z..>>

  8. Chippy says:

    Flash blocker gives you the option. One-click and the flash is run.

  9. Hanno says:

    Note that the Dynadock comes with its own graphics card, connected to your computer via USB. This is a slow solution that requires unusual drivers that are not available for all OSes.

  10. Andre H. Beckedorf says:

    RT @chippy: RT @umpcportal: The Secret Life of a Desktop UMPC.

  11. Alejandro Huaman says:

    RT @umpcportal: The Secret Life of a Desktop UMPC. Me: Yep, the old "UMPC Secret" :)

  12. Alexander says:

    Given this work scenario, why not try a Linux variant on the U820? If you’re completely (almost) Firefox-based, you should have few issues.

    I suggest this, because I have had a U810, with a significantly slower CPU, but also with an SSD (KingSpec 32gb, in my case), running a custom build of Gentoo Linux, for a while, now. It made a _huge_ difference in performance, over all the other OSes that I have tried (XP Pro, XP Home, Windows 7, shipped Windows Vista), and has made the slow device quite usable.

    Obviously, some of the performance that I am seeing is because, like you, I was very picky about what I installed, especially the fact that I picked Xfce over Gnome or KDE.

    In the past, the GMA500 chipset was an issue, but I have a Vaio P, here, that runs just fine, with current drivers.

  13. TheWalt says:

    Chippy, I think you mentioned a few weeks ago that you were going to try OpenSuse as your desktop replacement once Windows 7 RC expired.

    How did that experience go? Is this current setup a direct result of OpenSuse use issues, or more for the convenience of desktop/mobile combination.

    PS: based upon your and Jenn’s ( continued praise of the U820 I did pick one up for myself a month ago. Works very well for my mobile needs :)

  14. Chippy says:

    I wasn’t so impressed with OpenSuse to be honest. Why are fonts used on Linux so poor? Firefox crashed a few times and memory usage was no better than anything else I’ve tried so I didn’t invest any more time in it.

    Good to hear you got a U820.

  15. Alexander says:

    I’m not really an OpenSuSE fan, myself. I’ve got a couple of applications that I have to support at work, that run on SuSE Enterprise, and that’s the only reason that I follow it. Most of my professional Linux work is on RedHat Enterprise, which is a lot simpler, in my opinion.

    As to fonts, you can install whichever fonts you like, since X11 has full support for TrueType fonts. Most distributions have a package of ‘corefonts’, which contain the free fonts that Microsoft distributed for web use, some years ago. Also, Bitstream has released a number of quality free fonts.

    If you’re willing to spend some time putting it together, Gentoo (or Arch, or any of the other source-based distros), is probably a much better UMPC base, since you can pick and choose your packages much more carefully than is possible with any of the pre-built distros.

    Good luck, and give it a try!

  16. XLogiX says:

    My desktop configuration is a FSC Lifebook P1610 with a CoreSolo ULV processor and 2GB of RAM as well as an 64GB SSD running Win7. While docked it supplies a 26″ display with 1920x1200px (and if neccessary the tablets display, too).

    I would consider me a heavy user, especially at home, with a lot of running programms and tasks – but this little piece is quite sufficient. Even watching some movies (on the tablet’s screen) while working on presentations or 3d models is no big deal. I think that these little companions will replace a lot of desktops in the near future, because a lot of people get used to their UMPCs / Netbooks as long as they are responsive enough to replace their heavy counterparts under the desk.

    Okay – for video editing, rendering and of course some games there’s still quadcore under the table – but it’s only used for the purposes mentioned above. ;-)

  17. Olivier says:

    Interesting post, thanks.

    I’m looking at achieving the same thing, but with an ARM tablet or the Display GuruPlug… Prices quickly rise to Atom-level, though, I’m finding it hard to cost-justify, especially with the cost of docks.

    I keep wondering about SSDs though: it seems their forte is quickly launching apps, which frankly I don’t do that often. I have the same handful of apps running permanently.

  18. Chippy says:

    They do more than just start apps quickly.
    Saving files is quicker (especially good for editors that automatically and regularly save drafts.) File copying is quicker and random access is quicker for programs that use disk. Swap also becomes quicker when memory is low.

  19. BenKB says:

    My viliv s7 ( with quick runcore ssd and XP) runs noticeably quicker than my 2nd gen vaio P running w7
    This indicates two things ( not sure which is more significant):
    ~ Not all SSD are created equal
    ~ XP, although antiquated is a much more fitting OS for a UMPC

    Enjoyed the write up….for me the U820 marginall missed only on it’s sometimes noisy fan. One of the joys of the UMPC form factor are the available ” fanless designs” out there.

  20. fab says:

    i think it’s a great combination – umpc and desktop mouse, keyboard and lcd. although…after having done this too, i have to admit one thing: my eee 901 with a fast ssd has a (actually two) big advantage and a big disadvantage:

    the plus: the faster SSD is the single most important hardware piece in a computer which will improve performance dramatically. no ram or other hardware will make your pc so much faster. i thought i was using a different machine – just because of the ssd.

    the other plus: just disconnect it from the “dock” and you have your mobile device.

    the minus: still…going back to a performance laptop and/or will actually see what you are missing in terms of power. everything not only works but is done just without having to think about it. flash, rendering, encode, video..whatever just happens. no lag, no waiting, no hiccups.. no tweaking needed, no “but”…

    i think it boils down to what you want to do, but if a small umpc plus keyboard and screen should replace my desktop or laptop, then where’s the advantage..a laptop is still way more productive than a umpc with keyboard and screen – even less space is needed. just have a home network and you can easily copy all your data to the umpc for the mobility part of your life..

    my absolute biggest issue on ANY umpc/mid is battery life. i always think that industry is trying to develop hardware which saves battery and loses power instead of actually using already existing battery technology which solves all the issues we have! there’s technology for batteries which enables you to charge the battery once and forget about it!!! lifetime battery. how’s that for a start..and then bring on the power on small footprint!

  21. cathy campbell says:

    The Secret Life of a Desktop UMPC. | UMPCPortal – Ultra Mobile …: It's been about 2-weeks since I last used my d…

  22. ninetynine says:

    I’ll definitely agree that most people demand more processing power than they’ll ever need. No you don’t need a Core i or even a C2D to casually browse the web and do real work, which is based in office applications for most people. I can easily see people using Atom machines as main computers because I still have a Pentium M laptop that works great and a Atom processor would out preform it easily.

    I use my small 12″ laptop with an Dual core, 1.2ghz, Celeron SU2300 has my main machine even though I have a C2D 6420 with ATI 4670, I never turn it on unless I want to play a video game and none of my work is synced with it.

  23. Desktop says:

    The Secret Life of a Desktop UMPC. | UMPCPortal – Ultra Mobile …: It's been about 2-weeks since I last used my d…

  24. vertebra says:

    “Windows 7 upgrade?
    Windows 7 is good but for a UMPC used in a cloud scenario, I don’t see the point”

    I have run XP, Vista and 7. Vista was the worst. XP was was good BUT… the GMA500 drivers have been updated about once a month for 7 with no updates for XP. I have seen the U820 not be able to run a 20meg quicktime movie without stuttering to now being able to run full 1080p through hardware acceleration. Its not perfect but they are working on it.

  25. Chippy says:

    That’s a good point. As I tested YouTube on Win7 I thought to myself, ‘this is the start’ This is the start of XP being left behind.

  26. Ben Lang says:

    I used my UX180 like this for two years or so. RT @chippy: RT @umpcportal: The Secret Life of a Desktop UMPC.

  27. NoGroo says:

    while the docking station scenario seems like a good idea in theory, enjoy it while you can. if you like big monitors, something ALOT of people dont know is that Intel crippled the current Pinetrail platform external monitor rez to 14×9. Intel would probably claim this was a power saving move, i would argue it was a move in order to make sure people used their netbooks as portable devices only, so if they wanted a big screen at home they would have to buy a primary PC.

    so unless you get a netbook with ION, forget docking to any decent monitor. unfortunately if this gen ION is like the last gen it will flop.

  28. Yu says:

    I wonder if this can be worked around somehow? I hipe they will get countless returned units with this stupid policy – at least I’m likely to return a device, once I’m sure I can’t use it even as a spare desktop replacement due to such limitations.

  29. XLogiX says:

    If it’s hardware based locked then there sould be no way around. But if it’s a driver based restriction then you can try to install modified drivers or – that helped a friend of mine – intall the DisplayLink driver (for USB-Displays like the Samsung U70) which by chance unlocked his netbooks vga out to match 1920×1080 (wich was limited to 1440×1050). If nothing of the above works, then ther’s always the possibility to get a usb-dock with grafics, but it will cost you a lot of cpu usage).

  30. Alexander says:

    Unfortunately, it’s a hardware design decision. The only solution that I am aware of would be to use a USB 2.0 -> DVI solution. There are a number of those available, though I think that they are somewhat pricey.

  31. Another guy says:

    I used to run a similar setup but with a 11″ netbook so I could simply unplug the external monitor, the external keyboard/mouse and I’d take it away with me. The problem is that occasionally you need more power on your every-day desktop office (video edition, multitasking, etc), and the netbook just couldn’t keep up. Eventually, I had to come back to my desktop.

    The ideal solution would be a super SYNC tool so you can synchronize your desktop and your netbook, so you can just sync them up before leaving your home and you take away your latest files with you.

    Does anyone know an efficient way on sync’ing your desktop and your UMPC?

  32. XLogiX says:

    My config syncs via Windows LiveSync which is within the local network very fast but also works over the internet. There’s also a eCafe Netbook (AMD Geode) with an 1.5 GB external harddisk as server (consuming between 8 and 17 W) which runs also the LiveSync Service (for me, family & friends). That’s a confortable situation – you can leave your UMPC in the office if ther’s for example an evening event and later get your files at home.

    Of course ther’s als Outlook – Easy2Sync for Outlook does the job here.

  33. fab says:

    well, a sync tool is only as good and most of all, as fast as your network/bandwith can deliver.

    the quickest and easiest solution – which i use – is the laptop or desktop with a data partition or even an external drive, which i shared in my network. i can then use my netbook or portable device to simply access all the files on that drive and open, edit and save them again.

  34. Will says:

    Hehehe… I was doing something similar for a while with my Flipstart (5.6″ clamshell with a 1.1GHz Pentium M, 512MB, XP Pro). I was using the device half the time docked to a keyboard, mouse and a 26″ monitor running developement apps, MS office, firefox and IE.

    The ability to use the same apps on my desk and on-the-go was brilliant.

  35. Chippy says:

    Yeah. The flipstart, Samsung Q1P and other Pentium-based devices were quite interesting in that respect.

  36. Will says:

    It was a rather sad day when these “micro-laptops” died away. The OQO had a fantastic form factor and I would have purchased the OQO 2+ (with a docking station) if they didn’t go out of business.

    I’m still hoping for a device like the Flipstart or OQO with up-to-date hardware (2 GHz Atom, 4GB RAM, 1.8″ SATA SSD) but I doubt it’ll ever see the light of day.

  37. Chippy says:

    Thanks everyone for your input here. Great to see fans of the grab-and-go desktop writing about their experiences. Fingers crossed that we get better solutions in the future.

  38. Knusperkeks says:

    Hi Chippy!

    Amazing setup! I actually like the idea and tried to do something similar but my EeePC 900 and my UX380N can’t deal with the resolution (1920×1080) of my monitor :(

  39. umpcaddict says:

    thanks for teh AFOM !!!!!!!!!!!

  40. the_holodoc says:

    Im using an EeePC 901 with external 24″ screen, mouse and keyboard, harddrive, 3g, dvb-t-stick, speakers and a 2.5″ 250gb external harddrive as my main system for about 2 month so far and besides the sometimes slow ssd’s my only concern was that i did not upgrade the ram so far. A few times i have been using Firefox over an extended period with many tabs open and exceeded the 1gb line which made the system then really slow, but with AFOM this concern is just blown away. I just dont understand, why it needs an addon to keep the ram usage down. The folks from the Mozilla Foundation should fix these problems right away.
    Thanks Chippy, your hint saved me some € for a ram upgrade!

  41. jpmatrix says:

    great article Chippy !

    there’s a long time i’d like to write something like that indeed; my setup is Fujitsu U1010, with a bluetooth Targus mouse, an external Cibox 17″ monitor and now a crf-104 laptop stand/cooler :)

    i use this wonderful device since 2 years now and i won’t go back to a desktop PC anymore ;) i mainly use Google Chrome and quite all Google services (perhaps one day ChromeOS ? ;)

    to be honest, i had used Debian then Ubuntu 9.10 for a long time on my fujistu… however i installed a fresh XP tablet since 2 months and now it is my favourite OS, mainly because of software (even if ubuntu is a real good surprise!) and hardware support like external screen swap and rotation which is not yet perfect under linux….at least i have a dual boot and sometimes i boot my ubuntu just to see that it is still faster than XP ;)

    about multimedia capabilities, i’d have loved a more powerful device too but i guess that it would be then a more expensive and battery-eater issue…my 800 MHz is really enough to run a desktop browser, read emails and ebooks in a iPad tablet style fashion way ;)

    people around me are always amazed about the size vs power of the fujitsu making most of them say :
    “HEY ! That’s exactly THE device i was looking for !!!”

    best proof is that now it is my only computer device wherever i am ;)

  42. jl says:

    Hi Chippy,

    I’ve been “on the fence” for awhile for a UMPC, but your article inspired me to get a U820 :)… Still a little worried about 1GB, but, hopefully, win7 or xp will be ok…

  43. Arni says:

    I’ve loved my U810 since I’ve got it (almost ) and there are a couple of annoyances (for me anyways) that I’ve fixed as far as keyboard layout is concerned. Having dedicated arrow keys are a boon while using it in thumb typing mode and though it is a touch screen, I find it easier to use SharpKeys to swap the arrow keys with the Fn equivalent.

    Though now I have to Fn+arrow up to use a dot. But I use my U810 primarily as a web browser and I find I use the arrows more than the period.

    Also for Vista/7 users on a device like this, I’d suggest completely disabling the hold down to right click feature since it messes with the proper left click in flash games/firefox grab and go/ and generally anytime you want to properly hold the left click down will not work with the hold-to-right click feature enabled.

    I put in a 16gb SSD and now can play 480p videos fine. Without it the 800mhz was struggling to keep up with the disk writes and wifi activity while playing a vid.

    I don’t shut it down since sleep lasts almost a week.

    I also remove/rename the fjlights.exe (can’t remember the name exactly) because the extra display while changing the brightness really stuttered the device. I use XP pro on it to maximize the 512MB memory, no more tablet overhead since my firefox can go into the 200-300 range max.

    Those U810’s are about $320 on ebay and $450 for the U820’s (average ebay completed listings prices)

  44. Arni says:

    (almost 2 years ago now) oops.

  45. Notlofty says:

    This sounds like a really good idea!
    I have one question. One of the main problems with netbooks to me is the graphics. I don’t want to play 3D games but I would like to be able to watch a 1080p video online in the dorm while still having the portability and convenience of a netbook for classes etc. Is there any dock that would have a graphics card or something to expand the graphics capability? Something similar to what gigabyte is doing with their booktop line but universal.

  46. Notlofty says:

    Sorry, I can’t figure out how to edit or delete my old post. 1080p is not something many people, including myself actually need… But is there something that will reduce the stress of basic internet video streaming that seems to be hard on netbooks?

  47. XLogiX says:

    First you could try the beta version of the flash plugin ( which uses also the gpu and should improve your online video performance. Also try different browsers or different configs (maybe one lean firefox portable for vids and one with a lot of addons).

    An external graphic unit / dock is no improvement after all – usb graphic units depend on your processor and a netbook lacks an expresscard slot.

    You can also slightly improve your machine by (1) adding RAM and (2) using a tool to controll process priority (e.g. process lasso under xp).

  48. Not Lofty says:

    After reading this post I’ve been wondering about docks a little bit. How well do USB docks really work? If you were to have a legitimate desktop replacement out of a mobile setup like this you need several things. A monitor, a CD/DVD drive, keyboard/mouse, possibly a wired internet connection, and possibly an external HDD. Wouldn’t one USB port be unable to transfer all this data at once? Like just the HDD can saturate it, or just the internet can saturate it, how does it work to have all these things at once?

  49. XLogiX says:

    USBs speed is limited by (USB2) 480 MBit/s, which should enough for most usages, no matter if you only using one cable (and a hub) or every single usb-port on your device (except ther’s a second usb-controller). The speed of USB should be sufficient for all those devices and even with a lot traffic from USB-harddisks ther’s no lag with keyboard/mouse (because of the transfer handling) – but I don’t know how well it works with USB-to-VGA (I would assume a drop in data rates, due to priority of VGA).

    In my setting I’ve the luck to have a dock (port replicator) for my Lifebook so I just get the device in, plug in audio (because the dock hasn’t) and I’m ready. A USB-dock (and a second power supply) should provide you with a similar handlig – just plug power and USB-dock into your device and you should ready to go. Limitations should be the grafic capabilities of a USB-to-VGA-solution and no (real) Gigabit Ethernet.

  50. Not Lofty says:

    Thank you for the reply.
    I didn’t realize that it was the 480 for all the ports.
    I don’t really understand the whole MBits/s thing as nothing I actually use is calculated in MB/s. So 480Mb/s is what? 60MB/s? Is that the actual limit or a more theoretical limit? My internet here is 35MB/s (yay for university internet but boo for no wireless in the dorms) and an external drive is about the same, but I suppose that you would only hit either of the limits during certain tasks and not all the time. But I haven’t a clue about the VGA usage or the smaller usage of the keyboard and mouse (1MB/s maybe). Can I even add things up like this? I’m just thinking trying to surf the web while ripping a CD to the external drive or downloading a file from the internet to be written to the external drive.
    But its good to know that the docks prioritize so as not to lessen the users experience even if the data transfer goes down. By the end of the year I think things will be easier as USB 3.0 will just give more transfer speeds than anyone needs. Or at least most people.

  51. XLogiX says:

    USB is a bus architecture in which the host controller in your device manages all communications. Even between two USB-storages all data is sent over the controller. And it’s speed limit is at USB 2.0 is 480 MBit/s or 60 MB/s. Nomally your USB controller is internal wired or consists of an usb hub so ther’s the limit on all ports together. Mouse and keyboard will certanly stay way below 1MB/s (somewhat near micro-polls of 8 byte per ms or so). As far as I know there are also classes for the different devices which give them different priorities so the user doesn’t suffer in his experience. And ripping a CD + surfing the net doesn’t end up in reaching the 60 MB/s limit – even with a 35 MB/s Intrnet connection (which is way beyond my 2 MB/s downstream here [which is today sufficient for 3 people here]).
    USB 3.0 will certainly improve transfer rates (I think 5 GBit/s and enabled p2p-device-communication?). But for todays usage USB 2.0 is sufficient enough (only large file transfer could challenge my patience).

  52. so_white says:
    The Secret Life of a Desktop UMPC. | UMPCPortal – Ultra Mobile Personal Computing

  53. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    After 2 mths I'm still using a umpc as my desktop. Same cpu power as Moorestown in 'turbo' mode.

  54. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    This is how my business works on a UMPC: I'm mostly on a netbook these days though.

  55. Neil says:

    RT @chippy: This is how my business works on a UMPC: I'm mostly on a netbook these days though.

  56. Ben Kaldor-Bull says:

    Post sparks interesting comments about UMPC usage. RT @chippy This is how my business works on a UMPC:

  57. Michael Braun says:

    Hi Chippy, Yes, it is a long time ago since you tested the setup but if you know how i can fix my problem you will become my hero. I will do skype video calls with my mother. But she is 80 years old and hates computers. So my idear is to put my old U820 into a video phone. But plug the power into the original docking station and put the U820 in the slot i can power the little thing but have no power on the USB ports of the docking station.

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