Microsoft and Intel et al have combined to introduce the ultra-mobile PC with a 7-inch screen, lots of capabilities and a stuck to a wall-wart blues battery life. What can engineers do to improve it?
I recently read the article Microsoft unfolds Origami, reveals on the go PC and was impressed with the concept and capabilities. The ad on the Microsoft site says,
"I am your go everywhere do everything device." Origami is lighter than most tablet-type PCs, weighing in at about 2 pounds with a 7-inch touch screen. It's a new class of mobile, that Microsoft calls an ultra-mobile PC. It uses an Intel processor and a modified version of Microsoft's Windows XP Tablet PC version, but future models will run on Vista, Microsoft's next-generation operating system that has a supposed release date of second-half 2006.
It offers all kinds of mobility and connectivity. First ones out of the gate will cost $600 to $900 and will offer GPS, digital TV tuners and Web cameras. Some will offer MP3, organizer functions, and games. This could even lead to a whole industry based around accessories for the PC.
But, and this is a big but, the battery life is only 3 hours. Here we go again, stuck to an AC outlet with the wall wart blues again. On the bright side, maybe this is another hand-glove fit for fuel cells. Additionally, it looks to be a technology that is in dire need of more power management, especially for the large energy hogging touch screen.
What do you think, - can we improve its battery life? Is it worth it?