When it comes to furniture and electronics I’m actually quite interested in how things look and are placed. That’s why I like playing The Sims a lot just for the ability to design your own home and place all the furniture and stuff. When I first got my SF apartment I carefully selected the right furniture from IKEA. I wanted to have to a sofa with the one section being a section you could lie down on and convert into a bed. I think I’ll get a massage recliner in the future so that I can pair it with my various HMD headsets for the ultimate relaxing experience.
Since I’m a gadget geek I like to imagine the style and placement of my electronics too. At the moment, the style of my electronics are ‘retro’ styled. What this means is most of my electronics look like something that could be from the 1970s or 1980s. Retro designs, black or woodgrain finishes, etc. There’s also another design aesthetic I like which is modern-futuristic design. I’ll show a few examples of what I’m talking about.
Klipsch The Three – current (retro) wireless speaker (matches well with a record player)
Bang and Olufsen Beosound 1 – (modern/futuristic) wireless speaker
Polk Audio Hampden – current (retro) computer speakers
I think we live in a time where the choices for speakers and headphones and design is endless so we can model our furniture and electronics setup however we like, and that’s great. These are just a few ideas I have. Right now my home is more ‘retro’ styled than modern but that may change in the future.
If you have read my previous posts, like this one, or my other gadget collection posts, you would know that I love collecting gadgets. In fact I should probably be a full time reviewer from the number of gadgets I collect.
I love collecting small electronic devices, with these criteria:
-The device should be usable for many years. It should not rely on any data servers that might be outdated. For example, the Tmobile Sidekick relied on Danger’s servers for data, else it was a paperweight. I want devices that are just as usable 10 years ago as now.
-It should be really portable, and the screen size <= 7 inches. 7 inches is probably the maximum.
-weighs under 2lbs
-It should have something special or unique about it, either hardware wise and/or software wise. For example, if the tablet looks just like any other tablet out there, then its not going to be as desirable as say, a tablet that can turn into a laptop or has a slide out keyboard.
-Unique software is always a plus. For example, if the device runs Maemo, or Linux or MeeGo or Firefox OS.
-Reasonably obscure and rare. So, an iPhone wouldn’t really score as high as a Nokia N9 for example.
With that in mind, let’s look at the some of these devices:
Price: $65 on eBay Device type: Palm sized PC Special features: touchscreen, special build of Windows CE 3, easily hackable OS: Modified Windows CE 3.0 related: Casio Cassiopeia Pocket PCs, HP Jornada Pocket PCs
Price: $100 on eBay Device type: netbook Special Features: the original and first netbook ever, runs Windows CE .NET OS: Windows CE 4.2 .NET Related: HP Jornada Handheld PCs, Toshiba Libretto Handheld PCs, NEC Handheld PCs, Psion handheld pcs, Sony CLIE PDAs
Price: $200 on ebay Device type: Handheld PC Special features: one of the last handheld pcs, runs linux, unavailable in USA, touch screen, camera, keyboard, screen rotates, last Zaurus made OS: Linux Related: Psion Handheld PCs, NEC Handheld PCs, Toshiba Libretto Handheld PCs
Price: $60 on eBay Device type: smartphone Special features: dual slider, camera, one of the greatest non touchscreen phones OS: Symbian Related: Nokia E series, Sony Ericsson walkman & cybershot phones
Price: $200 used on eBay Device type: UMPC Special features: most powerful UMPC ever, slide out keyboard, touch screen, runs full Windows OS: Windows XP Related: OQO model 2, Samsung Q1, Viliv S5, Vulcan flipstart
Philips PMC 7230 (2006)
Price: $90 on eBay Device type: PMP Special features: last Media Center OS PMP, has kickstand, built in TV recording abilities OS: Media Center OS Related: Creative Zen Portable Media center, iRiver PMC
Price: $60 on eBay Device type: PMP Special features: The last hard drive based mp3 player from Creative, one of the most best mp3 players ever, touch strip, plays many video/audio formats, FM radio recording and voice recording OS: Creative OS Related: Apple iPod, Archos PMPs, Cowon PMPs, iRiver PMPs
Price: $200 used on eBay Device type: PMP Special features: the last PMP with DVR recording capability, plays many video/audio formats, touchscreen, can go on internet, can be GPS and FM radio OS: Archos OS Related: Apple iPod, iRiver PMPs, Cowon PMPs, Creative Zen Vision W
Price: $60 used on eBay Device type: PMP Special features: Last Zune model, multi touch screen, can go on internet, inspired Windows 7 Phone OS OS: Zune OS Related: Apple iPod Nano
Fujitsu UH900 (2010)
Price: $500 used on eBay Device type: netbook Special features: smallest and best netbook, runs full windows, 2 usb ports, 2gb ram and SSD, multitouch high res screen OS: Windows 7 Related: Sony Vaio P series, Asus EEE PCs, Viliv S7/N5
Price: $700 on eBay Device type: UMPC Special features: Last Libretto PC made, one of the last UMPCs, dual 7inch touchscreens, virtual keyboard OS: Windows 8 Related: Netbooks, Fujitsu LOOX, Fujitsu Stylistic
Price: $40 on eBay Device type: Smartphone Special features: Dell’s last smartphone, multitouch screen, slide out keyboard, one of only 2 windows phones to have a keyboard OS: Windows 7 Phone Related: HTC 7 Pro
Price: $130 used on eBay Device type: tablet Special Features: combination game console/tablet, built in controller, multi touch screen, game streaming from PC OS: Android 4.2 Related: Wikipad, Archos gamepad 2, Sony Xperia Play
Price: $200 on eBay Device type: smartphone Special features: multi touch screen, dynamic 3D perspective, Firefly, Mayday, runs Fire OS OS: Fire OS Related: Blackberry, iPhone, Android phones
Neptune Pine (2015)
Price: $300 on eBay Device type: smartphone/smartwatch Special features: Smallest phone/tablet to run full Android, touchscreen, camera OS: Android 4.2 Related: Moto 360, Apple Watch
I’ll have pictures and video up soon for these gadgets, as I own most of them. Stay tuned!
Edit: review is up!
One of my pipe dreams is to build one of those old school like UMPC devices except with modern components. The problem with new tablets these days is that they still can’t match up with the old UMPC form factor – like the old OQO model 2 or Sony Vaio UX, its just cool to have a 5inch Windows PC with keyboard in the palm of your hand.
Its fully possible to build a much slimmer, much faster PC, with better battery life these days using modern components. Unfortunately with Windows 8 tablets, there’s still no tablet thats 8″ and below and has full USB and keyboard support. You can use bluetooth sure, but thats not the same. That’s 2 devices you have to carry. I’m talking about one device. If I build a device it would have the following components:
-5″ IPS FHD capacitative touch display (1080p)
-a sliding keyboard form factor a la the OQO model 2 / Sony Vaio UX or a convertible display a la the Sony Clie UX-50 or Fujitsu U820
-an HD front camera for web conferencing
-an 8MP back camera for pictures
-miniUSB for charging
-SD card reader
-2 USB 3.0 slots
-Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac wireless
-fingerprint reader for security
This won’t be a tablet.. its a full PC running Windows 8.1
-Intel broadwell processor ensuring its fanless – speed should be ~1.3-1.6Ghz
…I’m sure if Lenovo can make a fanless 13″ convertible, then they can make this.
Yup! It’s another gadget article! This time we’re gonna look at the coolest computers that have come out over the past decade (2004-2014), as PCs come in many different shapes and sizes. Of particular interest to me are PCs that are quirky or unique in some way, as Handheld PCs and Ultra Mobile PCs interest me greatly, being very niche devices. That said, a lot of people may not know some of these PCs exist, which is the purpose of this article to provide some rare PCs that have been available.
This is the first UMPC that came out. UMPCs are like small PDA sized devices that run full blown windows, this one comes with up to Intel Core Solo 1.33GHz processor, split keyboard, 2GB RAM, 60GB HDD, SD card slot, 1024×600 screen, and weighs 1.72lbs.
This is another UMPC thats pretty cool. Runs on a VIA 1.6Ghz CPU, 64GB SSD, 2GB RAM, 5″ 800×480 OLED screen, only weighs 0.91lbs, and runs full blown Windows Vista, has a built in keyboard and comes with a docking station as well.
This is Dell’s discontinued 20″ desktop-replacement “laptop”, and the form factor was pretty darn cool. It came with a Core Duo 2.16Ghz processor, 2GB RAM, ATI X1800 GPU, 2 100GB HDDs in RAID 0 configuration, and also came with a Media center remote and detachable keyboard. Did I mention this thing has a handle on it??
There’s a lot of Windows 8 convertible ultrabooks out there, and this is one of the coolest. It looks like the evolution of the Vaio Duo series. Intel Core i7 1.8Ghz, 12GB RAM, 2880×1620 resolution, Geforce GT 735M, 1TB HDD, has a multitouch screen and weighs 5 pounds. The coolest part of this notebook is that the screen flips into three configurations: presentation mode (reversed), normal mode, and tablet mode.
It’s an ultrabook that has two screens. Two. Screens. The one on the inside is non touch and the lid itself is a touch screen. They can be dual-screened or mirrored for presentations too. Comes with Core i5 1.7Ghz, 4GB RAM, 2 13.3″ 1920×1080 FHD screens, 256GB SSD, and weighs 3.4lbs.
Asus just doesn’t stop with the cool looking PCs. This one is designed with audio in mind, with massive Bang and Olufsen powered speakers attached to it. It also comes with the Core i7 processor, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Nvidia GT 335M GPU, FHD 18.4″ display, and weighs a massive 9.7lbs. For a multimedia laptop though, can’t get better than this.
What’s next Asus? How about a PC made with Bamboo? Like a high end piece of furniture? This elegant notebook comes with a Core i5 processor, 6GB RAM, Nvidia 310M GPU, 14″ 720p display, and weighs 5lbs.
Sony’s VAIO series of PCs are very diverse, and this is Sony’s UMPC entry. It came with Core 2 Solo 1.2Ghz processor, 1GB RAM, 48 GB SSD, 4.5″ 1024×768 screen, a keyboard, a fingerprint reader, weighed around 1.2lbs and ran full blown Windows Vista. This was probably the most powerful UMPC out there at the time.
Well Dell makes some pretty cool laptops too. This one is only 10mm thin, and fits the keyboard inside the display when closed, which acts as a stand as well. It came with a 1.4Ghz Core Duo, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 13.4″ 720p display, and weighed 3.2lbs.
This is probably the most powerful “tablet” I’ve seen yet. Razer made a tablet (actually a full PC) that could play heavy games with a proprietary controller joystick that attaches to it. The specs? HD display, 8GB RAM, Core i7 1.9Ghz CPU, Nvidia GT 640M GPU, 256GB SSD, and weighs 2.1lbs. Have you ever seen a tablet that had that kind of specs??
Yes, this is a PC!! Actually its a 27″ table-top PC that you can either use flat on a table to play party games, or as a massive desktop computer. The specs? 27″ FHD resolution display, 1.8Ghz Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, Nvidia GT620M GPU, 1TB HDD, and weighs a massive 15.7lbs.
Panasonic Toughbooks are renowned as incredibly durable laptops. They are military spec tested and they look like a tank. Fully rugged, 10″ swivel screen, Wacom stylus, Core i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, fingerprint reader and weighs about 5.1lbs. You will not find a tougher looking notebook than this.
Fujitsu makes some very interesting looking laptops and tablets. In fact they were one of the first to make slate tablet PCs. This one came with Core 2 Duo CPU, 10.4″ 1024×768 display, 1GB RAM, 80GB HDD, fingerprint reader and weighed 3.5lbs.
This is a UMPC/Handheld PC from Fujitsu, slightly smaller than the Sony P series, but also a convertible tablet that has a digitizer and fingerprint reader as well (!). It comes with an Intel A110 processor, 1GB RAM, 40GB HDD, 5.6″ screen, a webcam, and weighs 1.5lbs.
I know a lot of PCs in this post are Handheld or UMPCs, but they are all very unique and niche PCs so I want to cover this one as well. The Vulcan Flipstart has a 5.6-inch screen with 1024×600 resolution, a 30GB hard drive, built-in Wi-Fi, bluetooth, VGA webcam, Pentium M ULV processor running at 1.1 GHz, and 512MB RAM. Curiously, this unit has a small screen on the lid when closed, that displays PIM information like Calendar, time, email, etc.
Manufactured by a company called Dialogue Technology, the Flybook VM has a unique design that allows the screen panel to be lifted up, swung forward, and tilted into a more ergonomic position, or used in a traditional position. It came with a 12″ screen, 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, 80GB HDD, a DVD burner, a sim card reader, fingerprint reader, webcam, and weighs 3.5lbs.
This is one of the most unique netbooks I’ve seen. A 62B SSD, low voltage Pentium processor, 2GB RAM, netbook specs but has a unique dual 7″ touch screen display with a virtual keyboard and a clamshell form factor. This is the last Libretto Toshiba ever released, and in limited quantities.
As of Sept 2014, the best convertible ultrabook on the market. Weighing only 2.6lbs, with new Core M processors, 8GB RAM, 3200×1800 display, 256+GB SSD, a gold color option, and a unique watchband hinge that allows it to be ultra thin, this is how ultrabooks look in the future.
I put this one here only because its the smallest gaming laptop that has been released recently (barring the Razer Edge Pro). Yes, it’s an 11″ gaming laptop with all the fancy AlienwareFX lights, with an 1.3Ghz Core 2 duo, 4GB RAM, 11.6″ 720p display, 160GB HDD, Nvidia GT 335M GPU and weighs 4.4lbs. It’s an ultraportable gaming laptop.
Asus’ EeePC’s started the netbook trend, and this one is the original convertible netbook. 8.9″ touch screen, 1.33Ghz processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB SSD, and weighing 2lbs put its in the standard netbook/UMPC territory.
Can I say UMPC’s look cool? Yes they come in all sorts of flavors, but most of them didn’t catch on because they were too expensive and too underpowered. This one had looks like an oversized Sony PSP, had a 4.8″ screen, a 1.2Ghz Via processor, 30GB HDD, only 512MB RAM, and weighed 1.2lbs.
Similar to the Fujitsu Lifebook U810 and U900, Viliv makes quite a few UMPC/Netbooks (you can also check out the S5 and the S7, and this one is the lightest of the lot, weighing a mere 0.85lbs!! It had an Intel Atom 1.33Ghz CPU, 64GB SSD, 1GB RAM, and 4.8″ touch screen.
The OLPC Project, or the One Laptop Per Child Project, was designed to provide a cheap computer to children in developing countries. They were powered by a 433Mhz AMD CPU, 256MB RAM, 1GB Flash disk space, 7.5″ LCD display, and averaged 3 hours of battery life. They had a handle, could be rotated into ‘e-book’ mode as a convertible laptop, and can be powered by a hand-crank generator. Unfortunately, they still ended up costing $200, more than the $100 target price, with specs that are lower than the average netbook.
I swear Asus and Sony make the coolest laptops. This one has a second display on the lid of the notebook that displays PIM information making using of Windows Vista “Slideshow” feature. It came with a Core 2 Duo processor, Intel GMA 950 (infamous integrated graphics), 12.1″ 1280×800 display, webcam, and weighed 4.2lbs.
What an interesting laptop. Can be an ultrabook, a tablet, an Easel, a Star-trek enterprise mode… quite a versatile machine. Similar to a cross between a Sony Vaio Duo and a Sony Vaio Multi Flip… specs are 15.4″ 1080p screen, core i5 processor, SSD and HDD options and 6GB of RAM, and weighs a relatively heavy 5.2lbs.
A 3 in one computer! It runs Android on the display which can also become a tablet, and the keyboard itself is a core i5 PC with 500GB HDD. So it’s actually two computers in one! That’s pretty cool, I think. The keyboard can also hook up with another monitor to become a desktop as well.