Is The World's Smallest Windows XP Computer For You?
Barry Gerber


OQO's Model 01+ is a grand technical achievement. It combines all of the resources necessary for a fully functional Windows XP computer into a case almost as small as a less functional PDA . At almost every point OQO seems to have made excellent design decisions. But when the rubber hits the road and you have to make a buy/no buy decision, if you're like me, you'll have some serious doubts.

For all its fine features, the Model 01+ has some serious faults.

First, its performance is significantly below that of the Toshiba and Fujitsu laptops included in this review, though its battery acquits itself quite well.

Second, it runs a bit hot for a computer designed to be held in your hand.

Third, though a good deal of thought went into the Model 01+, its tiny keyboard and display and poorly designed thumbwheel limit its usefulness. It's difficult not to think of it as possessing most of the limitations of a PDA and few of the advantages. To be fair, though, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition does help overcome some of these limitations.

Fourth, because it's so slow, the OQO makes a very poor desktop computer when you use its docking cable to attach a keyboard, mouse and monitor to it.

Fifth, and most important, given its other faults, the OQO costs too much. The model I tested runs $2,100 when purchased from OQO. Toshiba's Libretto U100-S213 goes for around $1,800 and Fujitsu's MobilityGuru Editors Choice award winning Lifebook P1510D costs about $1460. Granted the two laptops don't come with the same range of accessories as the OQO, but that doesn't account for the over $600 price difference between the OQO and the Fujitsu.

Sixth, speaking of $600 and taking the cost issue one step further, an excellent PDA-phone combo will run you $600. And, it will fit in your dress shirt pocket , run cool , use a pretty well optimized keyboard/stylus system and likely run some PDA optimized office software faster than the OQO .

On the other hand, if you have an application that just cries out for the Model 01+ or if money is no object and you want to be seen with the world's smallest Windows XP computer, go for it. Help pay the PDA's research and development costs so the very smart designers of the OQO Model 01+ can move forward and give us that totally great tiny wonder I know they're capable of producing.

Finally, what about Microsoft's new spec for ultra-mobile personal computers (UMPCs)? UMPCs will have touch screens, hard disk drives and Intel Celeron, Pentium M or VIA C7-M processors. They'll be significantly larger and heavier than the Model 01+. These new devices will have 7" (17.78 cm) displays surrounded by one to two inch (2.54 cm to 5.08 cm) bezels and will weigh around two pounds (907 g). So, they'll remind you more of Fujitsu's P1510D laptop in Tablet PC mode than OQO's Model 01+. There is a message for OQO in the UMPC spec. The projected price range of the newly announced devices is $600 to $1,000.

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