Posts Tagged ‘UMPC’

My Future Computer

Friday, July 30th, 2010

I’ve been looking at the new technologies coming out, and I’m making a list of what I expect to see in my next computer, in about 2012:

  • 1.8 GHz “Medfield” Atom (Z7xx?)
  • 2GB DDR2 low-voltage RAM at 800 MHz
  • At least 48 hours standby
  • About 12 hours light work
  • About 8 hours video playback
  • 1080p HD playback with HDMI output
  • 720p HD recording
  • 1366 x 720 screen at 5.5″ or so
  • About 1″ x 3.5″ by 7″
  • Far better graphics power than the Z5xx series
  • One or two USB ports
  • Wireless B/G/N
  • High-definition sound

I’m kind of expecting that they’ll cap the battery life at six or seven hours, and then just scale the battery down, but I hope they don’t. There’s a magical point where you can go an entire day without worrying about the battery, as long as you charge it overnight, and they should bring the battery to that level.

As well, I’m pessimistic about the screen. Most likely, they’ll keep the old 1024 x 600, especially for such a small screen as I’m looking for. The next step up is 1280 x 720, which is HD 720p, but most of these devices have a wide-screen aspect ratio that would put it at 1366 x 720. Meanwhile, some old games allow a step in resolution from 800×600 to 1024 x 768, so I’d want something at least 1280 x 768. And that’s why you don’t hard-code these numbers into your programs, kids: ten years down the road, aspect ratios and such will change and your programs won’t work as well on systems that would otherwise support it. I’d be 48 pixels away from being able to play certain games, if I had a 1280 x 720 or a 1366 x 720 screen.

Another thing about the screen:
Those who know me know I’m excited for OLED technology to make it to the mainstream market; but OLED screens are just light coming out of the diodes, which means you can’t see a thing when bright sunlight (or another source) washes it out. I’m wondering what happened to the screens we saw on the Gameboy Advance and similar systems, where bright sunlight was actually beneficial. I’m also wondering if it’s possible to use a thin reflective LCD, without a backlight, on top of which sits a thin OLED screen, which renders the same view and is visible in darker climes. You’d get the best of both worlds; because you wouldn’t even need the OLEDs’ light when you’re in direct sunshine, and you wouldn’t see the LCD (much) when using the OLED screen in the dark.
There may be engineering problems limiting those LCDs to 16K colours (also, price; also, OLEDs at high densities), so I’ve got to do more research on the matter.

Also, on that note, I’m kind of annoyed that we’re restricted from turning the brightness down to near-zero on these devices. Sure, I wouldn’t do it often, but the option would be appreciated.

Viliv N5

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

After reading a review, I decided to buy Viliv’s new N5. It was released today (or was it yesterday), and there’s currently a promotion where you get a free extra battery worth $50.

I’m normally the most thrifty person ever, so $760 is a lot. Really, though, it’s better in almost every way (except where it’s equal [except for the keyboard]) and fits some of my other requirements: It’s small enough to fit into my pockets, the battery lasts six hours or more (I’ll see how much I can squeeze out of it), and the SSD is fast enough that I’ll probably see some good speed from it.

I’ll also be able to sell two other devices for a total of $500, if I want to, so that lowers the price.

It’ll probably arrive in two weeks, so I’ll look at it thoroughly when I get it!