Pepper Pad 3: It has the best built-in stand of any portable device I’ve seen. It’s made of a shaped thick metal rod that’s easy to pull out and push back in. Quite a contrast to the scary, flimsy, frustrating plastic stand built into the Samsung Q1. Also, Steve at Carrypad has a mini-review with many pictures.
Samsung Q1: I got to see Microsoft Windows Vista (look, I did all three trademarks!) on it. My first encounter with Vista. Wow, it looks nice (happy, Jeff Kirvin?). The always-ready HWR strip that zips out from the side is just a wonderful touch — and even though I was being real pissant and just play handwriting (not taking it seriously), it recognized every damned thing I wrote! Whoa! It was also fast. JK on the Run has had several articles about putting Vista on a Q1: see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 3.5, and a bonus post. Still, my question remains: Since the Q1 lacks an optical drive, how can an XPed one be upgraded to Vista by an average customer (that would be me!)?
Asus R2H UMPC: I got to fondle one. Sorry Asus fans, but I didn’t like it. Sure it has better buttons than the Q1 (although those buttons tend to distract me from touching the screen), but in my hand it felt like a fat slab. Which is strange since I compared it to the Q1 right next to it and they’re just about the same size! Plus, being a NYC grid rat, I have no need for the built-in GPS feature.
Sony UX microPC: I finally got to do my Patented Pocket Test with it! The weather caused me to wear a different jacket on consecutive days so I got to try it in both of them. Shockingly, it fit in both inside jacket pockets just fine! So much for those who’ve said it’s not pocketable. Never believe everything you read — including what I write. Try everything for yourself.
Sony MYLO: It’s a cute little device. It’s not aimed at me, though. Sony seems to be gaining traction among the college crowd (keep P2P alive, kids!) with it. Plus, some non-college people are finding it to be of use too: See comments here and here; and a review here.
It seemed like half of the show was devoted to gaming. There were probably a lot of significant announcements and sneak peeks and such, all of which was water off my duck’s back. I have no interest in games. Sure, I saw the Playstation 3 outputting to a Sony HDTV — but I didn’t see what the big deal was. (In fact, I don’t see what the big deal about HDTV is, period. It all just looks like what I’ve been seeing on computer monitors for years and years, just obscenely bigger! And now that TV is going digital, you can be damned sure in fifteen or so years they’ll be touting UltraDTV. Everyone oohs and aahs over Step One while I cringe at the next steps no one is paying any attention to… yeah, I’m a spoilsport.)
Digital Life is what PC Expo used to be: a big, sprawling show that allows everyone to touch stuff not readily or not yet available. I especially liked the fact that, as with the original PC Expo, there were many small vendors. Small vendors always have interesting stuff (see my first and second reports which mentioned some of them). If you’ve never attended, do.