UMPCs can't be priced at US$500 at this time

UMPCs can't be priced at US$500 at this time

Summary: There are limitations on current manufacturing prices to get a UMPC down in the US$500 price range, but if you really take a look at what a UMPC can do and what the specs are the prices are not as high as you might think. The value of having a slate Tablet PC with you on the go is worth the cost for many of us.

TOPICS: Laptops


I have been using my Samsung Q1 extensively the past few months and absolutely love the small slate form factor Tablet PC. I paid US$1,100 for the device and then added 1GB of RAM for another US$80 and still think to this day that I paid a good price for a powerful device since it meets so many of my needs in a small form factor. Linda Epstein from posted an article on why the desired US$500 price Microsoft envisioned is not realistic for Origami/UMPC devices at this time.

As Linda points out, it seems that many people complain about the UMPC prices because they compare these devices to low cost laptops where you can get a Dell for something like US$500. She then goes on to offer a detailed comparison of the actual specs and finds that the US$500 Dell laptop isn't priced as low as once thought compared to a UMPC. The UMPC form factor is also considerably different than a laptop making it a much more portable system. A very detailed breakdown of the current manufacturing costs of a UMPC is presented showing that estimated costs alone exceed around US$700.

I considered an OQO device at one time, but at US$2,000 that was just too much for me to swallow. Then when I saw the UMPCs coming in at US$900 to US$1,100 I started looking into what they could do for me since laptops with the same specs cost about this price. I helped justify the initial purchase because of the multiple functions the Samsung Q1 could satisfy. It is an excellent portable media center device (stand alone PMCs cost US$300+), in-car GPS system (compared to US$700+ for many units), Tablet PC (most Tablet PCs run over US$1,200), and eBook reader (Sony's upcoming model will retail between US$300 to US$400). The Samsung Q1 also does much more since it is a full Windows XP computer with a 40GB hard drive and 1GB RAM, but as you can see it can fill many roles and actually is a good value for the money. If you can't afford one now, like all technology the price will drop in a few months and maybe you will find one at a lower cost in time for Christmas.

Topic: Laptops

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  • Good article. Expect $599 versions on 1Q07

    I agree with your position on how a UMPC higher price may be justified to a tablet, etc. Like all things, it's a trade-off such as useability and portability.

    My threshold for a UMPC is around $599 and based on my inside scoop, expect to see UMPC's at $599 for Dad's and Grad's gift season in 1Q07.

    http://UMPC.COM is a great resource, by the way.
  • Gee Whiz technology

    * Same battery life as laptops (lousy).
    * Laptops have fold down screens for protection - The Q1 does not.
    * Laptops have keyboards for input - The Q1 uses handwriting?
    * Laptops ARE cheaper.
    * My Newton beats it hands down! ;)
    * Will it end up with those Newton-type prophylactics (saran wrap screen protectors)?

    If the thing came with a fuel cell and an unscratchable screen - maybe . . .
    Roger Ramjet
    • If it came with an OS made by someone else

      other than Microsoft I am sure I would try one. Sorry, but if MS is involved I'm outta there! I don't give my money to a gang working for crooks.
      • If it did it would be useless.

        • I think you've just

          repeated what Roger said.
        • Uselss as an $1100 Gameboy, perhaps...

          Usless as an $1100 Gameboy, perhaps, but not as a mobile PC.
    • Compare it to a tablet, not laptop

      You also forget the size and weight.
      Not many people want to walk around with a laptop.
  • In the past this has been a classic Apple problem.

    Put simply why spend extra when something will do for less?

    It's the "good enough" factor.

    Now with applications like Parallels and or Boot Camp an Apple
    can offer a two for one price advantage. Gett in effect two or
    more if you are a linux fan for the price of one computer. That
    kind of thing speeks to the "Been Counter" in many of us.

    Pagan jim