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Thursday, June 07, 2007 

Hand-held browser

Here's something I've been trying to convince anyone who'd listen for a while: I think there's a market for a hand-held browser appliance. And judging by some of the products coming out recently someone out there agrees with me.

I'd like a device with a display at least 800 pixels wide, wifi connectivity, and a 'fully-fledged' browser. Something my wife could take into the kitchen to view a recipe. I could sit on the couch a surf the net while I'm watching TV, reply to emails from bed.. How many people buy a PC/Laptop and just browse websites? Most importantly this device would have to be CHEAP - this is competing with Celeron M laptops selling for $AUD800. Throw in a skype client and this device could also become your cordless phone.

What devices are out there that fit the bill?

  • Nokia N800 - looks very nice, 800 pixels wide display, Linux based OS with a good following of hackers, I'd prefer a slide out keyboard though: $USD400.
  • Sony mylo - 320×240 resolution, sounds a bit too small. But does come out of the box with a skype client: $USD280
  • Pepper Pad - $USD699, enough said? Those keys also look they could be comfortable for typing.
  • Palm Foleo - announced just last Thursday, touted as a "companion device for all brands of smartphones" - translated from marketingese means "we don't want this device to cannibalise our existing markets": $USD499. (The comments on the Engadget article are pretty amusing: Palm Foleo announced.)
  • Intel's MID UMPC / Mobile Internet Device - not a lot of news on this one just yet.
  • Asus Eee PC 701 - "supposed to start as low as $USD200". Not bad! Even the Engadget crowd like this one!

Looks like the mobile industry finally agrees that small wireless/HSPA devices have a market.

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