Wednesday, May 23, 2007

How Do Use Your UMPC?

Neil at Ultra wrote a posting entitled "UMPC Triumphs Over Pen and Paper". He relates an experience where he is at a client and instead of grabbing a pen and piece of paper to write down some information, he 'wakes' his Q1P and inks away. He relates the story well and lists criteria needed for the Q1P to win this 'competition'. I will let you read his post for the specifics but it made me want to share my experiences of when I decide to use pen and paper or the Q1P.

Just an hour ago I walked about 50 feet to a manufacturing operation to collect about 10 pieces of numerical data. I chose pen and paper to record the numbers. Now, I did actually give some thought to using the Q1P but as it was already connected to my desktop setup, I decided not to disconnect it. So I reached into my desk draw to get a piece of paper and grabbed my pen I keep on my keyboard.

However, last week, the Q1P came out on top. I was planning on spending a few hours in our production area and brought my Q1P with the extended battery. I was also collecting data on a number of processes and used Sticky notes in full screen view to ink the data. I later typed the numbers into Excel but I prefered to use ink at first just because its easier to just jot down the information than to enter it into Excel cells.

These two experiences tend to represent my usual usage habits. If the situation is one where I only need to use it for a short period of time and then return to my office, I'll use paper. This is mainly because its just too much effort to disconnect from my desktop setup as compared to grabbing pen and paper. However, if I will be away from my office for awhile then the upfront time spent disconnecting the UMPC from the desktop is worth it.

Some of you may think, 'this guy is lazy'. And perhaps I am but that is not really the point. The point I would like readers to take away is that there are many tools in our toolbox, pen and paper being one of them. Just because I spent over $1200 for UMPC does not mean I have to only use it. Just like you would not consider never watching a movie on a TV again because you have a UMPC, why should you not use pen and paper when that tool is the best option for a specific task?

With that said, if UMPC manufacturers and Microsoft want the UMPC to be the better option more of the time, they should first read Neil's post.

1 comment:

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