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Buying Tips For UMPC's

Aaron Guhl

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Now that Project Origami has been around for a little while, the market for UMPC's has grown quite a lot over the last year. More and more manufacturers are designing their own products attempting to make the perfect portable UMPC. But because UMPC's have not been around for awhile, it may be tough as a consumer to really figure out what makes a UMPC a good one or bad one. So here are some tips to help you narrow the field of potential purchases.

You will first want to figure out what you are going to be using it for. Are you going to be using it to type a lot? Are you going to be having a lot of video or audio playback? Do you have a hard time seeing small characters? Do you have small hands or large hands? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself before you go out and purchase a new UMPC. Here are the tops features that if you don't decide what option you want most with these features, then you may be making a big purchase mistake.

1) Keyboard: The keyboard on UMPC's vary greatly. Each UMPC has a different style keyboard and each keyboard requires a different style of typing to use it. This is why you need to ask yourself what type of typing you are going to be doing with it. If it is just for quick text message length sentences, then maybe a small thumb-type keyboard will work. But if you plan to do longer typing sessions, then you should opt for a much larger keyboard that may lend itself to easier touch typing.

2) Screen size and resolution: The screen size dictates a lot of things on a UMPC. First off, whatever size screen it put on a UMPC it usually determines how big the device is overall. A device that has only a 4 inch screen will be much smaller and weigh less than a device that has a larger 5.6 inch screen. But that smaller device will also have much less desktop and screen space to work with and will also display smaller text sizes on the screen. So if you have a hard time seeing objects on the screen, then a smaller screen is obviously not a good choice to go with.

3) Connectivity options: This is another option that you will want to place great consideration in. If you plan on traveling with your device a lot and require internet usage at those time, then you will want to make sure you purchase a device that has quality connectivity options. A WLAN connection would be required and handy to have in many situations. You will find that more UMPC's have built-in WLAN features. But what varies greatly with UMPC's is whether or not they have Bluetooth and an ethernet port. Bluetooth can come in handy if you have a lot of external Bluetooth capatible devices you wish to use. You can also use Bluetooth to tether a cell phone to your UMPC and use it as a modem. Also, because many hotels don't offer wireless, but offer an in-room ethernet connection, then you will want to have an option for ethernet on your device.

4) Input/Peripheral options: Finally there are your input and peripheral options you will want to look into. If you have a lot of devices you want to use with your UMPC, then you will want to make sure that your UMPC has enough USB ports to handle what you require. Many UMPC's come with one USB port, but if you require more than that, then you will want to shop around for a UMPC that has multiple ports or perhaps even opt to purchase an additional docking station to add more. If you like to take pictures, you might like to have a memory card slot like a SD slot for using with your camera's memory card to quickly load the pictures you took from your camera.

These are all things you will want to consider before purchasing your new UMPC. Take each of these areas into consideration and you will be sure to avoid purchasing mistakes and you will have a good UMPC to use for many years.

Aaron Guhl is a UMPC guru and frequently writes about these new products and what they have to offer. Visit his website at: U810 Review


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