Home > Wireless > Palm to Make Laptops? Palm to Make Laptops? David Adams 2003-09-25 Wireless 20 Comments Several readers submitted a ZDNet UK story in which head of PalmSource mentions that they may be interested in making a lager, laptop-sized device. There’s more on this, and some commentary, at NewMobileComputing. About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 20 Comments 2003-09-25 4:29 pm As long as they redo BeOS. It wouldn’t matter to me if they start making plastic bags, as long as they redo BeOS… 2003-09-25 4:43 pm Remember the netbook by psion or the emate. Ich would love a laptop sized organizer with a the ability to run for hours. Also back to the grayscale screen, if this means longer battery life. I want my psion 5 back. 🙁 2003-09-25 4:44 pm well if they are then they building from the bottom up instead of top down. Palm already has the marketshare-not as much as it used to but still dominant and Apple and linux would certainly be jealous if they had that marketshare on the desktop. Palm has apps, OEMS…no worry about licensing restrictions or dual-booting. I think Sony’s UX 50 is the first step towards a real laptop with PalmOS 2003-09-25 5:12 pm How about a 640 x 480 screen? Now, that would be killer! 2003-09-25 5:12 pm Palm’s foray into the notebook space brings up a lot of questions. 1) applications…. They have many but are these enough and do how will they look on a large screen? Is there an adequate MS Office alternative for them? 2) CPU I assume that it would be a ARM but who would make it. I doubt intel would want to. But there are a lot of companies out there eager to eat intel’s lunch including TI and AMD. You could add MOT to the list but their execution is far from perfect. 3) Battery life Okay how much more battery life do i get here. You have the advantages of lower speed processor, more efficient processor and light OS but will that be enough to create a sizable difference. Should be but you still have the screen. If the difference is SIGNIFICANT then you’ve got a nice niche there. 4) Price Could you price this at sub $1000, say $700-900? I am thinking yes. the screen is a big part of BOM but you’d have lower specs (hard drive, memory, processor, os) all around. But would it be priced for less. Palm is the be, apple descendent and could have some lingering arrogance sitting about. 5) Screen size what segment do you go for? tiny sony style notebook (say 10 inch screen) or more common 14 to 15 inch screen? You might start with the smaller size since that is niche not catered too in the US and europe but is there a big enough market for that? don’t know. 6) GUI this could be the biggest problem going from dwarf to full sized GUI. this is very exciting. Palm will enter the mainstream computing space via notebooks and eventually desktops. this was always obvious. I am sure now, by the way, that os 6 has some serious Beos code in there. 2003-09-25 5:13 pm Palm has become a great company. They finally have devices with more resolution than their OS 4 product line or the crappy Pocket PCs. They have stability, battery life, and they seem to value these things that count for the customer more than Raw Power(tm) with 400MHz and tons of RAM. Now if they go up in size and actually create a device with the advantages of laptops (portable) but without the disadvantages (i.e. _no_ x86 processor, but an XScale etc.; _no_ optical drive, probably not even a hard disk), but a super-flat thing with the battery of a normal laptop this is going to rock. 15 hours on battery, anyone? And at home you count just plug in your USB or Firewire Harddisk to stuff your data somewhere safe. That is, I hope they’ll do more than just a souped-up Psion/Palm. Creating a notebook without all that legacy crap(top) is a great opportunity, and Palm has the OSes for it (Palm and Be). 2003-09-25 5:15 pm “Palm has become a great company. They finally have devices with more resolution than their OS 4 product line or the crappy Pocket PCs” The new palm, which is the old be, inc and apple is showing some true leadership. 2003-09-25 5:16 pm I think they’d have to try to hit $500 pretty quickly if they were going to generate any real enthusiasm. 2003-09-25 5:17 pm I was actually talking to a friend just a couple days ago about the feasibility of running a tablet PC using Linux with Qtopia, Opie, or possibly even GPE. Opie boots damned fast on my Ipaq 3100, and a modern tablet would put it up almost instantly. I think tablets failed because of two reasons: 1. Price 2. They tried to be laptops with touchscreens and a couple writing tools. Tablets are more like PDAs if anything. If Palm entered into the _tablet_ field, I think they would do pretty well for themselves, as long as they tried to keep prices down to ~$750 (with a small LCD, perhaps). -Erwos 2003-09-25 5:23 pm This is exactly what I would love to own – a PDA with decent screen res, decent keyboard and hopefully decent performance without the crippling battery life vs weight issue familiar to Windows Laptop users I’m guessing that the Psion Series 7 is the nearest thing to my dream machine I’ve encoutered to date, although the Vadem Clio WinCE laptop PDA came close, losing on performance issues ( Only 32Mb of RAM meant that internet browsing over a wifi network could be problematic, according to some reports ). Resource usage shouldnt be an issue for PalmOS.. a bold step but a worthwhile one. 2003-09-25 5:50 pm I love laptops made of beer!!! (joking to typo in writeup)… seriously, I really think somewhere between palm size and laptop size is where things will get interesting. Carrying a iBook to campus sucks because it is too heavy, yet a palm isn’t powerful enough. Something like the Zaurus C7xx will be nice if they get a little more usable… (perhaps 1 inch larger!) ja 2003-09-25 6:31 pm I use an old Palm m105 with a keyboard to type all of my class notes in university. It works very well, I’ve become a fan of PalmOS too, they actually make simplicity work. I really want to see Palms start taking back some of that marketshare they lost, I really dislike WinCE. Battery life is key, I’d only buy one of these things if I knew I’d get substantially more battery life out of it than a laptop. I got 5 weeks out of my last batteries for my m105, and I’m sure it had over a week left in it, I just got tired of seeing the graph look low. I’m not saying I’d expect them to do the same with a laptop, but 3hours of battery life for a laptop is unacceptable ihmo. 2003-09-25 6:32 pm Sounds good to me. What I’d really love to see is a small form factor subnotebook, like a thinner version of my old Libretto, with better battery life. PalmOS 6 looks very nice, from what little I’ve read about it. 2003-09-25 7:00 pm “Palm’s foray into the notebook space brings up a lot of questions. 1) applications…. They have many but are these enough and do how will they look on a large screen? Is there an adequate MS Office alternative for them?” — There’s docs to go/beyond contacts with native MS Office support. Other choices include quickoffice, wordsmith, mobile-office. Textmaker on its way. All kinds of databases, quicken etc. It’s not like BeOS where all you had was Gobe. It’s quite competitive. “2) CPU I assume that it would be a ARM but who would make it. I doubt intel would want to. But there are a lot of companies out there eager to eat intel’s lunch including TI and AMD. You could add MOT to the list but their execution is far from perfect.” — certainly intel has no problem. Palm already uses 400 mhz ARM cpus from intel. I wouldn’t worry about intel “3) Battery life Okay how much more battery life do i get here. You have the advantages of lower speed processor, more efficient processor and light OS but will that be enough to create a sizable difference. Should be but you still have the screen. If the difference is SIGNIFICANT then you’ve got a nice niche there.” — since it’s a laptop it can afford a much bigger battery than typical pdas “4) Price Could you price this at sub $1000, say $700-900? I am thinking yes. the screen is a big part of BOM but you’d have lower specs (hard drive, memory, processor, os) all around. But would it be priced for less. Palm is the be, apple descendent and could have some lingering arrogance sitting about.” — PalmOne is probably not making it…my bets on Sony. Unfortunately if it is sony it will cost $$$ “6) GUI this could be the biggest problem going from dwarf to full sized GUI.” — yeah Nagel acknowledged that. hmm I know someone working on a GUI for Palm but does Palm even know? http://www.geocities.com/zhamilton1/ “this is very exciting. Palm will enter the mainstream computing space via notebooks and eventually desktops. this was always obvious. I am sure now, by the way, that os 6 has some serious Beos code in there.” yup the ultimate trojan to get BeOS back in the game! 2003-09-25 7:27 pm see the screenshots http://www.prins.net/audrey/snapshot.html http://www.prins.net/audrey/index.html 2003-09-25 10:39 pm actually i would like to buy a laptop and i wouldn’t mind using palmos/beos if it gave me day long battery life, unlike my current laptop which gives me 2.5 hours, and wireless. 2003-09-26 1:09 am If palm were to use vectors it shouldn’t be to hard to scale or whatever. A Palm laptop would be sweet. They just need to keep an eye on the professional IT market. I think that could be the biggest market for them, but Palm just needs to make sure they keep an eye on what the professional market needs, easy to troubleshoot and get onto a network. I’ve been fighting with Macs all week while my Windows laptop just works. It would be nice to take a laptop with me into a wiring closet to work on routers or to an office to look up information and not have to worry too much about battery life would be nice. 2003-09-26 5:07 am That said, they really shouldn’t change much at all. After all, the mouse is the single biggest computing crutch of all time right now. I love palms because they work well without a mouse. That said, I think any Palm “laptop” should be able to work just like a palm. The keyboard should always be optional, perhaps built into a plastic removable clamshell lid. <p> The killer apps would be cheap desktop terminals, and a genuine replacement for the brown clipboard and legalpad. Right now a palm can do almost everything most [non techy] cubeland dwellers need. Minimalism is actually a plus here. But the real killer app for such a device is as a clipboard replacement. With such a device you either have some set documents [prints, instructions, surveys, maps, etc] in your hand accessable and annotable, or you need to make quick but detailed notes/drawings/charts/data pages “right now” quickly and easily without stoping your main task where ever that may be. Editing and neat formating are a plus, but the main requirement is ease of getting it down and being easily searchable & retreivable! MS almost gets it with the tablet PC notebook software. But that is still tied to booting an entire PC OS to jot a simple note. Current palms have that feature, but the screens are too small. This new form-factor would be perfect! 2003-09-26 2:12 pm “15 hours on battery, anyone?” 15 days is nearer to what I would consider acceptable. Batteries are really holding technology back these days. Roll on fuel cells. 2003-09-26 3:45 pm I think the killer features, not app, here could be size, weight and battery life. x86 and apple laptops are too heavy, too fat, and don’t get enough battery life.