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Smartphones will replace ultra mobile notebooks
Perhaps within months instead of years
IanKelley




msg:4172218
 12:43 am on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've been patiently waiting for a mobile device that can replace the notebook for almost a decade. Currently I'm settling for an ultra thin and light notebook, which is nice, but it's still a lot to carry around. And who wants to juggle data between a home/work PC, a notebook and their phone?

Now with things like the HDMI out port on the Droid X and Motorola's plan to release a 2ghz smartphone by the end of 2010, it's becoming a reality.

At 2ghz, running a lightweight mobile OS, there aren't any vital business or development apps you won't be able to run (minus high end media editing of course).

Add in the ability to port the display to any convenient monitor or HD TV and there's no longer a reason to carry a notebook around.

For rare Luddite locations that don't have HDMI compatible TV's you'd need bring along a flat panel screen of your own. No doubt companies will be manufacturing them specifically for use with HDMI compatible smartphones by next year at the latest. Alternatively you could bring a miniature projector instead.

For those occasions when the (impressive) state of speech to text technology isn't good enough there are bluetooth keyboards.

And this is just 2010. In the next year or two who knows how far the rapidly growing smartphone market will have pushed mobile technology.

 

lammert




msg:4172346
 8:36 am on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Some years ago I bought a larger model PDA, the HP hx4700 with the intention to let it replace my notebook for a number of activities. Even after I bought a foldable keyboard, it just felt too small and I don't take it with me anymore, except for special occasions like visiting fairs etc where I don't need a large computing workhorse but still need something to take notes, etc.

I therefore think I'll pass when it comes to the notebook to smartphone transition.

jecasc




msg:4172387
 12:55 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Actually I have started replacing my mobile devices with a desktop PC again because of the following reasons:

- That you can get any decent work done while you are travelling is an illusion. You might feel busy but working on mobile devices IMHO is totally uneffective.
- Most applications on mobile devices are time wasters.
- Being available all the time is uneffective. Instead of thinking for two minutes and finding a solution to a problem themselves people call me and waste my time so I find the solution they were to lazy to think about.

I have started to disconnect myself from the mobile world. If you want to reach me, write an email or call me at home when I am at home.

And don't expect me to work three hours while I am on the move on things that can be done in 15 minutes on my desktop PC when I am in my quiet office and can concentrate. And that includes answering emails. Nothing is so urgent it can't wait.

So when people come to their senses and realize how they are wasting their lives, desktop PCs will replace mobile devices again in a few years.

BillyS




msg:4172393
 1:16 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Mobile units are great for social purposes and catching up on the news. As far as work goes, they have a long way to go. It takes me a minute to read and answer an email on my mobile unit that would take me about 15 seconds on my desktop. No comparison.

I'd say they are somewhat counter-productive during work hours. People at meetings now play with their devices instead of paying attention.

After work is a different story. These devices have managed to make us available while on vacation and well into the evening hours. They've been great at intruding into our after-work lives. It's like being constantly tethered to your job.

weeks




msg:4172395
 1:27 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have to agree with lammert,jecascand and BillyS.

I was at a meeting last week and guy was trying to use a netbook to push around the web on the projector. I needed him to type in a URL and the tiny keys were awkward for him. My sister got a netbook and hates it because it is too small.

I have a smart phone that maintains my calendar and I can read emails if I need to, but typically I don't bother.

That said, I'm not traveling much these days.

IanKelley




msg:4172442
 5:34 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Interesting... Personally I've been using a notebook to be productive on the road, sometimes for months at time, since the 90's. For me that was always the dream.

I even worked on a netbook for a while. It had a 90% keyboard and I could type as fast on it as I can speak, once I got used to it. It was the small screen that finally convinced me to switch.

A device that can use a full sized display and a full sized keyboard is going to be at least as effective as a notebook for my purposes. Especially when the day comes, and it's very close, when voice recognition is good enough to virtually replace keyboards.

I've never had issues working on my 3 pound, 14" notebook as opposed to my home PC and there are plenty of professionals whose only PC is a laptop.

Is it an age thing? I know many people that embraced mobility years ago and have never gone back... I find it very hard to imagine that the upcoming generation won't go mobile in an even more advanced way. And I know that a pretty good sized chunk of my generation (late X, early Y) is ready for the next step in mobility.

I think smartphone and "pad" sales are a pretty solid testament to that?

[edit: typo]

[edited by: IanKelley at 5:37 pm (utc) on Jul 18, 2010]

jecasc




msg:4172445
 5:35 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Smartphones and mobile devices are part of a conspiracy by the dumb, so they can more easily drain information from the more intelligent.

You see it everyday. You are provided with a mobile device and then THEY start calling, texting and emailing 24/7 - draining all the information from you until your head is an empty hull.

Same with Skype and all the other Instant Messaging Stuff. Why think for yourself, when you are connected with dozens or hundreds people who can think for you.

incrediBILL




msg:4172448
 6:13 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Why think for yourself, when you are connected with dozens or hundreds people who can think for you.


That's the same reason people use Google - why think for yourself or try to figure something out when everyone has already figured it out for you and it's freely available if you're smart enough to figure out how to find it.

However, smart phones are sufficient to accomplish work, lots of work actually.

With technologies like Swype I can type faster than the speech to text technology, fast enough having an external keyboard is a why bother. Answering emails, writing blog or forum posts, all quick and trivial using Swype.

Besides, smart phones were never designed (yet) to be a replacement for a larger computer and those that take that approach to using a smart phone are naive and will be sorely disappointed.

Smart phones can allow you to view just about any type of document or spreadsheet, you can make some simple edits, and send it along, but I seriously doubt anyone every planned to use a smart phone to sit down and compose a 300 page document.

Likewise, I can log into my Linux servers in an emergency from my smart phone using an SSH terminal program but the text is so small, short of getting an EVO, you certainly wouldn't want to do much except get in, attempt to fix a problem, and get right out. The beautiful thing is at least I can get access to the server without dragging around a netbook or laptop, or having to run home to use a desktop computer.

FWIW, in my 32GB of phone memory I also keep zip files of my website stored so if I'm away somewhere and a serious emergency crops up, I have everything I need to restore my online business to a reasonable operational state right there in my pocket.

The smart phone also has FTP software apps so I could even fully upload and deploy the website using the phone itself in a pinch.

However, that's really not what smart phones are about.

When I hop in the car I plug the phone in and it's now playing music, my MP3s or streaming radio, haven't heard a local radio station (or commercial) in the car in maybe 5 years. The phone also runs navigation for trips to unknown locations, finding nearby gas stations, restaurants, movies, giving me information about buildings and landmarks anywhere I might be. It literally links the online world of information to where I am at any location.

That's where smart phones excel, not being a portable office.

Not to mention you can catch up on the news and/or RSS feed reading while sitting in the pub pounding a pint or sitting on the porcelain throne, or even watch a TV show you missed the night before.

TBH, the smart phone isn't perfect for everything nor do I expect it to replace a netbook for maybe 5 years, smart phones are too limited at the moment, but it does so much I can't imagine life without one, especially when traveling which is where it really shines.

You are provided with a mobile device and then THEY start calling, texting and emailing 24/7


THEY don't bother me one bit because THEY will roll to voice mail and after a while THEY will give up when it becomes obvious I'm not answering THEIR calls.

J_RaD




msg:4172456
 6:56 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)



Actually I have started replacing my mobile devices with a desktop PC again because of the following reasons:

- That you can get any decent work done while you are travelling is an illusion. You might feel busy but working on mobile devices IMHO is totally uneffective.
- Most applications on mobile devices are time wasters.
- Being available all the time is uneffective. Instead of thinking for two minutes and finding a solution to a problem themselves people call me and waste my time so I find the solution they were to lazy to think about.

I have started to disconnect myself from the mobile world. If you want to reach me, write an email or call me at home when I am at home.

And don't expect me to work three hours while I am on the move on things that can be done in 15 minutes on my desktop PC when I am in my quiet office and can concentrate. And that includes answering emails. Nothing is so urgent it can't wait.

So when people come to their senses and realize how they are wasting their lives, desktop PCs will replace mobile devices again in a few years.


couldn't have said that better myself!


Mobile units are great for social purposes and catching up on the news. As far as work goes, they have a long way to go. It takes me a minute to read and answer an email on my mobile unit that would take me about 15 seconds on my desktop. No comparison.

I'd say they are somewhat counter-productive during work hours. People at meetings now play with their devices instead of paying attention.


this too, mobile devices have be come the great distraction.

IanKelley




msg:4172488
 7:46 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

So when people come to their senses and realize how they are wasting their lives, desktop PCs will replace mobile devices again in a few years.


Heh. In much the same way that people came to their senses after a few years of wasting their lives on laptop/notebooks?

After going mainstream in the mid 90's, laptops first outsold desktops five years ago:

[news.cnet.com...]

And that was before the ultra mobile netbook craze. Which could be a sign of the demand for increased mobility. :-)

Cloud computing, the speed at which computer hardware is currently improving, inevitable advances in nanotech, possibly even quantum computing... There is absolutely no way anyone is going to have a big ugly box on (or under) their desk in the future. The form factor is going to look a lot more like a notebook or a pad. And that will only apply to people who need a large amount of computing power. Everyone else will be using their mobile device.

IanKelley




msg:4172492
 7:57 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I just recalled seeing a pair of glasses for use as a portable monitor the last time I was at the airport. I didn't try them, no idea how comfortable they are, but it's one more potential way for mobility to work.

Using glasses combined with the built in acceleromter in your smartphone and the 3D space in front of you becomes and input device.

Use one of the smartphone's built in cameras to track hand or body movements in the same way the Microsoft's new Kinect interface for the XBox does. Keyboard anywhere.

This stuff is not science fiction, it's existing technology. The only question is how long it will take for someone to package it in a way that appeals to a large market.

BillyS




msg:4172494
 8:00 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

I don't think anyone here is limited in their imagination. I know I'm just reacting to the technology of today. My love my desktop at home, I took my laptop with me on vacation. At work I love my laptop, but my BlackBerry is a toy as far as office productivity is concerned.

Perhaps it's also a function of the nature of my work. I do most work in Excel, PowerPoint and Word (I don't surf the web for a living...).

There is no doubt my smart device is smart enough to allow my boss to find me 16 hours a day. As mentioned, no one needs to think anymore. They can just call someone and make sure they're right.

IanKelley




msg:4172501
 8:34 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

but my BlackBerry is a toy


Indeed, but that's because it doesn't have a 2 ghz processor, HDMI out (that means full sized screen) and an OS that supports spreadsheet and word processing software. Suppose it did? These are things that are going to be available this year.

Not many of us are going to be switching over to phones that can run our productivity software in 2010 of course, but the point is that it will become possible for the first time in 2010... and by 2011, the kinks may well be worked out. And in three years or so? I'll dig up this thread and post a smug told ya so from my smartphone (or whatever it's being called then) :-)

incrediBILL




msg:4172519
 9:35 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

HDMI out (that means full sized screen)


Nope - the HDMI out means you can play movies and Youtube to a big screen.

You don't get to use it as a monitor, yet, the software in these devices doesn't support those screen sizes.

There are the glasses, but most phones don't support the output ports required to use them, same with the portable projectors when are another viable output device as well.

There are also lighter-sized laser keyboard devices which work pretty well but don't interface with all phones either.

Damned annoying to have all the technology you need to make it all work yet the interfaces and software to support it are missing.

the point is that it will become possible for the first time in 2010... and by 2011


Huh?

I have productivity software in my phone now and can also access sites that run similar software - not sure why you think the 2 Ghz limit is so special as people have been running "productivity" software, such as Visicalc, on computers that were as slow as 1Mhz since the early 80s.

Only big bloated software won't run in 1 Ghz and that wouldn't run on a 1 Ghz netbook either, which I have, and Open Office runs just fine there, and it ran fine on an older slower 500Mhz desktop too so I really don't get this "when we get 2Ghz" stuff.

IanKelley




msg:4172526
 10:05 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

the software in these devices doesn't support those screen sizes.

The current generation of smartphones run very close to 800x600 resolution (iPhone 4G is actually higher). That is more than enough pixels for a spreadsheet when blown up on a screen larger than 3-4 inches.

And it's safe to say the software will be updated to support multiple resolution output before long.

Damned annoying to have all the technology you need to make it all work yet the interfaces and software to support it are missing.

Now that the technology is all here, the software and interfaces can't be far behind.

not sure why you think the 2 Ghz limit is so special

It's not. Chip architecture, cache and bus speed are more important than raw ghz. 2 ghz is just a convenient benchmark.

My phone runs at most of 1 ghz, it's fast enough to make calls while multitasking, but it's not fast enough to run more demanding apps without annoying lag. Web browsing (for use with cloud apps) is also a bit slower than I'd like. Same applies to the 1.4 ghz netbook I used to have.

I suspect the generation of phones supposedly coming later this year, led by Motorola's 2ghz phone rumor, will be fast enough for all of the above.

so I really don't get this "when we get 2Ghz" stuff.

True it would be possible, in theory, to run almost all productivity apps on a current smartphone. Especially with a linux based OS.

J_RaD




msg:4172528
 10:18 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

so when im debating on whether I should get 2 or 3 22inch LCDs you are telling me i should be looking for 1 4 inch screen?

desktops aren't going anywhere just because notebooks are now selling more vol. They didn't sell fast before because the price was too high, now the price is down in normal everyday person land.

[edited by: J_RaD at 10:19 pm (utc) on Jul 18, 2010]

incrediBILL




msg:4172529
 10:18 pm on Jul 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

Chip architecture, cache and bus speed are more important than raw ghz. 2 ghz is just a convenient benchmark.


Huh?

The computers in smart phones probably beat anything sitting on a desktop 5-7 years ago, which all ran productivity software.

I'm sure my smart phone has more hardware than anything I used to run Win 3.1 on and it had Word, Excel and Lotus 123.

J_RaD




msg:4172546
 12:56 am on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

^ maybe 7 years or longer, remember the pentium 4 went up to 3+ghz

IanKelley




msg:4172550
 1:21 am on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

so when im debating on whether I should get 2 or 3 22inch LCDs you are telling me i should be looking for 1 4 inch screen?

I'm confused by this question. A phone with HDMI out could display on a 22 inch screen just as well as on a 14 inch screen. This thread is still about smartphones right? :-)

BillyS




msg:4172566
 1:42 am on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I'm just not getting this one. Maybe I'm a dinosaur when it comes to technology (although I do build my own computers... interesting).
I had a Palm Pilot over 13 years ago - it wasn't quite smart enough to be a cell phone. But I know the screen was small and that limited is functionality.
I don't care if my application is sitting on a cloud somewhere (I read up on distributed computing around the same time I got my Palm). My fingers are big and those eight digits are much faster than my thumbs... If I had to guess, smart devices will evolve to the point where they will power other devices (beyond what they power today). But just like J_RaD, I'm not thinking that 4 inch screen is going to be my primary for anything in the next five years.

BTW -

How may posts on this particular forum does everyone have from their smart devices relative to their desktops or laptops?

IanKelley




msg:4172575
 1:58 am on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

8-|

All these responses about the size of the display, or keyboard, imply having not actually read the OP.

Since the existing, and soon to come, solutions to exactly those problems were the reason I posted it in the first place.

Some of you actually sound as though you think I'm suggesting that people should work crouched over their 4 inch screen, two finger pecking a microscopic keyboard. *chuckle*

incrediBILL




msg:4172585
 2:51 am on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

two finger pecking a microscopic keyboard


Pecking on a keyboard?

That is sooooo 2009!

Can you say Swype?

J_RaD




msg:4172815
 2:37 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)


I'm confused by this question. A phone with HDMI out could display on a 22 inch screen just as well as on a 14 inch screen. This thread is still about smartphones right? :-)


Did I say a single screen? No.


I've found that you smartphone guys are really passionate about your toys, so much so that you lose grip of reality a bit.

incrediBILL




msg:4172844
 3:35 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sitting in a doctors office checking email and posting on WebmasterWorld as easily as swyping instead of reading bad magazines and wasting time. I think I've got a pretty good grip, especially on time management.

Yes, I'm using my android to effortlessly type this reply for all the naysayers :)

BillyS




msg:4172863
 4:14 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I did read the original OP, but as mentioned earlier, I'm still not thinking my smart phone will be my primary engine in the near term.

J_RaD




msg:4172909
 5:09 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Nobody is saying trvial tasks can't be done.

Checking e-mail and web surfing isn't exactly high on my priority list either.

what else are you doing? twitter facebook and youtube? ;-)

J_RaD




msg:4172912
 5:12 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)


Some of you actually sound as though you think I'm suggesting that people should work crouched over their 4 inch screen, two finger pecking a microscopic keyboard. *chuckle*


riiiiiiight we all get what you are saying, but how many people actually take their notebook home to a docking station and continue working?

i've yet to see 1 person use a docking station ever, i've yet to see 1 person hook up an external LCD or keyboard to their notebook ever.

incrediBILL




msg:4172946
 6:33 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

i've yet to see 1 person use a docking station ever, i've yet to see 1 person hook up an external LCD or keyboard to their notebook ever.


That's because I've never invited you over to my house yet.

My wife only uses a laptop and a netbook, has a 24" external monitor / docking station which has a built-in USB hub and all sorts of stuff attached to it like her 500MB external drive, the 9GB DVD burner, etc.

People at offices both my wife and I have worked at have had lots of docking stations in both the office and at home.

My desk is a digital zoo with multiple big monitors, a couple of desktops behind them that can toggle back and forth and use the monitors, my netbook is docked, the phone is docked/tethered, it's a big fat hairy cabled mess of stationary and mobile gear in a large device sharing USB orgy.

Maybe I'll take a pic just so you can see a docked notebook :)

Checking e-mail and web surfing isn't exactly high on my priority list either


It's high on mine - got lots of customer support to do, answering lots of questions, and the smart phone is totally sufficient for handling that kind of task anywhere from the bathroom to the barroom, or bouncing along in the passenger seat while my wife dodges traffic.

MatthewHSE




msg:4172959
 6:51 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've often suspected that smartphones would replace laptop computers in the near future. As you say, the technology exists to just add productivity-related peripherals such as a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and the phone merely works as the CPU and storage space. I also have no idea why a phone couldn't sense when it was connected to an external monitor and either auto-select a high resolution, or automatically prompt for a selection to be made.

However, the problem I see with all this is, why would I lug around a case with all that stuff in it, just for the "convenience" of having my phone as my computer? It would be easier to carry and use a netbook or even a laptop.

You could always have public areas set up with monitors, keyboards and other input devices just waiting to pair with a phone via Bluetooth, but that seems like a security nightmare waiting to happen and "productivity stations" for smartphones seem like a long way in the future to me, at least in any kind of quantity that would make them ubiquitous enough to really be useful.

weeks




msg:4172972
 7:15 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I believe incrediBILL. Still, when I think about moving to this, I start looking for a paper bag to breathe into so I won't go into hyperventilation.

But, yes, when an iPad-type thing comes out that handles flash and weights a little less, I'm going to be on it like ugly on a monkey. I don't want to use it as a phone. (This could be an age thing. I still have a land-line. Never use it, but I have it.)

This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35 ( [1] 2 > >
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