Searching For A Better Notebook

Back from Fiji. The resort and the people were lovely, the snorkeling amazing, and I'm told the diving was pretty good too.

Right back to business: I need some serious retail therapy. I went away with a powerful laptop I barely used (I actually set a personal record for "least PC use in a given week", which is amazing for one of my holidays), and decided what I was really looking for was something... smaller. Yet more generally useful.

I've mentioned wanting a UMPC before, but I always get hung up on the lack of an inbuilt keyboard, at least in the v1 series - apart from doodling, I'd want to be programming, and for that, a keyboard is useful.

Out of the blue, I stumbled across what could be the answer to the "umpc with a little more power" dilemma: ladies and gentlemen, it's the Fujitsu Lifebook p1610.

The size - 232mm (W) x 167mm (D) x 34.5 ~ 37.5mm (H) - seems close to perfect (I mean, obviously 100 times lighter and wafer-thin wouldn't hurt, but we're not yet living in the future. How do I know? In the future, there will be robots). There's a keyboard, it's convertible, and best of all - a touch screen. No reaching for the stylus, just peck at the screen with a fingernail. That works for me. That improves the convenience factor up to near-paper-notebook levels, and retains the functionality benefits of a real PC. Combine that with the small size and ~4 hour battery life, and you have something small enough that it's not constantly in the way.

Hugo Ortega (yes, the Hugo from UberTablet blog and Tegatech) suggested they'd be around Real Soon Now in Australia. I think I'm sold. I think I must have one for the couch. And the office.

I'll let you know how it goes. And if it doesn't pan out, there's always the Asus R2H, with GPS! (I've been trying to work out whether GPS is useful to me - I think it probably is, so I can tell whether I'm on the couch or the toilet without having to look up).

Fingers crossed...