Remember when ultra-mobile personal computing (UMPC) was all the rage? I do, but itâ€™s been a while. That was back in the day when you had machines like the HTC Shift or the OQO Microcomputer (Models 1-3).
You could argue that smartphones have become the new UMPC platform, or even perhaps the host of new iOS and Android tablets, but theyâ€™re really not the same thing. The UMPC movement involved computers that were designed, in concept at least, to give you the desktop experience on a machine that you could fit in your pocket. This included using an operating system similar to the desktop as well as a physical keyboard and the ability to dock the device and use peripherals like a mouse.
A perfect example of a UMPC device was the OQO Microcomputer. The OQO was a 5-inch computer with physical keyboard that ran Microsoft Windows. I wanted one so bad I could taste it. Unfortunately the OQO was a $2000 luxury that I simply couldnâ€™t justify at the time. I did however get my hands on one for about a week. The experience was cool, but it definitely left me feeling like the device would be difficult to use as a true desktop replacement.