OQO - I've been wondering why somebody didn't do this.

The OQO “ultra personal” computer:


(warning - heavy use of Flash).

Something I’ve mused on for a while - a CPU / decent amount of RAM / reasonable sized disk drive can go in a very small package. Why not make that package able to attach to a variety of keyboards / mice / monitors / other peripherals for use at home as well as carrying around - configure it dynamically in whatever tradeoff you like in terms of bulk vs. usability.

Looks like they were thinking roughly the same way - this PDA sized box contains a Crusoe chip (up to 1 gig speed), 256 Meg RAM, wireless capability, a 10 GB disk and little touch screen. It runs XP, and plugs into a docking station that allows you to hook up a real monitor, mouse and keyboard to it.

Questions I have at this point:

1 - What other similar devices are on the horizon?

2 - Will somebody make some portable accesories for this thing to turn it into laptop sized package instead of PDA, with a laptop sized screen and a functional keyboard? It would be very attractive to have something usable at three distinct sizes - PDA, laptop with the penalty of carting a little more bulk around, and at home in its docking station.

3 - How god-awful strange will this beast be when it comes to installing upgrades and third party software on it?

4 - How do you interact with it in the “PDA” form? Little teeny on screen touch keyboard? How usable is it?

5 - 10 GB is a bit anemic these days. For use at home, I would want the docking station to be a bit more, so you could add another disk drive, CD rom burner, etc. How are they going to work this at acceptable transfer rates? Firewire?

Interesting device, anyway.

More info. On their site:

So apparently they do have a way of turning it into a laptop-sized thing. No pictures of the notebook enclosure, though.

It does appear that you would be intended to hook it up to firewire / USB peripherals at home.

Eh, I think you need some kind of tech forum for this, not GQ.

< bump from page 2 anyway >


The usefulness of a computing device is largely decided by its input and output channels. PDA is of extremely limited uses for they have extremely limited I/O capabilities. Therefore, it is just a waste of time and resources to attempt to squeeze more computing power into a thing of that size.

Minus the PDA functionality, The Brick Computer Co. has been trying to do something like that for years. While they received rave reviews in the past, it’s never been quite the “next big thing” that it was hailed to be. This is their latest incarnation of the concept.

While the idea is great in theory, most businesses would rather just buy their employees laptops, with docking stations for the office.

That website is too annoying to bother with.

Check out the Sony Picturebook .

Also built on the Crusoe processor, it’s roughly twice the size of a standard PDA.