FlipStart coined "useless oddity"

Flipstart_closedPCMag.com’s Lance Ulanoff has a lot to say about the Vulcan FlipStart. In a rather scathing article titled "Flipstart Needs to be Stopped," he does the editorial equivalent of point and laugh at the little PC. He considers the device to be ridiculous, overpriced, pocket-averse, pointless, and capable of satisfying no one. The "bloated clamshell," he says, "has all the appeal of an electrified fence." In fact, he continues, the mere idea of UMPCs and micro PCs like Sony’s UX series and OQO’s offerings is "dead on arrival."

If you look past all the name-calling, you’ll see that Ulanoff’s biggest gripe is really just its size. Not an argument we haven’t heard before. The fact that "you can’t hold the FlipStart up to your ear and make a phone call" leads him to proclaim that a superior alternative to a handtop is a smartphone. Speaking of ridiculous…

I’m actually beyond the point of trying to sell anyone on the form factor. There are folks who think UMPCs suck hard and folks who don’t. I’m not sure if someone from one camp could ever be tempted to switch over to the other camp, especially with such cut-and-dry, not-open-for-discussion opinions like those held by Ulanoff. I do agree with his "overpriced" comment, though it turns out that part of the decision to forgo the touchscreen was to keep costs down. Ah yes, because $1999 is the sweet spot.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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