Sony Vaio TZ causing UMPC blues


I’ve been dealing with a major case of the UMPC blues lately and can’t seem to find anything lustworthy to shake it off. You see, just as that gadget addiction article from 2004 described, I’m one of those people who tends to feel blue when nothing in the gadget-scape interests me very much. I buy sub-$400 devices (mostly DAPs) and accessories fairly regularly, so it’s not a lack of new toys to play with that’s gotten me down.

No, what I’m suffering from is a very specific strain of gadget depression: the UMPC blues. And it’s all the Sony Vaio TZ‘s fault.

How am I supposed to get excited about the influx of 7-inch mini notebooks when they’re all just smaller, less capable, uglier versions of my TZ? So many mini notes are being announced by companies I’ve never heard of that I don’t even bother reading about them anymore. As soon as I see a photo of another new "Eee PC killer," I just move along without making note of the manufacturer or model number.

Besides, I swore off 7-inch devices shortly after laying the TZ next to my old (and now sold) Samsung Q1P with its organizer pack last summer. Here’s a reminder of what that looked like from my TZ unboxing.



Yes, I gave into girly temptation and went against my own rules with the pink Asus Eee PC 2G Surf last month, but we all know how that turned out in the end. After all, with my 2.7-pound TZ being barely bigger and not much heavier than the upcoming HP Compaq 2133 UMPC (2.5 pounds) and all those other notebooks calling themselves UMPCs coming down the pipe, in what situations would I ever choose these kinds of UMPCs over the TZ?

What I want, and what would surely cure me of my funk, is to see a new UMPC (with an actual release date) with a gorgeous and innovative design. I want to be wowed the way I was back in 2006 when I first laid eyes on the Vaio UX180P Micro PC. I want to be beyond ecstatic when unboxing this new piece of technology, like the way I was with my HTC Advantage X7501. I want to be just as I was with my OQO Model 02 demo unit: so sad to pack it up and return it.

What about all the MIDs I saw at CES 2008? None of those were mini notebooks. True. The Digifriends MID in particular is really unique, and the Gigabyte M528 MID is lovely to look at in a Nokia N810 sort of way. But I don’t know. To be honest, I’m actually not excited in that "oh my god, I have to have that or I’ll die" sort of way about any of it. You may even remember from my CES wrap-up that my favorite device of the whole show was actually the Sony mylo 2 (COM-2). And I already have it sitting next to me as I type this.


Is there any gadget on the horizon that you can barely stand to wait another second for? All that stands out on my gadget list at the moment are the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X1 (and who knows exactly when it’ll be released) and the iriver Wing (and who knows if it’ll be released). I’ve got some other things on my list, too, but they’re all pretty minor and won’t cause a ruckus when they come out.

Anyway, so that’s where I’m at right now. Bored out of my mind with the Eee PC look-alikes, feeling ho-hum about the MIDs, and wishing I was lusting after something I could actually buy right now. I think I’m on the verge of desperation at this point because the newly available HTC Shift is beginning to make me reconsider (yet again!) my 7-inch device ban. Yes, it’s a tough life, indeed.

If you’re still with me, would you mind sharing what gadget is currently wowing you? I need some ideas.

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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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