So, that's a UMPC?! It's a netbook!

Well, there has been a lot of confusion regarding all these technology terms. Myriad of such terms have come up and they’ve literally confused us so much. Don’t they?

Strange thing is that they sometimes look like contradicting themselves. The terms ultra-portables and mini-notebooks sometimes get tough to differentiate between. Don’t they?

Well, here is my take on those terms..

Subnotebook: very small in size when compared to a normal notebook. Max 8.9″ screen size. Devices like HP 2133 live in this category. They do not posses a touch screen

Ultra portable notebook: little larger than Subnotebook but still smaller than the normal laptops. Devices having 10-12″ screens reside in this category and they do not posses digitizers(either soft or hard). Example: Lenovo U110. Again, they don’t posses the touch screen

UMPC: This expands to Ultra Mobile Personal Computer. UMPC devices are the actual outcome of the Microsoft Origami project. Devices like Samsung Q1 and Q1u reside in this category. They must have touch screens and the screen size must be less than 8.9″(actually, Microsoft specified 8″ at max) and resolution of minimum 800 x 480. They generally come with a special software called “origami”(currently v2) to enhance the user-experience by making it more stylus-friendly or finger-friendly.

NetBook: Now, where does this stands in the crowd filled with ultra portables and sub notebook? Well, these are cheap versions of the ultra portables. They are priced under $400. They generally do not have state of art hardware and oodles of memory. They do not posses the touch screen. Devices like Asus EEE 701, HP 2133(entry level with 4GB space). They generally come with linux to keep the prices down.

ULPC: expands to Ultra Low-cost PC. Well, this term has actually confused most of the tech-geeks. While certainly not the most popular search term on Google, but anyway ;) These devices are meant to be very low cost computers. To keep the prices down, they have a very cheap overall built quality. eg: XO OLPC

MID: expands to Mobile Internet Device. These devices run custom versions of linux and have touch-screens. Normally, the are powered by ARM processors. They generally are generally priced less than $500. eg: Nokia internet tablet N800, N810

It may be that many of you may be even more confused by now. You are not the one to blame, but the manufactures. They have come up with hybrid devices like Fujitsu U810/U1010 which costs close to $1000(ok, $990) and have keyboards; very high resolution displays(1024 x 600 on a 5.6″! :o ) and DO NOT resemble the original origami devices. OQO E2 is many times touted as a UMPC but costs ~$1200 for an entry level model and does not even posses an active digitizer. You have to use ‘their’ stylus to do the stylus-stuff.


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