In addition to providing a sneak peek at all the new gadgets set to debut at various points throughout the year, the International CES 2007 in Las Vegas will offer hundreds of seminars and panel discussions about consumer technology.
I’m not going to CES, but if I were, one of the sessions I would attend is "Ultra-Mobile PCs: Can a 7-inch Screen Survive?" (January 9th, 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., LVCC North Hall, Room N254). Moderated by the editor-in-chief of Laptop magazine, the hourlong discussion will feature panelists from OQO, Microsoft, Averatec, TabletKiosk, and Vulcan (!) talking about and perhaps defending the UMPC. Here’s the session description:
"Media-hungry consumers want Internet and content access when and where they choose without a bulky laptop. But with ever-shrinking handhelds and screens, is the mini-tablet form factor too big? How do in-between-size PCs compare with laptops? The companies supporting this new category of mobile computers state their case."
A better session would actually be titled "Ultra-Mobile PCs: Who Needs Them?" because the biggest gripe and most misunderstood aspect of the UMPC isn’t its size. In any case, I wonder if any of the new devices expected to debut at CES will even have 7-inch screens. Doesn’t look like it so far, but we’ll know soon enough.[Origami Project]