For ages now I've been following the netbook trend. I've stood, credit card at the ready, drooling over Asus 8.9" EEEPC netbooks. I stopped just short of buying because I had a nagging feeling I was looking at old tech. Then all the glowing reviews of the Samsung NC10 had me cruising the local electronics shops trying to convince myself that 10" was better, even though it was getting to be almost as big as a laptop. So I decided to wait. Was a higher resolution screen on the way? Faster processor? Cheaper price?
Now a whole raft of new UMPCs seem to be appearing that fit into my original Netbook budget (ish) but with loads of extra features such as 3G, GPS and touchscreens, and a form factor that almost compares to the early palmtops. All this whilst running XP with up to 1Gb RAM, 60Gb hard disk and 1024x600 resolution. So basically a netbook in less than half the space. Or more to the point, all my favourite PC music apps IN MY POCKET. Being PCs, they also support normal USB devices, like (presumably) midi keyboards, my Korg Nanopad, DJ controller, multi-output external soundcards etc. Can you see why I'm excited?
I don't know if the typical Atom processor is up to the job of, say, Virtual DJ or Ableton, but this truly looks revolutionary for mobile music.
Throw-in bluetooth and wifi and all sorts of possiblilities spring to mind such as OSC control from my DS or iPod Touch.
A lack of cash is a slight snag, as is choosing which puppy to go for. The Viliv S5 is definitely a front runner, and the Umid M1 is almost too cute for words (although it needs a lot of external bits for USB etc.)
No doubt by the time they are available in the UK, and my fund has come close to affording them, something else will be on the horizon, but I think I've found the "class" of device I'm looking for.
Anyone got experience of using a UMPC for music?