Forget desktops and notebooks; the new category PC vendors want you to get excited about is the Ultra-Mobile PC, or UMPC. Microsoft, Intel, and several hardware vendors teamed up to develop specifications for a tablet PC platform (originally code-named Project Origami), and Samsung is about to release its much-hyped Q1 tablet.
According to News.com, southern California company TabletKiosk had planned to have its UMPC device, dubbed the Eo v7110, on the market already, but a manufacturing problem has dealt the company a setback. An open letter on the TabletKiosk Web site reads:
"As the end of April rapidly approaches, we find ourselves in the position of having to balance our commitment to quality with the expectation of a timely product delivery. After the process of quality control was completed on the first Eo production units, it was determined that there was an issue in the tooling of the back panel that affected the operation of the system fan. Because of this problem, the back panel had to undergo a slight redesign and thus the initial shipment is going to be only a fraction of what we had anticipated."While other UMPC manufacturers are targeting gear-happy consumers, TabletKiosk has been selling non-UMPC tablet PCs to commercial and industrial users for years.
Besides manufacturing woes, the budding UMPC industry faces other hurdles, including initial reports of poor battery life, problems with demo presentations, and the fact that vendors have been trying to push tablet PCs since the late 1980s.