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CNET First Look
Sony VAIO UX390The pocket-size Sony VAIO UX390 makes solid improvements over the first generation of UMPCs, but its target audience is unclear.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:01 >> I'm Dan Ackerman, senior editor at CNET.com. And this is the Sony Viao UX390. Now it may look like an oversized T Mobile Sidekick but it's actually a UMPC and that stands for Ultra Mobile PC. Now what's that? That is a hand held computer that is pretty much all these components and features that you find on a full sized desktop or laptop. Case in point, this guy has a full install of Windows Vista Business as opposed to the Windows Mobile or Power OS that you might find on your Treo. Now how do you use an Ultra Mobile PC? Well, they're compact, easy to carry around in your pocket. When you're ready to use it, slide the screen up. There's a full keyboard under here. The keys are a little flat, kind of hard to use even if you're going to be Blackberry style thumb typing. To move the cursor around, there is a pencil nub over here, kind of like on an old Think Pad. And the left and right mouse buttons would be under your other thumb over here. And now if you hate all of that, this screen is actually a touch screen that you can use your finger to click around on it. Or there's a small stylist built into the bag, you can whip out and click around with. There's a bunch of cool extra features like a fingerprint reader and a web cam. And if you want to connect with EVDO network, there's an antenna built in just for that. Now the big problem with UMPCs has always been battery life. This guy, you get two hours out of, maybe three or four depending on what you're doing, but certainly not the 8-hour workday that you'd get out of a Treo or other smart phone or PDA. So if you want to charge it up during the day, all you have to do is slide it into its handy docking station that also has a video output so you can hook it up to your big screen computer monitor. Now UMPCs are a lot of fun, they look great, they're great conversation pieces, but we still haven't quite figured out who they're aimed at and what they're practical application is. I'm Dan Ackerman and that's the Sony Viao UX390. ^M00:01:46 [ Music ]