The Littlest PCs

Not quite a laptop, not quite a smartphone, it´s the future of mobile computing

Launch the gallery by clicking the "Slideshow" button to the left.

Meet the ultra-mobile PC, a.k.a. UMPC: a seven-inch screen, Windows XP Tablet PC operating system, plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, all in a book-size package that weighs less than two pounds. It´s the vision of the Origami Project team at Microsoft, which recently unveiled design concepts and software for the devices. All Origami-certified UMPCs will feature the Touch Pack, a
finger-friendly add-on to Windows XP with shortcut keys, large program icons and a split
on-screen keyboard for rapid typing with your thumbs.

Is this Microsoft´s answer to the iPod-a juiced-up, highly capable media player? Unlikely. Analysts say the company is just testing the waters for
consumer interest in the small (though not quite pocketable) devices. Want to be an early adopter? Launch the slideshow (above) to see the first three UMPCs expected to hit the market.

Samsung Q1

The Q1 is the first Origami UMPC to reach the U.S. Taking full advantage of the notion of roving entertainment, it features an instant-on media player that runs independent of the OS, to save power and boot faster. Size: 8.9 x 5.5 x 1 in.
Weight: 1.7 lbs.
System Specs: Intel Celeron M 1.2GHz processor, 40 or 60GB hard drive display: 7-in. touchscreen
Available: Now: $1,100; samsung.com
Courtesy Samsung/Microsoft

Averatec AHI

Since it´s not Origami-certified, this device-code-named AHI-can offer at least a few twists on Microsoft´s specs, including high-speed cellular data connectivity, a smaller, five-inch screen and a slide-out keyboard. Size: 7.3 x 3.5 x 1.3 in.
Weight: 1.5 lbs.
System Specs: Intel Celeron M 900MHz processor, 30GB hard drive display:5-in. touchscreen
Available: Winter: $800; averatec.com
Courtesy Avaratec/Microsoft

Asus R2H

Asus will closely follow Samsung with some upgrades, including a fingerprint reader and built-in GPS. Along with a-slightly higher price tag, the R2H has a 1.3-megapixel user-facing webcam for video conferencing. Size: 9.5 x 5.3 x 0.9 in.
Weight: 2.2 lbs.
System Specs: Intel Celeron M 900MHz processor, hard-drive size TBA display: 7-in. touchscreen
Available: Summer: $1,300; usa.asus.com
Courtesy Asus International/Microsoft