Originally Posted by audiopollution
The source indicated a 720x480 screen.
Oh I know, I'm speculating about more useful screen resolutions
Ok the iPhone has a 3.5" screen at 480x320, 163 dpi. If we go for a 7" screen, that is literally doubling the size of the iPhone, we get a resolution of 960x640.
Late model Newton's used a 6" screen, but Newton II would be more screen on the body then a MessagePad 2100 so a similar sized device overall.
I think that's too low a resolution as I consider 1024x768 to be pretty much the bottom floor if Newton II is to be usable. However I don't think we're limited to 163 dpi with resolution independence so what if we take a bold step forward… 247 dpi.
247 dpi works out to a resolution of 1440x960 on a 7" screen and 720x480 on the iPhone/iPod Touch Revision B or C or whatever, as I imagine they'll seek to match dpi eventually.
Now that's a high dpi but Hitachi has a 2.9" 800x480 panel
for Japanese cellphones, so this is doable.
You could go with a 6" screen at 1200x800 with a dpi of 240 which would also work well. That would work out to about 700x460, 239 dpi on the iPhone's 3.5" screen. If we seek to match dpi and aspect ratio across the two families.
If you wanted a 5.5" screen you could go with 1152x768 with a dpi of 251—still possible. That would mean we're back to 720x480 & 247 dpi on the iPhone.
I think either the 7" screen (really push it) or the 5.5" screen is the way to go. Of course the rumoured 720x480 screen is probably more likely, but I wouldn't consider that useful.
My 12" PB has 1024x768, and I would be unwilling to use anything smaller in a long term use device. Check out the Nokia N800 tablet thingy and try spending a while staring at it, the resolution (800x480) feels like a big limiting factor IMO.
And the N800, incidentally, has a pretty high dpi of its own: 800x480 resolution, 4.1" (or 4.3) diagonal, ~225 dpi. (I really don't know how Jobs managed to claim the iPhone has this world class dpi screen. It's a great screen to be sure, but there are better.)Positioning
So that the categories are all clear:
At the pocket level we have smartphones using a mobile embedded operating system. This is the Treo or (potentially) the iPhone. It's the Swiss army device designed to replace phone/iPod/camera/PDA and is mostly about content, communication, and scheduling. The evolution of the PDA into the smartphone, and now into multimedia (or, the PDA/multimedia Sony Clie crossed with a phone).
Technically speaking stand alone PDAs live here as well, but the smartphone has taken over the PDA market.
At the freakishly large pocket level (yep, some people made pockets big enough for a Newton), or small bag level, we have:
-Newton (5-6" screen): Small tablet using an embedded operating system. A modern version is one step above an Internet Tablet, as it can do things decently (at least based on Newton's versus their competitors way back then, or Newton II versus stuff now), but sideways from an UMPC as it uses an embedded operating system instead of a full PC one.
-Limited Tablet (4-6" screen) The Nokia N800 & Intel's new Mobile Internet Device category which is—as far as I can tell—a UMPC running embedded operating systems. Basically this what you get when you stick a weak processor with an embedded system. Internet browsing type things with limited ability to do other work.
-UMPC (6-7" screens) : Small tablet using a full operating system (should be using an embedded operating system). Useful, but the full Windows operating system on a small screen, limited power device blows, and battery life is weak.
-eMate: Miniature laptop using an embedded operating system, like a useful Palm Foleo. Also see Asus's EEE.
-Subnotebooks: Miniature to tiny laptop, with limited computing resources, using a full operating system. Notably expensive.
Above that is the usual line-up of laptops & the larger tablets.
Note how it appears that the Newton slot (or the eMate slot, IMO) is awesome? That's because no one else has managed to do it right either making it too slow (N800) or too hard to use (UMPC with full Windows OS), and none with the 24+ hour battery life of the original Newton.Not A PDA
Obviously it's not a PDA. PDAs are dead because of smartphones (heck back in 1995 when Palm's PDAs came out adding a cell chip was the smart move… it just took Palm a really long time to figure that out). So no, the standalone PDA space is death and rightly so. That spot can be filled by the iPhone and/or iPod Touch as soon as an SDK is released.
The Newton was working towards being much more than just PDA, which is why Palm's PDAs kicked its ass at being a PDA as all Palm Pilots ever wanted to be were PDAs.
This is the Newton II, basically, and as such it seems roughly equivalent to a UMPC (noticeably, though, UMPCs run the full version of Windows while Newton II would be running the embedded operating system the iPhone uses, Mobile OS X) or a small tablet—though that's really all a UMPC is.
What do you do on your laptop? Word processing, business software, email, surf the web, multimedia, limited multimedia manipulation, games. Note that a Foleo or a Nokia N800, both similar in concept, manage to fail at a number of these things. A UMPC can do it, but who wants to use full-on Windows on something like that? Ugh.
This can do anything a Mac could do, minus CPU/GPU power. So Photoshop is out, but iPhoto is in. Final Cut Pro is out, iMovie '08 (ultra light version) is in. Etc…
Given Mobile OS X & Multitouch it seems clear that this would very much fall in the Newton's category. I actually think this might work better as an eMate type thing (or think of it like the Foleo done right) with a real keyboard. We talked about it a bit in this thread
and the general conclusion was for something this size keyboard beats slate tablet. Maybe Apple believes differently, though, as the rumour is for a slate tablet.
Like the common knock against the Palm Foleo you basically have to be able to use Newton II to replace your laptop for everything short of high-end CPU/GPU stuff. That shouldn't be too hard. But there also needs to be a reason to push this, like say 24 hours of battery or eBooks or something.Basically: Why should I carry Newton II (+iPhone, even) when I could carry a MacBook and an iPhone?
So it really does have to do everything a regular laptop would, minus CPU/GPU stuff, and do it better. Better is multitouch, I'd argue, better is 24 hours of battery life, better is a screen sharp enough to read eBooks comfortably off, better is a 3G card slot for EV-DO or UMTS, etc….
Heck if I could buy this and a keyboard, well that's smaller, cheaper, lighter than my laptop, cheaper than a subnotebook, and has way better battery life. It runs all the same programs I'd usually run (even low end games) and if I could offload tasks (dumb terminal style) to my home machine and get results back that would be pretty cool, indeed.
Battery life, battery life, multitouch, and oh yeah… battery life. If this does 4 hours, forget it. If it does 12 or more… bingo!