Revenge of the PDA

MID skeptics argue that modern devices that are larger than a cell phone but smaller than a laptop are doomed. They’ve certainly had a rocky road in the past although portable game consoles could be considered an exception. That said, it is even difficult to make the case that a netbook is something that should be carried around throughout the day. Well, at least two companies are trying to address the tweener portable market with mobile appliances — one strictly so — that look like they’d have more potential combined.

imageThe iMovio iKit is a pocket-sized multimedia computer deigned for basic communications tasks and media playback; it’s due in Q1 of next year. It is slated to come with Linux although Android and Windows Mobile are both possibilities. The developers are apparently leaning toward Opera mini as the browser. It will feature an integrated camera and a touch-screen is on target before the end of next year. It sounds a bit like the first-generation Mylo but, like the Nokia N810, will feature Bluetooth (in addition to Wi-Fi) for those who can figure out how to get it online paired to a cel phone. And I wouldn’t be surprised to find some old Clie users show some interest in it.

imageIn contrast, there’s nothing entertaining about the Pomera DM10 Digital Memo (not to be confused with another DM10 note-recording device), a Japan-only product optimized for taking notes. It has a folding keyboard that looks somewhat similar to the long-running Stowaway line. It has a 4″ VGA display that should help it avoid being the blocking presence that laptops are at meetings (although resistance against that social convention is fading). It also squeezes 20 hours of battery life out of a pair of AAA batteries. As you might expect, standard batteries and the folding keyboard make for a bit of a chunky profile, and the Pomera is 30 mm high. In addition to USB, you can transfer your notes to a PC using a microSD card.

So, it’s pretty simple. Let’s get the capabilities of the iKit together with the keyboard of the Pomera device. Have your people call their people. You’re welcome, guys.