Ultra Mobile PCs like this one are redefining Portable ComputingYour Desktop is too old. Your Laptop is too heavy. Your Smartphone is too limited. In the age when you can fit anywhere from 1 to 10 GB of storage space on your keychain, why is it you can’t find a computing solution that fits your mobile needs?

Because you don’t have an Ultra Mobile PC. At the risk of sounding snippy, an Ultra Mobile PC is a very, very portable computer. They lack the keyboards of laptops and the stand-alone monitors of Desktop PCs. They use touch screens and stylus pens, but don’t make phone calls. So what makes the Ultra Mobile PC (henceforth to be referred to as UMPCs) such a good idea for the oft-traveling professional? Read on and find out.

UMPCs are Light, Portable, and Fully FunctionalWhat Makes a PC a UMPC?
There are a few common factors that define a UMPC. They all run either full versions of Windows XP Tablet Edition or the mobile form of Windows Vista. They weigh an average of 2 pounds or less. They have small displays, measuring 7-Inches diagonal or less, that are capable of at least 800×480 resolution. They also support both WiFi and Bluetooth technology.

Why Would You Want A UMPC?
UMPCS have a variety of features that allow you to accomplish and experience more while on the move. The key is that you don’t have to give up functionality for mobility—this is because since UMPCs can easily sync with full sized PCs you can take your important files, photos, and data with you, and you can access them using the full versions of most software programs. The OQO Model 2 is so cool, There is no question that you should want one.The Touch Screen interface common on most UMPCs allows you to input and paw through data with your fingertips, rather than pull out an unwieldy stylus. If you must scribble your thoughts down electronically, almost all UMPCs have the capacity to run handwriting recognition software, so your chicken scratch can be turned into a worthwhile memo in no time. Again, because you are actually holding an Honest-to-God PC in the palm of your hand, there’s very little limitation to what you can accomplish.

Will I Know A Mobile PC When I See One?
There’s plenty of UMPCs out there. We’ve put together a list of three excellent examples of the Ultra Mobile PC genre. Whether you need maximum PC capability or a Worksite PC that won’t mind a few bumps and spills, there’s an UMPC for you. Check these out!

Samsung Q1P-SSD Tablet PC
Samsung Q1P-SSD Tablet PCSamsung calls this a Tablet PC, but it doesn’t have a clunky keyboard or disc-based hard drive to drag it down. In fact, it’s got only 1.7 total pounds under its waistline, making it an exceptionally slim example of UMPC-ness. Like a tiny gymnast, the Samsung Q1P-SSD can do quite a bit with a little chassis. This is probably because of a 32GB SSD hard drive based on the same Solid-State technology used in USB flash drives. While this is hardly an inexpensive approach to data storage, it does provide a large amount of storage capacity in a device that can go places where a real “Notebook” would have conniptions. Sleek and Portable, the Samsung UMPC lacks a keyboard...but very little else.And it can do it quickly, too: the Q1P-SSD (thanks to the Solid State Storage Drive) reads information 3 times faster than a disk based drive, and writes 1.5 times quicker as well. It’s also got 1GB of actual DDR2 memory, for Pete’s sake. This might be better than my work computer, now that I think about it. Did I mention that its got Bluetooth and 802.11g Wireless?

OQO Model 2
This Ultra Mobile PC is so slick it’s downright sexy. Not that you usually use that word when referring to PCs (Think Rectangles both large and small) but this is not your ordinary computer.

OQO Model 2

In fact, it’s one of the most esthetically pleasing UMPCs I’ve ever seen. It’s aimed at professionals looking for greater functionality than a Smartphone but don’t want to carry a laptop everywhere they go. The bright 5-Inch LCD display slides up to reveal a backlit QWERTY keyboard reminiscent of the one you’ll find on fully text-capable Smartphones. But that’s where the similarities end: the OQO Model 2 has integrated 802.11g wireless and Bluetooth, touch sensitive scrolling mechanisms on the side of the screen, and an HDMI port. And that’s not talking about the base. To see exactly what this little wonder can do, check out the TigerTV video review below. It’ll blow your mind that a PC can be this small, believe me.

Azentek DT360 Ultra Mobile PC
Azentek DT360 In Vehicle Ultra Mobile PCThe OQO Model 2 is probably the sexiest UMPC there is. But it instantly gives up its lunch money when the Azentek DT360 walks into the cafeteria. Billed as an “In-Vehicle” computer, this UMPC is as happy in a cup holder or tossed on the passenger seat as it is at a business presentation. Ruggedized for outdoor use, (Try dropping the OQO. On second thought, don’t.) the Azentek still packs a sturdy punch—it has 1GB of DDR memory (Again, more than my Computer here at work.), a 30GB hard disc, 8.4-Inch screen and a full version of Windows XP tablet edition. This is designed to be one of the Toughest UMPCs out there.There’s even a version with a Smaller-Capacity 8GB SSD storage drive for those really adverse (Think Search and Rescue) conditions. AMD Geode processor, USB port, even a fingerprint reader make this an ideal solution for businesses and personnel who are frequently off-site. We’ve got the 8GB solid-state version in the TigerTV labs, so go on—take a closer look!

Get Your Hands On One!
These Types of Mobile PC solutions aren’t cheap, by any means. They are three or four times more useful than a Smartphone (how smart does a phone have to be, anyway?) and thus about twice as expensive. (If you’re lucky.) But despite this, many people on the go (both professionals and otherwise) are trading in their Laptops for an Ultra Mobile PC. That’s because they weigh less, are easier to carry, and much less stressful to travel with. So the next time the shoulder strap on your laptop breaks, keep this article, and the newly emergent class of Ultra Mobile PCs, firmly in mind.

Can’t Wait? Get These Ultra Mobile PCs and More from TigerDirect.com: Samsung Q1P-SSD Tablet PC, Azentek DT360 In Vehicle PC (30GB Hard Drive Version), Azentek DT360 In Vehicle PC (8GB SSD Drive Version), OQO Model 2 (Coming Soon!)