Remember those Ultra-Mobile PCs that had the gadget world all abuzz a while back? Anyone? Okay, they were those reasonably sexy handheld PCs that were sort of in between a portable media player and a laptop. The most notable ones were the Samsung Q1 and Sony’s Vaio UX. At CES, both of those models upgraded their hard disks to lightweight flash memory, which is more durable, works faster, and extends battery life.
The downside is that both the Q1P ($2,000) and the UX Premium ($2,600), as they’re now called, saw their capacities decrease from 40 to 32 GB, and their prices traveled well north of their hard-disk predecessors — showing that flash memory has a ways to go before it supplants hard drives en masse. Still, it makes total sense to have UMPCs make the jump before other PCs, since flash is perfect for gadgets that are always on the go. And it’s not like we were going to buy them anyway.