Microsoft took the wraps off of Origami today. News outlets are calling for a reality check. If people complained that the Newton was too big, wait till they get their hands on an Origami unit. It’s huge in those screenshots on the Microsoft website!
The more I use the Treo 700w, the less I’d want to have the Newton OS on it. Don’t get me wrong, the Newton UI on any mobile device would be a boon. It’s the small physical size of the screen which would turn me off. I’ve tried taking notes on the 700w, both with the built-in keyboard and with the various HWR systems (Calligrapher or the Block Recognizer) and it’s painful. You can’t write more than two words before running into the edge of the screen, and the keyboard is too cramped. Why on Earth would they replace the colon character on the Treo 600/650 with a semicolon? Why not add an additional modifier key on the right-hand side of the keyboard? I’m going to get carpal thumb syndrome trying to hit modifier-Q to generate the “/” character. The best thumb keyboard I’ve used to date has been on the Blackberry 957.
I’ve been using my Newton to take notes during meetings at work. While I dislike the overall size of the device, I’ve gained a greater appreciation for the large physical screen size. An ideal Newton replacement for me would have be primarily all-screen with just enough of a bezel for comfortable holding. The mockups of fake 6G iPods are getting close. I’d use it landscape orientation to avoid the Treo 700w size issues I mentioned above. This ideal Newton replacement is also being trumpeted by Lunatic at the SNUG meetings.