11. 02. 2006
Fancypants UMPCs by Crispin Jones for PBJ
PBJ is a company that specializes in all types of tablet computers. Designer Crispin Jones was commisioned to reinvent the most boring part of all technology... the plastic box that holds the sexy electronic components. With a goal of bringing classic craft designs to the technology scene Mr. Jones has created a pleasing case modeled after the Japanese suzuribako boxes used to store writings implements. Beyond the stylistic reasons for the deep decorative lines; the texture carved into the surface provides a no slip hold for fingers.
Though I admire the aesthetics I don't agree with the design philosophy that Mr. Jones has used here; there are no external buttons, and input is entirely through the touch screen. The lack of any type of sensor pad for scrolling is pretty limiting when it comes to daily use beyond reading a single page; "tap the screen to continue" went out of fashion with my Handspring Visor.
Personally, I'm a fan of large numbers of programmable buttons that can be chorded to help ease the lack of keyboard shortcuts. Common functions like copy, paste, page down, page up, volume controls, minimize app, ALT-TAB, are perfect for dedicated buttons. The lack of a proper keyboard shouldn't mean a lack of control. The UMPC is a new breed of machine, and it will take innovative control schema providing the full range of PC functions before a keyless box can be fully welcomed into the fold.
Via your friends and mine at Core77, and photos were taken by Dan McAlister.