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MIDs promise dignity

Posted: 17 Nov 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile Internet devices? MID market? laptop?

Bier: Having been a Laptop Power Nomad myself and witnessed its ugliness firsthand, I believe that there is indeed a market for MIDs.

You see them at trade shows, in seminars, in airportssometimes even in your own office building.

They pace a room's perimeter and scan its walls, eyes perpetually roving from floor to midline. They sneak behind counters and crawl under tables and thrust their hands into dark and cobwebby corners.

Who are these people? And what do they want?

They are the Laptop Power Nomads, and they are searching for the elusive wall outlet.

Embarrassing experience
I count myself among them. I've often found myself in uncomfortable (and possibly unseemly) positions looking for juice when my laptop unexpectedly died on me. I recently went to a meeting with a division head of a major chip company, and the poor guy ended up on his hands and knees under his desk trying to find a place to plug in my laptop.

It's embarrassing, is what it is. But maybe there's a better way. I've heard much debate within the industry lately about whether the market for "Mobile Internet Devices" (MIDs) is just wishful thinking on the part of certain chip vendors. After all, do people really need yet another gadget to lug around? (Especially a gadget that does something that's already done by the laptop they're lugging around?)

Another gadget for nomads
But having been a Laptop Power Nomad myself and witnessed its ugliness firsthand, I believe that there is indeed a market for MIDs.

Today's laptops are just not good enough4hr active and one-day standby battery life doesn't cut it, especially when you're traveling.

Not to mention the fact that I'm bent over backwards from carrying the stupid heavy thing.

These are problems that MIDs can solve, and I, for one, will be happy to buy yet another gadget if it means I'm not always hunting for power or in need of chiropractic attention. I suspect that many of my fellow Laptop Power Nomads feel the same way.

Give me a lightweight, Internet-ready device with a readable screen, 20hrs active and 100hrs of standby battery life, and I'll be so very grateful. It's not just a matter of convenience. It's a matter of human dignity.

- Jeff Bier
President, Berkeley Design Technology Inc.

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