Each of our regular authors has selected an Internet appliance he fancies, or a trend to which he's paying attention.
From Ron Daly:
"This picture (above) threw me at first, but this is actually a whole PC in a keyboard. All you need is a monitor and you have everything you want. Save space, cut down on 'desk traffic'."
From Rob Banker:
"The Consumer PC As we know it is dead. Mainstream gaming moved to the consoles (XBox, Playstation, Wii). Most home users don't do high end image manipulation with Photoshop or music production with ProTools The average consumer wants web browsing and email, the occasional Word or Excel document. Even the low-end laptops from Best Buy and Dell are too much.
The answer: the Ultramobile PC (aka the Netbook). Manufacturers such as Asus (eeePC), HP (2133 Mini-Note), Dell (Mini 9), MSI (Wind) are offering extremely fast (boot in 15 sec), and small systems (< 3lbs) that make obvious compromises for the sake of usable simplicity that will meet the need of 80% of the computer buying public, generally for $500 or less. At those prices, planned 2 year obsolescence is affordable, compared to the the thought of replacing a $2000 PC every 3 years or upgrading your $400 video card every 6 months. Buy a Dell Mini 9 and an Xbox (with 6-10 year lifecycle), and you've still spent less than the crappiest PC at Best Buy and you've got way more functionality and way less headaches.
These systems are in their first generation now, and still have some things to work out -- keyboards are a little awkward and some sort of omni-present Internet connection would be great (built-in 3g/EVDO) as would GPS. But the solid state drives (for durability) and long battery life (5+ hours) allow consumers to take the PCs where they want to go make these a no-brainer. I'm holding out until the 2nd gen of the netbooks roll out in the next 6 months or so to make a purchase, but I've had a 2 week evaluation of the Asus eeePC 901, and was highly impressed and hated to let it go. I look forward to what's coming next."
From Greg Crandell:
"I wonder how many more iPods we're going to need. Honestly. But Jimmy showed me the newest iPod Nano that apparently loves to be violently shaken. See for yourself."
From Jimmy Marks:
"We talk about being 'green' a lot on this blog and in our business. And now, Dell is releasing its 'Green PC'. The Dell Studio Hybrid uses only 30% of the power that is used by a regular PC and the thing comes with a bamboo case. Yes...it's made of bamboo. I'm a mac user, but I'd still like to have one of these just for show. Read about it here."