The mysterious Oragami was revealed by Microsoft a few days ago. I have to say, I don’t think I get it. I am a sucker for new gadgets, too. Tell me a story about how some hot-looking piece of electronics will change my life, and I’ll tell you my credit card number (case in point, I just got my ReadyNAS NV in the mail yesterday). And, this Oragami thing looks hot, so what’s it’s story?
The story seems to be it doesn’t have a story. Or rather, it has too many stories. It’s a computer that’s bigger than a Palm Pilot, and smaller than a laptop. It doesn’t fit in a pocket, but doesn’t require a full laptop-bag. It doesn’t serve as a phone (unless you’re using VOIP over WiFi… which you’re not). As a fan admits, it doesn’t kill any individual device.
So… it plays music like an iPod, but it’s way bigger and therefore is useless on runs or at the gym. You can do regular computer operations like a laptop, but the screen is smaller and it has no keyboard… which means no coding or serious typing, which means I’d still need a laptop. It seems like the best things you can do with it are surf the web and watch movies…. both of which my laptop can already do (and the video iPod can already play movies) and I can’t get rid of either the laptop or the iPod for reasons already mentioned. Plus you still need a cell phone, which to a growing extent already alows you to surf the web, or read e-mail (even without wifi), and do even more stuff that the Origami can’t – like answer phone calls and in some cases watch live TV.
So, this thing is really just one more “thing.” It’s in no position to replace any of my other things. So, if it’s not replacing something the question is, what problem does it solve that my current things don’t solve. From what I can tell, the answer to that is “nothing.” I don’t think my list of things (laptop, ipod, cell phone) are that unusual either. A lot of people have all 3. So why would anyone buy this?