We started our company in 1985 with a print newsletter about the new 9 pound HP 110 Portable PC. It was the first clamshell DOS laptop. It featured solid state memory, storage, and built-in software (no mechanical hard drive). It was instant on, had long battery life, and at the time light-weight (if you remember the Compaq luggable).
In the 1990's HP produced the HP 200LX Palmtop, about which we published a magazine. It was the first and only DOS clamshell palmtop. It had a niche but incredibly loyal following -- so much so that we still buy, sell and repair them. A number of us wanted HP to “blow it up” – make it bigger in order to have a functional, light-weight, long lasting laptop on the road.
In the meantime we've seen a lot of laptops come and go with full O.S. and mechanical hard drive. From my side they are all too heavy, too slow especially to boot up, and have too short a battery life. In 1999 I almost got what I wanted with the Windows CE based HP 820 Jornada and NEC 900. They both featured a solid state storage, long battery life, instant on, decent-sized screens and their touch-typable keyboards. However, they lacked software and they used the awkard stylus rather than straight touch.
Now things have finally come full circle. If the iPad is what I think it will be, no more laptops on my travels. I will use the LogMein app and remotely use my work PC from the iPad. $15/month (250MB) for AT&T connectivity should be plenty for native E-mail and remote connectivity anywhere. The keyboard accessory will maximize my efficiency.
And that’s before using it as an entertainment (games, video, photos, ebooks) and as a web access device. Heck I will even be able to read iPhone Life on it through the Zinio App!