Look what's available for pre-order at Amazon


* Watch up to 85 hours of movies, recorded TV or home videos
* Store and listen to over 10,000 songs
* [b]Carry and enjoy 100,000 photos[/b]
* Large, high resolution 3.8" TFT LCD Screen
* Plays all popular formats including WMV, WMA, MP3, and JPG

That’s a huge bonus. My current pocket pc lets me carry several thousand photos, but it doesn’t let me enjoy them.

Can’t see myself using it unless I’m on a long flight.

If the battery life is decent or there is a 12v plug, this would be excellent for the kids on long car trips.

And it costs more than a refurbed laptop. :?

You can get a decent 1Ghz class laptop for less than $500?

YEAH, like I’m really gonna give some snot-nosed kid a $500 piece of hardware just to watch movies and what not. Just get a portable DVD player for the car. Sheesh.

You can get a decent 1Ghz class laptop for less than $500?[/quote]
I don’t know, but you can get exactly this list of features (as copied-and-pasted from the ad):

  • Watch up to 80 hours of Movies, recorded TV or Home Videos
  • Store and listen to over 10,000 songs
  • Carry and enjoy 100,000 photos
  • Large, high resolution 3.8" TFT LCD backlit for crisp and clear images
  • Removable and rechargeable Li-Ion battery – carry a spare so your entertainment will never be cut short
  • Powerful Windows Mobile operating system lets you easily sync, find and manage your digital entertainment
  • Quickly transfer content from your PC to your Zen Portable Media Center with USB 2.0
  • Built-in speaker means you can enjoy your movie or music with others
  • 4 preset buttons that shortcut to your favorite TV show, movie or song
  • Plays all popular formats including WMV, WMA, MP3, JPG
  • Supports Microsoft Photo Story - creates your own photo slideshow and add in your own narration, music, transition effects and more!
  • Up to 90dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio - as good as expensive hi-fi systems!

Except for the four preset buttons. Oh, and I’m afraid you’ll have to tolerate something like a 12" LCD instead of the 3/8" one on the unit. :wink:

Just for a goof I went to http://www.toshibalaptops.com/ just now and the main big item on the top of the front page is a 1.2GHz P3 with all the blahs for $685, as one data point. They have some Dell refurbs (yeah yeah I know it doesn’t match the domain name; it’s not my site) for $400-450 with DVD players built in.

There was a report that Amazon has pre-orders on the Samsung Portable Media Player, the Yepp YH-999, but I haven’t found it.

Slightly smaller screen, but I like the form factor better.


Yeah, but a laptop is a laptop. This is streamlined so my kids won’t get too confused about how to operate it and hopefully it won’t be so easy for them to crash. Besides I bet you have to more tasks to do to maintain a laptop than you would one of these. Sometimes less is more.

As for the hardware, I’m not sure I need a bigger screen for a device that’s mostly for viewing media on the road and I bet the speakers beat the laptop.

It does cost ~50% more than a portable DVD player, but 200 is still pretty expensive item. If I am going to spend that much, I want something that’s going to fit my needs. Penny wise/dollar foolish, right? For example, portable DVD players aren’t great for the car. My experiance with one last year on a car trip was that any small bump could destabalize the disk. Since we were just using VCD’s of TV cartoons that I burned, it meant having to start the disk over at the begining each time that happened. Plus, if I didn’t have to burn VCD and could just use MPEGs, I would save myself a huge amount of time leading up to long car trips. Besides I would never buy something like this right off the bat. Soon (next year?) these are going to be lots more affordable.

Spoken like a true parent dilettante, Brian. :)

Or they could just do what I did as a kid on long trips–read some books.And while they’re at it,they can get off my goddamn lawn.