- It would operate as a PDA when it's pulled from its cradle and jammed into my pocket,
- It can connect to WiFi hotspots and provide a full-featured browser on a low-res monitor in the PDA mode;
- When it's resting in its cradle, it does not sync with another computer, it reboots as one, and simply interfaces with input devices, peripherals, a high-speed IP connection, etc through the cradle.
For respectable desktop performance, it would farm out the functions of full-power CPU, graphics processor, and vast amounts of memory to the cradle, and run from on-board equivalents only when portable. Separate OSs?
It seems that all of the components are there, only waiting for integration.
At least one company is pursuing it, I don't recall the name (OXO?), but they are, of course, basing theirs on Windows.
Who else is close? One of the reasons I went for the iRiver MP3 player is that it could be the progenitor of such a desktop/PDA killer. It is principally, by weight at least, a hard drive. The desktop/PDA killer will be, mostly, a hard drive, with enough application hardware and an OS wrapped around it to support PDA functions, using information written to that drive. Putting a Palm front-end on this drive will do that, if Palm can be made to access hard drives. The whole Palm front-end can go inert when the device is docked.
When the killer is booted in its cradle, the CPU there strokes the hard drive and accesses everything that the Palm OS has put there.
Other devices will be coming towards the killer from other directions. For example, Tapwave's Zodiac is a game console. Put a HD in it?