CNet's (crappy) UMCP vs. Newton review

CNet (UK) has up a slightly tongue in cheek comparison review of a 1997 Apple Newton and a 2006 Samsung UMCP thing. Blah blah, the Newton wins. Cue “Wasn’t Apple great back in the day?” kind of response from all reading.

Actually, although I’ve never actually used a Newton (I did see one once…it had Daleks!), it does seem like it should have been the success story of the mid-90s Apple. Considering how far ahead of its time it was, with better marketing it could have been the iPod of its day. I presume. Pity Steve had to kill it when he returned, or whatever.

Anyway, back to this “review”. It’s a waste of time. Rather than actually looking at the two devices, they only compare the technology and potential of the devices. No actual investigation of what the two things do is shown. What’s the point in that?

Sure, I think it’s unbelievable that the Newton has 30 hours battery life and costs $50 on eBay, and is seemingly still fairly usable (read, connectable) today. But maybe its handwriting recognition is in fact 10 years behind, or maybe the Samsung UMCP really doesn’t have any software worth using on it to take advantage of the device. Maybe if the review was comprised of someone new to both platforms taking them around with them for a week and comparing those experiences, it’d be a worthwhile read.

But jeeze, comparing the glossiness of the plastics of their cases is much more interesting to me, right?

It would be exciting to see Apple take another strong interest in this market, though. Come on, 30 hours of battery life? That’s amazing, when the music players of today boast less than that. It would be a pity if all the people that did the great design of the Newton are long gone from Apple, though.

So, in summary: Newton good, wish it was newer. CNet review bad, wish they didn’t waste their time with images of people punching each other.