I couldn't get over how simple it was to get the unit configured for use - 10 minutes from opening the carton containing the unit, it was ready for use on our corporate network, both wired and wirelessly. After taking the unit home in the evening, it took only a few minutes to configure the WEP key, connect the Windows Media Player to an online jazz station and connect through Remote Desktop to our corporate network.
Security is unparalleled. IT management couldn't be simpler. No viruses to worry about, no worms, no rootkits - no malware period! No moving parts to malfunction. It couldn't be quieter (except when Windows Media Player is running, of course). A VPN client can be installed if necessary, but everything else is ready to go right out of the box. No training required since almost everyone using units like this will already be acquainted with Windows XP.
But should you need to take some notes when no connectivity or VPN access is available, there is still Notepad. If you want to take along some music, photographs, or videos with you while on the road, there is still USB connectivity. If you want to read PDF files (or books, for that matter), Adobe Reader is already installed and ready to go. In my test, for instance, I connected a 1GB memory stick that contained an entire set of IT manager-related documents from Tech Republic in PDF format. No problem! In additionn, while that smart stick was still connected in one of the five, count 'em, five USB ports, I connected my 8GB Seagate pocket drive and accessed JPG and HTML files. I could just as easily have watched a movie or two.
There are audio in and out jacks, a modem port, 6 hours of battery life, a port for an external monitor, 2 stereo speakers, and one PCMCIA type II slot. The modem port is old school, to be sure; it would have been much cooler if bluetooth or infrared ports were available to use along with a Smart Phone or phone-enabled Pocket PC for those rare occasions when you need connectivity but no Ethernet networks are available. But overall, if you don't need always-ready, always-available applications and data, this sweet little unit provides almost all you need while on the road.
In the office, especially offices with wireless connectivity available, it gets even better. You can easily take the unit with you to conference rooms or meeting rooms or a colleague's office, take notes, use all the server-provisioned applications available, work online or anything else that you would do while tethered to the desk in your office.
But most importantly, if you want to make your IT staff happy - and who wouldn't? - consider mobile thin-client computing...please! (This entry, including saving a copy of the photo above, was all done on the m100)