Comdex 1998: Wrap Up

Cyrix WebPAD

For me the product that should have won the price for the most innovation and user friendliness is the Cyrix WebPAD. Following Brian Hala's speech at Microprocessor Forum, Cyrix is following new ideas to bring computers to people who can't be bothered to buy a clumsy, super user unfriendly Windows PC. WebPAD is a reference design for a product that will make Internet browsing real fun.

Instead of sitting at a desk in front of a more or less clumsy monitor, instead of using a mouse, which is still a problem for computer beginners, instead of listening to the monotony of your PC fans and your hard drives spinning, sitting in an uncomfortable office, ... you can now make Internet browsing as enjoyable as reading your favorite car magazine. WebPAD can be taken anywhere inside the house, it's small and it connects wirelessly to the Internet . You use it with a highly intuitive little pen.

I can see that many of you power users are already falling asleep reading this, but just try and make yourself free from the old fashioned and highly inconvenient PC platform idea. I am a power user myself. However, I'm not playing 3D games all of the time, neither do I always create spread sheets or presentations. Sometimes I'm just browsing the web for information, without any stress or hurry on my mind. With WebPAD I can now do this on my super comfortable leather couch, watching TV at the same time, I can do this even in the bath tab or at this well known place, where so many people spend hours for to many other people's unknown reasons. My mother who is certainly no PC-crack could surf the web without the slightest problems, kids can use it, without having to know how to boot up a PC and the super easy to use and easy to crash Microsoft operating systems.

WebPAD is much easier to use than WebTV and it will be available at an attractive price too. It is the best way of bringing the Internet to pretty much every citizen of a developed country, particularly all the people who disapprove or simply don't like computers.

You can see that I am really in love with the idea of WebPAD and I guess Cyrix will be surprised about that too. I haven't had many positive words for Cyrix products in the past, but something like WebPAD is what it takes to take the development of computers to the next step. We don't need even bigger or even hotter computer systems, as a matter of fact we don't even need that one super PC system at all anymore. What I want is an easy to use but versatile 3D gaming computer that fits in seamlessly into the recreation area of my house. It should not be in my office where I don't want to be after hours anymore. I want an easy to use, small and mobile thing that lets me surf the Internet where ever I am. I want the ability to dictate my emails to this thing as well, so that I won't need a keyboard anymore. And then there may also be my office system, which is where I write or dictate my articles and where I prepare my spread sheets and do other office work. This system doesn't need to be a great 3D gaming platform, since I prefer playing in my living room or elsewhere. This is how I see the future of computing, the PC is meant to die sooner or later, I don't give it more than 2 years anymore.

WebPAD is a step into the right direction. I'll make sure to get several of them as soon as there's a manufacturer that picked up Cyrix' reference design. I will use one, the rest will be given to my family, my parents and my brother. None of them are Internet cracks, but I bet WebPAD will change that.