I was just reading a good review of the new Celio Redfly C8N terminal companion for Windows Mobile smartphones over on Brighthand…
It looks like Celio listened to potential customers who told them their $500 price for the original model was way too high for a dumb terminal. The new C8N comes in at a more reasonable $299 (but still too high, IMHO). There’s also a smaller model for $229 (also too high). For $299 you get a dumb terminal that provides an 800×400 view into your Windows Mobile smartphone, a decent keyboard, and the ability (with an additional $20 cable) to watch videos from an iPod or Zune (or other media player).
If you spend another $40, you can get an Asus Eee PC 904 with a 1024×600 display, 1GB RAM, 160GB HD, and a 6-cell battery. It does not have Bluetooth. But, you can add one via a USB dongle very inexpensively or step up to another model like the Eee PC 1000H (what I use) for $479 and get a 10-inch display as well as Bluetooth. And, oh yes, it also has an SDHC card reader built in so I can read photos off my camera. And, wait, it has a 160GB hard drive so I can backup my photos while on the road. And, what’s this? 802.11n WiFi too? And since you can run Windows XP or Linux (or Mac OS X for that matter), I can use a real browser like Firefox instead of IE4 Mobile Minus for web browsing. And, yes, I can tether my Windows Mobile T-Mobile Dash smartphone to it either using Bluetooth or a USB cable.
It would make a lot more sense for Celio to become a software vendor that enables low-end netbooks like the Acer Aspire One ($329 for the flash storage-only, 3-cell battery model) to become Windows Mobile terminals. It would remove the all the issues surrounding hardware manufacturing and distribution and become a nimble firm with a use software product.