I read the New York Times article on UMPC's and had to chuckle. This clearly tells me that all the companies entering the UMPC space, a sector really fueled by Intel to sell more lightweight, fast processors and to provide convenience to users is sorely needing a lesson in messaging. About the best source for what's going on in the space, with journalist's perspective has been Laptop Magazine's Joanna Stern who just posted her review of the MSI Wind, a new entry into the UMPC game.
First off, these devices ARE NOT meant to be replacements for your normal laptop. What they are meant to be is a SUBSTITUTE for them when you don't have access to a true laptop. This is a HUGE difference in positioning and sadly the current messaging from the manufacturers and the subsequent interpretation by the media clearly leads to market confusion.
I've been a user of these lightweight, toss 'em in my bag, carry around just in case I need to do something, type of computer since the OQO (more than a PDA in the same size format) arrived on the scene. I've tried Medions (great for music and video vs. simply an iPod) and both the Asus eee PC 701 and 900, both of which are very suitable stand-ins for my Mac Book Air for basic portable functions and dollar for dollar makes the need for my Flybook V5 less and less a requirement as the "second" laptop when on the road.
These are great to have around when I need more than my Nokia N810, Blackberry or Nokia E90 to write, edit, review documents, post to the blog or work on a presentation. OpenOffice, Thunderbird, Firefox and Google Docs meant no additional software, plus I've opted for Linux vs. Windows, though I think over time the Windows UMPCs will sell more, but have a much higher TCO (Total Cost of Ownership.)