Aigo MID: unboxing. Testing. Hacked to Windows XP!!!

Posted on 16 May 2008 by

The lucky lucky lucky guys over at UMPCFever got an Aigo MID [specifications] test device and have started to publish their hands-on reviews and video. This is the first time anyone has ever really had extended private time with a Silverthorne/Menlow-based device so pay attention as the guys have already got Windows XP up and running on the device although judging by their feedback on the Midlinux2.0 OS build, it’s looking like things are already pretty sweet out-of-the-box. [Commentary after the pic…]


"Compact, Stylish, Innovative and Entertaining" is what they say but there are a few little devils in the details that, even as big fans of MIDs, we need to highlight. Firstly, battery life. 2 hours in-use sounds less than expected and a worrying indicator for other MIDs although put into perspective with other UMPCs, is incredibly efficient. The battery is about 1/3rd the size of the smallest Eee PC battery and weighs something in the region of about 50gm so carrying a spare isn’t going to be an issue at all. There’s no indication of standby battery life given but I’m estimating 4-5 hours in active standby (device on, screen off.) There’s no voice calling capability which might put some people off and UMPCFever also report that the keyboard is too wide for thumbing. I noted that the keyboard was good for thumbing when I tested it out at CeBIT so maybe this just something that’s very noticeable if you’re used to smaller, smartphone-size sliders like the tester here is.

On the positive side it sounds like the UI performance is smooth and finger friendly and that overall performance is good. "I seldom felt it laps or hang-ups during normal use….I think Microsoft will not want to see this." The UI is so critical to the success of MIDs that if it doesn’t near the standards set by the iPhone, its not going to get mainstream acceptance so this is great to hear. There’s no word on video playback performance which is something that’s also important if MIDs want a chance at displacing high-end PMPs. I’m in contact with UMPCfever about them getting some tests done on this though.


UMPCFever already have three videos up that you must watch. One is embedded below but check out the UMPCFever channel for the other two and more that are being produced as I type!

aigo3 aigo4

UMPCFever have done a great job in their English-language article and there is more to come so keep watching UMPCFever while I go and cry with jealousy in the corner of my office.

When you’re done, check out the product details page here where we’ve got links to previous articles both from UMPCPortal and other websites along with videos and, of course, the full specifications and a list of similar devices from our database. You might also want to check out the Gigabyte M528 which is the version that is likely to appear outside Asia.

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  • shell

    very stupid~~~~


    given the design, i say its about time nokia rolls out a cortex based device…

  • Tal

    “Aigo MID supports 3.5G HSDPA connectivity but don’t support phone call function. I still have not test it so far but I know the sim slot is functional in this version.”

    I am n00b and need some tutoring regarding this 3G. What does it mean … that you can use it as a mobile phone? just with less features? I will be grateful for info or links so I could become less ignorant in this regard.
    Thanks in advance!

  • icura

    It seems you can use it on a HSDPA 3.5G network, but can’t roam with it. (That is make a traditional mobile phone call.) I guess you could still use skype. I do that with my HSDPA modem.

  • admin

    The SIM card slot is for a data contract that allows you to use cellular networks for high-speed mobile data. (Internet.) Like Wifi but mobile instead of fixed-location.
    Hope that helps.

  • icura

    It’s be priced $750 to $1000 US. $6000 to $8000 HK.


    hmm, i have yet to hear about a HSDPA device without a sim slot.

    also, while it cant do native calls (as in, use the mobile network for what it was originally designed for), there is still VoIP ;)

  • Tal

    Thanks guys for the REALLY quick response. I am making this site my homepage :) constant news and really nice people. I even registered …

    So taking a slightly different route for my question – would any of the upcoming MID also capable to become a cellular phone? I mean once you do that you have the perfect one device strategy … or am I too naive (or ignorant)?


    personal opinion, the perfect one device strategy does not exist.

  • Tal

    I want to sharpen my comment from above. The day I will decide to buy a MID will be the one when I can put my cellular phone aside. In my subjective point of view there is no logic in taking two pocket size devices. The fact is that the cellular functionality outweighs the wonderful features of surfing, etc. My home and business agendas require me to be in a call reach more than being online.
    So if the MID doesn’t give me that I would go with one simple pocket size phone device and a UMPC whenever I can carry it.


    or you could opt for a windows based phone and a celio redfly…

    still, if you have no trouble with using a headset/hands-free i guess a mid could be used as a replacement for a phone.

  • Tal

    “still, if you have no trouble with using a headset/hands-free i guess a mid could be used as a replacement for a phone.”
    Again I am a n00b so I didnt understand how. sorry. did you mean VoIP?

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    ah, sorry about that. i was not referring to the aigo specifically but mids in general. thing is that i would claim that smartphones today is already near the max of what one can consider a comfortable handset size, and mids go beyond that if im not mistaken.

    so, if one wants to use a mid as a phone, the only logical way is to use a wired or wireless ear piece.

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  • Tal

    “so, if one wants to use a mid as a phone, the only logical way is to use a wired or wireless ear piece.”

    I definitely agree and welcome a wireless ear piece. But you would still need a working cell functionality. Do you know of any of the upcoming MIDs that might offer that?


    cant say i have payed much attention to that as its not something i consider using a mid for.

    that is, if i ever end up getting hold of one. i already have a N800 so…

  • voidcoder

    [quote]so, if one wants to use a mid as a phone[/quote]

    If one wants to use a mid as a phone he needs a battery of the MID size. In my opinion, the biggest problem of getting the both things together is the battery life and nothing else. You can’t turn the power completely as you must be prepared to answer the call. Having less than 24-48h standby time will make this function useless. Only Shift like solution with a separate integrated chipo ARM & Co based phone part can give you that, but this probably doesn’t quite fit the defined MID dimensions …

  • Will

    “would any of the upcoming MID also capable to become a cellular phone?”

    The iPhone or practically any Windows Mobile device with a decent web browser (like Opera).

    Note that Intel’s definition of MIDs is a handheld device without mobile voice call functionality.

    Also it looks like Tegatech may have gotten the price right. Unfortunately this device isn’t going to sell at the originally quoted price of US$500-600.

    I wonder if Nokia are going to continue to produce ARM based Internet Tablets…

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  • Benjiro

    Well, for me its just the same. No GSM ( voice ) capability, no buying anything. Sound a bit crued, but i only want to carry around one device.

    My ideal MID/UMPC:
    – GSM/Voice ( preferably like the Shift ).
    – 3G/Edge or any other data capability
    – 4.5 – 6″ Slider Screen ( using 95% of the hight. In other words, no big border around it ).
    – QUERTY keyboard like the psion 5, another deal breaker in my book. A keyboard that allows for a 75% or higher typing rate vs a normal full keyboard. If it can do VI at that speed, i’m good :)
    – Left side/Right side of the screen keys/buttons ( preferably also usable as gaming keys ).
    – Cpu preference dual core, or single core at leased something that can keep up with a 1.4Ghz AMD Turion ( i’m using this cpu from my laptop as a comparison ). In other words, something more along the line of a 1Ghz Pentium M or better.
    – GPU, same deal, at leased something that can match my Mobile ATI X700 ). The GMA X4500 looks to match that ( in theory ).
    – Double capacity battery option ( bringing the device in a 6+ hour normal operating capacity ).
    – Price range: 700 a 1000$

    So far, no single device comes close in my book. I think the only devices thats are close is a combination of the Sharp Willcom D4/Shift/Q1U.

    But i’ve been waiting for about 2 year from the big hoopla experience, another year won’t mather ;)


    the more i read about this kind of stuff, the more i think that bug labs should really make haste and come out with a screen that can cover one side of their base and a slider keyboard (with tilt ability perhaps) that can the fitted to the other side.

    i just wonder how one will slip the mobile network connectivity into that ;)

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  • citivolus

    wait, this device has no built-in pointer device? I assumed that thingy on the right hand side was a mouse device but it seems it is just a “smart” button. how disappointing.


    it could very well be a joystick of some sort.

  • Vit

    I wander, does it support inking?

  • jkkmobile

    not joystick.. it’s menu button..

    about voice; there will be some devices supporting voice too.

  • StuartLittle


    can you also ask UMPCFever which HSDPA modem is inside?

  • icura

    Chippy, these comments are a lot harder to read in the new format.


  • dav

    I like how the iphone’s screen fits the whole device. theres still another 2″ of screen they can fill on this umpc.

  • Mike Cane

    Given that several key things don’t work when XP is installed, would that mean they never will work because MS isn’t about to create those drivers and aigo/whoever is probably prohibited from doing so too?


    i think its more likely that aigo have not prioritized windows xp on these as intel have focused on moblin for mid’s, as mid’s are supposedly a “lesser” cousin of the umpc…

  • TareX

    GREAT video, few questions:

    How is the graphical acceleration? Will it play games like C&C: Generals Zero Hour, or PES6?

    Can you try installing the Windows tablet edition (the one where u don’t need a mouse and can click with ur fingers instead?)

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