Official information at Computex and sent directly to us from Gigabyte today was that the specifications remain unchanged. We’re still looking at an impressive, pocketable combination of 800×480 touchscreen, 3mp auto-focus cam and 4GB SSD on 800Mhz Silverthorne/Poulsbo (Menlow) with integrated GPS and 3G modules all controlled from the Moblin-based software with it’s ‘Merry-go-round’ user interface. A full suite of applications includes a browser based on the Firefox 3 engine, Skype, Pidgin IM, OpenOffice 2.4 and many others. [more after the pic...]
The price? Including 3G but excluding any form of data contract (you’re free to drop your own SIM into this one unlike the other 3G-enabled MID that launched this week!) is a recommended $750 (end-user price) in the Taiwan market. That compares well with unsubsidised smartphones like the HTC Advantage and Nokia E90 and makes the OQO 02 3G look somewhat over-priced! $750 is ground-breaking for a 3G-enabled miniature computer although, despite its features, it seems it’s still going to disappoint many of you that voted in the poll (shown below.) 80% of people that voted said they’d only pay up to $600 for the device. 10% of you were happy with $750 though so that’s at least 70 of you that will be thinking about placing an order. [Don't forget to use our affiliate links in the product page and help out UMPCPortal!]
Availability will be late-July in Taiwan which is a slip from the previously expected launch date so I expect that we’ll start to see reviews in mid-July (hopefully here at UMPCPortal) where we’ll find out about battery life (our estimate: 2.5 working wifi/3G hours on the 10wh battery) the navigation capabilities (turn-by-turn included?) the quality of the cam (3mp auto-focus sounds impressive,) speed of applications, heat, noise and all the other questions that a spec-sheet doesn’t answer. Availability dates for other territories are not clear at this stage but August seems likely.
Pre-order is now available through our affiliate partners Expansys and Mobilx although they don’t appear to have pricing up yet. I’ve got my order in already though and am looking forward to being one of the early adopters of this new breed of pocketable PCs.
More information including links to our CeBIT hands-on are available in the M528 product page.