USI MID-160. ‘Worlds Thinnest MID’

Posted on 23 October 2008 by

USI have just sent us details of the USI MID-160 tablet-style Atom-based MID. Linux Devices reported on it a few days ago but it looks like they didn’t have the latest images. Pictures first, details afterwards…


Close-up and details follow.

Larger images in the gallery.

Lets not let that beautiful, stylish, sexy, desirable ID get the better of us before we’ve looked at the press release and specs though…

October 21, 2008 (Taipei, Taiwan): USI, a leading DMS company, showcased the world’s thinnest Mobile Internet Device (MID) based on the Intel® Atomâ„¢ processor at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Taipei, Taiwan. The USI MID-160 is a good example of USI’s expertise in miniaturization technologies and systems integration and will make it possible to enable consumers to carry the full Internet in their pockets.

The MID-160 adopts a 5-inch 800×480 pixel touch screen with 167,000 colors in a seamless ID design. With a 250g weight and a 1.5cm thickness, the MID-160 is the thinnest Intel Atom processor-based MID launched to-date in the world. Supported by an 8GB solid state disk (SSD) and with a microphone and instant communication softwares installed, users can communicate on the Internet anywhere at any time, achieving the aim of communication without borders.

Gilbert Wei, President of USI, indicated that USI began its R&D efforts for MIDs in 2007. In order to make the MID thin and light, MID-160 uses an in-house small footprint WiMAX SiP (system in package), a dual-band WiFi/WiMAX module, and a 3G module from Option — all packaged into a device featuring a customized ultra-thin 5-inch panel display.

“The new Intel Atom processor enables the best Internet experience in pocketable mobile Internet devices,” said Pankaj Kedia, director of global ecosystem programs for Intel Corporation’s Ultra Mobility Group. “It was designed to help make the Internet on small devices possible and for energy efficiency. When combined with USI’s system level innovation, the Intel Atom processor makes it possible to achieve smaller, yet smarter MIDs for the demanding mobile user.”

Our GTM501 device – the world’s smallest HSPA module – has been specifically designed to make MIDs truly pocketable. We’re delighted that we’re able to support USI in the development of such a compact and well-connected MID.” said Jan Callewaert, CEO of Option.

According to USI, through this in-pocket, ready to service MID, users can enjoy a PC-like internet experience including browsing the Internet with Flash and the latest web technologies. MID users can also connect with families and friends and enjoy full access to rich email including attachments.

MID160 Specifications

  • Processor: Intel Atom Processor
  • Size: 5-inch touch screen
  • Memory: 512MB
  • Operating System: Ubuntu Linux
  • Hard Disk: 8GB SSD
  • Wireless: supports WiFi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth, GPS, HSDPA or WiMAX
  • Weight: 250g

The first thing to note here is that it hasn’t got a keyboard. Half of my brain right now is saying ‘Forget the keyboard. It looks great!’ though! 250g is super-light too. On the images, we can see a few other specs.

  • 3.5 Mic or headset jack
  • Docking port (note the docking locator lugs.)
  • Micro SD Slot
  • SIM slot
  • Possibly a capacitive scroll area like you’ll find on the OQO Model 02.
  • Front-facing web cam
  • Ambient light sensor? (Top-right)
  • Capacitive ‘home’ button (Top left)

I don’t see a USB port but it’s not possible to see the LHS of the device in these images.

Also missing from the press release or email we received is any indication of CPU speed, price, availability and territory for this device. I suspect that because the device is an OEM device, you won’t see it sold under the USI brand so the CPU is variable between 800 and 1.1Ghz depending on USI’s customer requirements. Because it’s an OEM device it also means that it could be some months before USI’s customers push this through, if indeed they have any customers. The press release could in fact be aimed at getting a customer which means 3-6 months before you get it in your hands.

Naturally these questions, along with a request for a sample have already been sent to USI! I will put the details into the database as soon as I’ve hit ‘send’ on this.

USI MID-160 now in the database.

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  • fixup

    I remember the days when we were waiting and waiting for the Flipstart and OQO. Always some samples, news and “coming soon…”, but never saw the selling products. When they were finally shipping, they lost the public interest already.

    MID is doing the same. They’d better keep mouth shut off and don’t send out samples/details unless they are shipping to US market with XP driver ready.

    I love ASUS on this regards. The 900HA started shipping before we saw any review.

    • ecsk2

      OQO is what is called a startup company only started a few years prior to the release of the 01, and Vulcan Flipstart was also a startup though Vulcan Inc dates back to the 80’s, since Paul Allen invests into just about any category. So I don’t think you can compare startup pioneers inventing a segment with companies (all of them well known already from other products) trying to build a product around an Intel idea.

      Once again based on what are you telling large corporations to “shut up”? I’m sorry but there is no such legislation in the US that prohibits these companies from showing their products or prototypes or them selling them without Windows!

      900HA is just a small twist to the 900 which is just a small twist to…well you get the idea! There’s more EEE editions than one has fingers!

    • Sarig

      Pff, US markets. It’s Europe that counts! ;)


    oh crap, gimme gimme gimme :D

  • PlacidoDomenech

    ‘I remember the days when we were waiting and waiting for the Flipstart and OQO.’

    This days are now…waiting OQO 03 for battle this pletora of MIDs :)

    • ecsk2

      I have serious doubts we will see any 03 anytime soon if ever, what might happen is an “02+” with Atom, as that has already been shown, though declared by OQO as being “nothing”.

  • tal

    I wonder what kind of top notch GPS software can actually run on (Ubuntu) Linux?

  • deriuqer

    No trackpad,not even a keyboard.And whats all this hype about thinness ? Do we really have to follow this stupid Apple thing ?

    You people are iBrainwashed !


    • ecsk2

      I have to agree, despite liking my iPhone and Apple products, I don’t think we’re looking for another device like this. Actually no offense but with active touch screen it’s in my opinion worse than an iPhone as you HAVE to have a special stylus for it, no fingers on this one!

      • Chippy

        It could be capacative or it could be a mock-up so lets see what happens on the final model.

        • ecsk2

          Yes I understand, I wonder if there is an EDIT option for the WP threaded comments?? :) Feel free to delete the posts (2-3?) where I am falsely indicating this would have an active touch screen….

  • Chippy

    One thought. If it’s plastic over the screen, it must be capacative touch right? Either that or, more likely,the images are mock-ups and final resistive-touch capable devices won’t look as good.

    • ecsk2

      Oh you never stated active touch screen MY BAD!

      • Chippy

        I didnt say ‘active.’

        • ecsk2

          I know I didn’t read (and then I go around asking others “did you READ” :))…

          I saw this “Possibly a capacitive scroll area like you’ll find on the OQO Model 02.” and just though oh touch like on the OQO :)

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  • LVS

    Digifriends MID is also thin enough (18mm), and has several advantages.
    But this one is really thin and light.

  • Kris

    Cool device. Love the size, and it looks really pretty..

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  • Umpc User


    How sad, and also laughable, but then just sad again – that the “worlds thinnest” MID is 15mm thick.

    Again, I suspect there must be some compartment inside for storing m&ms or something – that would explain the totally unnecessary 5-7mm of extra thickness.

    Just for the record – this device is:

    – a screen
    – a chipset
    – an SSD that can be soldered into place and is essentially just another chip.

    Why that takes up more than 8 or 9mm of thickness is just a mystery. And don’t say battery because with the LxW dimensions of this device, you could clearly have a very large, very thin battery.

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  • Vikenty

    Chippy, in the database the weight of MID-160 is 200 gr (really it is 250 gr)

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  • alese

    I have just one problem with this. The 250g weight is nice and all but this basically mean that it will have a really small battery – I don’t think this will have a battery life to write home about…

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  • wintervssummer

    I very much love summer :)
    Someone very much loves winter :(
    I Wish to know whom more :)
    For what you love winter?
    For what you love summer? Let’s argue :)

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  • Kim


    Where can we buy it? I look around but I could not find a web merchant. Any idea?

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