Something had to give last week. Despite two of us hitting CeBIT (representing UMPCPortal and JKKMobile) there was a serious lack of time to get much posting done. UMPCPortal was my primary blogging platform and Carrypad suffered which is a real shame because my heart is so much more with consumer Internet devices than 7" mini-notes.
I think I can summarise by saying that for me, CeBIT split into two threads. The mini-note thread (boosted by the Eee PC 900 announcement) and the Intel mobile Internet devices thread. It's the latter that's the focus here because Atom, the Intel processor brand that will be used in these devices, is all about consumer products. From TVs, fridges and cars through to 'netbooks' and 'nettops' (intel expressions) with PMPs, PNDs, dedicated Internet tablets and eventually in late 2009 or 2010, the smartphone. The processor is focused on size, power efficiency, heat and price, not processing performance. In addition to the Atom processor there's a big push to make a new operating system platform. Moblin is the Linux-based core OS that Intel is developing and we'll see this appear on many of the Atom-based products.
Here are a few examples. Firstly, (and my personal favorite right now) the Gigabyte M528 MID. Its a pocketable mobile Internet device with a finger-optimised and attractive user interface, 3G, cameras, flash storage and a slide-out keyboard. Pricing is said to be 699 Euros and it will include GPS, 3G and a 3mp auto-focus camera. I've written extensively about it over at UMPCPortal. Check out some of the videos and hands-on reviews.
Using the same Compal design but targeted at the Asian market is the Aigo branded version of the same device. Both devices have the same hardware but use different user interface layers over the Moblin core linux.
A similar 'slider' device is the A-Bit MID. This one is targeted for a global launch according to A-Bit. Specs are very similar but it might have a slightly more powerful processor and larger battery. Final specs aren't available at this stage. Look out for a presentation video on this at UMPCPortal in the next few days.
The LG device was at CeBIT but it's not a mobile Internet device, apparently. LG want to position it as a productivity or professional device and will offer it with Windows Vista and will call it a UMPC. A similar approach is being made by Toshiba too. Their pocketable device will also run windows and will also be called a UMPC. Strangely though, the Toshiba device doesn't have a keyboard.
Coming this summer!
Overall it looks very positive for consumer devices coming out of the Atom stable this year. We should expect to see 10 appearing in summer (before August) and another 10-20 coming out in the latter part of the year.
Clockwise from top: Gigabyte, Clarion, EB (probably under another brand), Lenovo (Asian market) Toshiba UMPC, LG UMPC, Digifriends, Aigo, ASUS, Benq.
For more details on Atom and the Intel MID plans, check out the Atom/MID article on UMPCPortal.com. Most of the devices are in the Carrypad product database and the UMPC Product database.
Note: UMPCPortal is having performance issues right now.
Labels: atom, intel, mobile internet, umpc