Worth highlighting from the PMP perspective is the news that Intel Atom along with the Poulsbo will enable a full HD playback experience. While reviewers have yet to see this in action, Intel are talking about 1080p playback performance [PDF] and have also announced that Real Networks will produce an optimised (chipset and finger friendly) player and codec-set for the platform. [News]
I’m an Archos 605Wifi owner and it handles most content well but I certainly cant feed high bitrate or high resolution H.264 into it. As for the Internet aspect, it’s what I’d call ‘entry-level.’
Add the following features to the video playback capabilities and I think you’ll have something that raises the bar for high-end PMP’s so high that Archos and Cowon will have to introduce new models based on new hardware platforms in order to benefit from this growing portable Internet and media player (PIMP?) market. My prediction is that we’ll see Archos release an Intel-based MID within the next year. Anyway, here’s the list of features that needs to be considered.
- Unified codec pack
- Open software stack
- 3G modem
- 5", 800×480 screen
- Firefox 3 browser
- Navigation capabilities
- DX9 and Open-GL performance (enabling gaming and compelling UI’s)
- Full IM, email and productivity software suite
- Big developer network
- Massive PR and marketing weight.
Take the Gigabyte M528 for example. When (not if) I buy one I’m going to be getting a device that is essentially a Nokia N810 and Archos 605 Wifi on steroids. Both of those devices have value on their own but if you add the two together and throw in a 3G modem, you get far more than the sum of the parts. It moves the PMP into the realms of social media networking, one of the fastest growing segments in the Internet today. Yes, the price will be high on day one but the features, as far as I’m concerned are worth shelling out some beans for. HD playback, 3mbp auto focus camera, GPS, 3 hours battery life, 3G, keyboard, hi-res touchscreen and a Firefox 3 browser. Oh come on, this is just portable gadget heaven isn’t it?
If you’re a PMP fan, maybe an Archos or Cowon owner, I’d love to hear your opinion. What aspects of the current PMPs will MIDs have a problem with. Community? Price? Battery life? UI?