I got an email from a regular reader this morning and it was interesting to read thoughts that so closely echoed my own. It centers around frustration at the lack of MID hardware on the market so on a day where we’ve seen a lot of MID-related software announcements, it seems right to talk about the lack of hardware.
I wrote last month about the delays and said I would re-visit the issue at the end of October but I’m sorry to report that nothing much has happened. Sure, the Aigo MID is now shipping out of Japan as an export (without 3G) and the Benq MID is available in Italy (without a keyboard) but where’s the Gigabyte M528 that so many of us were looking for? The Kohjinsha MID, the Abit, Tritec, and the rest of the 33 MIDs? What about ARM-based MIDs. The Archos 5G? Where’s my Firefox-enabled, sub 400gm, 3G-enabled, 4+hr mobile Internet device? My Carrypad?
What amazes me is that the only device out there that is available and gets close to the mark is one that’s been on the market for over 18 months now. The Raon Digital Everun. I had one and enjoyed it [review] for a long time, but I moved forward to a Q1 Ultra for productivity reasons. Now that I have a netbook for my tabletop and productivity work, I need a 3G-enabled MID more than ever. Why am I not able to highlight anyone else’s devices? Has the netbook market taken so much grip that all focus has been diverted to squeeze out the consumers Christmas cash with cheap laptops? Do I have to go back to the Everun?
The only device that looks like it’s starting to feed through, albeit via exporters, is the Compal MID under the Aigo brand, but it doesn’t exactly look like a consumer-ready device from where I’m standing. (Test device arrives here on Thursday or Friday.) I spoke on the phone briefly with JKK of JKKMobile earlier and he’s loving the Aigo but he’s completed a 3G mod and hacked Firefox 3 onto it. I don’t have the time or desire to do the 3G mod so should I settle for tethering? The Wibrain i1 is another possibility but like the Everun, its not quite pocketable.
Are there are other people doing the waiting game for a fully capable Internet-focused MID? How many of you are looking at other alternatives? Are you looking at 3G-enabled netbooks? A smartphone upgrade? Are you considering the Everun, Wibrain or Aigo MIDs? Or are you just going to wait? It’s an interesting question so I’ve put a poll below. Write some comments too as I know a few resellers that would love your feedback on what devices you’d like to see in the market.