Compal MID. 10-mins, Inside and Out.

Updated on 28 January 2009 by

Whe I tested the Gigabyte M528 sample version of the Compal (codename, JAX10) MID back in July last year, I was looking at an extremely basic software stack. When I tested the Aigo MID version a few months ago, the situation was better but not impressive…

The Aigo P8860 MID is a slightly unpolished, slightly locked-down, slightly thin-app, early-adopters Mobile Internet device. Almost everything in the application suite is underwhelming and after the initial unboxing high, the experience takes a sharp dive.

When I tested the latest Compal Jax10 sample last week, I felt like it was getting close towards being consumer-ready. The application suite was a lot better. In this video that I made for MIDMoves, I go through nearly all of the applications. Highlights for me, over and above what I’ve seen before, are Skype support, live video streaming, camera and games. Putting it into perspective though, there’s a long way to go. The experiences needs to be a lot smoother and many of the applications are stil under-par. There’s no GPS app, no security and silly things like not being able to use the camera when the browser is open. Having said that, I heard just a few days ago that Compal already have a new software stack ready so maybe i’m one step behind here!

The Blip.tv flash video is embedded below but there’s a YouTube version, a WMV version an H.264 version and, apparently, our Blip.tv videos are being syndicated to iTunes now!

More information on the Compal MID is available through our community link list.

Source: MIDMoves

28 Comments For This Post

  1. fab says:

    ..i’m posting a comment before i even saw the vid…hm..anyway. a BIG THANKS to you Steve! as i was sooo waiting for something like this. personally i think this is the exact perfect device i want to use. it’s not the power machine i want, but the mobile and small device that can do nearly everything..but is it ready yet?

    skype, text editing, connect external keyboard for long texts, gps (check out tangoGPS for linux) and everything else.

    if this can run firefox, text editors and openoffice including some movie and music players (vlc, exaile etc) and some tools i need for work it’s perfect. netbooks are ok, but boring and not so portable.

    THANKS STEVE!!

    ps..end of march i’m in italy and i still plenty of time to think about getting the TIM IDOL which is the same device. that is why i am searching for ANY possible information about this compal ref device.

  2. turn.self.off says:

    im guessing the browser has flash, could it be that it locks the camera wheen the browser is running?

  3. baap says:

    do the windows drivers ported for the aigop8860 work on this (Im assuming this is smilar to P8888W ) ?

    thanks

    / \\/

  4. baap says:

    im sorry did you say 4 gigs of RAM ???

  5. EC says:

    Yes he did SAY 4 giga of Ram, but its rather 2Gb+2Gb of SSD memory and 512Mb Ram :)

    Enough to run XP just fine like I am on mine along with JKK on his.

  6. chow says:

    Hi, I’m a big fan of your bike tour last year. It seems that these MIDs are getting much power efficient than that of your last tour. Would you share with us the latest info on power consumption of these machines? Many thanks.

  7. chippy says:

    Hi Chow.
    Great question. In 2006, the best umpcs were averaging 9w when connected to the net. the OQO Model 02 was particularly efficient at bout 7-8W.

    In 2008, im seeing averages of about 5W on a 1.3Ghz Atom with a 4.8″ screen.
    In the best case, E.g. with Aigo, were averaging 4W connected over wifi.

    For comparison, smartphones average about (based on my tests) 1.2-1.5W when in use over GSM and 2W over 3G BUT, page load times are twice as long! Watts per webpage on both classes of device are very very similar. Its only the standby time on smartphones that really set them apart and thats what Intel is aiming to achieve with Moorestown. Al-day on. (Its arguable that a bigger screen makes the best UMPCs far more energy efficient for getting a particular job done when compared to smartphones)

    Il be interested to see how long the Palm Pre lasts on a charge. Its got a high end processor (in the same order of processing power as an 800Mhz Atom)

    As we move forward, expect power averages to for high end smartphones and mids to meet in the 2W range. At that point, its all about the software and design.

    Steve

  8. chippy says:

    For 2008 in para 2 above, read 2009, Sorry.

  9. chow says:

    Wow, Steve, for an average of 5W power consumption devices may I suggest that you can try on crank power option! Inspiring by your bike trip experiment, I recently googling on crank power for cyclist and I found bike generator in modern world can produce up to 6 even 8W of power, which according to your average 5W observation can be good enough for driving MIDs and even OQO.

    The Busch-Muller Dymotec S12 (12 volts/6 watts):
    http://www.nordicgroup.us/s78/dynamo.html

    A Taiwan company is developing a bike generator that up to 8W and can be stored in a battery for later use:
    http://www.ylcpchome.com/siza.html

    Any comment?

  10. w says:

    I am wondering why they only installed 4 gigs of flash memory. Being kind of a multimedia device it should have at least 16 gigs. Even the smallest iphone has 8 gigs built in. Other than that a nice little device.

  11. EC says:

    Unlike the iPhone which is an iPod with a phone and browser this is as the name says a Mobile INTERNET device :)

  12. brook Zerihun says:

    This type of a device was meant to be connected, to stream music to get content, to get on and off quickly, but most importantly to be used by someone as a companion device. When you think about it with Pandora and Slacker, why would you need to carry an entire library of music. Don’t get me wrong, the device was built on such weak specs, I would love to see 16gb or 32gb, but when you move in price you will find devices that don’t require as much compromising, you can have the full day on device, with solid state drive, with an outdoor screen, with GPS built in 3G Camara, and anything your heart could imagine.
    I will hold out for an all day device, too bad the everun was not continued with an ATOM upgrade, that would be a device I would pay a premium for.
    Any news on anything in the works that has some real world all day device.

  13. Cezar says:

    Video works great in Skype!!!! ( this is skype for mid beta available here )
    http://share.skype.com/sites/garage/2009/01/skype_for_mids_beta.html

  14. chippy says:

    Thanks Cezar
    What device are you testing on?

  15. Cezar says:

    on an alice mobile mid idol

  16. Cezar says:

    you can activate video when a voice call is active

  17. Vinny the vapourware man says:

    Any idea when someone is going to actually sell these MIDS that aren’t pre-beta-beta units? And for a reasonable price? The only one that Expansys.co.uk had, which kept increasing in price, has disappeared from their site.

  18. chippy says:

    Keep an eye on Mobix. I know they advertise here but because of the constant chats we have together I know they are working very hard on getting Aigos and Gigabytes direct from Asia.

    As for the U.S. keep an eye out for Velocity Micro
    http://www.umpcportal.com/2009/01/velocity-micro-to-bring-notemagix-m5-mid-compal-design-to-us-market-in-spring

    Steve

  19. chasmic says:

    I received my gigabyte m528 from expansis at the beginning of this week. hopefully i’ll get chance to write up my first impressions before the weekend in the forum.

    but, looking at steve’s video, it would appear that the OEM compal unit he’s got has a much more ‘full’ (later) UI and application suite than my m528 has. so just a heads up if for anyone planning to buy the gigabyte units that are currently available – they probably won’t have all the apps steve has just demo-ed.

    i’m hoping that some kind of upgrade becomes available (and upgrade method!) from gigabyte (or a hack that allows me to upgrade to the compal build)

    /jAmES

  20. fab says:

    basically it’s the same device, so an image of the system should work as well on your device. though OEM is OEM and you never know. i think you have two options:

    1. stick with what you have

    or

    2. hack the hell out of the device! tweak, wipe the drive (creating an image recommended) and install everything which is available out there.

    install also tangoGPS for GPS…

    me personally i would not be able to use my idol (ergo M528 etc.) for quite a long as i would do all possible tests with it.

    waiting for your impressions / review of the device :-)

  21. EC says:

    ..or just install XP on it :) (with some limitations still like no wifi drivers)

  22. fab says:

    oops..you told this to the wrong one :-) i do not like XP. i mean, it’s not a bad OS, i just don’t like it. we’re talking about mobile devices and here XP is just not the right choice for ME. XP is a fantastic desktop OS, that’s it.

    I tried tangoGPS on a roverpc A700Q, which is the gigabyte M704 i think. it’s not bad at all. at least i did not have to find a cracked/hacked version of iGO for pc which is nearly 2 GB with all maps and my friend still complains the maps are not updated..

    i’m very keen on the review/first impression report of @chasmic@… keep us posted. thanks

  23. EC says:

    Well actually I agree on XP not being the best OS out there, frankly it’s not the OS I mainly use even, I’ve less than two years ago switched to OS X on by desktop setup, however it runs XP also in a virtual mahince since I need it.

    This brings me to my reasons for wanting XP on a pocketbale device my ultimate goal is to not only be able to communicate and interact with the web while being mobile as I already have for a decade but to have the ability to run all the programs I need constantly that are only available for XP, and it’s a handfull of them.

  24. chasmic says:

    i have both XP and Ubuntu installed on my laptop, and i generaly get about 25%-33% longer battery time under Ubuntu compared to XP… surely it’s going to be the same when running XP on one of these Compal based units – you’ve going to notice a significant drop in usable battery time…

  25. fab says:

    i’ve been running vista (even worse than XP) on my tablet, it came preinstalled and it came with included nightmare on usability. i kept a dual boot for a long time with ubuntu. while i was travelling in the plane, i chose ubuntu where i was able to finish the movies that in vista i could not finish to see.

    i’m not sure about these MID platforms concerning battery life, ubuntu in general is not exactly THE power efficient OS, but if you change the default settings (CPU scaling is fantastic, brightness etc.) i’m sure you can get more battery out of these devices. but MIDs should have already in standard mode long battery life. this IS a portable device, i do not want to recharge it all the time after 3 hours. i expect these devices to have at least 5 hours! it’s sort of compromise while i’m out somewhere and if i need to connect. i would like to use it as media player on the go, if sitting in a cafe to browse the web, when travelling at the airport or plane, or whatever, that i don’t have to check the remaining time all the time. on my tablet if i have 20% left, it means in 15 min it’s dead. if i see 20% on a MID i want to be sure i still have 1 hour!

  26. fab says:

    yes, i’ve used XP for many years, though i switched to ubuntu because it offers me more than XP and I have the better choice in general concerning apps. there are always specific programs for a specific platform that i prefer, anyway..i think it’s great to have a choice.

    but as you can see from above video, even though the UI is not entirely touch friendly (small icons panel etc.) it is still way better to use than having XP. with XP you’re totally busted without a pen or stylus. even if i don’t like the iphone, it still is so easy to just grab it and touch an icon and do what you want without having to use a stylus and use goggles to actually see something with small icons. i’m not old, but sometimes i have problems seeing the menu entries on the 7″ screen on an umpc of my friend – with XP.

    i agree that XP is a great productivity OS, but i am so tired of having all the time to see and feel that people do not want to leave that OS finally to rest and try something new! it IS an old OS, why not going back to Win 2K, it will run even better on MIDs than XP. come on people, win XP is old and even you all know that not all drivers are available.

  27. Quazy says:

    Well even though i hate the fact of 2+2 gb SOLDERED sd. I will be getting this or the viliv s5 what ever releases in the usa first. Even though i know they are diffrent devices on with keyboard one with out..one with faster processor and ram….etc. For me it come down to which ever is available first here in the usa with full xp drivers.

  28. Leo says:

    Needs vibrate for notifications and Skype calls

Recommended Reading

Top Ultra Mobile PCs

Dell Latitude E7440
14.0" Intel Core i5-4200U
GPD Pocket 2
7.0" Intel Core m3-8100Y
GPD Win 2
6.0" Intel m3 7Y30
Viliv S5
4.8" Intel Atom (Silverthorne)
Lenovo Ideapad Flex 10
10.1" Intel Celeron N2806
Acer Aspire Switch 10
10.1" Intel Atom Z3745
Acer Aspire E11 ES1
11.6" Intel Celeron N2840
Microsoft Surface Go
10.0" Intel Pentium 4415Y
LG G8X THINQ Dual Screen
6.4" Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Toshiba Portege Z930
13.3" Intel Core i5 3427U