Posted on 21 April 2009
We mentioned a few weeks ago that the Wibrain i1 was being re-born as the EKing i1 and that some people had ordered via Ebay. [Their first impressions and discussion here.] We also managed to collect comments from a number of people that wanted to order the Eking i1 through a group order. Based on that (we like to think!) Mobilx, the ever UMPC-loving resellers from Hungary have negotiated a shipment and price.
513 Euros (including EU taxes, about 430 Euro for exports) will buy you the i1 with the 1.33Ghz CPU, 1GB RAM, 60Gb drive and the big 5hr+ battery life. Unfortunately the device is without 3G.
Update: Note that the price is excluding Windows XP.
Having done a lot of testing with the Wibrain prototype version of this I can tell you that not only is the battery life huge but the usability is fantastic. The mouse pad is superb and the keys are slightly improved over the B1 version that Wibrain sold in 2007/8. You’ll have to put up with 500gms of weight, a non-pocketable form factor and, lets be honest, not the most stylish of designs but its excellent value.
Timescales should be 2-4 weeks but keep an eye on the Mobilx info page for more details on that.
Posted on 06 April 2009
I’ve had unconfirmed and insider reports for months now that Wibrain (or rather NeoSolar, the owners) had sold the WIbrain operation to China-based E-King. The E-King website has been up for a while but it now looks like they’ve gone into production and are starting to sell the E-King i1 UMPC. That pretty much confirms all the rumors!
Two UMPCPortal readers have taken the plunge and bought one on Ebay. User ‘hansonweb’ has already received it and started to feed-back first impressions.
“It comes with 60gb hdd, z520 processor, 1gb memory. XP pre-installed…It came with a DVD with drivers. Hdd has two partitions, 20gb and 40gb. 40gb seems to have a restore image.
I like it so far. The only problem I have is it does not come with a vga or video adaptor. Their dm sheet says that it comes with a MicroSD, but it is actually a standard SD card slot.”
The i1 is certainly a great device [my review] and at 504 Euros including delivery, the Ebay-cost (non 3G version) isn’t bad but do watch out for support issues when buying from Ebay. Returns can be costly and take a long time.
I spoke with Mobilx this morning about the i1 and we couldn’t really come to a decision about whether importing it would be commercially viable. On one hand its a fantastically productive little ultra mobile PC but there’s obviously some risk where support is concerned. E-King is also unknown as far as build-quality goes. We could certainly try to put a group order together if people are ready to go forward with a purchase though. Let us know in the comments below and if there’s a lot of interest i’ll give Mobilx a call.
The Eking-i1 is now in the database.
Forum – WiBrain – Eking I1 available from manufacturer and maybe on eBay within a month… – UMPCPortal.com.
Posted on 31 March 2009
Jkk has pointed out that according to Aving, the new Wibrain M1 ultra mobile PC has left the prototype stage and will now get built for production. The new device is a handheld slider form-factor with a thumb keyboard. It’s great to see a new ultra mobile PC using this sliding form-factor, though the specs aren’t too impressive.
- 4.8 inch 1024×600 touchscreen
- 1.33GHz Atom Z520 CPU
- 512MB/1GB of RAM
- 8GB/16GB SSD
- Linux or Windows XP OS
From what we can see in the images, it looks like there may be a fold-up camera on the top of the unit like the one on the original Wibrain B1 [Product page]. There is also a USB port which has ‘Host’ written over it, so it can be assumed that you’ll be able to plug it into another computer and use it as an external HDD, though with only 8/16GB it would make for a very bulky flash drive! It looks like the unit will use a tiny trackpad to operate the mouse instead of a nub-mouse which would probably be preffered. The Wibrain M1 definitely has some tough competition in the space, going up against the entire UX series. Hopefully it will have good battery life and a quick SSD. The keyboard will probably be the deciding factor for many people, so let’s hope that it’s good as well! It doesn’t look like it in the pictures, but I’m hoping that the final production model will have a backlit keyboard. The Aving article says its for Korea but that could always change, and if it doesn’t see an international release but is still popular, I’m sure it’ll still be available through importers. Head over to jkkmobile for some more images.
Posted on 22 January 2009
I’m on my way to MBC09, the microblogging conference that starts tomorrow in Hamburg so its a good opportunity to do some more testing.
OQO 2+, Wibrain i1 and a mobile phone on a seat-back table.
Posted on 22 December 2008
This week it’s been my great pleasure to be testing another ultra mobile PC based on the Intel Menlow platform. It’s not my first as I’ve had the Gigabyte M528, Aigo MID and Kohjinsha SC3 but there’s a couple of things about this Wibrain i1 UMPC that are worth talking about and one of them is a real first in the mobile computing world and has got me all fired-up about UMPCs again. I’m not talking about the competitive pricing, hi-res touch screen, usable keyboard or built-in 3G. I’m talking about the battery life.
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Posted on 15 December 2008
Update: The WiBrain site is back. (Thanks jANjALANi.) Maybe we shook them up a bit because I now have some news about the i1. Coming later…
After delays on the WiBrain i1 and the disappearance of our usual contact-point within WiBrain, I was a bit suspicious that something was going on. Mobilx don’t have the original B1 models on offer any more and now it seems like the whole WiBrain website has been taken away.
Fingers crossed that this is just a short-term problem and that we’ll see the i1 soon. In the meantime, we’ll try and find out what’s happening.
Posted on 06 November 2008
One of the distributors of the Wibrain i1 has got hold of a Wibrain i1, snapped a few pics and made some comments in the forum here. If you’re looking the the ultimate Windows XP mobility device with the best battery life and best connectivity for, potentially, a very interesting price, keep reading.
The 1.3Ghz Atom-based device is based on the old Wibrain B1 design which was, quite frankly, an ugly brick to most people. There are some styling improvements which help it a little but don’t expect young geeks to be fainting at your feet when you whip it out. However, this is an action UMPC, not a flowery style-icon. It has the same easy-to-learn control layout (the touchpad is the best I’ve ever tried on a ultra mobile PC for example) and the same extremely high quality and brightness screen in a package that weighs 500gm. That’s 1.1lbs. It runs XP, has a 60GB hard drive, new SD card slot and re-positioned USB port. The real kicker is three-pronged though. 6hrs+ battery life on the standard 30wh battery, a 3G module and what looks like it could be an amazingly good price for such a setup.
Wibrain claim 7hrs on the standard battery. I’ve seen 6+ on the battery meter in hands-on testing and ‘Digital’, is now reporting 6.5hrs with wifi or 3G on. In marketing terms, this is an all-day UMPC in 500gms.
Final availability is still not 100% clear but early pricing indications at Mobilx look positive. 467 Euros ($600) pre tax without 3G and 532 Euros ($712) pre-tax with the 3G module. We’ll keep you updated on availability when we hear anything.
More links, news, details in the Wibrain i1 information page.
Posted on 20 August 2008
Here’s my video overview of the Wibrain i1 ultra mobile PC that I got hold of yesterday evening. Expect an October release at a $500/500 Euro starting price. (Not including 3G)
Posted on 28 July 2008
Update: It’s the I1 (i1) not the L1. My mistake. Sorry Wibrain!
Detailed specifications and links are now in the database.
This, just in from Wibrain.
We had news from UMPCfever that Wibrain were working on an Atom-based ultra mobile PC and I can now bring you some details in English. The L1 i1 will be based on the B1 design, will have an updated casing design and will include variants of the Silverthorne Atom processor and an HSDPA module.
It’s planned to be launched running on Menlow (Silverthorne/Poulsbo) in two versions, one with a 1.1Ghz CPU and one with a 1.3Ghz version. The usual 30Gb or 60Gb drive options are available and you’ll also have SSD options up to, wait for it, 64GB! It is planned to be built with Windows XP or Linux (version unknown.) Target weight and dimensions are as per the B1 model. 500gm. One specification that many will be happy to see is an SD card slot. Simple but very useful and missing from the previous, B1 model.
As for battery life, we have a document here that says 6-hours browsing. I’m not sure if that’s with the 30Wh battery or the double-capacity battery. Were checking. It is possible that, with an SSD and the 1.1Ghz CPU that they can reach this figure with the standard battery and a low-level backlight but it’s going to be tough. We know that already! (Update: Wibrain tell us it’s 6-hours with the standard battery – Wow. Even if it’s 5, i’m interested!) Availability is planned for October through global channels. (Yes, U.S. is included in the target territory list.)
For those that haven’t read much about the Wibrain UMPCs, they’re good value and easy to use. The touchpad works exceptionally well and the split keyboard is one of the quickest for URL and password entry. If Wibrain reach 6-hour browsing time on the standard battery I’m sure it will sell extremely well. Links and information about the B1, here. I’ll add the i1 to the database ASAP.
Posted on 16 July 2008
I missed this one a few days ago. UMPCFever are reporting that NeoSolar, the new owners of the Wibrain brand, will market a new version of the Wibrain with Atom, HSDPA and a makeover. Apparently the info appears on a Wibrain website.
The styling on the rendering that appears on UMPCFever’s article looks a lot better than the old version. I hope the back and sides get the same treatment! It would probably have to be a Menlow platform to fit into the Wibrain casing and it would depend on the clockrate as to how powerful it would be. Lets hope for 1.33Ghz and above where hyperthreading and the 533Mhz FSB kicks in. The existing Wibrain has a big, 30wh battery so if they achieve some efficiencies over and above the existing device, it could be a 4hr in-use device. They might solve the heat problems too as it certainly isn’t the coolest and quietest on the block.
We’ve been in contact with Wibrain but haven’t had any response yet. One of our reseller contacts might have some more info for us next week though. Stay tuned.
In other WIbrain news, apparently the 32GB SSD versions of the existing version are arriving in stock in Europe (and we assume in other territories) this week.
Oh by the way, if you’re wondering what the big black lollypop stick is all about, it is probably a 3G antenna for use in fringe areas. A great idea.
Posted on 25 April 2008
Ah, back to ‘real’ UMPCs at last. This last week has been so packed with netbook news that I’m starting to think that you can only use an ultra mobile PC at a table! This should fix it! The Wibrain accessory set.
The Wibrain starts with Linux at at under 475 Euros (inclusive tax) now which if you take into consideration that it’s running the same processor as the Cloudbook and includes hard drive, touchscreen, bluetooth and weighs just over half the wight of an Eee PC, is a pretty impressive price. Who said UMPCs were expensive!
Wibrain have sent over the accessory pack and you can see where they are going with it. From office to home via the car.
More after the break…
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