Intel targets consumers with MID Linux-based UMPCs

Intel_mid1The Intel Developer Forum (IDF) is officially underway in Beijing right now, where attendees are living 18 hours ahead of me here in Hawaii. Judging from all the presentation PDFs prematurely posted over the weekend, there will be an overload of announcements and other information this week about CPUs and platforms (early round-up here).

Most interesting to me are the four new UMPCs that are supposed to be unveiled. But so far, instead of specific model launches, early information indicates only that Intel will announce an entirely new platform dubbed the Mobile Internet Device (MID). Aimed at "consumers and prosumers" (rather than UMPCs’ business-professional market), MIDs will sport slightly smaller displays with various resolutions (4" to 6", 800 x 480 to 1024 x 600), run the RedFlag MIDinux Linux distro (above-my-head analysis here), and feature HSDPA and wi-fi connectivity.

It turns out that the MID platform, uncloaked, is actually McCaslin (you know, that not-so-well-kept secret of a UMPC platform with the 600 to 800MHz Stealey processor).


According to ZDNet, the first MID devices are due out in 2008 and will "run an embedded Linux OS but with a mix of open-source and proprietary code." Some of the presentation slides suggest that cold-boot times will be a speedy 18 seconds and boots from standby an even speedier 3.5 seconds! (If you saw my UX180P and Q1P boot times, you’ll understand my excitement over this.)


Is this the future of UMPCs or just another option for a pocketable PC? Linux has been in a UMPC before, so I’m curious about where the new MIDs will find a home.

A lot will, of course, depend on price point. And it’s probably unwise to put too much stock into the fact that Intel is touting the MID as a consumer device. After all, you might remember that UMPCs were supposed to be $500 consumer devices when they were first launched, too.

Now where are those four new units? And will they be MIDs or UMPCs?

[via UMPCPortal]

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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