UMPCs and MIDs shrink as they age

I have to admit that when Intel’s Anand Chandrasekher said back in January that ultra-mobile devices would be "one-quarter the size of the current architecture and use half the power" this year and "one-seventh the size of current devices and use one-tenth the power" next year, I thought he was crazy. Actually, I thought I misread the source article. But now that Chandrasekher has made good on his promise to disclose more details at IDF, it’s quite clear that he wasn’t kidding (at all!) about the evolutionary shrinkage.


General device dimensions haven’t been released yet, but most of the 2007 prototypes displayed at IDF look to be a lot closer in size to the OQO Model 02 and Sony UX series than, say, the Samsung Q1. And the 2008 Menlow-based devices are even smaller. Have a look at this picture showing another Menlow prototype (left) next to the UMP-based Aigo UMPC.


Obvious design inspiration and the questionable fairness of comparing a MID (I swear that says "MID" in the bottom-left corner of the Menlow unit’s screen) to a UMPC aside, what confounds me most is where this is all heading. Will Menlow and beyond-Menlow UMPCs mark the end of Windows Mobile devices? Will consumer-targeted Menlow and beyond-Menlow MIDs mark the end of portable media players (PMPs), particularly those with wi-fi?

After the first 7-inch UMPCs were announced last year and Sony’s 5-inch U series was transforming into the 4.5-inch UX series, I remember a hot topic on several forums being that full-blown Windows on anything smaller than 7 inches was ridiculous and useless. But now, judging by the blogosphere’s general reaction to the IDF unveilings, these smaller devices are suddenly the bee’s knees.

Is the (simplified) ultimate goal to stuff UMPC functionality into a smartphone-sized device?

[via Engadget]
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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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