FlipStart says goodbye to UMPCs, hello to MIDs and smartphones

Flipstart_sold_outIf your economic stimulus rebate was earmarked for the FlipStart 1.0 UMPC, which entered the market at $1999 and was eventually marked down to $699, then I’m afraid you’ll need to start looking for something else. The mini clamshell is completely sold out.

According to UMPCPortal, FlipStart Labs is "retreating from the UMPC market" and refocusing its efforts on MIDs and smartphones. Corroborating earlier information that retail duties were being taken on by Dynamism, the official purchase page now points to the importer for a slew of FlipStart add-ons. Among the available accessories are the FlipStart Executive Pack ($179), FlipStart Rugged Pack ($99), and FlipStart Style Pack ($89).

So much for the FlipStart 2.0 . . .

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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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10 thoughts on “FlipStart says goodbye to UMPCs, hello to MIDs and smartphones

  • That was no surpirse to me as I could have told them that a year before they produced based on their prototype pictures. Yes millions would love a full windows computer that is small but Flipstarts problem as well as many UMPC’s are:

    1- small means, small enough to be carried in a large jacket pocket, something 7 to 7.4″ by .36 to 4″ by 1″ in height.

    2- we are talking full windows so why would mainstream buyers want a thumb input? They do not and will not buy that input method for full windows.

    These two key flaws are why most UMPC’s are not finding many buyers.

  • Avatar of Emanuel Burgos

    I bought one of these when the price hit $699 and I have since been overjoyed with my purchase. It’s more powerful and portable than any Eeepc. And while it is not as portable as a PMP, it is certainly more powerful, flexible, and useful. I use it for surfing the net (not as bloody slow as a Nokia N810 or Archos 605), watching movies, playing games and emulation (including N64), and working on Office 2007 documents (which runs really well on the Flipstart). I also have no trouble seeing everything on the 5.6″ screen.

    Ultimately I believe that a lot of people discovered this powerful mini pc once the price fell to $699. Too bad that the initial price of $1999 scared too many potential customers away.

  • typo – ideal size should be 7 inches to 7.4 inches length, 3.6 inches to 4″ inches in depth, and no more than 1″ in height.

    You can not carry a Flipstart in your jacket pocket so it does not provide the carry everywhere mobility people want. If you need a computer bag you might as well carry a subnotebook or laptop.

  • Smaller lighter size, touch screen that flips back onto keyboard, around $600. Now make the Flipstart 2 please.

  • Smaller? noway, the problem is exactly what Al posted. A Flipstart 2 needs to be longer to accomodate a touch type keyboard, it needs to be narrower to be coat size and also thinner.

  • Cammy: They won’t make a Flipstart 2. They pulled out of the UMPC market. However, if they are now joining the MID crowd, you will probably see an Atom device. Not as a mini convertible tablet, though. It will brobably look similar to what all the other MID makers will offer – a ~ 5″ touchscreen device with or without a slide-out keyboard

    Al (or Primaz, as you call yourself in other forums): We have heard your opinion many times. And still I have not yet seen a UMPC maker building what you seem to be craving for (granted, that Sharp device only abailable in Japan comes close). Abd guess what, the most successful UMPCs look comlpetely differen from your design. They are either slate tablets (Asus R2H/E), slates plus thumbboard (Samsung Q1U, WiBrain), sliders (HTC Shift) or clamshells that are larger than waht you are describing (Fujitsu U810). If you want to count them in as UMPCs, the form factor that is currently most successfull are the mini-notenooks (netbooks) with 7″ – 8.9″ screen like the Asus EeePC or the HP2133.

  • Wow, have I been missing keys – please ignore the typos in my previous post :-)

  • Cammy, that is the problem all of the UMPC’s thus far are not selling. Just look at all of 2007, IDC reported a weak 350K worldwide sales. Its funny that the only so called success are low powered laptop sized computers with touch type keyboards. I think producing so many devices for almost two years now without a touch type keyboard and all having no success at selling them to mainstream people should make people get a clue that yes millions want a pocket computer but for full windows it needs to be a touch type keyboard.

  • I wonder when they will learn. I want a UMPC with a touch type keyboard, clamshell, rugged, decent processor (no VIA rubbish), and at least 4-6 hours battery life minimum for a start. I purchased a Flipstart when the price went down and it is one of the best devices I have ever purchased. I love it and hope they would design a Flipstart version 2.0 learning from their mistakes. However, it looks like someone else has already done this


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