Categorizing Intel MIDs


While most agree that the new crop of Eee-alike mini notebooks should be called netbooks, the MID term hasn’t been quite so lucky. Since Intel coined the acronym last year, we’ve seen company after company adopt the term and define it to their own set of standards. And while no one can deny that devices like the iPhone and Nokia N810 are, in fact, mobile internet devices, I personally still make the distinction between them and the "real" MIDs: the Intel MIDs.

That I’m probably alone in doing so doesn’t bother me in the least. I’ve always been a bit of a stickler, you see, so I’m used to grumbling about minor details that don’t matter to anyone else. What I’m having trouble with, and what I would appreciate your input in, is how to categorize the kinds of devices within the Intel MID class. (Yes, these are the kinds of "problems" I have.)


We’ve got the sliders, the devices with displays that slide up to reveal QWERTY keyboards.





And then we’ve got the rest: the modular Digifriends WiMAX MID, the Lenovo Ideapad U8, the Clarion MiND, the Toshiba unit (to name a few). How do we classify these MIDs? Are they slates? Handhelds? Ugly?

I can’t seem to accept the terms "slate" or "tablet," as they seem better suited for UMPCs. While some are rather slate-like, they don’t look a whole lot different from your average Archos or Cowon PMP (and no one calls an Archos device a slate).

Anyway, so that’s what’s on my mind right now (random thoughts at 4am). It’s minor and ridiculous, I know, but it matters to me. And the fact that so many people began using the term "netbook" after both Gizmodo and Engadget weighed in on what the Eee PC class of mini notes should be called means that it must matter to some of you too.

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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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