The BenQ MID first spotted nearly a year ago and officially announced in February is back in the news again and looking quite lovely in this never-before-seen photo that UMPCPortal found at BusinessWeek. Now called the MID Aries2, the 4.8-inch slate recently won an IDEA 2008 award for "offering end-consumers a most intuitive mobile internet surfing experience." The company’s Free Surf UI, which allows users to shake the device to minimize and align active windows, impressed the judges with its "unprecedented operation experience of mobile internet and complete removal of consumers’ usage barriers in handheld devices."
The new Aries2 photo shows the MID looking slightly different than it did in the spec sheet above, but exactly as it did in the colorful hands-on shots, from a few months ago. This latest image has likely undergone some light photoshopping (the UI is so 3D that it’s actually coming out of the top of the screen!), but it still looks better than ever.
What it will look like in its final, retail iteration will be known soon enough, as BenQ has been quoted as saying that the Aries2 "would be launched in Europe this quarter" (news release via UMPCPortal). Hmm. Since we’re just about in the middle of this quarter right now, the wait could actually be over in a few weeks!
I’d be happier with a slider design, but as far as slates go, this is one I wouldn’t mind adding to my arsenal. I wonder what the price will be. $800 max?