TCL shows off iOpen-081A pocket internet device

Tcl_pocket_internet

When Pocketables reader Mifoof emailed me with a tip about a new Chinese handheld by TCL called the "pocket internet cafes," I wasn’t sure what to make of it. My mind immediately recalled those cheap Windows CE "UMPCs" displayed at CES, which were basically poor quality no-name devices that were never heard from again, but after some googling turned up a number of results from relatively well known Chinese tech sites, I decided to look into it further.

I can’t make heads or tails of the "pocket internet cafes" moniker, but the 9.1-ounce device has been christened the iOpen-081A by its maker. Most of its specs are nothing to write home about (Win CE 5.0, ARM926 processor, 2GB NAND flash, 64MB SDRAM), but its integrated wi-fi, GPS, USB host/device ports, digital camera (still and video), and SD card slot aren’t too shabby for 2300 yuan (~$336).

Iopen_081a_keyboard

An in-depth overview of the 4.3-inch-touchscreened unit shows it connected to an external keyboard, mouse, and USB drive, which is a nice feature that even some mainstream devices don’t have.

Tcl_iopen_081a

The iOpen-081A uses Internet Explorer as its web browser, Windows Media Player 9 as its music/video player (MP3, MP4, WMA, AVI), MSN for instant messaging, and Skype for voice calls.

Iopen_office

It also comes with Office software, PDF viewer, handwriting recognition support, and an iSilo ebook reader (PDB, PRC, TXT) application.

There’s nothing revolutionary here and the design won’t appeal to everyone, but for less than $350, it really doesn’t look too bad as a PDA or low-end mobile companion.

Update: More images here. Thanks, Raz!

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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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