Cowon prepping Atom-powered W2 MID for release


About a year ago, I heard a rumor that Cowon was working on a UMPC called the W1 that might be revealed at CES 2009. When the device didn't show up there or anywhere else over the next few months, I figured it would never materialize and put it near the bottom of my watchlist.

Six months later, Stellist Design found a listing for a USB keyboard that they suspected could be an accessory for a Cowon MID. A few weeks after that, IT Inside (another Korean blog) published a post that included the following translated line as its summary: "MID PMP Cowon type comes out in October." Something was obviously in the works, yet none of my "cowon UMPC" or "cowon w1" searches yielded any useful results.

And now I know why.

The purported Cowon W1 UMPC has become the very real Cowon W2 MID (via moveplayer).

Other than its name, its inclusion of Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, and the fact that it will run on an Intel Atom processor, nothing else is known about the unit (the profile pics page is currently empty). The software version number suggests that a Cowon-customized UI or overlay could be involved and launched separately from the main operating system (XP or Windows 7, perhaps?), a feature seen on both the UMID M1 and Viliv S5, which also just so happen to be Atom-based MIDs from Korea.

We could also speculate that the W2 will have a 4.8-inch screen based on the "4.8" noted in the design description. The UMID M1 and Viliv S5 have 4.8-inch screens as well, and the S5 is actually mentioned by name in the IT Inside article.

There are obviously still a lot of holes that need to be filled to get a more complete picture of the W2, but I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up looking quite a bit like the Q5W, which has been in need of a significant boost in specs for a while now anyway.

Update 1.11.10: Cowon W2 now official.

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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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