PsiXpda UMPC launches in Europe this week. Look familiar?
As we know, most UMPCs come from companies in Asia, with products from American and European companies less common. Hence it is with some interest that we hear that PsiXpda, a company based in England, is launching its PsiXpda UMPC in the UK and the rest of Europe this week. PsiXpda is founded by Paul Pinnock, a former employee of Psion Teklogix (formerly Psion), a company famous for its Psion Organizer handheld computer and PDA products over the past 20+ years. PsiXpda has described its new product as the spiritual successor of the Psion.
You may notice that the PsiXpda looks strikingly similar to the EKING S515 MID we have previously featured on the site. That's because it is simply a rebranded version of that device, which is a little ironic knowing that the EKING S515 is itself a rebranded DigiCube MIDPhone-50 (which itself is a modified Willcom D4)!
As such, the PsiXpda has exactly the same specifications as the S515, running Windows XP Home with a 1.1GHz Intel Atom Z510 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB SSD, and featuring WiFi b/g, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, two USB ports (one mini), and an optional/interchangeable 3G voice/data modem. This allows the company to fit in the suitable 3G modem depending on the country/network. Also like the S515, the device has the same slider form factor with a full QWERTY backlit keyboard and 4.8-inch WVGA tilting resistive touch screen. In addition to the keyboard and touch screen, a trackpad and mouse buttons are built into the bezel along with a front-facing VGA webcam. A nice design touch is that the trackpad is unmarked and simply occupies the right-side bezel area. There is also a slot for microSD cards on the bottom of the device. The 1850mAh battery has a claimed battery life of 2-4 hours depending on usage of the wireless connectivity. The whole package measures 6.85 x 3.30 x 0.98 inches (WxHxD) and weighs 15.17oz. Currently the PsiXpda will be available in two colors, black and white.
The price in the UK will be £500, which works out to be around US$818. It's important to note that this price includes 15% tax, which would mean the price minus tax would roughly be £435, working out to a more reasonable US$712. This is still a little pricey taking into account the hardware, but I am tempted to wait until the official US retail price is released before speculating any further.
Some early impressions of a demo unit by the team over at SlashGear are positive overall, with the unit's light weight and good build quality being noteworthy. Performance is said to be decent taking into account the specifications, with XP booting up in around 35 seconds, programs opening quite briskly, and no problems during web browsing. Each of the wireless options are able to be switched on/off independently and using 3G they were also able to make calls and send SMS messages. The touch screen and trackpad are also said to be responsive with the keyboard being decent for the small size. Some negatives include the inherent issues with running WinXP on a small low-res screen and the included stylus being too thin and short. Check out the video below for more.
Lastly, UMPCPortal has learned that PsiXpda will have more new products down the road and will shortly release a dock for its new product, explaining the port at the bottom of the device next to the microSD slot. The port will likely include two additional USB ports and VGA output.
I think the PsiXpda looks good and very usable with some nice features, interface, and connectivity options. But I think much would depend on the final price of the product in other markets. Would the PsiXpda have a place in your gadget arsenal? Let us know your comments!