Renamed UMID BZ set to make its grand entrance at CES
Formerly known as the UMID M2, the renamed UMID BZ, which will also be sold as the similarly named Onkyo BX, is now set to launch at CES later this week. We were aware of the name change and launch date for a few weeks but were unable to reveal it until now. But now that the cat's out of the bag, let's get down to some of the nitty gritty.
Being the successor to the M1, the BZ retains similar hardware specifications such as the 4.8" WSVGA touch screen, Intel Atom Z515 processor at 1.2GHz running Windows XP Home, 512MB RAM, b/g WiFi, and Bluetooth 2.0. Improvements have been made by adding an optical mouse pointer and mouse buttons, replacing the non-standard ports with standard USB 2.0 and 3.5mm audio ports, and introducing a refreshed casing design featuring what appears to be a matte non-slip rubber coating on the outside. According to a hands-on report by Lazion, battery life is said to be in the region of 5 hours with the device going on sale around the middle of this month. Pricing information including the previously quoted $499 figure is currently unconfirmed.
I was always really impressed by the diminutive size of the UMID M1 keeping in mind that it featured similar hardware to larger devices, and the BZ looks to be a nice step forward in terms of the design, addressing some of the drawbacks of the previous model. From the images, the new device also appears to be better quality than its predecessor, although we will need to wait for confirmation of this. Unfortunately, I and I'm sure many others would have liked to have seen a step forward in the specifications: a faster processor and more RAM would have been more than welcome.
As previously mentioned, the UMID BZ and recently announced Viliv N5 are very similar in terms of form factor, design, and hardware. I'm very much looking forward to finding out more about these new devices and comparing them when they launch at CES; I'm sure Chris will be on hand to give us all the details. Don't forget to head over to Lazion for more images including comparison shots with the M1.Lazion via UMPCPortal]