Although what we're looking at here isn't anything spectacular on its own, the idea behind it is quite lovely. This is the new Aigo Walkshow NX7001, a handheld slate running Maemo that packs a 4.3" WVGA touchscreen, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, WebKit-based browser, microSD slot, and 3.2-megapixel camera into its 5.75" x 2.95" x 0.71" frame. The specs may sound kind of impressive when laid out like that but if the NX7001 is anything like its twin, which I'll get to in a bit, then it's also got an old ARM11 CPU and 128MB RAM.
Now I don't know what happened to the Walkshow N6500, but the NX7001 is basically the non-phone version of the Aigo N500 first seen in January. That's the interesting part to me. A non-phone variant of an existing phone is what I often wish for when thinking about all the amazing new smartphones coming out this year (HTC EVO 4G, Dell Streak, whatever the next iPhone is called, and Dell Lightning are on my list right now) that I'd rather use as contract-free MIDs on WiFi or 3G/WiMAX if available.
There's some talk of a WiFi-only version of the Dell Streak being planned for release, I know, but I'll believe that when I see it. The Streak itself is teetering on the brink of either being labeled vaporware or being released so late in the year that its specs will be incredibly outdated, anyway.
Other than that, I can't think of any current or upcoming phone that has or will have a non-phone variant; the iPod touch doesn't really count because there are more differences than just the presence of a cell radio. I don't think this practice will ever change, as the percentage of people who use multiple phones (with or without swapping SIMs) and/or buy phones with no intention to ever use them as they were intended, is probably too small to matter, but I'd still love to see it happen.
But back to the Aigo Walkshow NX7001. 360buy.com prices it at 2999 yuan, which works out to about $440.
Sheesh. At that price, we're better off signing up for a two-year plan to get a new smartphone with awesome specs for the subsidized price, canceling the contract, and just paying the $200 early termination fee.