Quoting the famous Beatles song, it's been a long and winding road for the eviGroup Wallet MID, from its early beginnings and missed launch dates to a complete redesign and the most recent news of an upcoming launch on the 21st of May. In a pleasant turn of events, we have received word from eviGroup CEO Nicholas Ruiz's blog that the 5-inch Android tablet is officially launching today.
Available for immediate order directly from the eviGroup website with international shipping, the long awaited device will cost you €199, working out to around US$246 based on current exchange rates. The price includes the Wallet MID either in matte (as shown above) or chrome finishes (shown after the break but for an extra €20/US$25) and all the official accessories such as the standard charger and USB cable, but also some nice extras such as a car charger and a suction-cup mount also for use in the car or elsewhere. It may not be as powerful or large as some similar alternatives such as the Archos 5 Android and Archos 7 HT, but I think the overall package including accessories is well priced and a pretty good value.
The specifications of the final production version are similar to what we knew previously, with a ARM11-based 553/667MHz Samsung CPU, 256MB RAM, Android 1.5, 1GB local storage expandable by microSD cards, 5-inch WVGA LED-backlit resistive touch screen, a/b/g/n WiFi, and a 2000mAh battery providing 6 hours of battery life and 24 hours of standby. The device is a very compact 5.2 x 3.4 x 0.55 inches and weighs only 6.5 ounces.
Some other interesting information gleaned from the announcement includes a bit of explanation by Mr. Ruiz about why it has taken so long for the Wallet MID to hit the market, with early production problems and overly high unit costs leading to extra development time required to get the product finalized. He emphasizes that the Wallet is designed to deliver an excellent overall user experience and a high build quality, rather than to be the most powerful MID available, hence the company's philosophy of including all of those extra accessories to maximize usability out of the box.
As I said earlier I think overall, considering the whole package, the Wallet MID is pretty good value for the money depending on your needs. For me, the older version of Android, older processor, and inability to access Android Market are the main negatives. Hopefully eviGroup will release an update to the Android OS in the near future to address at least one or two of these issues.
I also can't help but notice that the final production version of the Wallet appears to use the original design rather than the redesigned version we saw at the end of last year! I'm not sure what happened there, but in the end, it's great to see the product has finally completed its journey and is now available. Have you been waiting for the eviGroup Wallet? Are you interested in adding one to your collection?