Remember that stylish new EKING UMPC we featured on Pocketables in July? Well it has now made its official premiere as the new EKING M5 with new images, full specs, and its launch onto the Chinese market on August 17th, two days ago, which just happened to be the Chinese Valentine's Day.
The latest device from the makers of the S515 features an attractive all new design using a similar sliding form factor with full QWERTY keyboard and a tilting screen. As previously rumored, the 5-inch screen itself is a high quality WSVGA (1024×600) LED backlit LCD sourced from Sharp, with a capacitive touch panel supporting multi-touch. Other specs include a 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z515 processor on the Menlow platform, 1GB DDR2 RAM, a 16GB SSD, support for Windows XP/Vista/7, b/g WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G connectivity (voice and data), GPS, and a 3MP camera. Including the 2600mAh battery, the M5 weighs a reasonable 15.45 ounces, although one unknown bit of information is the actual battery life. The package comes with a comprehensive range of accessories including an extra battery, video output cable, VGA cable, USB cable, headset, and a leather case. As for price, the M5 is going for 5388 Yuan, which works out to a fairly pricey US$793.40.
Overall, I'm impressed with the M5 but with a few reservations. I'm a fan of the new design, retaining some of the best features of previous products while implementing a much more stylish design aesthetic. In terms of hardware, the M5 is well equipped with a high quality screen, a wide range of features, and myriad connectivity options. One main concern is the slow CPU, but keeping in mind the fact that Menlow is yet to be replaced by Oak Trail, the Atom Z515 is still a reasonable choice. Another concern would be the high price, which may be harder to justify in today's age of smartphones, tablets, MIDs, and netbooks. There hasn't been any word on the M5's availability outside of China, but chances are it should be available through importers soon.
It seems the traditional UMPC is becoming more and more rare in the face of greater competition from other devices and it's possible that the M5 may be one of the last of the breed. Chippy over at UMPC Portal has written a great article about the current state of decline in the UMPC market that you should check out.
What do you think of the EKING M5 and would it have a place in your gadget arsenal?Zol.com.cn]