One of the most anticipated MIDs/UMPCs released last year was the Viliv S5 tablet. Being one of the most compact devices to run a full version of Windows XP (and now available with Windows 7), the S5 was quite unique when it launched, packing a UMPC's hardware into the body of a tablet with a 4.8-inch 1024×600 touch screen, comprehensive connectivity options, good battery life, and solid build quality. It was also pretty widely available both online and through retail partners such as Best Buy in the US.
One of the advantages or disadvantages of the tablet, depending on how you viewed it, was the Windows OS. It provided a fully portable PC experience, but wasn't always ideal for mobile use in terms of the interface and power consumption, especially in the face of competition such as Android and what is now iOS.
For those wishing for an alternative OS on the UMPC, a fascinating community-driven open source project has been underway to port Android 2.2 Froyo over to the Viliv S5 tablet and its Intel Atom processor, creating one of the first Android devices running on an x86-based processor. A group of enthusiastic users has been closely following progress in the Pocketables Forum for several weeks, with the recent release of a video showing the project's latest state of affairs. Based on the short demonstration, Android now seems to be running very well on the S5 with a fully functional interface and smooth, fast performance. Even the web browsing experience looks impressive. Some of the remaining major issues are the lack of compatible versions of the proprietary drivers for the Intel chipset, but with a rumor that one community member is an insider at Intel, that may be resolved in the near future. Interested in learning more? Check out the project page at SourceForge, see Froyo in action on the S5 after the break, and join the discussion in the forum!
[Android Guys via Ubergizmo]