AndroidUMPC

Dion Computer’s prototype 4.8-inch clamshell Android MID revealed

Dion_clamshell_1

Usually known for myriad clones of popular devices such as the iPad, Chinese manufacturers can also sometimes produce something more interesting and original, with the recently revealed clamshell Android MID shown above being a prime example. Currently thought to be a prototype from Dion Computers without a final name or model number, the unit is a fascinating hybrid device combining an Android smartphone, tablet, and handtop into one design. Probably the closest existing device we have seen to compare it to is the fairly similar Sharp IS01 Android clamshell, but unlike the IS01's older Android 1.6 OS, the Dion device is currently using Android 2.1.

Looking very much like a miniature notebook PC when closed, the clamshell reveals a Samsung-sourced 4.8-inch WVGA capacitive LCD touch screen with LED backlighting and support for multi-touch as well as a full QWERTY keyboard which looks perfect for thumb typing when opened. The thin screen bezel also conceals a small 1.3MP webcam and microphone for video calling/conferencing.

Dion_clamshell_2

Moving on to the internal hardware, the prototype is currently powered by a dual-chip arrangement of a Marvell PXA935 processor and NPX5209 chipset, which I assume is a DSP co-processor attached to the main CPU. Known to be one of Marvell's most powerful mobile chips, the PXA935 is a custom Marvell design featuring the "Sheeva" Tri-core architecture supporting the ARMv7 instruction set used by ARM Cortex processors, as well as the older ARMv5TE and ARMv6 instructions. No clock speed is mentioned, but the specifications of the PXA935 range from a minimum of 624MHz to a maximum of 1+GHz.

The device also includes a full complement of wireless connectivity including 2G GSM (voice), 3G WCDMA (data/voice), b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, FM radio, and TV reception. Unfortunately, being a prototype, no further hardware details are available apart from the fact that it supports microSD cards up to 32GB for additional storage.

Some other small touches included in the design are a small LED display on the side of the case to show information such as caller ID and date and time. There's also an optical mouse located on the top right of the keyboard.

Dion_clamshell_3

Overall, the Dion Android clamshell looks to be a fascinating and impressive hybrid device that combines and replaces several devices with a single versatile form factor. It's hard to say whether it could successfully replace a smartphone/e-reader/MID/PMP/netbook without some hands-on time with it, but the product seems to have a lot of potential.

The big question now is when or if we will get to see the Dion clamshell hit the market, whether it will be available internationally, and of course how much it will cost. The device is said to still be in the prototype stage, so it's hard to get any answers to these questions currently, but hopefully more details will be forthcoming in the near future. What do you think of the Dion Android Clamshell? Do you think such a device could replace several of your gadgets?

[Zol.com.cn]
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Jeremy To

Jeremy is a former editor at Pocketables.

Avatar of Jeremy To

9 thoughts on “Dion Computer’s prototype 4.8-inch clamshell Android MID revealed

  • Looks too thick imo. Really interesting hybrid, but I doubt it will take off.

    Reply
  • I’d rather get a Viliv N5. It needs a full Linux distro. Android just doesn’t cut it on anything other than smart phones.

    Reply
  • Avatar of aftermath

    You lost me at “Android”. It’s like the cool new way to ruin a computer.

    Reply
  • Avatar of johnkzin

    Rather see it with MeeGo

    Reply
  • This one is very interesting. Really looks like IS01. I started using IS01 2months ago and found how useful its large screen and user IF including touch panel, KBD and mini track ball are !! Now I use 70% IS01 and 30% iPhone 3GS.
    If this comes with full flash and enough memory for multi-task and light weight (IS01:227g), it can be a nice alternative for IS01 users. Maybe even more attractive with 5.5inch 1024×600 display like Sharp Galapagos as an upper alternative. 5.5inch Galapagos is very nice size/resolution balance. I wish it would support full android market, not be just an e-book reader!

    Reply
  • It’s a Psion, not a Dion.

    Reply
  • Avatar of Daniel Davis

    This is an Android device, no?

    Do we have any larger images of it? Because, despite being Android, nobody seems to have mentioned that there appears to be a Windows key on that keyboard…

    Reply
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    this website. I’m hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own, personal blog now ;)

    Reply

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