Cheap Android 1.6 device, 3G does not work in US
US importer Conics has begin selling the Sharp IS01 in the US. The clamshell Android Mobile Internet Device (MID) is equipped with a 1GHz Snapdragon and matches a 5-inch 960x480 capacitive touchscreen with a full QWERTY keyboard. It is also equipped with Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and dual cameras.
Device features 4.8" screen, 600MHz CPU
RAmos has finally launched the W7, a new Android-based MID. The device features a polished metal housing similar in appearance to an iPod touch, but with a 4.8-inch WVGA touchscreen. Android 1.5 is powered by a Rockchip RK2808 CPU capable of decoding HD video, including MKV files.
Intel's new alliance could be in trouble
A number of developers from Intel's Mobile Internet Device Innovation Alliance (MIDIA) have decided to abandon the platform, according to a report issued by the Taiwan-based newspaper DigiTimes. The companies allegedly left the organization to focus efforts on other projects such as smartphones, according to unnamed sources associated with the defectors.
Acer prepping first MID?
Acer is looking to build its own mobile Internet device, patent applications are believed to show. The MID concept was developed by Intel, and typically describes a small handheld device used mainly for web browsing and e-mail; Acer's device would feature a display dominating the front surface, mostly likely a touchscreen, in a manner similar to many GPS units. Media playback would also likely be an important feature, as reflected by the presence of a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Averatec's Lluon Mobbit
Korea's TG Sambo, more commonly known in North America as Averatec, has announced what should be the first Atom-based mobile Internet device (MID) to be produced within the country. The Lluon Mobbit relies on a 1.33GHz Atom processor, paired with 1GB of 533MHz RAM and a choice of 30GB hard drive or 16GB solid-state drive. A 4.8-inch touchscreen on the device is said to support extremely high resolutions, possibly as sharp as 1024x6000.
NVIDIA/VIA netbook plans
Graphics specialist NVIDIA and general chip builder VIA have broken off any plans to develop a netbook platform, say sources at the latter company. The corporations had signed a deal in April, which would have seen VIA's C7 and Nano CPUs coupled with NVIDIA's MCP79 processor, also known as the GeForce 9400M. The chipset debuted with Apple's newest MacBooks, and is expected to become prevalent in the notebook industry, displacing slower graphics accelerators built by Intel. Aside from netbooks, the platform would have applied to mobile Internet devices (MIDs).
BenQ debuts S6 MID
BenQ has launched a new mobile Internet device (MID), according to reports out of Italy. The S6 is based on Intel's mobile Atom processor, and uses a 4.8-inch touchscreen for navigating a PlayStation 3-like menu system. Although music, photos and videos are said to be important functions, the focus is of course on Internet access, which can be delivered through either Wi-Fi or 3G cellular connections. Users can view both e-mail and a web browser.
Viliv shows UMPC, MID
Multimedia player and navigation device maker Viliv unveiled a couple of interesting portable consumer devices at the Intel Development Forum this week, including the S7 UMPC and S5 Mobile Internet Device (MID). The 7-inch S7 features a swiveling touch screen with a resolution of 1,024x600 resolution and packs Intel's Atom processor in either 1.3GHz, 1.6GHz or 1.86GHz guises along with 1GB of RAM memory. The specs get even better, as Viliv promises a choice of 30GB or 60GB hard disk drives, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR support, with a battery life rated at over eight hours.
Better known for its audio gear, Clarion has announced the ClarionMiND, a forthcoming GPS unit. Unlike most such systems however the MiND is also designed to operate as a mobile Internet device (MID), a category currently dominated by Apple's iPhone; the MiND connects primarily through Wi-Fi, which enables web browsing as well as the use of special MySpace and YouTube apps. Unlike the iPhone, though, cellular access requires tethering through a Bluetooth 2.0 connection.
Lenovo IdeaPad U8
Using its home country's Olympics as a springboard, Lenovo has announced the IdeaPad U8, a new mobile Internet device (MID). The device is equipped with a 800MHz Atom Z500 processor, 1 to 2GB of RAM, and a 6GB solid-state drive. It also has twin cameras, and includes at least one USB port, which lets it access mobile TV through supporting tuner add-ons. It is unknown if other peripherals might be compatible.
Dell outlines "Dell E" MID
Dell's foray into the mini-notebook market has been dubbed the new "Dell E" series, which will include two different screen configurations: the 8.9-inch model is designed to take on the Asus Eee 900, and the 12.1-inch "E Slim" may be a rival to the MacBook Air and Lenovo X300 (and its successors), according to Engadget. Defining a new product category called the "Mobile Internet Device" for 30 minutes of web experience (vs. 3 min on an Smartphone: "iPhone" pictured), Dell says the new Atom-based mini-notebook line is designed to bridge the content/usability gap between cell phones and full notebooks. The light-weight "mini-Inspiron" notebooks, first revealed earlier this month, tout "no moving parts" with flash-based drives, DDR2 RAM configs, 802.11g WiFi access (with WiMax expected sometime after October of this year), user-replaceable batteries, 'instant-on' functions for quick/convenient access, full-size keyboards, and a built-in low-res 0.3MP Web camera; they will be available with "limited configurability" and limited colors starting in August with a second version due in the second quarter of 2009.
Digifriends MID in US soon
(Updated with follow-up) The Digifriends M3 MID (Mobile Internet Device) that was unveiled at CES 2008 will be coming to the US market "very soon," according to yesterday's reports that had Digifriends USA's project supervisor Peter Kim as the source. The Korean company's device will likely be offered under contract through Sprint's Xohm WiMAX network as well as NextWave. The device features a 4.8-inch touchscreen with WSVGA (1024x600) resolution and a host of wireless connection options apart from WiMAX, including Korea's WiBro, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.0.
Nvidia CEO on iPhone
Nvidia's mobile technology will help rivals "leapfrog" the iPhone, according to the company's CEO. Jen-Hsun Huang made the comments in an interview, promoting the company's new low-power Tegra platform. Huang notes that the iPhone has a "great computer chip," with a high-performance graphics core, something that helps establish it as the world's first "legitimate" mobile Internet device (MID). The difficulty with this is that many of the companies that may be looking to best Apple do not have their own chip designers, and so cannot produce a phone with graphics and an interface that is on par.
Intel: No Apple tablet
Intel is now denying any suggestion that an Atom-based tablet is in development by Apple, according to reports. Intel spokesman Mike Cato is quoted as saying that comments by German chief Hannes Schwaderer were misinterpreted; instead, says Cato, Intel merely believes that the iPhone is representative of a new kind of platform it is marketing, called the Mobile Internet Device (MID). The Atom is expected to form the heart of many MIDs, among other products, but there are no current plans to put an Atom CPU in a tablet, phone or any other piece of electronics made by Apple.
GigaByte Atom MID Specs
The first Mobile Internet Device based on Intel's new Atom architecture has been put up for pre-order today and reveals the feature set of the device itself and others to come. A listing by electronics shop Tegatech Australia reveals that the GigaByte M528 will be based on Intel's base 800MHz Atom chip and is being targeted at mobile data users: the QWERTY keyboard slider design will have both Wi-Fi and a 3G cellular module, and will have similarly have both back and front video cameras for snapping photos and making video calls.
Intel announces SSD drives
Once again taking advantage of its Shanghai Developer Forum, Intel has announced its first-ever line of self-branded solid-state drives. Previously codenamed "Rocket," the drives are SATA models available in 1.8- and 2.5-inch sizes, and in capacities ranging from a standard 32GB to an unusually large 160GB. Each drive is also said to be ruggedized, and tested against forces up to 1,500G.
HTC Internet devices in 08
HTC, creators of phones like the P3470 and the Touch, is joining Intel's push to create Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), according to sources from the Taiwanese cellphone industry. The HTC products are said to be scheduled for launch sometime in 2008, and will combine aspects of both phones and UMPCs, including voice functions. Exact features and specifications are otherwise unknown; the devices will use Intel's x86 architecture, though, and will thus also be able to run a wide range of applications.
Apple and Intel UMPC
Apple will use the chipsets that form the basis of Intel's ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) and mobile Internet device (MID) reference platforms, according to a claim by AppleInsider. Expanding on previous statements from Taiwan suppliers, the rumor site points to Apple using the 45-nanometer Silverthorne mobile chip for "multiple products" during 2008. The small manufacturing process lets it run as quickly as the better Pentium M chips that preceded the Core Duo but consume less than 2 watts of power -- less than a tenth of a typical notebook processor, based on Intel's own figures. Modern Core 2 Duo notebook processors consume an average 25 watts or more at their thermal design limits.