UMPC and Xbox maker Otto Berkes quits Microsoft
Microsoft was dealt a symbolic hit Tuesday after new word that one of its most unconventional device designers, Otto Berkes, has left the company. The veteran of the ultramobile PC (UMPC) and Xbox teams resigned this afternoon. His final destination wasn't known, but he told the Seattle Times he was leaving for a firm "outside the Seattle area."
Various Atom CPU offerings, Windows 7
UMPC maker OQO appears to be back in business, as a yet-unknown Chinese division has resurfaced with a website previewing a new device. The high-end Model 2+ project, unveiled early in 2009, never came to fruition after the US company closed its doors. The Chinese site now boasts of a 'Model03,' which appears to be an updated version of the Model 2+.
MS holding iPad focus group
Microsoft revealed the pressure it feels from the iPad today as it has posted an open call on Facebook for a study of iPad owners. The Windows developer's User Research team hopes to have two-hour focus groups at its campus between July 16 and July 21 asking owners how they use the Apple tablet. It didn't provide any particular clues as to the direction of the research.
Raon prices dual-core UMPC
Raon Digital on Tuesday announced its previously seen Everun Note UMPC will be coming to the US market. The company claims it is the first of its kind to sport a dual-core chip, specifically AMD's Turion 64 X2 processor rated at 1.2GHz. The UMPC comes with a 7-inch touchscreen display capable of 1024x600 resolution and packs 64MB of dedicated video memory along with 1GB of RAM. Raon announced the Everun Note will cost $879 in basic trim, and will offer a 3G wireless network option. In addition, the Note will feature easy access via the underside of the UMPC to its mini PCI Express card , memory and hard disk.
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.
Toshiba 5.6-inch minibook
Toshiba may soon launch a small portable computer that would straddle the line between UMPCs such as Nokia's N810 and netbooks from the likes of the Eee PC and MSI Wind, according to a recent PC Authority report. The size and lack of a keyboard scream UMPC, but hardware and specs are very netbook-like. Preliminary specs for the 5.6-inch UMPC-like device include an Intel Atom processor sitting on a motherboard that's half the size of the one used in the company's Portege R500 notebook.
AMD exec on Atom, iPhone
AMD intends to make a serious push into the realm of ultra-low-cost notebooks, according to the company's new CEO. Only promoted to the role on Thursday, Dirk Meyer says that AMD intends to provide serious hardware competition in the realm of "netbooks," computers that typically cost less than $400, and embody UMPC traits such as small size and weight. Perhaps the best-known example is ASUS' Eee PC.
Aspire one launches in US
Acer today announced its Aspire one ultraportable notebook has shipped to the US market. Meant to compete with ASUS' Eee PC, the Aspire one uses Intel's 1.6GHz Atom CPU in all of its variations, along with an 8.9-inch, 1024x600 (WSVGA) display with integrated webcam and Intel's Media Accelerator 950 graphics. While information and specs on the basic system were already known, Acer has revealed two other variations of its first mini laptop.
MSI delays Wind UMPC
MSI has again delayed getting its Wind UMPC into the hands of buyers. In a letter sent to customers recently, apologetic MSI says the delay stems from an industry-wide notebook battery shortage that took place in March. In an attempt to make up for the delay, MSI will give buyers free overnight shipping when the Wind does arrive on July 7. The last promised ship date for the long-awaited UMPC was June 16th, but US customers are still to receive their mini notebooks.
AMD working on 8W TDP CPU?
Today' s reports reveal a slide that shows AMD is likely developing a low-power CPU that would be used in netbooks such as the ASUS Eee PC or MSI Wind. The 64-bit, 1GHz chip features an 8W Thermal Design Power (TDP) for its memory controller and CPU, which is well below its normal notebook offerings but above the power use of the company's Geode processors.
3K's RazerBook 400 UMPC
3K Computers on Wednesday announced the release of the RazorBook 400 Ultra Mobile PC. The ASUS Eee PC competitor sports an identical 7-inch screen with 800x480 (WXGA) resolution and SSD drive, but runs on a 400MHz single-core mobile processor from Ingenic that helps to lower its price point. Built-in Wi-Fi allows browsing the Internet.
Dell Mini Inspiron Teaser
Dell has quickly acknowledged the existence of its unintentionally revealed micro notebook at the Wall Street Journal's D6 Conference by posting first details of the device. Secretive about most of the device, the company says the system recognizes calls by the community for a Dell UMPC and says its founder describes the design as a computer to reach the "next billion internet users." The photo file names notably make reference to a "mini Inspiron" and confirm styling very similar to the much larger Inspiron models.
Acer Aspire One UMPC
Images and information have leaked for Acer's rumored answer to ASUS' Eee PC, according to various sources. The computer is allegedly named the "Aspire One," and features an 8.9-inch screen, with a native resolution of 1024x768. At the core is said to be an Atom/Diamondville processor, running Windows XP SP3; the trackpad is said to be similar to that on the HP 2133, which may not be a coincidence as the ODM company is believed to be Quanta, which services HP, Dell and Apple.
HTC Shift at Rogers
Rogers Wireless today became the first North American carrier to pick up the HTC Shift, the company's first crossover ultra-mobile PC. The 7-inch touchscreen system is a close match to its reference design and is notable for carrying Windows Vista but behaving more like a smartphone, including access to "push" e-mail as well as a 3G cellular connection over HSPA that supplies high-speed Internet when not within range of Wi-Fi. A front camera provides video chats (though not on Rogers' VISION service) while a 40GB hard drive handles storage.
Samsung UMPC Early 2009
Samsung expects to refresh its ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) lineup by the start of next year, the company's chief research engineer Jeongseon Euh has said in an interview published today. The developer offers few details but expects both a design refresh and a performance upgrade to be ready sometime in early 2009. The update is close enough that it could come towards the very start of the year.
OQO UMPC running Leopard
A hacker claims to have installed Mac OS X Leopard on OQO's signature UMPC, the model 02. The software is arranged in a dual-boot configuration with the default OS, Windows Vista, and is said to run virtually everything a Mac would also be capable of, including Cover Flow, Time Machine and the Dashboard. Speed is the major concern at present, as some applications run comparatively slowly, and Leopard requires two and a half minutes to load. Features such as sound, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are all supported.
MSI reveals Wind UMPC spec
Taiwan-based MSI recently revealed more information on its low-cost, ultra-portable laptop, the Wind Notebook. The roughly 2.2lb notebook will run on Windows XP and feature an unusually large 2.5-inch HDD with an 80GB capacity. The Wind will be offered with either an 8.9- or 10-inch LCD display, the resolution of which is pegged at 1024x600 pixels. It is expected to compete with ASUS' Eee PC 900.
CTIA Nokia and HTC gallery
Electronista is on hand at the CTIA 2008 conference in Las Vegas, and has assembled an image gallery of various new HTC and Nokia offerings. HTC showed its new ultraportable Shift X9000 – a tablet-style PC that slides away to reveal a compact keyboard, and features built-in EVDO functionality. Also available to see was the HTC TyTN II. Nokia showed its WiMAX-enabled N810, and the iPhone-like N96, with 16GB of internal storage. The A-GPS bearing N78 was also featured on the show floor.
HP UMPC 2133 specs leaked
HP recently unveiled additional specifications for the UMPC 2133, the company's ultraportable designed to compete with the Asus EeePC, and placed a tentative ship date of April 7th on the device. According to Engadget, the UMPC 2133 will feature a choice of a 1.2GHz and 1.6GHz VIA C7-M processor, as well as a VIA Chrome 9 graphics chipset. Choices of Windows Vista Home Basic and Business, as well as SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop are available. Pricing for the computer starts at $550.
MIU reveals HDPC device
Korean company MIU has unveiled an unusual new product, the HDPC. Its name standing for "Hybrid Dual Portable Computer," the HDPC functions primarily as a handheld UMPC, running Windows XP. Its four-inch screen displays images at 800x480, and users have access to a QWERTY keyboard as well as a pointer controller, and wireless Internet. By closing the lid however users switch into dedicated phone or media player modes, with extra touches such as a camera, an electronic dictionary and voice recording.
iPhone moving to x86 chips
The Apple iPhone will be migrating from its current processor to something based on Intel's x86 architecture, information suggests. Multiple unnamed sources, including some who were correct about the switch of Macs to Intel technology, say that the iPhone will join Apple's computers within a year or two. More substantial evidence is said to have come out of last week's CeBIT expo in Hannover, Germany, in which an Intel slide presentation depicted the iPhone as a next-generation mobile Internet device (MID).
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.
New HP UMPC details
New information has surfaced on HP's planned UMPC system, a report out of Taiwan indicates. The Chinese-language publication Commercial Times notes that a UMPC order has been farmed out to a company called Inventec, which is expected to deliver hardware to HP for an April commercial release. The report further suggests that the system uses a 45nm Intel Penryn processor, and as previously hinted, an 8.9-inch screen.
FlipStart PC drops to $699
FlipStart's self-titled UMPC system has just undergone a sharp price cut. Whereas the computer at one point cost as much as $1,499, it is now less than half that price at $699. No reason for the drop has been given, but the change makes the computer more closely competitive with rivals such as ASUS' cheaper Eee PC, or the more expensive Q1 Ultra by Samsung. The FlipStart is smaller than either system, narrowed to less than six inches at its longest point.
OQO model 02 upgrade
OQO's presence at CES is being used to release new options for the model 02, its Windows-based UMPC. Buyers can now choose a new SSD drive, doubled in size from 32 to 64GB; the option is significant in that few full-sized notebooks offer a 64GB SSD, let alone a device as small as a UMPC. The model 02 has also been given the option of a "sunlight-optimized" display, making it more practical for people working outdoors. The previous screen continues to be the default.
Q1 Ultra Premium, 22/7 LCD
Continuing a wave of announcements, Samsung has uncovered another version of its Q1 UMPC (pictured), the Q1 Ultra Premium. The machine now runs on a faster 1.33GHz Core Solo processor, and is fitted with 1GB of DDR2 RAM. The lithium-ion battery should now provide 7.5 hours of use instead of 4.5, and the computer's signature split keyboard has been given larger caps for easier typing. Specifications should otherwise remain unchanged, including the default 80GB hard drive, SD/MMC slot, and wireless in the form of 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 2.0. Samsung has not announced a price and release date for the Premium, but the price of other Q1s will drop in order to clear inventory.
Eee beats sales prediction
The Eee PC is proving to be selling even better than predicted by analysts, the computer's maker claims. ASUS says that in less than three months it has sold just short of 350,000 Eees worldwide, beating 300,000-unit estimates made by unspecified third parties. Either number would be unusually high for a notebook, especially when only part of a company's collection; this may affect forecast totals for January, which were last pegged at just 400,000.
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.
Infinity miPC locks in GPS
Clearview has introduced a new media player which handles considerably more than most of its peers. The Infinity miPC is essentially an ultra-mobile PC without a keyboard: it can not only play music and video, it can record it as well, and it specifically supports the popular DivX and XviD codecs. An FM tuner is built in, and it is also capable of mobile gaming, as well as GPS navigation when docked in its special cradle.
Should owners need to do some work, it runs a mobile version of Microsoft Office, and can handle VoIP, e-mail, web browsing and instant messaging applications. Tele Atlas navigation software, meanwhile includes maps of Canada and the US, with 16 million points of interest and text-to-voice directions.
UPOP UMPC-like PMP
Korean company UPOP recently unveiled its first device, a PMP with specifications that are akin to that of a ultra portable laptop, rather than a portable media player. Despite it's miniscule size, the player comes loaded with 30 or 60GB of storage, plus the option for additional space by way of SD cards. The tiny device is similar in design to the Sidekick, but slightly larger, and is navigable with the included stylus and built-in keyboard. Unfortunately the device is only available in Korea, so pricing and availability were not available for North America.
Green, 8G Eees inbound
The ASUS Eee PC, currently available in 4GB black and white versions, is about to be joined by two new editions, according to various sources. Online retailer Dynamism claims that it will have the promised 8G Eee before the end of December, at a price of $499; this will include not only an expansion to 8GB of storage, but also a doubling of RAM to 1GB. There is as yet no sign of an Eee with a 10-inch screen, hinted at by the Austrian press.