Even though the UMPC concept, code-named Origami, never really took off with consumers, Intel are readying another entry in the ultra-mobile PC space.
Intel is targeting the MID platform, codename McCaslin, to appeal more to the consumer market. Most UMPCs are priced out of the typical consumer market — with prices ranging from around $1,500 to $3,500 — and end up being purchased by business professionals instead of the average user.
In order to reach a lower price point, MIDs will feature a simplified, embedded Linux operating system and smaller 4″ to 6″ touch screen displays (800×480 to 1024×600). Processing power will come from a Stealey dual-core processors running at 600MHz to 800MHz while WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G HSDPA connectivity will also be included.
The footprint for the Linux-based operating system will be around 512MB and will be manageable with just 256MB of main memory. Intel pegs cold boot times at 20 seconds, resume from hibernate at 10 seconds and resume from standby at 5 seconds.
Intel has split the MID platform into three categories: Stay in Touch, Be Entertained and Access Info & Locate. Stay in Touch devices will be optimised for VoIP, email, instant messaging and have the ability to take pictures and record video. Be Entertained devices will feature support for streaming video (with wide codec support), gaming, Mobile TV, music playback and will have optional multimedia docks. Access Info & Locate devices will be targeted more towards mobile GPS navigation, real-time Points of Interest (POI) database along with local search and services.
Intel has not released any targets for battery life, nor has it announced any pricing parameters for MIDs. It’s pretty safe to assume, however, that battery life should be greatly improved over first generation UMPCs.
Related Links: UMPC.com