Okay, well, this just makes me sad.
No, not the fact that Compal’s upcoming Ultra Mobile Device (no affiliation with VIA’s UMD platform) is being called a UMPC when it only runs Windows CE 5.0. We’ve all seen that kind of thing before, so I don’t find it troubling. What bothers me is that in this case, I can’t really accept it. I want this to be a UMPC! A real one.
Have a look at this video and then tell me why it shouldn’t be. I mean, a 4.3-inch WVGA (800 x 480, 16M colors) sliding display, QWERTY thumboard, 1.3-megapixel camera, miniSD card slot, HSDPA and 802.11b/g connectivity, Bluetooth 2.0, integrated microphone, and 5-hour battery life all sound quite fine for a 6.14" x 3.07" x 0.93" unit, especially considering that whispered pricing seems to be circling around the $400 and $500 range.
But then there’s the rest of the specs: 532MHz Freescale i.MX31 ARM1136 processor, 512MB flash RAM, and 256MB mobile DDR. And even though Internet Explorer 6, Windows Media Player 9, Skype, Windows Messenger, a flash player, and an office suite come preloaded on Compal’s lightweight (only 9.9 ounces!) device, the OS is still Windows CE 5.0. *bubble bursts*
But guess what. Aside from a few tweaks to the left side of the display, this UMD is the very same Menlow-based prototype that all but completely overshadowed Intel’s McCaslin/UMP2007 unveiling in April. There’s hope yet!
The device is scheduled for an "end of this year" release, so there’s still plenty of time to figure out how to un-burst a bubble.