French company eviGroup recently put up a teaser website for a "truly personal computer" called the Wallet that it hopes to launch by the end of the year. Aside from eviGroup being the device's maker (evidenced by the logo linked to its main site) and the fact that it's coming soon, nothing else can be gleaned from the teaser.
Thank goodness for twitter! After a bit of digging, I discovered that company CEO Nicolas Ruiz began tweeting about the Wallet back in May, announcing the arrival of the first prototypes that ran for 6 hours with WiFi on and screen brightness maxed out, but then fell silent about it for the next few months. Ten days ago, however, a new Wallet prototype was mentioned, followed by a quick poll asking people what they would prefer on a "unit halfway between a cellphone and a TabletPC with a 5-inch screen": a powerful x86 CPU capable of running Windows XP at the expense of battery life or a fanless ARM-based system with a dedicated OS and 7-hour runtime. Then three days ago, Ruiz tweeted about the existence of a v2 prototype.
Intriguing on its own, sure, but what the heck does this device look like? Ordinarily, your guess would be as good as mine. But this time, I actually have the "official render" that's supposed to go out to media outlets sometime next month. And thanks to the tipster who requested to remain anonymous, I've got a couple of additional details to go along with it too. Check it out below.
That aside, the Wallet is said to have WiFi and offer user-customizable options like the amount of internal memory, GPS, and the inclusion of the rear camera shown in the image.
Ruiz tweeted about the Wallet launching for a sub-€200 (~$287) price back in May, but that was based on the original prototype and probably shouldn't be counted on now. Then again, based on the survey results, which lean heavily in favor of the ARM option, it may not be too far-fetched to expect the final version to be sold at a reasonable price since an x86 CPU and Windows might not be involved.
And even though the image is just a rendering, that unmistakable FCC logo suggests that the device won't be exclusive to France. So unlike a lot of the other MIDs we've been seeing lately, this one may actually be available in the US.
My tipster will try to snap a few pictures of the actual prototype and send them my way, so the next time you see the Wallet should be when it's finally out in the wild.