Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Intel UMPC details

Well the first real details of the UMPC product from Intel (which seems very closely related to, if not exactly the same as, Microsoft’s Origami) have been released and I have to say I’m rather disappointed. The device itself seems reasonable, though not amazing, with a 7 inch screen touch screen, standard x86 processor, windows XP tablet and wi-fi capabilities. The down fall is the fact that the first version of the device will ship with just a 3 hour battery, which puts a big question mark next to their portability particularly given that the quoted 3 hours is probably under relatively light use like listening to music, as opposed to something battery draining like playing a video over the wi-fi connection. Additionally the UMPC will retail for “under” $1,000, unless under $1000 actually means $500 this is well above the price most will pay for what is essentially a portable media device. For around $1,000 you can easily get a decent mid-range laptop which will probably be more powerful and have longer battery life not to mention having a real keyboard, sure it lacks a little in portability but with a 7 inch screen the UMPC isn’t exactly something that will fit in your pocket either.

It seems Intel (and Microsoft assuming the Origami is much the same device) are missing the mark here and releasing a product with some major flaws at a price point well outside what mainstream users will spend. That said they have mentioned subsequent models, released over the next few years, could have a battery life up to a day and retail for around $500. Now that’s a device I would be excited about.

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