Atom-Based MID Up Close and Personal
The folks over at UMPC Fever have got their hands on one of the very first-to-market, Intel Atom processor-based MIDs (Mobile Internet Device). It is the Aigo MID, which they claim is the Asian version of the Gigabyte M528 we'll be seeing shortly in the U.S.:
"Apart from the interior Intel Atom processor, my first impression on aigo MID is it's size and weight! It is a real small and light and even lighter than Raon Digital Everun which is the smallest UMPC I've played before! When you holding it, it is just like you are holding a PSP or NDS but with a x86 processing power! My HTC TyTN II weights ~200g and aigo MID is just 352g but with a larger screen size (4.8 in 800 x 480 res.) and full function browser which is what I have expected on a mobile internet device."
The unit they received came with a GUI-based Linux OS and supports multi-touch input. It also sports a min-sized QWERTY keyboard. UMPC Fever was a bit skimpy on details, but they were impressed with its overall application performance, but disappointed by its battery life. Not content to let the device just run Linux, they installed Windows XP SP3 on it and posted a video on YouTube demonstrating how it works with XP. Judging by the video, it seems to handle XP pretty well--especially considering that they didn't install any specific Windows drivers for the device. Bluetooth worked, as did the integrated 3-megapixel camera, webcam, and several USB devices they tried, such as a mouse, external keyboard, and flash drive. Due to the lack of installed drivers, WiFi, audio, and the microSD slot were not functioning, and only a VGA resolution were supported.
Aigo MID Gigabyte M528
From an aesthetic perspective, the Aigo MID and the Gigabyte M528 look identical. Anyone intersted in being one of the first to own a MID or Intel Atom-based device might want to check out S&A Mobile Parks, which appears to be taking orders for the Gigabyte M528, selling it for $420.