Does Everything. Looks Like Maxwell Smart's Shoe

Korea's MIU is out with a new UMPC, which they call a "HDPC," for Hybrid Dual Portable Computer. It's so very, very hybrid -- it looks like a hunchbacked fax machine mated with a tricorder. Equipped with a dual OS -- Windows XP or a Linux distro -- it tries to do everything. Qwerty keyboard, 800x480 resolution on a 4 inch display, and they take a run at wireless internet, navigation, mobile phone, media player, electronic dictionary, VoIP, PSP type gameplay, camera... it would be shorter to list what it can't do: Look good. It's hideous.

You'd think the battery life would suffer running all that, plus its Via processor (500MHz or 1GHz), but the reported life is 7 hours at "high power" or an impressive 90 hours at low power settings. This multi-use gadget really does fall down on size, measuring 6.4 x 2.6 x 0.96 inches and weighing pounds, so it's a pocket-stretcher. But it's not a wallet-stretcher: it's available from July for between $400 and $500 in Korea, no idea though if it'll make it across the Pacific.

The prominent reference to an electronic dictionary is a giveaway that the device is geared towards the left side of the Pacific Rim. No one in America can spell, but unlike other countries, they don't care if they can spell, either. I'd shell out five bills for it in a heartbeat, but I'm not moving to Korea anytime soon. Don't think of it as a huge ugly iPhone. Think of it as a small version of the dashboard from Captain Kirk's Buick.

Additional big pictures of the big thing at
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