The UMPC market is hot right now, thanks to innovations from numerous companies including Intel, VIA, Asus, HP, and many others. VIA in particular has been focused on the low power, ultra mobile segment, as is evidenced by the company's current C7M and upcoming Isaiah processors, and their NanoBook UMD reference design. And today, VIA is announcing a new addition to their portfolio of UMPC reference designs, dubbed the OpenBook.
The VIA OpenBook is a 240mm(W) x 175mm(D) x 36.2mm(H) mini-note style UMPC that weighs in at a svelte 2.2lbs (1kg). The unit offers up to 3 hours of battery life through the use of a 4-cell 2600mA lithium-ion battery, and it sports an 8.9” (1024 x 600) LCD display, a full keyboard and touch pad, and a dual-head 2MP integrated webcam.
In addition to the aforementioned items, UMPCs based on the OpenBook reference design will also offer integrated 802.11 WiFi and Bluetooth or optional internal WiMAX / HSDPA / WCDMA wireless broadband connectivity modules. Graphics on the OpenBook are handled by a VIA VX800 IGP chipset with an integrated VIA Chrome9 DirectX 9.0-class 3D graphics processor. The VX800 IGP offers hardware-based video acceleration for MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WMV9, VC1 and DiVX video formats and a VMR capable HD video processor. The unit also supports 8-channel audio. Full specifications for the OpenBook are listed below.
As you can see in the images above and below, the VIA OpenBook has three USB 2.0 ports (two on one side, one on the other), a VGA port, a 10/100 LAN jack, and audio-in / audio-out jacks as well as front-mounted 4-in-1 card reader (SD/SDIO/MMC/MS) and a 2 mega-pixel dual-headed web camera.
The OpenBook should be made available with a wide array of operating systems options, including Microsoft Windows Vista Basic or XP, or one a number of Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Suse Linux, and G/OS.
Another interesting note is that VIA will also be offering downloadable CAD files from www.viaopenbook.com, to aid customers in more quickly designing custom enclosures for the OpenBook.