A few months back, when we wondered out loud about abbreviations, one of the easiest targets was the ultraportable device market. Mobile Internet Devices, Ultramobile PCs, Personal Media Players; as manufacturers rush to grant their gadgets more functionality, all seem to end up overlapping. The Archos Internet Media Tablet isn’t a MID, not by Archos’ own definition anyway, but it does offer internet access, on a touchscreen tablet, in a device that’s certainly mobile. Pocketables have been comparing the Archos 5 (soon to be available with integrated 3G WWAN, remember) with the Aigo P8860, a gadget which certainly does claim to be a MID.
Size-wise, the Aigo’s slide-out QWERTY keyboard gives it some extra heft over the Archos PMP, which can be as thin as 0.5-inches if you go for the smaller-capacity 60GB version. The Archos range is cheaper, too, from $349 to $449 (with 60GB to 250GB capacity), while the Aigo comes in at $699 (with a mere 4GB SSD). Internet browsing is the real surprise: while you’d expect the faster P8860 to wipe the floor with the Archos 5, in actual fact there’s no stand-out winner with webpage loading times.
Of course, the two devices aren’t intended to be rivals, but considering the core functionality overlap – internet access – it does make you wonder which better satisfies the whole initial MID concept. Unless the prices of “true” MIDs come down, the casual buyer is unlikely to even consider them, never mind pick the over and above the internet-enabled PMP alternative.