Intel's Developers Forum will soon be starting in sunny Beijing, and the pen'n'finger pokers over at UMPC Portal have been doing what they do best and trawling through the pre-forum slides [pdf]to get the jump on any handheld tablet news. Sounds like their search has not been in vain, either; we've already seen the video and even a hands-on of some of the tech they'll likely be featuring, but if you're looking for harder evidence of the direction Intel are moving in then you won't be disappointed.
The "Mobile Internet Device", or MID, looks to be positioned underneath the existing UMPC platform currently being pushed by Microsoft. Chief difference - and of vast interest to the community of tinkerers out there - is its open-source, Linux-based OS; it actually sounds a lot like Nokia's N800 Internet Tablet, which similarly runs a modified version of Linux.
Further delving turns up this list of Intel "must haves":
connectivity via WAN
Small onboard storage
Other expectations for what they're calling MIDLinux, based on the slides, are "finger friendly icons", the Intel 915 chipset with open-source driver, power-saving features for long battery life, 18 second boot time and GPS. The distro will clock in at around 500MB.
Plenty more analysis and detail at UMPC Portal