UMPC

aigo MID turns UMPC with battery, OS and casing mods

aigo MID turns UMPC with battery, OS and casing mods

For connectivity, input options and simply fitting into your pocket, aigo's MID certainly has plenty of potential.  Unfortunately, as reviewers have discovered, it's hamstrung by its OS: adding new apps is a struggle, meaning most people will be stuck with what software comes out of the box.  One owner, though, has heavily customized his 3G-equipped aigo to better perform as a UMPC rather than just an internet browser; full video demo, plus details of the changes, after the cut.

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VYE S41A touchscreen UMPC with DVD burner gets price slash

VYE S41A touchscreen UMPC with DVD burner gets price slash

Ultraportables with integrated optical drives are rare beasts - the netbook world only has one, for instance - and they usually carry a pretty high price premium.  That was certainly the case when the VYE S41A first arrived, complete with its convertible 7-inch touchscreen, DVD burner and 800MHz Intel A110 processor: you were looking at around $1,500 when it first launched.  Now, Expansys UK have it listed for just £449.99 ($661).

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Amtek U560 UMPC gets Windows 7: 600MHz A100 CPU, just 512MB RAM

Amtek U560 UMPC gets Windows 7: 600MHz A100 CPU, just 512MB RAM

We've seen plenty of netbooks coaxed into running the Windows 7 beta, and eventually doing so at a faster clip than Vista could ever manage, but how about a real challenge?  The Amtek U560 UMPC was first demonstrated back in 2007, and uses an Intel A100 processor running at just 600MHz; it also only has 512MB of RAM.  A tough prospect, but Windows 7 not only works but manages to give an Experience Index score of more than 1.

Video demo of the Amtek U560 running Windows 7 after the cut

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OQO Model 2+ OLED display not as frugal as expected

OQO Model 2+ OLED display not as frugal as expected

Details are still emerging about OQO's Model 2+ UMPC, and one of its most interesting aspects: the OLED touchscreen.  Aside from brighter colors and improved contrast, OLED is said to offer much-reduced power consumption over LCD; that bodes well for a mobile device like the Model 2+.  In the field, though, things aren't looking quite so positive, with Steve Paine reporting 10.5w drain with the backlight on high - that works out to potentially under 2hrs use from the standard 17wh battery.

MIU HDPC poised for release… if someone gives them $500k

MIU HDPC poised for release… if someone gives them $500k

Things have been all quiet from team MIU about their Hybrid Dual Personal Computer (HDPC) lately - not a peep since they showed off their redesign last October, in fact - but development of the dual-booting Atom-powered handheld hasn't been standing still.  In fact, according to the latest news, the HDPC is ready for production, with verbal contracts from LG Telecom and government-related firms, among others.  What they don't have is the cash to produce even an initial sample batch of 100 units.

OQO Model 2+ gets video unboxing, SSD benchmarks

OQO Model 2+ gets video unboxing, SSD benchmarks

There are now two of OQO's Model 2+ UMPCs out in the wild, and the second - which has the SSD option - paused long enough to get unboxed by MID Moves' Steve Paine.  The solid-state drive seems to make a big difference, with its maximum 53MB read and 35MB write rates keeping Vista moving along smoothly, despite the Intel Atom processor.

Unboxing video of the OQO Model 2+ after the cut

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HTC Shift gets UK price cut; replacement or retirement imminent?

HTC Shift gets UK price cut; replacement or retirement imminent?

Is HTC planning the imminent demise of the Shift UMPC?  Retailer Expansys has slashed the cost of the compact touchscreen device by £450 ($656), bringing it down to $499.99 ($731), as part of a promotion through their email newsletter.  The Shift has a 7-inch touchscreen, runs Windows Vista, and has integrated tri-band UMTS/HSDPA; it's based on a low-power 800MHz Intel processor that's looking pretty tired compared to the chip company's latest silicon offerings.

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CES 2009: Viliv S5, S7 and X70 Atom MIDs

CES 2009: Viliv S5, S7 and X70 Atom MIDs

Some of the most anticipated devices at CES have been Yukyung's Viliv range of PMPs, UMPCs and MIDs.  The company has three models on show this week, the S5 "Entertainment" MID, the X70 Atom "Communication" MID, and the S7 "Productivity" MID.  The S7, shown here, has a 7-inch WSVGA convertible display, full QWERTY keyboard and either 16GB SSD or 60GB hard-drive.

Gallery of the other Viliv models after the cut, together with hands-on first impressions

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CES 2009: OQO Model 2+ UMPC Hands-On

CES 2009: OQO Model 2+ UMPC Hands-On

OQO's UMPCs have always been tempting devices thanks to their compact size and impressive build-quality, but the company can now add performance to their list of abilities.  The OQO Model 2+ marks a shift for the company to Intel's Atom range of mobile processors, in this case the 1.86GHz Z540, paired with 2GB of RAM and either a 120GB HDD or 60GB SSD.  Most impressive, perhaps, is the new OLED touchscreen - in fact the Model 2+ is the first such mobile computing device to have one - which, with the Atom chipset's hardware video decoding, produces some incredible picture quality.

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Viliv S5 ‘cube’ GUI video demo; two Atom-based UMPCs at CES

Viliv S5 ‘cube’ GUI video demo; two Atom-based UMPCs at CES

Ahead of their CES 2009 appearance, more details of the Viliv range from Yukyung Technologies have been emerging.  The S5 MID, which has been promised for early 2009 and boasts 1080p HD-capabilities, integrated 3G and a 4.8-inch touchscreen, has been demonstrating its "cube" GUI, an in-house development intended to make a desktop OS (like Windows XP) more finger- and stylus-friendly on the move.  Also, confirmation of further Viliv devices have been revealed.

Video demo, and more Viliv device news, after the cut