Aigo MID hands-on: compact & innovative, but battery disappoints

One of the first Intel Atom powered Mobile Internet Devices, the Aigo MID, has reached the hands of reviewers, and first impressions look good.  Basically the same unit as Gigabyte's M528, it packs a 500MHz Z500 processor and runs a Linux-based OS with the Midinux 2.0 GUI.  In fact the guys at UMPCFever pay the Aigo perhaps the ultimate compliment: that in use it's just like the iPhone experience.Check out the video of the Aigo MID in action ater the cut

The keyboard seems a bit of a mixed bag, however.  With the extra width over, say, one of HTC's QWERTY-equipped smartphones, you'd think it would be great for typing.  However it perhaps falls into that middle-ground of being too small for full touch-typing and too wide for holding with the fingers and typing with thumbs.

Battery life also fails to impress, with just 2hrs use with WiFi active, basic surfing and a little typing.  UMPCFever are going to run some more precise tests soon, as well as load Windows XP on (not an official option, since Microsoft set out their install criteria for the old OS which denies its use on touchscreen devices).  Still, it doesn't stop them describing the MID as "compact, stylish, innovative and entertaining."  Price for the Aigo in Hong Kong is expected to range between HK$6000 to 8000 ($770 to $1026).