If netbooks weren’t getting small enough for you, or you were disappointed you couldn’t put a computer into your pocket, IMOVIO has the solution for your woes. Judging by those photos, it looks more like a novelty item that will hold your bubble gum, but the IMOVIO actually has some pretty decent features. First, you can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi or tether your phone as a modem via Bluetooth. It has a built-in webcam and it does all your typical browsing, email, and IM with the convenience of a QWERTY keyboard. Why someone would pick this up instead of a netbook or Internet tablet, we have no clue… oh yeah, it only costs $175 and is based off Linux. Even then, is it really worth it?
It’s a bundle of 3G joy for you mini notebook owners. Starting in November in Taiwan, the Acer Aspire One netbook is expected to ship with integrated 3G for $95 (NT$3,000) more than the standard non-3G model. Add in some bundled 3G service through Taiwan Mobile and you can save yourself $155 (NT$5,000) instead. Woohoo! Not to be outdone, it appears as if HP and Dell may be offering similar bundles in Japan. A post at jkOnTheRun has the newspaper flier above that appears to offer the recently announced Dell Inspiron Mini 9 and the HP 2133 mini notebook with a respectable $370 subsidy. The subsidy requires a two year commitment to a 3G data plan with Emobile. Wow! Not too shabby considering Dell just announced the Inspiron Mini 9 last week. Cant wait to see a similar bundle coming stateside. Sooner rather than later, please.
The Dell mini notebook that we first laid eyes on back in May looks to be all set to become official this week. Geared towards web surfing and light usage, Dell’s Inspiron 910 could be quite an entry into the mini notebook space. While specs have yet to become official, there is a good deal being reported at this point and everything is looking pretty on point. Apparently the sub-10 inch notebook will weigh in around 2.2 pounds and will sport an 8.9 inch screen and three USB 2.0 ports. The guts will include a 1.6 GHz Atom processor, up to 1 GB of RAM, integrated WiFi and a built-in camera. It also looks like the Inspiron 910 will sport SSD for storage and will vary in size up to 16 GB. Of course 16 GB isn’t going to get you very far these days even in a netbook, so rumor has it that Dell has worked out a deal with online storage leader Box.net to include a cloud storage solution out of the box. Stuff all that into a portable that is said to start under $400 and you may very well have a winner on your hands – even in candy apple red (don’t worry, it’ll be available in black as well).
Man, that thing looks tiny next to the 17″ Amilo notebook to the right of the picture above! Consider this confirmation that Fujitsu is indeed working on an ultra-portable Asus Eee competitor. The ultra-portable space has been a proven sector of late as more and more companies set their sites on mini laptops, the latest being Fujitsu. The 8.9″ unit pictured above will be its first entry into this space and if word on the street is correct, its success it anything but guaranteed. For starters, the rumored $640 base price will be enough to deter a generous number of potential buyers. There are plenty of decent full-size notebooks that can be had for that price. Does Fujitsu have some secret weapons packed into this puppy that may justify the high price point? We’re not sure yet but with Eee PCs starting in the $300-range and Dell working on a $299 ulrta-portable due out in August, Fujitsu better have something special to bring to the party at that price.
Dell’s upcoming Mini Inspiron is a nod to the relevance of the Eee space as Dell has apparently realized that they need be playing in kiddie pool. Its first entry, a sub-$500 UMPC, is presumably Windows-powered and looks to be a solid entry into the space, barring the candy coated shell. Specs are a bit scarce at the moment but we can all recognize Dell knows how to build a computer so this will likely be workable. For the time being, all we can tell you is what’s on the outside. Three USB ports, an ethernet port, VGA out and a card reader. Exact size is unknown as well but Dell press shots show that it’s just a bit wider than a standard pencil. Translation: that’s one tiny keyboard! For the teeny PC market this will surely make a splash however, and it’ll match your lip stick.
You might have seen us post something on the new Garmin GPS solution for the OQO model 02. It’s a great concept and we’ve had the opportunity of reviewing it recently. If you buy the whole package, which is the car mount for the actual OQO and the Garmin USB GPS device, you’d have what we have. While it’s nice in theory, you can see from the above video what sort of trouble we ran into. If you totally want to skip the video, these are our issues with the package:
- To get an initial satellite lock took around 20 minutes. Open sky, clear and sunny day
- The mount for the OQO covers the speakers so you can’t hear didly squat from the GPS software
- When trying to enter an address, it actually made us write in the city, street name, and street number with the friggin’ pen! (Yes, as we later found out you can use the hardware keyboard, but there should totally be a huge on-screen keyboard)
- The suction cups that comes with the GPS unit totally suck. Actually, they don’t suck. They fall off everywhere
- This isn’t a fault of the GPS unit or the OQO really, but since the device has an active touch screen, you can’t use your fingers at all to tap different menu items. This is a royal pain in the ass since you either have to use the included tablet pen, or fiddle around with the trackstick mouse.
- This is quite possibly the hardest setup to use while driving. We know, you shouldn’t use it while driving, but let’s be honest, are you really pulling over to the shoulder to enter in an address?
Hate it or love it, Samsung has been relatively successful with their Q1 line of ultra mobile PCs. Currently in its second revision, the computer has a loyal cadre of devoted followers. The form factor isn’t our favorite, but as firm believers in the UMPC model, any success is good success. Hoping to build on the existing platform, Samsung is preparing to revamp the Q1. While specifics are notably absent, the company has promised to improve specs and performance, while investing a further evolution of the current form factor. Samsung hopes to deliver the 3rd version of the Q1 by the beginning of next year. Let’s just hope that they’ll “evolve” the form factor into something a bit more practical. You know, with like usable keyboards and things.
Right on time, Roger and HTC have announced the official launch of the Shift UMPC. This marks the first carrier supported version of HTC’s unique mobile computer. The Rogers HTC Shift is available starting today for $1599.99 (Canadian), sporting the usual 40 GB hard drive, 7″ touchscreen, Wi-Fi b/g, HSDPA, Bluetooth, and more. Customers will be required to sign a 3-year contract on a minimum $50/month data plan. HTC and Rogers also announced a future device update, promised within 3 months, that will provide Telenav GPS navigation functionality. This is good news for anyone that absolutely needs carrier support, but if you’re in the market for a Shift, the unlocked version might still present a better value. $1,600 Canadian translates into about $1,622 U.S. If you look hard enough, you can find an brand new unlocked Shift for $1,499 U.S., which should come to you without the 3 year contract and SIM lock. Nuff Said.