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UMPC bridges MID, netbook formats

Apr 30, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 31 views

UMID is readying a MID-like ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) for the Korean market that runs Linux. The UMID Mbook is equipped with an Intel Atom processor, a 4.8-inch, 1024 x 600 touchscreen, WiFi, Bluetooth, 1.3-megapixel camera, and a HSDPA 3G cellular modem, says the company.

(Click for larger view of the UMID Mbook )

UMID's Mbook, which was announced last year but reportedly delayed by “build quality issues,” is now being served up by Hungarian retailer MobileX as the “UMID M1 Low MID.” A Windows XP version called the UMID M1 High MID offers slightly different specs. However, both devices have identical cases, with unique styling that makes them look like paperback books — remember those? — that were left out in the rain.

Mbook open

At first glance, the Mbook appears to be a tiny netbook, offering a full, albeit undersized, QWERTY keypad just like other mobile Internet devices (MIDs). However, while most of the MIDs that sport keyboards typically use a slide-down format, the Mbook goes with the netbook/clamshell approach. This makes it look a lot like some of the early UMPCs that struggled to make an impact in the market back in 2006 and 2007 after Microsoft and Intel defined the format.

Mbook from multiple angles
(Click to enlarge)

In its specs, however, the Mbook is all MID, offering a typical 4.8-inch screen and 6.2 x 3.7 x 0.7-inch form factor. It also uses an Intel Atom processor. The Linux version is based on one of the original Atoms, the Z510 model clocked to 1.1GHz, which offers a stated TDP of two Watts.

The Linux M1 version is supplied with 512MB of DDR2 RAM and an 8GB solid-state disk (SSD), says MobilX. Further storage may be possible with the microSD slot and USB port. Communications features include WiFi, Bluetooth, and HSDPA, and a 1.3-megapixel camera is also provided.

Mbook interface (left) and side views
(Click on either to enlarge)

Although not listed on the M1 specs shown on the MobileX site, some additional enticing features are mentioned on the UMID site, such as Mobile TV (T-DMB, DVB-T/H, and 1-Seg standards), as well as WiMAX and WiBro wireless connectivity. It may be that these features will appear in future versions of the Mbook.

Mbook with stylus

Specifications listed for the UMID M1 Low MID Mbook include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom Z510 1.1GHz (512KB Cache, 400MHz); Poulsbo US15 chipset
  • Memory — 512MB DDR2 533MHz
  • Storage — 8GB SSD
  • Flash expansion — Micro-SD card reader
  • Display — 4.8-inch, WSVGA (1024 x 600) touchscreen
  • WiFi — WLAN 802.11 b/g
  • Bluetooth — Bluetooth 2.0
  • Cellular — HSDPA
  • USB — 1 x USB 2.0
  • Camera — 1.3 megapixel
  • Audio — Speaker; mic; earphone jack (2.5-inch)
  • Input — QWERTY keypad
  • Battery — 2400 mAh (lithium-ion)
  • Weight — 11.1 oz (315g)
  • Dimensions — 6.2 x 3.7 x 0.7 inches (158 x 94 x 18.6mm)
  • Operating system — Linux; Windows XP

A UMID “unboxing” video
Source: Jkkmobile
(click to play)


The UMID M1 Mbooks are available for order and will ship on May 31, says MobileX. More information on the UMID M1 Low MID with Linux may be found at MobileX, here. The Windows XP “High” version page may be found here.

UMID's own Korean language Mbook page may be found here.

The UMPC Portal website has published a review of the UMID calling it an “advanced mobile device,” but warning that “build quality could be better.” To read the article by Steve (“Chippy”) Paine, see here.

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