Friday, January 11, 2008

Vocabulary lesson: UMPC vs. MID

As you know, I am a gadget geek! I have been seeing the term "MID" (Mobile Internet Device) bandied about lately and have heard devices such as the Asus EeePC called an UltraMobile PC (UMPC), which I knew it was not.

Today there is an entry on Engadget describing the differences.

So, let's see where my own secondary devices land based on this description.

Apple iPod touch : MID
Asus EeePC: MID
OPLC XO laptop: MID

Fujitsu P1510D: came out before the UMPC, so it really is a laptop, but it can pass for an UMPC with its passive matrix screen...

Hum, it seems the lines are blurring and perhaps the definition provided may not be as definitive as it could be. For example, the Asus EeePC (MID) does media well, also has an office suite, and it runs Linux. It could actually pass for an UMPC if it had a touch screen.

The original specifications for the UMPC included multiple input methods, Microsoft Windows Tablet OS, and that it was smaller and lighter than a laptop.

I am looking to get a device of some type in as many students' hands as possible. Since many applications are moving to the Web, and there seems to be wireless Internet access in many places in our schools and communities, I am looking at the low-cost devices such as the Asus EeePC and the upcoming Everex Cloudbook. (Update 1/12/08: The OLPC program will be expanded to the United States in 2008. More details to follow from the OLPC America branch of the OLPC Foundation.)

I need a device somewhere between a MID and a UMPC to take advantage of low cost, but with the inclusion of some power on the machine locally. I will continue the search!