Ultra Mobile Devices war is coming

Last week Palm announced a new Ultra Mobile Device (UMD) called ‘Foleo‘. This week Via has announced a new UMD reference design called Nanobook and Asus has unveiled an 3ePC, ultra low cost laptop . They are different races: Foleo is ARM-based with a limited amount of memory, Nanobook and 3ePC are x86-based. Nanobook uses VIA processors and 3ePC will use the new Tolopai Intel’s SoC. There are big differerences in memory (Foleo 256Mb, Nanobook 1Gb and 3ePC 512Mb) but not in storage and communication cababilities (all of them will have several gigs of Flash storage) and Wifi. A note to mention about the design is the awful design of the Nanobook, looking like a 80’s alarm clock and not like a 21st century toy. But the most significant differences are pricing: surprinsingly the most expensive is Foleo (600$), Nanobook is 600$ too and 3ePC is 200$. 200$ that’s really cheap!
It’s obvious that a new wave of portable devices is coming, and all of them have something in common: they will have to run some kind of Linux Desktop distribution due to the limitations in processing power – Windows XP and of course Vista are very resource consuming- and fat client software are not a good solution for them. So it seems web applications and services will push these devices.
I don’t know if one of these devices is for me, but road warriors and backberry addicts probably will love it.

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