After weeks of rumors, hype, and anticipation, Intel has officially announced the first three Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs) that are part of the Origami Project.
These devices have been developed by Samsung, ASUS, and Founder.
All three have similar specifications, including 7-inch touch-screens, support for both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and two USB ports.
None of them includes a built-in keyboard.
These UMPCs have a tablet shape and run a version of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition.
To this, Microsoft has added an application that allows users to type on the screen with their thumbs.
It has also tweaked the operating system so it is easier to use on a small screen. For example, users can increase the size of icons.
Not Quite Living Up to the Dream
Almost a year ago, Bill Gates, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect, unveiled a new concept in mobile computing.
His dream became the Origami Project, but the first generation of devices don’t quite live up to his hopes.
The idea is to create pocket-sized, inexpensive, Windows computers. These will have a constant wireless connection to the Internet and batteries capable of lasting for an entire day.
The first three UMPCs are too big to be easily pocketable and will cost about $800.
Also, their batteries only last for two or three hours, depending on how they are used.
Still, Intel is promising that the next generation of UMPCs will come much closer to Gates’ dream, as they will be smaller, have better battery lives, and cost about $500.