CES this year saw Intel talking about MIDs in depth but there were no real products on display and the prototype (read: a piece of plastic with a sticker for a screen) was no real indicator of forthcoming real world products. Nor was there any talk of pricing. The Gigabyte M528, an MID revealed on the site of Australian e-tailer TegaTech (the device's exclusive distributor apparently), is a good indicator of what kind of specs and prices we can expect from MIDs, so what's in the box?
A 4.8in touch-sensitive LCD, boasting an 800 x 480 resolution, and a slide-out 47-key (backlit) QWERTY keyboard define the unit's 150mm x 80mm x 22.5mm external dimensions. Inside, an 800MHz Centrino Atom processor keeps things ticking over. The M528 is one of, if not the first device to actually confirm that it uses an Atom CPU.
512MB of RAM, either a 4GB or an 8GB solid state drive and an HSDPA module make up the remaining notable internals. The device runs a Linux operating system with "Merry-Go-Round iCON Interface" whatever that means. Presumably it entails some manner of MID spin on an existing Linux OS, as per the Eee PC.
A 3.7V, 3060mAh battery may not sound much but actually it should give a pretty reasonable lifespan. Given that Atom chips draw around 1W (for an 800MHz chip) and the rest of the system is unlikely to exceed a further 1-2W itself, four hours of use should be possible.
The snag? TegaTech is listing the Gigabyte M528 with an HSDPA module for AUS$1,199 (£580), so us poms can probably expect to pay something in the region of £650 on the street. At that price MIDs aren't likely to become as ubiquitous as Intel no-doubt hopes but, heck, I still want one. If anyone's off to Australia soon and wants to bring me back a present feel free.
According to UMPCPortal Gigabyte is stating that there's no set pricing structure yet. In that case, there's still time to get the price right! Computex will no doubt reveal all...