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Unleashing the Internet Experience

The key to Menlow is the always on Internet experience, and it looks like Intel is trying to cover all the bases. Menlow will support WiMAX, Wi-Fi and even 3G. Intel also demonstrated such a device running Ubuntu Linux, showing that it could do pretty much anything that a full PC could do. This combination of always on Internet, fully featured hardware and full operating system could make the MID a true pocket powerhouse.

I agree with much of what Intel is saying about the future of MIDs, but I feel that there is a more fundamental issue that's holding back the Internet experience on handheld devices - screen resolution and size. The problem is that most handheld devices don't have screens with high enough resolutions to display most web pages. Of course UMPC devices like the Samsung Q1 Ultra have a high enough resolution to display web pages, but they're simply too big to be carried around in your pocket.

Anand showed off a prototype of an MID running the Menlow platform, which looked very much like Sony's UX series. Even though this unit was reasonably small, it's still not as small as, say, an HTC TyTN II smartphone. But Anand indicated that the platform after Menlow is the answer. The forthcoming Moorestown platform will offer all the features of Menlow, but be able to squeeze them into an even smaller form factor. The Moorestown prototype that Anand showed looked like an Apple iPhone on steroids, but that's not necessarily a bad thing!

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