The folks over at COMsciences' IMOVIO might have taken the concept of the netbook a bit too far. They have just announced the iKIT
, a 0.6 x 2.6 x 3.7-inch, 0.25-pound, Bluetooth and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi-enabled, "Pocket Mobile Companion
" with "a full QWERTY/AZERTY keyboard, an 8GB SD card slot and a
[260K color] 2.8 inch QVGA display
." They are calling it a "Pocket Mobile Companion"
that they claim makes it "a fully functional communicating and browsing device and a viable substitute for a laptop
The iKIT runs off a 312MHz Marvell PXA270 processor, with 128MB ROM, 64MB SDRAM, and uses the Linux 2.4.19 operating system with the "Proprietary plus Trolltech QT/E 2.3.8
" GUI. The iKIT includes a 1,050mAh, Li-ion battery that IMOVIO claims will provide up to 250 hours of standby time, up to 3hours of "power-up time
" (when 25 percent of the usage is spent downloading), or up to four hours of gaming with Java-based games. The iKIT also includes a Micro SD slot for up to 8GB of additional storage and a mini USB 1.1 port for charging, syncing with a PC, or for use with stereo headphones.
If you read those two paragraphs carefully, you'll notice that the only connectivity functionality the iKIT has is Bluetooth and Wi-Fi--meaning that this "fully functional communicating and browsing device
" is actually not fully functional until it is paired with some other device from which the iKIT can piggyback an Internet connection. Perhaps we are being unfair, but our first inclination is to assume that an ultraportable, cell-phone-sized communications device designed for IM-ing, e-mailing, and browsing, should natively include some sort of direct data connection to the Internet, such as 3G. At least it supports HSDPA, so that it can potentially get reasonably speedy connections when paired with a 3G phone.
In addition to Opera Mini 4.1 for Internet browsing, the iKIT also includes an e-mail client with POP3, IMAP, and SMTP support, as well as an IM client that supports MSN IM. The iKIT can sync e-mail, contacts, and calendar entries with Outlook 2000, Outlook 2003, and Outlook Express v6. The iKIT's contact list holds up to 2,000 records, while the calendar can hold up to 1,000 events. The iKIT can play back MIDI, WAV, and MP3 files though its built-in 16mm mono speaker or though mini-USB-based headphones. The device also supports JPG, BMP, GIF, and PNG image file formats, and a version of the iKIT will be available with a 0.3-megapixel fixed camera. The iKIT also supports 3GP, MP4, and AVI video playback up to 25fps, as long as the videos don't exceed a resolution of 320x240.
The iKIT is expected to sell for about $170; but there is no word yet on when it will be available.