Computers continue to shrink in size and increase in power and performance. The laptop is now considered bulky even unwieldy. The mobile phone as you may know by reading previous posts is the next step in computation delivery. Every day one can see the shift to hand held devices. As the user tries to step away from the PC there’s a middle ground some fall into called Mobile Internet Devices – a term coined by Intel
to describe computers smaller than a laptop but not as small as a mobile phone. Intel provides the Atom chip previously called the Silverthorne to power these devices. Most of the examples listed below use Linux as the OS and provide a wireless connection to the internet. It appears Microsoft will take another hit as the industry moves around its proprietary operating system which for many applications today is overkill and overpriced. Elektrobit
offers a Mobile Internet Multimedia device. It offers both Wi-Fi and WiMAX broadband connectivity and a Linux OS. Asus
offers the eePC which looks like a slimmed down laptop that uses WiFi to connect to the internet. The cost is equally slimmed down.
The Aigo MID
borrows heavily from the iPhone and has something of a cheesy quality to it.
LG, Lenovo, and BenQ
offer their versions as well.
The mobile internet device brings another low-cost, commercial off the shelf technology to solving virtual instrumentation applications. Low cost devices connected wirelessly to the internet enables applications deployment for many users.