With smartphones getting smarter all the time, and with netbooks too easily gaining a strong market presence, the once expected explosion of Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) powered by Intel Atom chips have failed to materialize. It's not hard to see why though given its competition. Phones are easier to carry around, and the newer phones like the Apple iPhone 3GS provide a decent and snappy surfing experience. Netbooks on the other hand, offer a wee bit more functionality in an easier to use form factor, which means touchscreen based MIDs end up looking like the bastard child of both machines, even though some variant of MID devices have long been in the field.
So despite the low interest and demand for MIDs, Intel has yet to give up on this platform. At CeBIT 2009 in Hannover and Computex 2009 in Taipei, Intel released more information on how they intend to evolve the MID platform using their next version of the Atom based platform, Moorestown and their Intel Moblin OS. Also, manufacturers have released prototype units that were impressive to look and handled really well when we had the chance to test them. That said, those units will take a while yet to arrive, and for now, we only have the current Menlow platform based units on hand to play with; well, more specifically, just one.
The unit in question? Well it's the Viliv's S5 Real Pocket PC that we first spotted earlier this year at CeBIT 2009 that finally made its way to retail and now, our labs. We take a look at this MID and see if it's ready to replace your netbook and phone as the device for you internet junkies on the go.