NVIDIA Builds a $99 Mobile Internet Device Platform

[Mobile World Congress] Mobile internet devices (or MIDs) have not had the success that Netbooks have enjoyed. It might be because they are in an awkward category: too small to be a laptop and too big to be a PDA/Smartphone. NVIDIA thinks that it can help the MID category by giving it more (graphics) muscle, while lowering the price and the overall power consumption to boost the battery life from “hours to days”. (btw, Intel claims a similar power efficiency improvement for its Moorestown platform). The Tegra 600 Series (Launched at the last Computex) is the chip of choice: it runs at 650 to 750Mhz and can decode 1080p video or encode 720p video in real-time. Not bad for a handheld device, no? MIDs built on this platform are expected to run on Windows CE (wait, did you say CE?!) at the moment, but we wonder how long it will take to have Android up and running (see today’s NVIDIA/Android announcement)

The platform will be well connected. Expect support for WiFi and 3G. Ericsson is working with NVIDIA on the 3G side of things. Here’s NVIDIA list of features:

  • 720p and 1080p video playback
  • Days of use between charges
  • Full Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity

We’re not sure about the Windows CE choice, but we’ll give it a chance for now. For such a low price and with a 3G connection, we can imagine that wireless carriers might want to help market this category. The thing is: we find it really annoying to pay $40-$60/month for each device that we own (Phone, 3G modem…). It’s time to work on a better subscription model.

Filed in Computers >Top Stories. Read more about MWC.

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