We kicked it at Intel's Destination Innovation event yesterday afternoon, and while most of what we saw there wasn't Engadget material — we couldn't care less about yet another way to sort through our digital photos — getting our hands on the Ruby, a concept design for a PDA-sized PC that can run Windows XP (or Vista…), made it all worth while. (The funny thing is that we didn't know this was an Intel prototype when we first stumbled upon the Ruby back in April.)
The one we played with was a little scuffed up (not by us, we swear), but James Song from Intelís Systems Technology
Lab schooled us on some of the Rubyís features, like 8 hours of battery life, built-in wireless, a QWERTY keyboard, a
low-voltage Pentium processor, the ability to automatically change screen orientation when you rotate the device (not
sure how well thatíd work in practice, but itís an interesting prospect), and an active digitizer display so you can
run Windows XP Tablet PC Edition on it (or whatever the Vista equivalent will be). Theyíre also thinking about
developing a stripped down Linux-based OS to run on Ruby, but it wasnít clear how far along they might be on
Anyway, you probably already have a firm sense of whether or not youíd ever want to get down with a device this size, but Song says that Intel (which obviously has no plans to build the device themselves) is already seeing interest in the reference design from several manufacturers and that we should hopefully see the first devices based on the Ruby platform in a couple of years or so.