Just don't call it a UMPC. Like the "we don't need no stinkin' WMCE" days of yore, Sony is launching into a new market segment with little regard for the generally accepted Microsoft or Intel standards. They have just announced their new Vaio UX Micro PC, which seems more akin to an OQO device than a UMPC. For starters, this unit obviously has a hardware keyboard, which doesn't seem that bad of decision given the difficulty of using current-gen UMPC keyboards. The UX is also powered by a full on Core Solo processor (don't ask us how they got it in there), and runs Windows XP Professional. As rumored, the device also includes Bluetooth, WiFi, WWAN (EDGE connectivity) and a fingerprint reader. Along with the front camera for video conferencing, there is a camera in the rear for snapping pics, and the UX also can plug into a VGA adapter for powering an external monitor. The 4.5-inch screen is capable of a 800 x 600 resolution and accepts stylus input. We're not sure if the UX has another pointer device, but the unit can be docked to allow for desktop use, including VGA, Ethernet, IEEE-1394, three USB 2.0 ports and AV out, so you can use a regular mouse in those situations. We wish Sony would mention their battery life predictions for this mini beast, but they did let us know that the UX will be out in July for around $1800.

[Thanks, Stan]

Today in Engadget Mobile: May 15, 2006