Mobile Internet Devices:What are They and What to Get?
Mobile Internet Device (abbreviated to MID) is an ambiguous term coined by Intel for a group of small, portable computers aimed at surfing the Internet. Devices that call themselves MIDs are often smaller than a netbook but larger than a phone. They boast the ability to browse the Internet, usually a media player, and a good battery while still being easy to carry. However every expert has a slightly different definition of what they are.
What is this?
The MID is hard to categorize because it fits in between two other converging devices. Most of its functionality can be had from modern cell phones, and many of the newest MIDs are even running the same operating system as the phones. Netbooks have brought the weight and size of laptops down to where they are not that much less convenient to carry than MIDs. Larger devices, such as the Apple IPad, have the same features as a MID but define themselves as something else entirely. Because of this, the term is best thought of as a concept that can be applied to many different devices under many different names.
Type of MID
MIDs run on a variety of different hardware types. All have a screen large enough to browse the web, with a minimum resolution of 800×480. Some run on modified computer parts, while others utilize phone hardware. Most modern MIDs have touch screens, but some of the early Nokia and Intel MIDs used buttons to navigate the screen instead Many of the early examples ran a version of Linux. Nokia released several MIDs, including the N800, running a version of Linux called Maemo. Others, like the Viliv S5, come with a version of Windows and netbook hardware. More are being released running the Android operating system, which is specifically designed for smaller screens. These cannot run Windows applications, but Android does have its own set of applications.
When looking at MIDs, it is best to consider what your needs are. If you are looking for a full function computer, then you need a higher end MID like the Viliv S5. It is not pocketable, but is small enough to stuff in a purse. However its high price coupled with its low end netbook hardware means that you may be better off with a cheaper, less functional device. If your main concern is browsing the Internet, then you have many options. The Archos 5 Internet Tablet is a touchscreen device running the Android operating system. It is not as powerful as the Viliv S5, but it can handle playing games, watching movies and browsing the Internet. A larger Archos 7 has also been released that is also cheaper, if less portable. It is billed as a home tablet. If price is the biggest concern, however, it may be worth investing in a cheap Chinese MID. The Eken M001 is about as cheap as you can get at $100.00. The device is extremely slow and unresponsive, however, with a short battery life. But it can browse the Internet.
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