VIA rains on Palm's Foleo parade with the NanoBook Ultra Mobile Device (UMD) Reference Design

Not to be outdone by Asus' new Eee PC 701 UMPC, VIA Technologies has a new mobile PC of its own to show off. Palm may also be running for cover after the lukewarm reception that its Foleo received when it was announced last week. The new NanoBook Ultra Mobile Device (UMD) Reference Design is built on the VIA UMD platform and packs quite a punch into a pint-sized package.

The NanoBook is capable of running various flavors of Linux, Windows XP or Windows Vista and supports MobilityPLUS Modules. MobilityPLUS allows the customer to install optional accessories into a slot next to the screen such as VoIP phones, GPS, DVB or 3G wireless solutions.

The NanoBook features a 7" WVGA touch screen display, 1.2GHz VIA C7-M ULV processor, VIA VX700 chipset, 1GB DDR2 memory, 30GB HDD 802.11b/g wireless, Bluetooth, 4-in-1 media reader, two USB 2.0 ports and a DVI port.

The portable device measures 9.0" x 6.7" x 1.5" and weighs just 1.87 pounds. VIA says that the NanoBook can operate for up to 4.5 hours on its 4-cell battery.

"The VIA NanoBook UMD Reference Design turns my dream of creating a full featured Ultra Mobile Device that delivers a rich computing, communications, and Internet computing experience into a reality," said Wenchi Chen, President and CEO of VIA Technologies. "With its highly-functional yet ultra compact form factor and extended battery life, it will enable people to enjoy the Mobility 2.0 lifestyle at any place and any time."

VIA has already signed up one partner to use the NanoBook UMD reference design: Packard Bell with its new EasyNote XS. "The EasyNote XS is a ground breaking new device that combines the functionality of a PC with the convenience of a handheld," said Roger Yuen, VP of Asia and Global Operations for Packard Bell. "We are very excited about the potential of this new category of Ultra Mobile Devices in the market."

The VIA NanoBook will be available from OEMs and system integrators in the second half of 2007 and has an estimated price tag of $600.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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