Taiwanese company Universal Microelectronics UMEC showed their device MP291, a “all-in-one-video-phone”, in September 2009 at the IFA. With it’s antennas, it reminds me of the OLPC, the one-laptop-per-child device. It’s look is not stylish at all. But it has a 5-inch touchscreen and it runs Android, so I decided to take it into my Android tablet reviews.

This is what it looks like:

 

And here’s a photo from engadget.com showing an Android screen:

 

 

More pictures at engadget.com

Here are the specifications of the UMEC MP291:

Specs   UMEC MP291
Processor ARM Cortex A8 (from 600MHz up to 1Ghz, don’t know how fast this one will be)
RAM ???
Screen 5-Inch / 840 x 480 / capacitive touchscreen
Storage / micro SD
A/V Input FM Reciever / DVB-T Tuner / Microphone / 2 Mio Pixel Front Camera
A/V Output Mini HDMI Out / FM Transmitter / Audio Out (3.5mm Jack)
Network WLAN 802.11 bgn / Bluetooth /
Connectors USB (2x) / External Antenna Jack (for GPS I think) / DC Input
Sensors ???
Battery Polymer 4600 mAH
Extras micro SD slot / USB Keyboard and Mouse support / GPS
Price Range 200$
Manufacturer UMEC Universal Microelectronics Co.

 

As french sources report, this device will be ob sale for around 200$, a release date is not given yet. That’s a good price for the hardware they included. Positive in my eyes is the 3G option, it has built-in GPS, a HDMI out connector and even a FM transmitter. Also it has a DVB-T TV tuner and an FM Tuner, which I regard as a really good idea. I did not see that in Android tablet prototypes until now. Specs in general look really good, I would say.

I just wonder, if that device has enough CPU-power and RAM to support all these good ideas. Sure the ARM Cortex-A8 is nota bad choice, but it depends on the implementation and on RAM, if that device gets really snappy.

It seems to be pretty fast on that first view. Software customizations are not visible yet, but that video was made in an early stage, I think they worked on it meanwhile. A bizarre thing is that mouse pointer we see in the second video. As it has a capacitive touchscreen I hope it will work also without mouse. According to androidauthority.com the touchscreen drivers were not working yet in that engeneering sample at IFA. UMEC also created a 10-Inch video phone running Android.

That device is really meant to be a video phone in first purpose, so I won’t write about it. You can see an article ans pictures of it at engadget.com.

The Design of this device is really not my thing, but the specs are good as far as I can see. If the price stays low, why not? If they spend another 50$ per device for a nifty design and some good software customizations, then this could be my thing, assumed that the final version is a performance beast with a tuned-up ARM processor and enough RAM to run all the implementations smoothly.