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Flipstart MiniPC

Old 04-24-04, 10:12 AM
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Flipstart MiniPC

Just read about this the other day. It sounds sweet. Wonder what the price will be?

http://www.mobilemag.com/content/100/333/C2492/

FlipStart: A revolutionary new MiniPC on XP

Wednesday February 18, 2004 10:08 AM EST
By: MobileMan

Vulcan previewed the FlipStart at Demo 2004 this week, the Aluminum encased MiniPC prototype runs on a 1GHz processor with Windows XP. The system has a 30GB disc drive and 256MB of internal RAM. The display screen is HDTV quality at 1024x600, and can capture stills at 1.3 megapixel with an integrated camera. The MiniPC will also has a USB 2.0 port.

See press release below.

Vulcan to Showcase FlipStart at DEMO 2004; World's Smallest, Always-Connected Windows XP PC Premiere

Vulcan Inc., founded by Paul G. Allen, announced today that it will preview FlipStart at DEMO 2004, the premier forum for new product innovation. Previously debuted as Vulcan's "MiniPC" prototype, FlipStart combines the performance and functionality of Microsoft Windows XP with the connectivity of wireless PDAs to provide users with continuous access to software, e-mail and the Web while on the go.


"DEMO has selected FlipStart as an unprecedented demonstration of power and flexibility in mobile computing," said Chris Shipley, executive producer of the DEMO Conferences. "Vulcan has raised the bar for the entire category. The small form-factor and its always-on connectivity liberates workers from the office desktop to make mobile professionals more productive. This is another unique example of Paul Allen's visionary approach to improving technology by offering people new levels of portable productivity and connectivity."

FlipStart includes unmatched power and connectivity in one ultra-mobile device. While PDAs are limited to specific day planner functions and laptop computers require a desk, FlipStart delivers a truly personal and truly handheld computing experience. It is easily carried everywhere in a pocket, purse or small briefcase, and gives its users constant access to e-mail, data and multimedia files, and any Windows XP software application. Users can create a Microsoft Word document, edit or design a PowerPoint presentation, surf the Web or send and receive e-mail in the complete Windows XP environment -- no modification, no "light" versions, no special "viewing applications" required. FlipStart is a true PC with the complete, professional Windows XP environment and applications that users expect.

"We're very pleased to showcase FlipStart at DEMO this year," said John O'Halloran, the lead from Vulcan's FlipStart team. "People want true portability and connectivity without sacrificing the power, functionality, and accessibility they need to do their work. With FlipStart, Paul challenged us not only to provide the full Windows experience in the palm of your hand, but also to bring new tools to the project -- ones that leverage the benefits of its size and flexibility."

Innovative Connectivity and Features
Integrated 802.11b/g wireless connectivity provides network connectivity at home, in the office and at the ever-increasing number of "hot spots" around the country. Options also include integrated Bluetooth(R) wireless technology for additional connectivity features, and mobile voice/data networking choice to offer users complete roaming freedom.

Software Innovations for True Mobility
FlipStart also features patents-pending innovations that enrich the user experience while leveraging the convenience of a true mobile computing device. MobileMail(TM) (a Microsoft Outlook plug-in) enables Microsoft Outlook running on standard Windows XP to more efficiently run e-mail over low bandwidth connections while consuming less battery life. In addition, MiddleMan software simplifies the Windows XP experience on a handheld device by allowing users to use context-specific commands in various applications and by supporting thumb wheel navigation.

One-of-a-Kind LID Module
One of FlipStart's most innovative features is its unique Low-Power Interactive Display (LID) module. This small LCD screen on the outside of the case gives users "at a glance" information, including the ability to preview Outlook e-mail messages, view Outlook calendar and contact information, browse and play MP3 music files, or make a phone call (using the optional mobile phone module). This "always on" LID module enables users to keep apprised of incoming e-mail messages and key appointments without having to open their FlipStart and launch full applications.

PC Power in a Flexible Size
Inside FlipStart, users find the processing power and functionality of a full-size laptop or desktop Microsoft Windows XP operating system:

- 5.8" x 4" x 1" aluminum case
- 1GHz Processor
- 256MB system RAM
- 30GB internal hard drive
- 5.6" HDTV-quality display (1024x600)
- 3D graphics with 8MB video RAM
- Internal 1.3MP digital camera
- USB 2.0 port
- Microsoft Windows XP(R) Home/Professional Edition
- Full-day use battery life
- Full-function QWERTY thumb keyboard

Other links:

http://www.flipstartpc.com/ (official site)

http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,114833,00.asp
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Old 04-24-04, 12:11 PM
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Very interesting.

The keyboard must be a real pain to use, 256MB RAM is marginal.

And the display is not "HDTV-quality" as they keep saying. Although it is very good resolution for such a small screen.
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Old 04-24-04, 03:12 PM
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Re: Flipstart MiniPC

Originally posted by Alvis
- Full-day use battery life
According to the manufacturer's site, you get 2-6 hours with extended battery. I'm guessing that means you get 2 hours with standard battery and 6 hours if you tack on the extended battery. Also that's maximum possible life (probably not using Wi-Fi). In any case, I wouldn't consider that "Full-day use battery life."

Regardless, the little unit does look exciting. I saw an article about this last year some time. I remember the price being ridiculous though (like >$2000).

BTW, what constitutes HDTV-quality?
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Old 04-24-04, 03:27 PM
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Old 04-24-04, 03:30 PM
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Interesting. I'm also waiting for this: http://www.oqo.com/hardware/photos/photo02.html
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Old 04-24-04, 03:57 PM
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I read about this awhile back too - kinda exciting given the specs and that they get windows xp running on it. This is nothing new though - HP has been making handheld pcs like this for ages.
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