Guide to UMPCs – Ultra Mobile Personal Computers

UMPC is an acronym for ‘Ultra-Mobile Personal Computer’. A UMPC device is a small form factor personal computer that meets minimum specifications set down by a group of manufacturers including Intel and Microsoft. They are small enough to be carried in a briefcase, bag or even a pocket, and are designed to be sufficiently powerful and versatile to be able to run a full version of most common operating systems. Physically a UMPC device is larger than a PDA but smaller than a tablet PC. Details of Microsoft’s first UMPC device – codenamed ‘Origami’ – were circulated in early 2006, with confirmation of the ‘new generation’ hardware being given in March of that year. UMPC devices were designed for mobility, communication and productivity: wireless networking, a full complement of software and operating systems, and the ability, in theory, to do anything that would be possible on an desktop or laptop computer. The UMPC specification defines the screen size of a compatible device as being 7 inches (17.8 cm) or smaller with a minimum resolution of 800×480 pixels. The device must weigh less than two pounds (907 grams), and have a battery life of over 2.5 hours. Constraints on size meant that the power of the processor running the device had to be carefully weighed against its TDP. Likewise the power usage had to be low enough to allow a sensible battery life. Intel’s low-voltage processors were designed with smaller hardware such as the UMPC in mind and fitted the brief almost perfectly (unsurprising given its position in defining the specification). Intel’s processors featured in many of the early models....

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