World Exclusive: I got to play with the Lenovo and Aigo Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) at Intel Shanghai

There are only about 20 Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) existent in the world. Most of them were in Shanghai last week for the Intel Developer Forum (IDF). 10 of them were in the Mobility Software Enabling Lab at Intel Shanghai, where I got special access today to shoot photos and videos, as well as some hands on time to play, with the Lenovo Ideapad U8 MID and the Aigo MID. They also had some other devices around for comparison – an old prototype UMPC with a pivot screen, a Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium UMPC, and a Fujitsu Lifebook UMPC. And I threw my iPhone in a few of the photos for size/comparison’s sake.

I’ll post a more detailed writeup of my impressions of the devices soon, as well as the video of the time I had with them (summary: the Lenovo Ideapad U8 looks and feels wonderful in my hands – I WANT one!). I spent several minutes on video with each device, examining the hardware and UI/software features. Right now, thought, it’s almost 1 AM, and I need to get up early to do a blogging training with the Intel Shanghai software guys. But I wanted to get these photos up and available as soon as possible.

Please post any comments or questions you have either in this post, or on the photo’s page on Flickr. I want to answer all of your questions, but I’m going to sleep for a few hours, and don’t want to miss any of them. Please be patient, and I promise I’ll answer all questions. 🙂

The entire set of 33 photos is available in this photoset on Flickr. Feel free to browse through all of the photos (bonus photos: some shots of the Intel Shanghai sales offices, which occupy floors 22-24 of the ShanghaiMart tower). Click here to view as a slideshow, and you can see full size/resolution versions of every photo on Flickr by clicking “All Sizes” on the photo’s page.

And now, the photos! Here are some that I think turned out best – be sure to check out all 33 photos in the Flickr set!

Aigo and Lenovo Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs)
Aigo and Lenovo Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs)
Fujitsu Lifebook, Samsung Q1 Ultra, Lenovo MID, Aigo MID, prototype UMPC
Stack: iPhone, Lenovo, Aigo, Fujitsu, Samsung
Stack: iPhone, Lenovo, Aigo, Fujitsu, Samsung
Keeper of the MIDs, Lenovo Ideapad U8

19 thoughts on “World Exclusive: I got to play with the Lenovo and Aigo Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) at Intel Shanghai

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  8. The Dark Free Soul says:

    Hi there! I noticed there’s no BenQ MID… do you know if there’s any particular motivation for this absence?
    I’d also like to know if these MID allow users to access the linux shell… if there’s any terminal emulator software to play with like on a real linux pc.

    Many thanks in advance.


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  10. Josh — Really looking forward to your description of using each of these. Definitely interested in your comments on the Lenovo, why you think it’s your favorite of the group.

  11. Chris says:

    Being a novice at the mid experience I am curious how this type of device affects the cell phone functionality. Are they meant to provide this as well or is it simply a smaller alternative to a laptop minus the big screen and high computing capabilities?

    If these are to replace the cell phone as well, they seem a bit bulky for the task. The iphone or my treo are on the top end of what I want to lug around to make my calls. Even with bluetooth I still have to actually look up the contact information, which means a small nightstand sitting next to me in the car or a moment wrestling the device from a pocket if I’m on the go.

  12. @The Dark Free Soul – There will be a BenQ MID. I think the only reason I didn’t get to see one was that the Aigo and Lenovo units were the only ones they had in the lab available for a photoshoot. It took a bit of planning and coordination on the part of my hosts to pull this off – it was on again, off again, and rescheduled over the course of a few days. So I’ll definitely take what I can get! 🙂

    And I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to get to the shell. I can’t remember if I saw a terminal app in there anywhere, but it’s Linux. Think of how many penguins would cry out in anger if there was no way to get to the command line! 🙂

    @Mike – I was basing a lot of my opinion on the hardware design. The Lenovo just feels GOOD in my hands. Solid, nice to touch. Kind of like the iPhone. And I did really like the UI. But, I’m not sure I like the little number/T9 text entry pad. In the end, having a hardware QWERTY keyboard may end up being a must have feature, which would put the Lenovo in not such a great light. But man, it’s pretty, and nice to hold! 🙂

  13. @Chris – this first generation of MIDs is NOT meant to replace a cell phone. You’re right – they’re way to big and bulky for that. These MIDs are built on a platform codenamed Menlow – Intel Centrino Atom. The next generation of devices, which Anand talked about a bit in his IDF keynote, is on a much smaller platform codenamed Moorestown. You can find some more information on Moorestown here. I think that once devices start to get that small, then we’ll see them start to replace cell phones.

    In the mean time, think of a MID as a computer you can keep in your pocket/bag on you at all times, when you want to use the internet with a bigger/faster experience than your cell phone can deliver. Make sense?

    I think there’s a bit of a wildcard factor here, too. These devices won’t be out for a few months. We don’t really know exactly how people are going to use them. I think there will be lots of surprises. Sure, the marketing folks have it all mapped out, but people are creative and inventive. I can’t wait to see what unexpected cool things are done with MIDs once they’re available. 🙂

  14. Another quick note – I’ll blog about this more prominently soon, but I have to run.

    My ISN China counterpart (and most gracious host and Shanghai tour guide) Wei “Welles” Du has been posting a TON of great information about the MIDs that was announced at the IDF keynotes, as well as some on the ground reporting/factfinding on specs for some of the MID devices (like the BenQ).

    You can read his posts over on the Intel Software Network blog (in English) here:

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