Back in June we reported on what could be considered as the first real smartbook device—a hybrid smartphone/netbook machine that could be the next big thing in mobile computing. Now it looks like the xpPhone's ready for the world.
Originally we knew very little about the xpPhone, but makers ITG have now released a little more information as part of the launch of pre-orders for the device. As well as the 120GB hard drive, Wi-Fi, GPS, and 4.8-inch LCD we know it'll have an AMD CPU, a front-facing Webcam for VoIP video calls, support for Bluetooth headsets (allaying one of my original concerns), and its full-functioning QWERTY slider keypad will also have a minute touchpad for mouse navigation—much better than those irritating Lenovo-style nubbins, and a surprise on such as small device. The phone also has a VGA out slot for projectors and monitors which really does add to its usefulness—you could, in theory, run a whole business presentation from it almost as if it were a mini laptop. There's also a built-in SSD, up to 64GB, mainly included for speedy boots and power saving, and its battery will give five hours of talk time, and five days on standby.
People's interest seems to be most piqued by one feature especially though: "Support the global three major 3G standards." This label is applied to the phone's SIM slot in the image—can that really mean the hardware supports all the radically different 3G cellphone architectures? Yup—HSDPA/HSUPA, CDMA/CDMA2000, TD-SCDMA, and TD-HSDPA support means it'll run on pretty much any 3G network in the world (even in China) and this really makes the xpPhone into a powerful little beast. The offering of AT&T, Orange and Vodafone options as part of the pre-order process definitely confirms it's going global.
While I still have my doubts about such a small machine running XP, I'm sure it won't be long before someone hacks Win7 or OSX onto it...and I'm pretty certain that there will be an appreciable number of buyers for the xpPhone, as long as it's not priced into the stratosphere. Maybe all those wannabe owners of the sadly failed OQO computer will be interested?