Vulcan, the company set up by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, will show off its FlipStart
always-on mobile “mini PC” this week.
FlipStart is a compact 14.8 x 10.1 x 2.6cm (5.8 x 4 x 1in) notebook that sports an
unnamed 1GHz processor and runs Windows XP. Vulcan’s idea is to offer a machine that
has the compatibility, power and application base of the mainstream Microsoft OS with
a form factor that’s little bigger than a PDA yet features a full QWERTY keyboard.
Like a PDA, the device is designed to operate continuously, going to sleep when the
lid is closed rather than shutting down completely.
It weighs under 450g (1lb), Vulcan claims.
Unlike a classic handheld, the FlipStart contains a 30GB hard drive and 256MB of memory.
The “HDTV-quality” 5.6in 1024 x 600 LCD is driven by an unnamed (again) 3D graphics
chip with 8MB of video memory. It’s got 802.11b/g built-in, and Vulcan plans to offer
optional Bluetooth and mobile phone network access modules. There’s a single USB 2.0
to allow you to connect an external keyboard or other peripherals.
The notebook’s lid features an optional control and display unit to allow users to
check email, play MP3s or check personal information without having to open up the
Vulcan isn’t saying when the FlipStart will ship or how much it will cost. All it
will say is that it plans to provide that information sometime later this year.