Medion UMPC: best integrated keyboard yet


James is in the air returning home and I think 90% of the show is too. Hopefully, they’re not all on the same plane. Since I’ve got the day to myself, I meandered around a much quieter show floor and found the 1.5 pound Medion MD RIM 1000 UMPC in the wild. The device has a smaller footprint than most of the current UMPC models, partly because the screen is a slightly smaller 6.5-inches in lieu of the standard 7.

The screen slides smoothly, revealing something that I wouldn’t want in my UMPC. At least that’s what I thought. The keyboard is the most standard looking and feeling keyboard over anything I’ve seen yet, and we’ve seen ’em all here. The keys have a nice feel and travel; just like a standard keyboard, only much smaller of course. You’ll be using your thumbs, but I have to say after using the device for about 10 minutes: you can quickly get used to the approach and start tapping out text faster than you’d think.

Navigation was also painless with both the directional pad and the small mouse touchpad at the bottom right of the device. Once again, the Origami Experience running on the Via-based machine was zippy and enjoyable.

The Medion should hit market by end of month, coinciding nicely with the Vista launch; I couldn’t get many more details, but if Medion comes in at or under a grand in price, they’ll likely sell a bunch of these. More pics after the jump.

You know me: I love a UMPC with a stand. You can see it on the bottom / back of the device and it gives you about a 30-degree angle; good for typing and great for inking.

No skimping on the split keyboard: a full number row that doubles as function keys. Plenty of buttons that feel like they’re in the right place; nice design. 

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