Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Compal PMPs boast WiFi, 7-inch WVGA display, and HD video support

They may not be as stylish or easy to find as the Archos 7 Internet Media Tablet (IMT), but the Compal APA00 (left) and APA01 (right) PMPs aren't really being put to shame by the IMT. In fact, they even occasionally one-up it with features like DVB-T with scheduled recording, FM radio, native HD support up to 1080i, and an SD card slot. The ARM-powered devices have 7-inch 800 x 480 screens like the Archos and run a uCLinux operating system beneath a user interface that includes finger-friendly icons (top row: Music, Video, Photo, DTV, Browser; bottom row: Recorder, Setting, Tool Box, and FM Radio).

Cosmetic differences aside, the two Compal units are basically the same device. Sure, the APA00 is about an ounce heavier than the 20.1-ounce APA01, but both PMPs are still 0.87-inches thick, support a wide range of media formats (including XviD), have removable batteries, and are equipped with a USB 2.0 port, IR sensor (for remote control), TV-out, stereo speakers, and a hard drive up to 80GB. The units can also be configured with 802.11b/g connectivity, though exactly for what purpose is unclear.

There's no word on pricing or availability right now either, but considering that Compal is better known for its ODM/OEM work, there's always a chance that one of these PMPs could show up under a different brand at some point.

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