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Asus R50A: Yet another UMPC

Come check out the latest UMPC from Asus -- a super-light, super-small Windows-based device with tons of wireless technology

Ultra-mobile PCs may still be 'meh' in the eyes of the consumer, but that isn't stopping companies from churning them out. The latest to surface is the Asus R50A -- a sleeker, sexier and smaller alternative to the Asus R2H.

The coolest thing about this device is its integrated support for WiMax, HSDPA or 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, which means it can access the Intertubes just about anywhere. It's also packin' a GPS chip so you can use it as a pocket sat-nav or stick it in your car like a TomTom on steroids. If sat-nav isn't your thing, then you can grab one with an optional digital TV tuner.

The main components are impressive. It's set to use the new 1.33GHz Intel 'Silverthorne' CPU and the equally fresh Intel 'Poulsbo' chipset, both of which give it the prospect of longer-than-normal battery life and cooler-than-normal operation. However, it has 1GB of DDR-400 RAM, which some might say isn't enough to run Vista Home Premium in a satisfactory manner.

Still, there's a 1.8-inch 32GB solid state hard drive, which does its bit for battery life and provides fast boot times. Plus you get a whopping three USB ports -- more than you get on some laptops -- and a microSD card slot. The screen churns out 1,024x600 pixels, and the whole shebang measures 199 by 97 by 284mm and weighs 520g.

It doesn't seem as clever as the Toshiba ultra-mobile concept, but it's not a bad looking device. Price and availability are TBC, but we'll bring you an in-depth analysis when we convince Asus to give us one in the near future. -Rory Reid