Redmond firm developing Windows 8 Pro smartphone

Likely thanks to Intel’s new Clover Trail+ Atom processor, you may soon be able to buy a smartphone running the full-fat version of Windows 8 Pro. So says the Seattle Times’ Brier Dudley, who has the scoop on an interesting device from a little-known company called i-mate Development. The Redmond-based firm is working on the Intelegent, a handset that combines a Clover-based Atom SoC with a 4.7″ touchscreen, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of solid-state storage, and both HSPA+ and LTE 4G connectivity. There’s no word on the resolution of the display, but the handset will reportedly cost $750 when it’s released this summer. That’s the price of an unsubsidized unit, by the way, and it’s $100 less than you’ll pay for a comparable iPhone 5.

The Intelegent isn’t just a standalone smartphone. This mini PC will also be sold as part of a “desktop hardware suite” complete with a docking station. The dock will connect to a 23″ touchscreen plus keyboard and mouse to form a pseudo desktop. It’ll also power a 10.1″ 1080p tablet over a wireless connection. There’s even an old-school phone receiver if you want something to pinch between your ear and shoulder. Love me four times, baby.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I-mate is, after all, headed by a guy named Jim Morrison. This British Telecom alum sees the Intelegent as a competitor for BlackBerry in the corporate market. He thinks businesses will buy into the idea of a suite of desktop and portable systems powered by a single device that can be managed like a PC. He might have a point, too, but there are pitfalls to this approach.

At best, a Clover-based Atom will deliver netbook-class performance, which is a tad sluggish for serious productivity. The Intelegent’s battery life is likely to be relatively short, as well. The Seattle Times article quotes 10 hours of talk time for the handset but makes no mention of how long it’ll last when being used as a Windows PC. Good thing there’s a dock.

While the Intelegent will invariably involve compromises, it still sounds like an incredibly cool device. If this thing materializes, we’ll have come an awfully long way from the early mini PCs offered by the likes of OQO. Pocket PC just took on a whole new meaning.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    Does anyone else feel that MS is really overplaying the “fling enough mud” tactics this round?

    I have no idea what direction they’re going in, but it certainly isn’t working for me as either a consumer or an enterprise manager.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 7 years ago

    nm

    • oldog
    • 7 years ago

    Did anybody else read the name of the company as Inelegant?

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 7 years ago

    I look forward to their inevitable bankruptcy filing.

    • gamoniac
    • 7 years ago

    Doesn’t make sense. Why not just have a AIO with Bluetooth-enabled headset? You can dial the numbers on your touchscreen. Am I missing something?

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      No, I don’t think you are. What would have made the most sense is to make it just a docking cradle–that provides the HDMI and USB for the ‘desktop’ functionality as well as a charging dock for a Plantronics BT headset/earpiece.

      I physical corded handset? Just when you though Apples skewmorphism was too much. Bam, right to 11.

      Edit: spellin!

    • liquidsquid
    • 7 years ago

    I think this is a great idea, especially if it has a stylus. Anyone else doodle while on the phone?

    Stop it you pervs before you answer.

    • NeelyCam
    • 7 years ago

    Can I play XBox games with it?

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      possibly. rumors of cross compatibility abound.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      In Soviet America, Xbox plays Windows Phone games.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    with windows blue’s rumored serious gains in kernel performance and power efficiency, this might not be as bad as it sounds.

    • mattthemuppet
    • 7 years ago

    they really missed out on adding a rotary dial on that wired phone. I mean, if we’re using cutting edge technology to mimic old crap we don’t use any more, why not do the whole hog?

      • tfp
      • 7 years ago

      That’s just a dialling app for the touch screen.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      Screw the dial, put on a crank.

        • liquidsquid
        • 7 years ago

        Crank to charge it back up for each call! FTW!

    • brucethemoose
    • 7 years ago

    [url<]http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=9urd945T3qY&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D9urd945T3qY[/url<] Yes, this is a phone that can run Crysis.

    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    I can picture it now:

    Turn on the new phone:

    “You have 36 updates”
    …. 2 hours later……
    *reboot*
    “You have more updates”
    ….30 minutes later….
    *reboot*
    “Adobe Reader has updates”
    *reboot*
    *installs popup blocker*
    *installs no script*
    *installs Security Essentials*
    *reboot*
    *updates Security Essentials*
    *reboot*
    *runs system scan*
    ……… and on and on……

    Month later, bill comes in and user faints from LTE data usage overages.

      • brucethemoose
      • 7 years ago

      YES, now my phone can come with bloatware too!

      • rwburnham
      • 7 years ago

      The desktop version of Windows 8 has a setting that allows you to enable or disable software updating while on a cellular connection.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        Still the sheer amount of BS a person will have to go through to properly protect their phone on first boot borderlines the ridiculous.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          I know the default setting is a sheer amount of BS i simply cannot stand!

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          It pales in comparison to the sheer amount of bs people have to go through reading Microsoft hate posts.

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 7 years ago

    I think they would be better off having a larger screen on the phone, say 5.5″-6.0″ or so, and not bothering with the tablet. And include one of those clever Bluetooth Stylus/handsets that can slide right out of the phone.

    • ApockofFork
    • 7 years ago

    Am I the only one who initially read the name of the phone as Inelegant?

    I thought it was appropriate that they were describing the phone in the name of it.

      • someuid
      • 7 years ago

      I read it as IntelAgent.

      • oldog
      • 7 years ago

      Shoot. I should have read your post before posting the same thing. I try to fix by up thumbing you.

    • RhysAndrews
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t know what the technology would be behind this, but if the docking station had its own CPU/RAM/Guts that could boost the performance of the phone to a decent desktop performance, THEN TAKE MY MONEY NOW.

    The only way I can imagine that ^ working is if docking the phone restarted it into ‘target disk mode’, whereby the dock actually boots off the phone like an external drive.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    Boom. I called it. [url<]https://techreport.com/news/24410/atom-smartphones-boosted-by-clover-trail?post=711479[/url<] (And I'd thought about it long ago.) Wintel rising from the ashes, oh noes!

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      Great, now you can blame chrome for not being able to make a phone call when out of tower range.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      You said it would bomb?

      Edited to add: For the humor impaired, this is a joke. Okay? Put your pants back on.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        No trolly guy 🙂 – that MS’s ultimate goal should be a single OS from top to bottom, no forking for a different CPU architecture a la Win RT. It’s not a huge leap of logic from the stated purpose of Win 8 and RT to have a unified UI to having them all run the same OS, nor is a docked phone running a desktop screen a huge leap. Heck, the latter has been talked about for ages and experiments with docked phone hardware have come and gone. I’m sure someone else somewhere has said that a single OS is a possibility too, but I can’t say where and I’ve come to think of Win RT/WP8 as a temporary detour on the way to a single OS for everything.

        As is common for MS and Intel, due to the nature of the relatively open hardware and software (compared to say Apple) – and I’m talking going back decades – things don’t always roll out smoothly and sometimes ideas come to market before their time. It’s messy and ugly and can result in good ideas getting abandoned or panned or getting a bad reputation because they’re too early, but sometimes it works out, or they just push through and it takes a few years. I think this is a case of it working out, depending on how you want to look at it you could count this as a decade+ in the making.

    • dragosmp
    • 7 years ago

    It’s gonna be 1366×768, no way around that

    Seems like a good idea, it should work. If it shows up soon it will find an audience, especially if they add a stylus and an active digitizer.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]It's gonna be 1366x768, no way around that[/quote<] Why? The Lenovo K900 with Clovertrail Z2580 has a 1080p screen.

        • drfish
        • 7 years ago

        Because DPI scaling in Win8 sucks… A 1280×768 Windows desktop is just barely tolerable on my 920 using the RDP program I linked below.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          So that means the device won’t be able to have a high res screen? You are talking about a desktop, I don’t think anyone intends for people to run a full desktop on a 5″ screen. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. MS would need to fix any scaling issues with Metro apps for sure though.

          *It’s true though that if it had a high-res screen they probably would have said so. But 1366×768 is higher res than 720p and that’s ‘retinal’ for a phone. Quite frankly 1080p in sub-7″ devices is just overkill.

            • drfish
            • 7 years ago

            Its not impossible, but it seems unlikely given the current crop of Win8 tablets and laptops…

    • IYagami
    • 7 years ago

    I really like this idea. However, I think it is a couple of years ahead of its time.

    This could be a good product with an next-generation Intel Atom processor with Centerton architecture. And a way better product with an Intel Broadwell processor, expected for 2014 (I don’t know if there will ever be an Intel Broadwell processor for a phone, but I hope it happens!)

    • oldDummy
    • 7 years ago

    Currently using the HTC 8X thru Verizon.
    While nothing stands out and grabs you, the OS runs well and seems….competent for lack of a better term.
    Seamless integration with outlook would let it run your life if you want/let it.
    IMO, MS is a company to be reckoned with concerning smartphones as a main personal computer.
    The usage of phones as a dumb terminal appliance are a thing of the past.
    Except for my wife, of course. 😉

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    The intelegent? Seriously? Also, what age group are they targeting exactly with that range of products?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      Sales people are the target, I think. You’d always have everything you needed with you. It needs a laptop add-on, though, so you could do on-site demos and presentations.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 7 years ago

      Um, 10-year-olds?

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        10yo CEOs/VPs?

          • destroy.all.monsters
          • 7 years ago

          Clearly there’s a need for this monstrosity amongst the Lemonade stand and grass mowing entrepreneurs out there.

          Clearly.

    • drfish
    • 7 years ago

    Hello, big fan of Win8 and WP8 here. I don’t want this though.

    I think Microsoft’s plan of PC/Tablet & Phone vs. Apple’s Tablet/Phone & PC was the right call – but I think a PC OS would make a terrible phone. Besides, with a decent RDP app on my phone it [i<]is[/i<] a PC when I need it to be.

      • Arclight
      • 7 years ago

      RDP? Reality Distortion Program?

        • drfish
        • 7 years ago

        [url=http://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=e2af408b-555a-e011-854c-00237de2db9e<]More like this...[/url<]

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          I got:

          [quote<]Try again later Something happened, and we can't get to the page you want at the moment. Try again in a little while.[/quote<]

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 7 years ago

        That only applies to Apple users. MS users are exempt from scrutiny!

      • A_Pickle
      • 7 years ago

      I actually disagree. Windows 8 Pro can run… every [s<]Metro[/s<] sorry, every Modern UI application that Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 can run. That gets me every bit of touch friendliness that all of those platforms offer, in a similar sized package, with similar battery life -- AND a desktop that can run Win32 applications. I would WAY rather have a full-on Windows phone that I can actually control, rather than ARM-based pretend computers.

        • cynan
        • 7 years ago

        Aren’t Windows phones Arm-based now?

          • A_Pickle
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah, ARM-based pretend computers. I want an x86 phone. I’d buy the shit outta that.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            I assume **** is another word for feces. You can already buy Windows 8 on its own.

            /MStrollolol

      • cynan
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]I think Microsoft's plan of PC/Tablet & Phone vs. Apple's Tablet/Phone & PC was the right call[/quote<] The irony in this is that MS still has separate OSes for phones (Phone 8), tablets (RT) and PCs (8), with vastly different capabilities, software compatibility, etc. But hey, at least MS strong-armed a common "modern" UI across all 3, even if it doesn't really fit so well (or at least is far for necessary and can be less than intuitive) for a PC. I think the idea of beefier convertible ultrabooks/tablets running a full OS is great and all, at least in theory, but these products make up what percentage of PCs? And do people really want to spend $1000 or more on one of these all-in-ones, instead of a having a fully functional (and more ergonomic for working) portable laptop and a cheap media consumption device (ie, Nexus 7) for a similar price or not much more? I don't. Who wants to risk yielding over a $1000 PC into a 4 year-old's grubby little hands for a Dora The Explorer video in close proximity of juice cups and the like? Or risk pulling it out on a crowded commute, etc. I'd much rather do that with a ~$200 tablet. And if you already have a cheaper media consumption tablet and need more powerful mobile computing, a real laptop makes more sense to me.

      • Sabresiberian
      • 7 years ago

      This looks more like what I really want in a smart phone; a computer that is a phone and camera that I can seamlessly integrate with my desktop environment, that I can fit into my pocket.

      I really don’t see why it would be “terrible” to have more capabilities in the device; it certainly doesn’t require something be left out in order to add full OS functionality.

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