I had the chance (thanks to Steven "fyiguy" Hughes) to see the DualCor cPC in action during Lunch @ Piero's, a press event happening parallel to the 2006 International CES.
So, what's in it? To start with it this device runs two separate operating systems: Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 and Windows Mobile 5.0. How come? Well, the device runs two processors, one for each OS, with both operating systems sharing a single display unit.
One of the CPUs runs at 1.5GHz (for Windows XP) and the second CPU runs at 400MHz (for Windows Mobile). An icon in the System Tray on the Windows XP and on the Status bar on the Windows Mobile allow the user to toggle the OS being shown on the display.
The DualCor cPC comes with a 5" LCD with a 800x480 pixels resolution. And Windows Mobile is using this resolution - according to Steven Hanley, President and CEO of DualCor Technologies, they are using a special driver for that.
Even though the DualCor cPC is running Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005, it is not using an active digitiser - instead it is using a touchscreen. It also comes with 1GB RAM, 3x USB 2.0, headset and phone jacks, integrated CF Type II, mini VGA port, speaker microphone and mouse controls.
The 40GB HDD does not seem to be shared between the OS as some other bloggers posted. Instead there's a shared folder that is visible on the Pocket PC side as a folder on the file system - pretty much as a Windows shared folder in a network. Files can be moved from one OS to another simply by copying it to this folder.
This device measures 6.5 " x 3.3" x 1.2" (16.5 x 8.4 x 3.0 cm) and weighs about 450g (1 pound).
A external Bluetooth keyboard is being engineered by Stowaway, and will be marketed with the DualCore branding.
For communications users will be able to connect through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and in the future some 3G options (possible WCDMA/UMTS and CDMA EV-DO). Steven could not say much more on this because a model with this feature is not ready and available yet.
During the demonstration we could see how fast the device operated - and it was even running at half speed.
I am actually not convinced this is the ideal solution. Most applications that require mobility can be achieved with Windows Mobile devices running smart clients, and the screen size is too small for Windows XP to be usable - unless you have an external display. And if the user needs to have a glimpse on his/hers schedule or contacts, a new crop of laptops with external intelligent displays will be able to provide this information without having to turn the whole laptop on.
I expect mobile computing to evolve to a different form factor.
DualCore Technologies expect people to benefit of a handheld PC based on a full OS, while having the instant-on feature of Pocket PC devices. The device should be available in Q1 2006, and cost about US$1,500.