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January 8, 2008 2:22 AM

CES 2008: Toshiba's Origami device

Posted by Brier Dudley

LAS VEGAS -- Toshiba brought a passel of slick Vista-powered Ultra-Mobile PCs to CES this year. But it would rather you call them something else.

"We don't say ultra mobile PC, we say ultra mobile device,'' Yuchiro Kato, the engineer who designed its new interface, told me.

From the side, this one looks almost like a thick iPhone:

side view of toshiba umpc at ces

Toshiba wouldn't say when the devices will go on sale and what they may cost. For now they're part of a demonstration of new technologies, including the "eMotion Feel" interface that uses optical finger navigation, a touch sensor and a touch panel.

Models beyond this one may have new components Toshiba showed in the same display, including a 128-gigabyte sold-state hard drive, a Wi-Fi/WiMax/Bluetooth/3G radio set with an antenna printed on the case and a fuel cell power system.

We'll see if any are labeled as descendents of the Ultra-Mobile PC concept that Microsoft developed under the code-name Origami.

Here's a demo of the interface Kato and an assistant gave Monday. Check out how you can scroll by tilting the device.

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.