CES - OQO shows off WiMax-enabled ultramobile PC

Device weighs just under 500g, uses Vista

WiMax high-speed wireless networks and devices will be a major topic of interest at CES, and OQO is demonstrating one the first devices to use the technology this week.

The OQO Model 02, an ultramobile PC running Windows Vista that was first introduced a year ago, is embedded with mobile WiMax capabilities. The newest model, which weighs about 450g, sells for US$1,299, a drop of US$400 from the price versions shipped a year ago, a spokesman said.

OQO also offers a high-end version that will include 64GB of storage and a display optimized to be used in sunlight.

The WiMax capability is arguably the biggest news about the new offering from OQO, even as full-sized laptops that also support WiMax are expected to appear this week. Sprint Nextel and Motorola are joining Intel in a range of demonstrations of WiMax, including in a car being driven through Las Vegas while using WiMax.

Bob Rosin, a senior vice president of marketing at San Francisco-based OQO, said the appeal of WiMax on a small device is the ability to run applications, such as video, with the same high speed and full functionality as they would from a desktop.

The shipping version of the OQO Model 02 supports wide-area wireless access via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or EV-DO Rev. A. It features a sliding display that reveals a full QWERTY keyboard. It is 5.6 in. wide, 3.3 in. high and 1 in. thick.

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