I received a Moblin device from Intel today via FedEx. It looks something like the picture you see here but with a bunch more hardware gadgetry around it such as a minikeyboard, some status lights, a jog wheel / mouse thingy, etc. It also has a couple of USB ports, an SD card reader, headphones, a camera and probably other things I haven't noticed or figured out yet.
update: i had a chance to look at the hardware specs and it has 1GB of RAM, 0.5GB of available disk and a fairly decent CPU (looks like a standard intel chip that clocks at around 800mhz, though that's probably speedstepped down). fairly beefy thing. if only it had come with documentation so i could get complete specs.
It's a Samsung product, and while the hardware is mostly finished and pretty good the software is another story. To be honest, the software on it is atrocious. It's beta stuff though so that's to be expected. I'll be putting Plasma on here at some point, mostly to prove a theory of mine: we don't have to rewrite software to target consumer electronic (CE) devices. That is, if we write the software correctly in the first place we don't have to.
The (touch) screen on this thing is bright and big (1024x600x32) so we don't have to cram things into tiny microspaces. In fact, it's much bigger than necessary for a Plasma based interface. The customization required will be a Corona subclass to reimplement loadDefaultSetup (obviously we want a different set of default plasmoids) and a very simple Containment class (probably much like the Amarok one, actually). There's no need for context menus or toolboxes, so that makes things even simpler. When we get around to implementing a configuration based default setup, the Corona subclass with it's entire one method ;) will also be unnecessary.
The upside of this approach is quicker devel cycles and fewer bugs due to being able to ride the coat tails of desktop development (and vice versa, I suppose). Need an icon to launch an app? Plasma has those already, and unlike the ones in the beta software that came on this Moblin device they actually work properly.
Right now people are rewriting interfaces pretty much from the ground up for these kinds of devices which really shouldn't be necessary. There are some special needs, like the webbrowser, that need special UI attention ... but the main interface should be trivial to construct from existing technology that gets shared with other form factors such as the desktop.
The Moblin Image Creator, which one uses to create bootable images for the device, is pretty nicely done imho. It's a PyGtk app with a bunch of buttons that lets one manage the software added to a base install. Clicking on one of the install buttons at the bottom, you get a USB device with the image installed which you then use to boot the Moblin device off of. You can also test it in a Xephyr window first, of course.
Don't have much time to play with it today though as I've got a full plate of Plasma stuff to do and I have to go shopping for toiletries as when I arrived in Munich my luggage arrived on the baggage carousel open with a bunch of stuff, mostly toiletries, no longer inside of it. I suppose the zipper got snagged on something along the way and got pulled open. I reported the incident, of course, but still ... I really didn't want to go shopping for hair products and razors today.