When we told you this morning
that the Samsung Mondi MID was going to be available soon, we didn't know that soon means now! After chatting with Samsung's Kim Titus, he told us the device is available now
in an unlocked format directly from Samsung for $449 ($454.94 with shipping). And on Aug. 1, Titus said the Mondi will also be available in Clear stores and Best Buy locations in all live Clearwire markets (Baltimore, Portland, Ore., Atlanta and Las Vegas), at the $449 unlocked price as well as a $349 option with a two-year Clear contract.
We played around with the device a bit at the Clearwire Las Vegas launch event
, and were impressed how well the touch-screen and software keyboard works. There is a hard keyboard too. The Windows Mobile-based device also includes versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint that allow real document creation and editing, not just reading. Add in a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, include earphones with speaker attached and this device starts to get real interesting. But that's not all!
Opera and Internet Explorer browsers are standard, and according to Titus, a "refresh" version planned for a couple months from now (perhaps to sync with that pending Clearwire Dallas launch?) will add native Skype -- and did we mention the Mondi has not only a 3 Megapixel camera for pictures, but a VGA cam on the front for videoconferencing? And... that's not all!
In addition to WiMax and Wi-Fi, the Mondi also includes GPS support -- and the standard product box includes a car charger and a suction-cup mount for your dashboard, so you can use the Mondi for driving directions. I'm sure the gear blogs will do a better job reviewing the Mondi once it is in the wild but from our perch it appears to have all the hardware, software and lack of restrictions to make it incredibly useful.
Mondi picture from Samsung: Need to know more about Clearwire? Order our June 2009 Clearwire NTK report (for Clearwire "need to know") for just $4.95, and get up to speed on the latest from the national WiMAX provider.