After many months of wondering if the S5 was going to be as good as we first imagined it to be, it’s time to review the final retail version and make some conclusions. The Viliv S5 is one of the smallest tablet PC’s in the world. It includes a full PC hardware architecture and Windows XP software. The manufacturer has used a mature design from it’s PMP range and the end result is a solid, well-built pocketable device aimed at media, web browsing and, due to the built-in GPS, navigation.
First five minutes.
Viliv clearly have experience at pleasing the customer in the first few minutes of ownership. The packaging was good and included a surprise car package and leather pouch. This isn’t a standard accessory pack but we have seen a standard retail kit and again, the packaging was excellent. The S5 feels really solid in the hands. Tough in build but also rather dense. It only weighs 395gm (14oz) but as it’s so small, it feels slightly heavier than it should. Plastics are well fitted all round, there’s a nice matt finish to the black plastics and the cursor joystick feels well built. Plugging the battery in is easy and the device was booted in around 75 seconds. You’re presented with Viliv’s Cube UI overlay software and for the rest of your first five minutes, you’ll probably be playing around with it. It’s a new, fun, interesting way to view applications and shortcuts.
Review package contents included some nice accessories.
The Viliv S5 is based on the Intel Menlow platform that includes the Z520 Atom CPU and the ‘Poulsbo’ chipset (US15W) which includes a GMA 500 GPU and video decoding hardware. It’s exactly the same setup as on the Kohjinsha SC3 and Sony product page.P which are much bigger devices. On the review model we had a 60GB hard drive (not SSD) and 1GB of RAM. There’s Wifi, Bluetooth, the GPS module, an infra red receiver, stereo speakers, a 1024×600 glossy, LED-backlit touchscreen and a number of back-lit buttons. The battery is a relatively large 24hr unit. Full specifications can be found on the
We wrote our initial impressions and link to a lengthy Q&A and testing video in a separate article, available here.
No showstoppers and an overall good feeling makes me want to use this device more and give the on-screen keyboard a chance. The battery life is incredibly impressive and the device truly is giving the user the full internet experience. Even without 3G and a fast SSD its up there as the best pocketable UMPC in my opinion but the lack of keyboard will be a not-starter for some. A real mouse pointer would have made it so much easier to navigate and it’s the only thing I’d class as a failure although some are also going to add the lack of microphone under that banner. Windows XP works well, the on screen keyboard and Viliv touch UI work well but Windows 7’s touch optimised interface and on-screen input could make this even better and give it even more character. The Viliv S5 raises the bar for UMPCs.
From the outside.
It’s clean looks and quality switchgear all-round with the Viliv. On the top you find an antenna (for the unused, Korean, DMB TV receiver) a three way (up, down, mute) volume switch, and on the top left, a headphone port. This is not a headset port and note, there is no built-in mic so you’ll have to think about Bluetooth or usb audio dongle for audio input.
On the left you find a flip-down cover that hides a mini-usb (for using the S5 as a USB drive) usb and a/v breakout port. The a/v breakout port is for an optional cable that can supply component, S-Video, VGA, audio and composite signals. We didn’t have this accessory so it hasn’t been tested. Underneath the device are two airflow ports.On the right is the power/lock switch and the battery release catch. The rear of the device is covered by the battery.
On the frame of the the S5, you’ll notice the joystick on the top left. It’s a cursor control that can be turned into a directional pointer for the mouse and has a ‘tab’ response when pressed. As a mouse pointer its not accurate and not proportional which is a shame. A mouse pointer would have been far more useful considering the positions of the left and right mouse buttons on the right side. Underneath the joystick is a ‘menu’ button that’s equivalent to the Windows key on a keyboard. Underneath that is the IR receiver. On the right-hand side are the left and right mouse buttons (the left mouse button, marked MENU, also turns the screen off after along press) and a dedicated on-screen-keyboard button.
Note that there is no stylus silo. A pick-style pointer is attached to the lanyard and due to the very high resolution screen, is often needed for menu items. The lanyard is a useful addition and we kept it attached to the S5 all the time.