Viliv X70 EX UMPC Full Review with Videos

Posted on 11 June 2009 by



viliv_x70_07 When the X70 was available for hands-on in CeBIT this year, I wasn’t that interested in checking it out. The UMID, Lluon and S5, S7 were far more interesting for me due to their size and form factor. I also didn’t believe too strongly that the device would get to market. It wasn’t until last week that we entered the X70 EX into the database which shows how far down the list it was. I should have paid more attention because the X70 EX is now available for pre-order and it’s a peach of a ultra mobile PC that highlights how far the segment has come since the Celeron-based UMPCs of 2006.

Fast SSD, GPS, Web cam, sub 700gm weight, great styling, hi-res LED backlit screen, good accessories and a capable platform that’s giving  ‘I don’t really bother to measure it’ battery life. And how much is this going to cost? $599. That’s half the price for way, way more features than even the best devices were offering in 2007 or 2008. I’m looking at a price comparison site right now and the (hard drive equipped) Q1 Ultra (3G) is still selling in Germany for the equivalent of about $1400. Forget the Q1 Ultra folks. It’s time to move on.

We met with Viliv in Computex and talked about their roadmap for 2009, the S5, the S7 (still on the roadmap) and they kindly handed over an X70 EX Premium Air (the 32GB SSD and 3G version) for long term testing. This one is ‘98%’ ready so we’ve effectively got a release candidate in our hands here. All the packaging is final and we’ve also got the car kit and the leather case.

Unboxing was a rather careless affair as I stripped the packaging down for the journey home from Taiwan but it’s all good quality and much the same as with the S5. My first five minutes with the device were spent at altitude while others slept around me but again, there were no show stoppers. I was immediately happy with the speed of the device. Fast boot and fast access to apps without any stalling is a good indication of a fast SSD.

x70back If you’ve followed reports of the Viliv S5 you’ll know that everyone is happy with the build quality. They use strong but stylish plastics, good design and have a high production quality. The same is true of the X70 which is slim and robust. From me it also gets the award for the best ever backside!

Ergonomics and balance are good although I do have to highlight that it suffers a little from Kindle disease. The buttons on the left and right parts of the frame are all too easy to press when you’re holding the device in one hand. Fortunately there’s enough unused frame space to get round the problem but it takes a few days use before you adjust your the holding position.

Viliv have recessed the ports into the side of the device which creates a nice lip for holding it. You’ll find a single USB 2.0 port (that could be an issue for some,) a video breakout port (the same as found on the S5. VGA, component and S-Video out) an SD card slot, reset button, power port and a mini USB port.  On the top you’ve got a headphone output, power and lock slider, indicators for Wi-Fi, disk and power, an antenna (connected to the 3G antenna on the 3G versions) and a an extending stylus.

Across the front fascia (clockwise from top-left) you have a cursor joystick, webcam (1.3mp) A, B and C buttons, on the bottom left there’s an external mic (many people missed this from the S5) the on-screen keyboard button, FN button and Menu button.

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x70ex (1)

The cursor joystick is probably the only thing I would highlight on the X70 as a let-down. It’s tough to move and has a smooth surface making it even more difficult. We hope that this is the last 2% that needs to be fixed on the X70 and we’ve already given Viliv feedback on it. Ideally it needs to be a mouse pointer but if it remains a cursor control, it needs to be easier to use. The A button is mapped to left-mouse button, the B button is mapped to right mouse button, the C button is mapped to the ‘Copyright’ symbol (which initially brought up the Viliv video player software but doesn’t do so anymore) The FN button changes the A and B button into a volume control and the Menu button converts the A and B button into a backlight brightness control.

Moving on to the insides of the device before we get into performance testing then, I’m happy to report that it’s another good, efficient Menlow build. There’s no noticeable performance difference between this and the S5 that we tested. Windows XP Home with 1GB of RAM on the 1.33Ghz Z520 CPU with a fast SSD is almost the perfect combination for a mobile computer. Here are the full specifications:

Manufacturer: Viliv

Model name: X70 EX Premium Air

  • CPU type: Intel Atom (Silverthorne)
  • CPU speed: Z520, 1.33Ghz
  • Graphics: Intel GMA 500
  • OS: Windows XP Home
  • Display Size: 7″ 1024 X 600
  • Display Type: Soft (Finger) Touch
  • RAM: 1024 MB
  • Storage: 32GB SSD
  • Battery capacity: 29 (Wh)
  • Weight: 660g
  • Size (w/h/d mm): 210/117/23 mm

Ports and features:

  • 1xUSB2.0
  • Video-out (analogue, component, S-Video, VGA, requires adaptor cables sold seperately)
  • SD card slot
  • Mini USB 2.0 (for data transfer)
  • 802.11b/g
  • BT2.0
  • Internal 3G (Huawei EM770, HSPA/UMTS 850/1900/2100MHz, HSUPA: 5.76Mbps (UL) / HSDPA: 7.2Mbps (DL))
  • 3G and SMS software
  • Additional Specs and Accessories (can vary)
  • WebCam 1.3mp
  • GPS (Sirf III)
  • Stylus
  • Stereo speakers
  • Built in Microphone

The Premium Air model is the top of the range of three versions that start with the ‘Express’ model that has a 16GB SSD and doesnt include the 3G module. The mid-range ‘Premium’ version increases the SSD size to 32GB. More details on the different specifications are available here.

[Continued on next page….]

Full specification and links to videos, images and other articles are all available through the Viliv X70 EX product page.

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Categorized | News

38 Comments For This Post

  1. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    Viliv X70 EX UMPC Full Review with Videos. Pricing too. http://cli.gs/taZr9U

  2. Victor Klimov says:

    RT @chippy: Viliv X70 EX UMPC Full Review with Videos. Pricing too. http://cli.gs/taZr9U

  3. Ken E Kaplan says:

    RT @chippy: Viliv X70 EX UMPC Full Review with Videos. Pricing too. http://cli.gs/taZr9U (KK: $879 for 3G model http://bit.ly/KANlT).

  4. ZC says:

    Thank you for the great review! Hopefully the screen protector will be available during launch. I was planning on getting ClearTouch glare reduction film for it. I may still if glare reduction is not available.

  5. tmarks11 says:

    great!

    How about a snapshot stacked up with whatever otehr UMPC/MIDs you have lying around so we can get an idea of relative size?

    Velik Reply:

    look at jkontheruns comparison of S5 and X70. It shows this very nicely, and i can tell you im drooling over the x70, assuming it can perform ok with the applications i need to run on it.

  6. Lion77 says:

    Great!!

    “It’s tough to move and has a smooth surface making it even more difficult. We hope that this is the last 2% that needs to be fixed on the X70″

    I hope that viliv would fix for us. :)

  7. Vit says:

    I am looking forward to owning this device. Although I have two questions:
    – Is it upgradable to Windows 7, I mean drivers etc..
    – Does the screen is capable of supporting handwriting recognition?

    ZC Reply:

    Since the X70 has similar hardware to the S5 see this:
    http://jkontherun.com/2009/04/30/windows-7-on-the-viliv-s5-not-going-so-well/

    Velik Reply:

    he may have had a hard time installing windows 7, but thats fairly difficult to do when you dont have a dvdrom anyway. Sometimes installing from a sd card or usb drive can be tricky but i’ll be happy to post about my experience. However, x70 is more than capable of running windows 7.

    as far as handwriting reco, I should be able to recognize to some degree. I’ll use the windows 7 ‘tablet pc input panel’ and see how well that works out.

  8. Ben Lang says:

    Viliv X70 EX UMPC Full Review with Videos. Pricing too. http://cli.gs/taZr9U (via @chippy)

  9. Transilvan says:

    That are good news. The only open question is how big is the difference between 1.2GHz and 1.3GHz? And compared to the “normal” N270 or N280 Intel Atom?

  10. Ken E Kaplan says:

    @chippy @jkkmobile great live simulcast-stream review of Viliv X70 MID http://bit.ly/BuYj2. I enjoyed the 15-20 minutes I could catch!

  11. Affil Ebaya says:

    Viliv X70 EX UMPC Full Review with Videos | UMPCPortal – The …: I'm looking at a price comparison site rig.. http://bit.ly/Ap81A

  12. bp says:

    How’s viewing images?

    Can you load up some 6+MP digital images, view them to fit full screen using ACDSee/etc, and page through them. Any delays? Slow image-to-image? Fast?

    Think it’ll be a wonderful, portable image viewer for photo shoots, but need to know if it’ll keep up.

    thanks!

  13. Vakeros says:

    Great review.
    Wonder what happened to the 4.8″ device with keyboard?

  14. reimann3 says:

    I hope JKK takes this apart like he did with the s5. I want to see how to change the HD and pciE card

  15. Dh says:

    any news on what linux it will run and if it’ll be available form anywhere with linux? It’s also amusing that the dynamism site says pre-order but you can’t click a link to pre-order it!

  16. steve says:

    I know I might get burned for this, but I have to say it:
    Is it just me or do the prices for the Viliv X70 upgrades seem rather expensive?
    $599 for the basic model is fine, but $130 extra for a very slightly better Atom and the 32GM SSD (I would have thought somewhere around $100)
    Ok, let’s say that is worth it, but then another $150 for the Huawei 3G unit. That seems costly to me when compared with other units which have the same options available with the Huawei. (I would have thought somewhere around $100)
    I was anticipating the top unit to be priced about $750 – $780 tops.
    Am I being cheap?

    ZC Reply:

    I checked around and those embedded radios are at least $150 alone. For instance:

    http://www.mobilx.hu/en/mobile-adatkartya/beepitheto-modem.html?&currency=usd

    ZC Reply:

    About $115 for a 32GB 1.8″ SSD (assuming it uses the same 1.8″ slot as the S5)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820141499

    Steve Reply:

    Thanks for your thoughts. I guess I was about right, then.
    The links you provide give the prices that you and I can buy them for. I’m sure Viliv can get them for at least half that price, if not a great deal more.
    Although the convenience of having an inboard 3G would be great, I’m no longer sure I want to pay over $879 (+ tax – and possibly + S&H) for the X70.
    I think I might go for the base model with the chance of upgrading later if required.
    Is there really that much difference in the 1.2 Atom and the 1.3?

  17. Lion77 says:

    If you see the video from http://WWW.umpcfever and JKK mobile. Even S5 use the small form factor of SSD not 1.8inch SSD.

    I am wondering how about X70EX. Is it same? :)

  18. Vincent says:

    Great full review! I am wondering for battery life on X70 EX.

    chippy Reply:

    5-7 hours in productive use.

    Steve

  19. hnzw_rui says:

    Very nice review. Same as others, I think it would be great if you can look at the innards and see the size and connection of the SSD they use. It would be really useful for those who wish to roll their own upgrades.

  20. ambivalent says:

    Will these devices run Office 2007? I want to run OneNote 2007, Personal Brain and/or MindManager, *and* Word, Excel and PPT on a small tablet. Aside from user interface issues (I’ll deal with that), will the processor and SSD on the S5 or X70 support normal use (aka, NOT SLUGGISH) office apps? /pg.

  21. stellar says:

    Chippy. Could you remove the red color on post? It is very annoying me. :(

    btw, it looks very interesting device for me.

    chippy Reply:

    Red color?

  22. RedSunset says:

    Chippy – I’m new to this forum and might be wrong but I guess you and the guy that posted the full review video of the X70 on Ustream are one and the same person.

    I thought your review was generally thorough and professional. I was quite impressed in fact. That was except for the sudden, and to a degree unwarranted, ‘Apple-bashing’ moment, which quite honestly just showed you up and acted as a moment of hilarity in the video… not least because it was quickly followed by you adequately demonstrating how 3rd party Microsoft software (in this case YouCam) can have the very same hissy-fits that you seem to completely lose the rag with iTunes over.

    I have a foot in both camps and am as comfortable in XP, Vista or OSX. Microsoft and Apple both have the merits and their downfalls in equal proportions. If you’re to be taken seriously as a reviewer of such gadgetry, I think you should try to show a little more impartiality in your work.

    As for the X70 though… what a cracking bit of kit! I can’t wait to add it to my every growing collection!

    Chippy Reply:

    Hi. Yes, that was one and the same Chippy.

    Thanks for your feedback. Itunes has proven, time and time again, to be a pain in the arse on UMPCs so I rarely give it much time now. Sorry about that. It’s just experience that tells me to move on when itunes doesnt work. Cyberlink YouCam is something new to me so i’m trying to learn about it. Hence the extra time I gave it.

    Hope you understand.

    Regards and thanks again for feedback. Looking forward to your thoughts about the X70.

    Steve.

  23. RedSunset says:

    Thanks for taking the time to reply and especially as my comments were not too glowing. That in itself is a credit to you. Bravo.

    I agree that iTunes is not great ‘out of the box’ (be that within OSX or Windows) on the UMPC form factor but, equally, neither is FireFox until you’ve tweaked the settings in about:config and the icon size, installed Grab and Drag and X-marks and generally optimised the browser for Google Reader. When you take the time to tailor FireFox to the tablet/umpc/touchscreen criteria it is by far and away the best browser option and I would honestly say that, tweaked, iTunes is the same as a vehicle for is mp3s, 4s et al. As a broadcaster you (and JKK for that matter – who appeared to think a lot of the 3rd party software on the X70 was, and I quote, ‘stupid’ LOL) have a certain responsibility because a lot of your viewers and followers will respect your words and take what you say as read, without thinking to investigate further for themselves. You need to demonstrate impartiality at all times to provide constructive and insightful feedback on the new it you’re privileged to have access to – gizz-a-job! ;O). One successful broadcaster that does this perfectly is Mr Kendrick of JK-on-the-run fame.

    A lot of what Microsoft and their 3rd party support does is wonderful, once tweaked, and the same can be said of what comes out of California and Apple.

    One immediate thought on the X70. The guys at Viliv are probably scratching their heads on the extended battery issue as to introduce any kind of alternative (6 cell or other) could well, through size, impact on usability of the car mount. That aside and without prejudice, yours did seem a little temperamental. Video playback wasn’t as smooth as I would have hoped (there appeared to be a couple of playback ‘judders’ that you didn’t seem to pick up on even in standard playback) and the whole thing with YouCam did seem to suggest it can (as most of these things can) have a mind of its own at times. None of this would stop me buying the X70 though, it’s amazing how figuring you can be of something when it has great sex appeal!

    Who in the UK is likely to distribute, Expansys?

    RedSunset Reply:

    * it’s amazing how forgiving you can be of something when it has great sex appeal!

    Chippy Reply:

    For me its about being truthful (one of the great advantages of the live session is that we can’t lie!) and balancing that with some personal character. Im not a trained journalist but so far this recipe seems to be working really well for me, the readers and the people that are kind enough to send us their products for review.
    Again,thanks for the feedback. It all helps with working out where the balance point should be.

    What FF optimisations do you use then? I load grab and drag and thats it.

    Steve.

  24. Chippy says:

    Regarding uk distribution, I dont know. Mobilx are looking at it but thats all i kmow.

    Vakeros Reply:

    Dynamism have it on their UK website for preorder.

  25. UMPCwatch says:

    Hi there!
    As I am about to join the race for the Viliv X70 EX pre-order, it is not surprising that I have started to question some of Viliv’s features.
    Most notably, these are two such things:
    – The on-screen keyboard
    – The 3G modem

    I have not been able to answer the following simple question: how would the on-screen keyboard behave with two languages? Being a bi-lingual person, I am VERY keen to be able to switch between the two character sets without using an external keyboard. Is this possible at all???

    On the second (3G modem) issue, where is the SIM card slot? I might have missed a pertinent discussion, though – so then forgive me for this second question … but there is more to that, besides a mere interest to the SIM slot location. Is that possible to use Viliv 3G with the SIM card inside as a regular mobile phone? I do not ask for concurrent data and voice streaming, a simple switch from one to another would suffice!

    can someone address my questions?
    TIA as always!

    P.S. and many thanks for the review!!!!

    Chippy Reply:

    I’m getting some news that the retail version may include a voice-capable modem. Stay tuned for more information.

    Steve

    UMPCwatch Reply:

    Thank you, Chippy! That would be great to have the full-blown support – the both voice and data over 3G.
    How about the first question? I am wondering would the on-screen keyboard switch between the two language sets?
    As usually, thanks for the great job!

  26. newcgeoman says:

    where can I get an on screen keyboard like this for my t1028?? I’m trying comfort keyboard at the moment, but the one on the x70 looks way better!

  27. designer says:

    I really like the reviews and have a question ind regards to the versions;
    what is the difference between X70/32ssd/Premium-3G and X70/128ssd/Premium-3G?
    Is it the harddisk size only? Would I be able to upgrade to Windows 7 with the 32ssd version or the 128 will perform much better.

    Thanks

  28. Jonathan says:

    I noticed you tested MKV playback: “1280×720 H.264 file (at 3.5Mbps with AC3 audio and subtitles in a Matroska envelope) played perfectly with just 25% CPU utilisation.”

    Have you tried any other H264 encodes – such as those with AC3 or OGG audio, and do they play as well?

  29. Angel says:

    DELAY delivery from Dynamism. I just talk to the phone and speaked with Jeff, he told me there is a delay, they did not received Viliv X70. Wish…soon!

  30. Transilvan says:

    That is a catastrophy! Why did they not write this some days earlier. The charged the money 3 weeks ago and dont deliver!!!

  31. Angel says:

    Sure, they make a lot of interest with all the lot! Also, they tell nothing yesterday when i called, they told at Dynamism it must be there tomorrow. I received an email telling, “maybe! In 2 weeks (not sure!). Why companies announce new products 2 years ago, they already have working demos, and even after telling will be there a date, the SAME day supposed to be here, they won’t have, for MAYBE weeks more! ebay don’t permit, to get payment without having in stock!

  32. Norman D. Robinson says:

    Hi…, will there be a version that has 2GB of RAM and “Windows 7″…??? I would really like to make this my desktop replacement. Also, I think the “CarKit” could be used as a stand on a desk. Basically like a passive docking station of sorts. I think when I order mine I will get two stands. One for the car and one for my desk in the office.

    But apart from that, what are the development plans for the “X70 EX”. Will there be a 2GB RAM version…??? Thanks for answering me folks. ;-)

  33. Angel says:

    FIXED, SURPRISINGLY MANNER!!!
    My Viliv X70 works only at 4800 bauds NOT 9600 bauds! It’s very fast and acurate. If i switch to 9600 it DOES NOT WORK!
    Why?
    I just switched at 4800 works fast and fine. when i return at 9600 does not work at all, i have the new Viliv X70. Maybe they had shortage of 9600 modules. Does will be less acurate or slower at 4800? What is the difference? Thanks a lot for your great helps. Now, the sky is the limit!

  34. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    @promethh Let me know if you have any questions. I have two Viliv X70’s here! Review: http://bit.ly/2ZcVNp #umpc

  35. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    @artr Yep. Origami with dialkeys. See the latest viliv X70. I’m on the sofa with it right now. http://bit.ly/2ZcVNp

  36. Larry Heyl says:

    I’ve been looking into eReaders for a lengthy trip to Asia in a few weeks, and had settled on the new Sony eReader, but this, even at twice the price, is very interesting. Some specific questions: does the unit charge at all when the transfer USB is connected? How much of the SSD is used up by Windows, etc.? (in other words, how much of the 16 Gb is left over?). Also, how hard is it to switch from landscape to portrait mode?

    Jonathan Reply:

    The unit doesn’t charge in SSD mode. As shipped a large portion of the ssd is the recovery partition. I backed mine up using Acronis True Image and wiped the recovery partition and turned it into a D: drive which I use for storing media. Fortunately, that partition was the second partition, so there are no boot concerns. Switching screen modes is simple – press the “C” button (on the bottom right of the unit) along with a direction of the directional stick and it rotates.

    Larry Heyl Reply:

    Thanks for the info. How big was the D: partition? Still thinking about what I want to do. I have to decide in the next day or two.

    Jonathan Reply:

    I don’t have it in front of me, but I think it was about 4.5 Gb on that partition. There was as much free on the C: with windows installed.

  37. Jonathan says:

    As a followup to my post about MP4 playback – I have not had much luck with the built in player, but using KMPlayer and turning off internal codecs for H264 and AVC video and using the “ffdshow” option for external decoders allows me to watch 720p MKV files and also MP4 files I’ve ripped from my DVD’s at around 2000 Kbps flawlessly. Non H264 based media (such as higher quality FLV files) are a little choppy still, though – doesn’t seem to have any internal support.

  38. Mike says:

    Any idea if the X70 will support palm rejection? It is neccessary as I will be using whatever device I choose for note taking functions?

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