Netbook Navigator Nav7 UMPC Ships Soon, With Rear-Mounted Mouse Pad!

Posted on 17 August 2011 by



I’ve had some contact with Netbook Navigator about their Nav7 Tablet. When it starts shipping next month it’s going take the 7” UMPC market out of a long , dry spell.

Netbook Navigator Nav 7 Specifications, Links, Images, Forum

If you’re looking for a consumer tablet solution, you’ll probably want to look away right now because I won’t be writing about always-on battery life, application stores, maps, games, user interface candy and gyroscopes, no I’ll be talking about a mouse pointer and Windows 7.

OK, that shook them off!

If you’re still here, then have a closer look.

Netbook Navigator Nav 7 (1)Netbook Navigator Nav 7 (3)Netbook Navigator Nav 7 (4)

 

We’re talking about a device that’s slightly lighter than the excellent Viliv X70 EX (590 vs 660) and a little slimmer and less wide. There’s also an important advantage on the CPU. 1.6Ghz instead of the 1.2/1.3Ghz of the Viliv X70. On top of that, and I think you’ll like this, the Netbook Navigator Nav7 has a mouse pad and mouse buttons.

On the rear of the device you’ll see the pad and buttons…

Netbook Navigator Nav 7 (2)

So it’s a right-hand pad and left hand button. It won’t feel natural to start with but i’m sure people could get used to this. We’ll have to test it to be sure though.

On the negative side there’s only a small 19Wh battery which means we’re dealing with a min 2hrs, max 3hrs (my estimate.) Netbook Navigator say 4-5hrs max which might be possible under those favourable but unrealistic JEITA conditions!

Netbook Navigator are offering the Nav7 with a range of SSD options (16, 32, 64) and a 2GB RAM option [cheer!] A 3G option is included too.

Pricing starts at a $599 (no OS) and goes up to $849 for a 2GB RAM, 32GB Windows Home Premium setup. Add $100 for the 3G and another $150 for the 64GB SSD option.

Availability is said to be very soon by our contact at Netbook Navigator. They also said we can take one for testing so expect a live session on this one soon.

All details, links, images etc, available for the Netbook Navigator Nav7 in our product database.

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10 Comments For This Post

  1. John says:

    Thanks Chippy, maybe this 7″ device will make it to market. Look forward to your review.

    Chippy Reply:

    Its coming for sure. Fond.speaking to the company its clear that a production run is going forward.

  2. kevin says:

    I wonder if the rear touchpad and buttons are easier to use than a front thumb pad and buttons. The battery life could be better. I’ll keep an eye on this since there aren’t any good 5 inch Windows devices being announced.

  3. PreLovedPortables says:

    An excellent design, but it still doesnt beat the original Toshiba Libretto design where you could use the mouse with one hand as you would a desktop.

  4. Hildy says:

    I have a HP Slate 500 but the Nav7 is tempting. I like the size and weight better but the CPU is slower and the battery is a lot smaller (30wh vs. 19wh) although it is swappable. The Nav has a better selection of ports which, unfortunately, makes it thicker. Tradeoffs, tradeoffs, tradeoffs.

    I’m looking forward to your review.

  5. Clio says:

    The battery seems removable.

    … Is that a RESISTIVE stylus hiding in the corner there next to the battery? Actually, resistive would be better for Windows, particularly on a 7″ screen.

    Those 3 copper-coloured dots, those looks likely to be mounting holes for the stand?

    And I read from the spec page that this has no video out ports, and using Atom Z530 CPU. Which means it’ll be using the GMA500 Integrated Graphics, which I should caution people to expect really basic functionality (a lot worst than GMA950) and a lot of frustration with this graphics chip no matter which operating system you use, as the drivers situation for this chip is still a mess now, 3 years after it’s launch back in 2008.

    Mike Reply:

    No video port kinda sucks. Otherwise this is one of the units I’m considering using. The GMA500 is fine for productivity apps, web browsing, and it does run Aero okay enough.

    zeo Reply:

    The GMA 500 hardware is actually better than GMA 950, as well as 3150 for that matter. The problem with the GMA 500 was lousy driver support, which crippled it.

    Though the most complaints was because of the lack of open source drivers that especially effected Linux users.

    However, most issues have been fixed for Windows and Imagination’s PowerVR is now used in far more devices these days. The original iPad for example used the same PowerVR SGX535 core as the Intel GMA 500. While the newer iPad 2 uses a dual core variant of the SGX 543 (MP2).

    Even the new Sony Vital (PSP2) uses the SGX 543 (MP4, meaning quad core).

    Add that Intel is showing renewed interest in the PowerVR graphic solution. Since Oak Trail’s GMA 600 is using a 400MHz version of the GMA 500, and the upcoming Cedar Trail GMA 5600/5650 is based on a slightly improved SGX545.

    Progress is also finally being made for open source drivers and those working on it have reportedly said they should have something out this fall.

    So altogether there’s a lot more demand to get this to work this time around and so we may finally get decent drivers for this platform.

    Though chances are it’ll still be better for video than gaming.

    Clio Reply:

    People should not think of SGX535 on ARM platform and apply the same assumptions/impressions to GMA500 (or GMA600 I wager). I made the same mistake when I bought my machine. After adding drivers into the equation, most of the impressive feats achievable by SGX535 with ARM CPU does NOT apply to the GMA500 anymore. That’s the reality I have to accept.

    I used my Kohjinsha SX(Atom Z520, GMA500 graphics) for 2 years now, and I’m the kind of person who’ll tweak and tweak the machine, dig for alternate drivers and try to read white papers from Intel.

    The GMA500 chip has 3 Intel drivers from different teams:

    1.) “Normal” GMA500 driver targeted at PC users (for Win7, Vista and XP). Last revision was released December 2010.

    From what I’ve read & understood from the documents accompanying the EMGD July2011 revision, Intel considers the GMA500 EOL(End Of Life) for Windows platform, there will be no more new “Normal” GMA500 drivers.

    Does not support OpenGL, so Intel AppUP version of “Angry birds” won’t work, for example.

    2.) EMGD driver which is targeted at embedded device OEMs, but specialize on only GMA500/600 and ATOM E6xx IGPs (for WinXP, a few linux distros and Win7 in July2011 revision). Releasing every quarter for the past year, last revision was July 2011.

    The EMGD driver picked up Win7 support in the July2011 revision. But from past forum posts on Intel’s forums, the IEGD and EMGD team only service OEMs, not consumers. And if you look more into it, you’ll feel EMGD’s primary concern is with Linux and Meego.

    It supports OpenGL2.0, but don’t know if its a problem with my Kohjinsha, Angry birds displays incorrectly, and worst, the driver cause BSOD when waking from Suspend.

    3.) IEGD driver also targeted at embedded device OEMs, which supports most Netbook & CULV chipsets plus GMA500 (for WinXP, and very few Linux Distros). Last 2 revision were March 2010 & Feb 2011

    For IEGD, it’s updates rarely, and I remember reading that this driver will soon drop support for GMA500 and E6xx.

    OpenGL situation similar to EMGD.

    So in short, people buying new GMA500 Windows machines now will find they’re stuck with a EOL product, with drivers that does not deliver the more note-worthy hardware capabilities. In fact, I even have difficulty scrolling through Excel 2010 if the spreadsheet have several multi-lined cells…

    Chippy Reply:

    Very useful and important summary. THANKS.

    lowel Reply:

    I guess I shouldn’t buy any Windows device that uses the GMA 500. I wonder if the Nav 7 will be refreshed to use Oak Trail.

    Chippy Reply:

    If you look at the product cycles for netbook.navigator I would say that the nav 9 would be next in line.

    zeo Reply:

    I agree that the GMA 500 is old and we should be looking at newer solutions, but you seem to have given up too easily on yours. It’s not ideal but not impossible to find better drivers…

    Example, http://forum.pocketables.net/showthread.php?p=76958

    Here’s a youtube video showing the Viliv N5 running Angry Birds Rio…

    Performance of higher end games, even Half Life, isn’t great once you get the drivers sorted out but you can make it significantly more useful than the default drivers allow.

    While the point of pointing out ARM using the same GPU is not just to show how well the GPU performs with proper drivers but also show that open source drivers are going to be finally coming out and that can be applied to all platforms using the GPU.

    Android is already based on linux and besides Windows 8 and Meego, they’re actually starting to get serious about putting desktop linux like Ubuntu onto ARM and that means they’ll need proper GPU drivers for those devices still using the SGX535.

    So progress is actually being made on proper driver support, and there are 3rd party developers who improve the Window/x86 drivers as well. Like the Sherry Mod drivers available for the other Intel GMA’s.

    http://angelictears9xxssf.wordpress.com/

    While the GMA 600, which is still based on the SGX535, should still be supported until Cloverfield comes out just before Windows 8 get officially released. So still possible that further 3rd party updates for GMA500 can be developed with modded version of the GMA 600 driver releases.

    So it’s not completely dead yet and can still find uses. Though I’m dubious of the Netbook Navigator Nav7 being worth the present asking price and the lack of output ports doesn’t help.

    The amount of effort needed to get the GMA 500 working on many of these devices should also be a consideration, but like pointed out not insurmountable. Though definitely a factor for out of the box experience.

  6. Brianflys says:

    Hi Chippy,
    When you do the review, I am very interested in the brightness of the screen, whether it is visible outside. The Netbook Navigator site shows photos of people standing outside with an apparent very bright display, which may just be a Photoshop image. I am looking for a unit to use in small aircraft to run a GPS navigation system and the cockpits are typically very bright. Would need a 400 nit brightness or more to be visible in direct sunlight. Thanks in advance for descriptions and perhaps photos of the Nav 7 with the display in sunlight.

  7. deriuqer says:

    I gave up on 5 or 7 inch windows UMPCs, probably going to buy an Acer Iconia Tab A100.

  8. brandontx1 says:

    i just wanna put a foot up on my monitor every time i see something like this.
    it’s such a crude device, in terms of ease of use and awkwardness.
    low screen resolution, no keypad yet showing with external keyboard.
    you motherfucking cold-turkeys, how about a sliding keyboard????
    a kickstand would help somewhat too.
    absolutely despicable.
    or a bigger screen size so may fit a standard keypad on there…

  9. Cipu Remontas says:

    this has no video out ports!?

    Chippy Reply:

    No. You would have to use a USB video adaptor.

  10. Cipu Remontas says:

    For those looking for an even more economical Tablet Netbook option, the NAV 7 is a trimmed down version of the NAV 9 that will offer users a smaller, ultra-portable mobile computing device. Due to be released sometime later in 2010, this version will come with a 7″ screen and will weigh about two thirds that of the NAV 9.