2007 UMPC Back In Service thanks to Uniqueness

Posted on 11 June 2013 by



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My Samsung Q1b, a 2007-era UMPC based on a VIA C7 CPU and including 3G was one of my most mobile UMPCs. I used it, without plugging it in to mains power, for 10 days. This 7-inch 800×480 resistive touch-screen PC weighing 770gm and including just 512MB of RAM and a 40GB hard drive cost me over €1100. Battery life was around 3hrs. Today I found another use for it as an analogue audio recorder.

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After trying 5 different laptops, a tablet PC and a USB audio device I finally found out that the Q1b has stereo line-in recording capability via the mic-in port. All the other devices I tested had mono inputs. A quick download of Audacity and I was recording some cable radio for in-car use during a multi-country trip at the weekend.

Going back to using XP was a shock and having to use the pen on an 800×480 screen was very awkward. The Tablet Input Panel felt basic in comparison with what we’ve got today but there were a few surprises. Firefox was still fast, accessing network drives not a problem and Audacity (an older version I had installed) was working fine.

Crystalmark scores were around 12K for this UMPC compared to around 50K for the latest Atom tablets but the ‘low’ performance is more than enough for this audio task.

I wouldn’t recommend anyone buy one of these at all but it goes to show that there are unique features in every device and some that you just have to keep a hold of.

Do you have an old PC you’re still using because it has a unique feature that you just can’t find anywhere else?

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13 Comments For This Post

  1. animatio says:

    yep, the “old” asus eee pc 900/1000 netbooks because they can boot from sd card not only from usb sticks.
    actually i am running a complete dos 7.1 pc (long filename support, usb support, with all the old stuff from sd. next i’ll try if it works also for cp/m. linux is working fine this way anyways. big advantage of this is, that you do not need multiboots. just switch the sd card and kick in a new system. set bios to usb device as first starter an there you go.
    btw the latest versions of audacity should also work fine on your device and firefox still is running better on a xp system than win 7 (uses a lot less resources, eating up less memory).

  2. ArchiMark says:

    Good post, Chippy….

    Well, have a Libretto U100 that I still use sometimes….great little lappy…. dual boot XPP and Arch linux…works great….

  3. Proto732 says:

    My Samsung Q1 Ultra (with hacked in SSD) serves as my Home Automation controller. Runs Win7 just fine. SSD was a huge performance boost. Battery power is ideal in case I have momentary power outage. Touch screen is perfect for the control software’s interface.

  4. Claudia says:

    I still sometimes use my Viliv S5 to read books and watch videos. I also like travelling with it, keeping an external USB keyboard at the hotel while I tuck the S5 into my purse.

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  6. D T says:

    Coincidentally recently I re-purposed my Q1 (Celeron 900MHz version) as my mom’s internet radio streamer (via a website on web browser), fed to an external stereo system. I was thinking of selling it, but I procrastinate this action for too long (years actually), so it is not worth much now I guess.

    The battery died a while ago, and friend helped me repacked some 18650 cells inside (I would not advice you guys to do this, Li-ion cells can be dangerous, disclaimer standards here), but the battery meter would go crazy so I have to disable low battery warning etc. Eventually the replacement cells died also, due to overcharging as I left it plugged in as I forgot that the chip is not calculating it correctly anymore.

    The 4200rpm 1.8″ HDD is the Achilles’ heel, IMHO, but it’s too expensive to replace it w/ SSD, so I never bother. Mine has 1GB of RAM now, it’s been upgraded by previous owner (my friend).

    Sure using it as a web radio is a bit of an overkill, but I don’t use it normally anymore. Last I used it was as GPS nav aid, running Microsoft Streets & Trips and MapPoint, but it is not very fast though.

    I suspect that the mic can be stereo because internally, it has a dual microphone (matrix mic) set up (for noise cancellation, it was popular for a while for high end laptops during that era), so the audio path has stereo input and may be it was left as such for the external line-in (I notice for some sound inputs, Line-In is same and shared w/ Mic-In, while the software utility can switch b/w the two, and in Line-In mode, it is stereo, but not in Mic-in mode). I am not sure about this particular case, it is extremely rare that it has a “stereo mic input” in any sound cards I have ever seen (and I have seen a lot). The difference is Mic In for sound card, uses one contact for phantom power. Line-In doesn’t need or use phantom power. And also Mic has lower level than Line (for audio equipment, typical Line level audio is 100mV, mic is only a few mV).

    If replacement battery is not that expensive (relatively speaking), I might still keep it as a backup mobile device.

  7. Andreas says:

    I have a HTC shift, with Windows 8. It Works just fine, and is good to take around for different Things.

    I also have an OQO 01+, but i don’t use it that much anymore. It is very, very slow. And not good for anything, but a fancy masterpiece of HW. It is replaced by a Fujitsu F-07C that i bring around now and then.

  8. ArchiMark says:

    @Andreas,

    Had a HTC Shift for awhile some years ago…nice device….

    I thought you needed 2GB RAM and 1024×768 minimum display resolution to run Windows 8. So, there was no problem installing it on Shift?

    Also, briefly had the F-07C, very nice piece of pocketable hardware, but didn’t like that you couldn’t boot straight into Win7 and a few other things…

  9. Andreas says:

    @Archimark;

    The shift can run Windows 8, with some limitations. It cannot run metro apps, unless using interpolated resolution. Neither does the SD reader Work. The WiFi requires some hacking to get working, but its all possible.
    Other than that, it is just fine! When installing, one does simply have to install it from a USB stick (the processor is slower than 1 GHz, thus its not possible just to upgrade). It run smooth, and i really enjoy it.

    The F-07C is a Little bugger. The first thing i did, was to get rid of W7, and install Windows 8 (since it have lower requirements than 7). It Works well with the multitouch screen, and is a funny Little device. But it have some flaws, like no USB port, no Bluetooth in W7, no proper English support and so on. It requires a lot of Work, to make it a good experience – but once this Work is done, its all good. And as you mentioned: Its not possible to boot straight to W7/8.

  10. Dan Dar3 says:

    Yep, my ASUS R2H is still going strong, went through a lot of OSes :-) using it ocasionally to download stuff overnight. Ironically, ASUS Nexus 7 replaced it for reading books and listening to music on the go. Quite a difference in weight and thickness, it’s amazing how technolgy evolved over the last 6-7 years… (it was the main reason for starting my blog :-)

    http://dandar3.blogspot.com/search/label/Asus%20R2H

  11. Maniac says:

    Still using my Viliv S5 daily… waiting for something to replace it (x86, windows, good battery life, 5″ screen, etc).

  12. GB says:

    I have an Everun Note, sempron, ssd, XP. I use it when I travel. Runs everything, is small and fast. Touch screen is great with a mechanical pencil as a stylus.

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