Dynamism kindly provided us with an Asus R50A [Portal page] to take a look at. It is a slate ultra mobile PC with a 32GB SSD, 5.6″ screen, 1GB of RAM, 3G connectivity, and the less power hungry 1.3GHz Z520 Atom CPU. Will the R50A cut it as a quality UMPC? You’ll have to wait for the full review to find out. For now have a look at the unboxing below and read some initial impressions.
The Asus R50A manages to be true to at least half of its “Rock Solid – Heart Touching” slogan. The R50A feels solid in the hands and it is fairly well made. The 32GB SSD helps reaffirm that this unit is designed to be mobile in and in the user’s hands. The joystick mouse doesn’t move like that of an video game controller, instead it moves like the stick on a PSP, it moves left and right while staying on the same plane, as opposed to actually tilting from one side to another. Even after much practice with the thumb stick on my VAIO UX180, this thing will take some getting used to. This is the first slate ultra mobile PC that I have used, so it is a new experience for me; having to do my regular computing tasks without a keyboard. Going through Vista’s handwriting recognition training makes the recognition pretty darn accurate. The screen isn’t too smooth to write on unfortunately, and the stylus is small… too small for a ultra mobile PC that doesn’t have a keyboard.
Right out of the box, Vista is causing some serious issues. Right now I’m running the unit with the lowest possible graphical settings from Vista, and performance is still pretty bad. Vista is really obviously going to be a major bane to this otherwise good piece of hardware. I’ll see if there is any hope of putting another OS on it.
Any questions? Drop a line in the comments, I’ll try to answer them here or follow up with answers in the full review coming in a few weeks.