While I Was Away (26 April 2009)

Posted on 26 April 2009, Last updated on 12 November 2019 by

I had a visit from a good friend from England this weekend and stepped back from news and articles but it’s time to catch up now and prepare for another big ultra mobile PC week.

The main news was about the 2Ghz Fujitsu Loox (FMVLUC50N) that JKK posted about on Saturday. Since the announcement of the Z550 2Ghz part I have been wondering whether we might slip into a mini Ghz war for mobile PCs but I guess the option was a drop-in no-brainer for Fujitsu. Having tested Vista on the OQO 2+ at 1.8Ghz I can tell you that it comes very close to being transparent (no noticeable lag that would slow productivity down) as a desktop and as the Loox comes with a very nice docking station, its going to be one of the best grab-and-go desktop PCs available. Especially if you take the XP and SSD options that Conics.net are offering. Its expensive but its a really top quality solution.

The UMID MBook M1 and the Gigabyte Touchnote were the only two PCs I used all weekend and the only reason I fired the Touchnote up was to transfer 80Gb of files from an iPod. The UMID was the house-PC all weekend for emails, checking timetables, events and youtube. I even made a 20 minute Skype call using the built-in mid and speaker and the quality was excellent. Its fitting into my usage scenario far better than the Viliv S5 despite the shorter battery life. I’m really close to buying one to complete my three device strategy.

A Samsung Q1EX turned up on Saturday thanks to VIA and I’ve kept it tightly boxed all weekend. I’ve read the review at LaptopMag and put the details into the database. Tomorrow, after I’ve caught up with some paperwork ,I’ll unbox it and go over it. In the evening i’ll be joining JKK on a live session so we’ll test the Q1 EX in more detail. We’ll also do some work with the Viliv S5 devices we have. JKK has the SSD version with 3G. Join us at UMPCPortal.com/live at about 2030 CEST and get busy with the questions.

Thanks to everyone that commented on the ultra mobile PC 2006-2009 video. A lot of people questioned why I didn’t show certain devices though so maybe I didn’t quite make it clear enough in the video that I wanted to show how technology had moved on and the devices I had were simply there to demonstrate that. The OQO, Everun and similar groundbreaking devices would definitely have been mentioned if had been running through a complete history. When I look at the UMID and S5 and think about the power consumption, screen, speed of the platform, its quite amazing. We’re moving into a part of the ultra mobile PC story where designers can really trust that the platform will be able to deliver the performance and battery life that people want in far more exciting form factors than were ever possible before.

Speaking of the S5, Jenn of Pocketables.net published her full and very positive review and James Kendrick of jkOnTheRun was so impressed that he bought it. Check out all his Viliv content and don’t miss Mobile Tech Roundup Podcast 170 where there’s an interesting discussion about UMPCs. Mobile Barbarian has some comments about the S5 too. As for my full review, it’s coming soon so stay tuned.

The OQO story continues. Last week I tweeted news that I got from Build Your ultra mobile PC and a lot of people picked up on it and relayed it as a rumor. OQO finally updated Boing Boing gadgets though and said that yes, it was ‘unlikely’ that the 2+ would be produced. Our news story has 91 detailed comments on it at the moment so don’t forget to take a look through some of them for additional views on the matter. My one-week hands-on with the 2+ is also available.

Other interesting news items:

OLPC to move to VIA C7. If it’s true, it’s a good win for VIA. The most important part of the story is that they will partner with C7 with the new VX855 chipset which will bring interesting media capabilities due to the onboard video and 3D hardware. Far better than that tired old Geode CPU and chipset.

There’s some interesting news going about relating to Android on netbooks. It’s going to happen and i’m sure it’s going to be big but it might not happen on a big scale in Europe and the U.S. At least that’s my opinion based on the fact that we seem to be interested in bigger and more expensive netbooks. What we could see is Android move into a more ‘productive’ direction which will make the software interesting for low-cost ARM-based MIDs and UMPCs.

Ubuntu 9.04 is out and people are saying good things about it. There’s a ‘netbook remix’ version (it appears they stopped work on the ubuntu-umpc version) and tucked away on the image server is the latest MID version. Anyone tested 9.04 out yet?

There seems to be some confidence that Apple will release a tablet but the big question is, what form will it take? Will it be a 12 inch coffee-table device, a 7 inch armrest device or, as I think is likely, something in the 5 inch range. Have a look through these articles on Google Blogsearch and let me know what you think

That’s about it for the moment. I’ll be back up to speed on Monday so stay tuned for the Samsung Q1EX unboxing and that live session with JKKMobile.

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