Review: W1060 7-inch MID from WireLession

Updated on 01 December 2009 by

Welcome to my review of the WireLession W1060 7 inch MID. I’ve been looking forward to this review for some time now. As many of you can see, the mobile device market is exploding with new devices, and 2010 promises to be a year with at least double the number of new devices to be released. This of course is a double-edged sword, as many of us will be torn on which device to use. Some of you are aware of my quest to find the perfect multi-function device, so hopefully I can help people understand at least some of the devices being released.

W1060 Box
W1060 Atop the Actual Retail Box

The WireLession W1060, also known to many as the Witstech (WITS) A81 (info-page), is a brand new MID (mobile internet device) using the Cortex A8 processor, the same processor as used in the iPhone and the Archos 5 Android Tablet. WireLession is a distributor of the A81, and has re-branded it with their own designation (W1060) and logos. Thedevice is currently priced at $220 on the WireLession website.

Specifications

  • Processor: ARM Cortex A8 600Mhz, Dedicated DSP Graphic Core
  • Operating System: Windows CE 6.0 Embedded
  • Screen: 7-inch TFT Touch Screen, 800×480 Resolution
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth Built-in (1)
  • GPS: (2)  Built-In
  • Sound: Stereo High Fidelity Output 3D Surround, Adjustable Volume
  • Memory: 256MB RAM (3), T-Flash (microSD) slot supports up to 16GB
  • Video Formats Supported: AVI, MPEG4, MPEG2, WMV, H.264 and others (MKV support coming soon)
  • Battery: Rechargeable Lithium Battery (3000mAH), 5 to 8 Hours Operation
  • Weight: 0.39kg battery included
  • Size: 18L×11W×1.5D CM

Specification Notes
1 – The review unit’s firmware did not have Bluetooth working.
2 – The review unit did not have the GPS Module – that is a different model of the W1060 which costs an extra $20
3 – The review unit seemed to only see 128MB of RAM. I’m not sure if that is a firmware issue or a hardware issue. The specs I was given say it is supposed to have 256MB of RAM.

UPDATE: The unit does indeed have 256MB of RAM. It is a WinCE functionality that the other 128MB is set aside to be used by the Operating System.

Packaging and Build Quality

The device box is a solid black color, not something you would find on a store shelf and not much larger than the device itself.  Everything that was supposed to be included with the device was there (cables, battery, adapter, and the device).

The device casing felt very sturdy, but it appears to be of a high quality plastic and not metal as I had been previously informed. As the pictures show, the device is jet black and shiny. When I held the device it felt extremely solid and good to hold, noticeably lighter than the SmartQ7 I reviewed previously. There was no flexing and, as a whole, it was smaller than I thought it would be from the pictures. The build quality is impressive, and reminds me quite a bit of holding a bigger Archos 5 Android Tablet.

W1060 Case and Box W1060 Case
The W1060 and the Carry Case I purchased from Fry’s Electronics for $12.99 – it fits perfectly

The Screen

After putting in the battery and charging the device for a while, I turned it on and was immediately impressed with the quality of the screen. It is clear and vibrant, and very responsive to touch. To the naked eye it seems brighter and clearer than my SmartQ7’s screen. See the pictures of the included in this post for a comparison. The interesting thing is that the screen on the JE-100 eBook Reader (see my review) seems a little better than this, but it is very close. There is one big problem with the screen though – there is no way to rotate it, except within certain applications. WitsTech has said they are working hard on screen rotation and I was told it would be about 12-15 days before we see an update for it. Unless they can’t get some type of screen rotation, that could be a deal-breaker for many users, especially ebook-reading users. [Edit: Note that an Android build is being worked on but without an accelerometer in the device, rotation would have to be via a manual button/setting]

W1060 Flat Comparison W1060 Standing Comparison
Picture 1: The SmartQ7 (Left), JE-100 (Top), and the W1060. Picture 2 (left to right): SmartQ7, W1060, JE-100

Battery Life and Charging

I tested the device for a couple weeks, during which time I watched video, read ebooks and comics, and browsed the internet. The battery life is as advertised, which is to say 5 to 8 hours depending on the task. Listening to music and reading can take you to the battery-life max of 7-8 hours. Video or web browsing and you won’t get more than 3-4 hours indicating the load that a wireless connection can put on a device.

To charge the device, simply use the included adapter or plug it in to your computer via USB cable. It will charge faster via the adapter, but the USB can also be very convenient. When charging, the power button lights up, turning green and red. When fully charged, the power button light turns completely green. It actually looks pretty cool. You can also see it is charging by looking in the tray on the bottom right of the screen in WinCE.

W1060 Power Charge Light
The Snazzy Power Light

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23 Comments For This Post

  1. turn.self.off says:

    now for a 5″ version or something…

  2. BSU_Withers says:

    Thanks for the review! I’ve been following this device (and several others) in the hope of finding a suitable data collection device for our field research. We’ve been using the Alphasmart Dana (Palm OS) up to this point and it’s not going to cut it for much longer. It looks like the Wirelession MIGHT be the device if the Android build looks good.

  3. Zeuxidamas says:

    Amazing that it can not host even a USB mouse. I was able to use external mouse even on an old NEC MobilePro 770 and 880 nearly ten years ago. Pls keep us posted on the updates.

    Also, any chance that you could try out the Barnes and Noble eReader app on the device? If it supported the B&N app and eBook format (whatever it is), I would certainly pay for this instead of a Nook. I know it is low probability, but it does not hurt to ask and see how it pans out?
    – Vr/Z..>>

  4. Zeuxidamas says:

    Also, does the WinCE install include pocket versions of any Office Apps? Back in the day, they came with versions of PocketWord, PocketExcel, and PocketPowerPoint…oh, and some version of Outlook Express? I am wondering if it will allow the same degree of interaction with MS Office documents that my Windows Mobile 6.1 Smartphone does, at a minimum. Thanks.
    – Vr/Z..>>

  5. Coldsun says:

    It included all the MS Office viewers, but I don’t think they are anything but viewers. I have a free pop3 mail app that works with it.

    I’ll check into the Barnes and Noble app. :)

  6. HoboJ says:

    Nice review. I was going to order this device but I suppose I should wait now that I’ve read your review. At least until the new year to see how things pan out with it.

  7. BSU_Withers says:

    Did you have to call Wirelession to order it? It doesn’t look like they have an online store…

  8. Coldsun says:

    I think if you just email them they can set it up for you that way. They are usually very responsive.

  9. wsquared says:

    Do you think Wirelession is a legit business with a sustainable business model? I ask because my organization intends to replace an old stockpile of Alphasmart Danas (Palm OS 4.1) with a newer device for our data collection purposes. We need a device with an open OS, decent screen & keyboard, long battery life, and sub $400 price. The Archos 5IT and Wirelession W1060 are our top prospects right now. I’m just not too sure about Wirelession because they seem to have come from nowhere and they mostly rebrand devices. Your thoughts?

  10. Arioch says:

    > open OS, decent screen & keyboard, long battery life, and sub $400 price
    Does W1060 has decent keybord ? Does it have long batterylife ? does it, as of now, has open OS ?

    Perhaps you’d really look into SmartDevices SmartQ series.
    Or perhaps into OpenPandora project.

  11. Arioch says:

    1) i wonder if Opera Mobile could be used instead of the pitiful Internet Explorer ?

    2) SmartQ 7 was told to run up to 20 hours in music-player mode, with screnn off, wi-fi off, etc. If W1060 can only run 8 hours such, it is a failure!

    3) Linux ? (Android might be good for cell phone, but what good it has for PMP ?.. )

    4) Pity it does not have buttons and HDMI, as SmartQ V7 does. With Cortex CPU it should be able of HD-Video and then HDMI comes quite handly!
    4.1) USB on-the-go is also a loss!
    4.2) and for video-player it would be better to sport SDHC 32GB cardtreader like SmartQ or evewn couple of those, than 16GB tiny slot for-phones. C’mon, this device is larger than phone anyway, put a full-sized SDHC!

    Overall it seems SmartQ 7 & V7 sucks in video playback and this tablet sucks ion everything else. Bad situation,. with two very close devices – nothgin to choose from!

    5) RAM is 256 MB, okay – but what kind of ram, what the speed is ? and the disk inside? is it 1 GB, 2GB, 4GB… ?

    If it was possible to combine features of SmartQ V7 and W1060 it could be a great thing.
    Currently they both look as very close but yet failed attempts at it :-(

    Can anyone say, does SmartQ plan to make Cortex-based PDA with all the sweet features of 7/V7 and same $200-$250 price spot ?

  12. Craig says:

    Have you tried xvid videos? What about mp4 videos?

  13. johnkzin says:

    make a 9″ version, with more RAM (.75GB or more), built-in storage (2GB+), 1GHz CPU, and Android … and I might be interested :-}

  14. Reed Colaianni says:

    I have to admit that your current blog is pretty insightful. I have been expending a good deal of spare time during the last couple weeks scouting around at what exactly is available influenced by simple fact that I am planning to launch a blog site. The knowledge you have place on here is literally to the point. It just sounds so baffling with reference to all the technological innovations that are available on the market, but I love the way your appears. Gotta find it irresistible where technologies has come through the last 8 yrs.

  15. pphilipp says:

    I’ve had the W1060 for about ten days and now have an opinion based on some hands-on experience. It’s a good device with more strengths than weaknesses. It has issues, ((but look how many years Archos has been in business selling potentially good devices that are famous for their problems and limitations.))

    Here’s a sporadic list of good and bad aspects based on my device.

    Some good points…
    1. Extremely quick wifi connection (are there any other devices that are connected to the internet 30 seconds after you push the start button?)
    2. Cortex processor (about as good as they get)
    3. Responsive resistive touchscreen (sharp and bright too)
    4. Decent 3000mah battery
    5. Easy file explorer / browsing makes navigating all files quick and easy
    6. As small as a 7″ device can functionally get
    7. Metal support stand
    8. Iris web browser gives fast, accurate web browsing
    9. I’ve found around 100 working apps… and currently tweaking more to run too
    10. Very fast 15 to 20 second bootup time
    11. Everything functions well enough that on my trips to Starbucks, Panerra, airport, etc…
    I really can leave the laptop at home!!!

    Some bad points…
    1. Wince apps are iffy… some work perfect, others have nonworking features, some don’t work at all.
    2. Standby doesn’t normally wake-up (goes to white or black screen with no image)
    3. Drains battery even when fully off (red and green lights are always barely shimmering)
    4. Keyboard doesn’t fit in portrait mode and often pops-up when least expected
    5. Bezel around screen has too much ‘play’.
    6. Coreplayer video app still doesn’t work on youtube and is not implemented well
    7. Touchscreen needs a ‘palm rest’ function so cursor doesn’t jump to palm location
    8. On/off button doesn’t always appear to be working… then it suddenly surprises me and works
    9. Accessories??? I’m having a hard time locating leather cases, holders, etc, which fit
    10. Smooth, rounded, slippery back make this an accident waiting to happen… Oops!!

    Would I trade or sell it right away? Maybe for an iPad… but not for an Archos Home Tablet, SmartQ, Apad, or other similar Android or Wince device. For the current 7″ tablet offerings, the W1060 is about as good as they get.

  16. Madie Malichi says:

    Intriguing insight, stunned I never considered that by myself

  17. mortgage home vegas says:

    Is it touch screen because I cannot see some keyboards or something that I’ll use to type.

  18. mcson says:

    I have found your review while I was searhing an epad/apad/irobot or else on google. I thought this devise is an answer to my needs but having read your excellent review, I realise that it is not. Thank you for such a great job my friend!

    Meanwhile, could you possibly suggest me an android tabled which has a built in GPS, bluetooth and 3G usb modem connection availability? I have checked many china made ipad alikes but have not found such a device.

    I would really appreciate your help

    Best Regards

  19. UK SEO Company says:

    Does WireLession W1060 have any upcoming upgrades? I wanted to have this one but it don’t meet much of my specs.

  20. France Dayne says:

    Is this not only a cellphone but also a computer gadget? This is one of the important gadget I wish I could have.

  21. Bimber.info Directory says:

    I was looking for Xmas, to buy a new mobile device for that special.

    I wonder if you can tell me whether any of the new MIDs you’re reviewing or are aware of coming up might fit my needs?

    I have been actively considering the Archos 5 Internet tablet (Android) but I’m still unsure about it because of
    – Need to pay extra for some codecs / GPS functionality
    – AC3 audio doesn’t work
    – Not full android market access
    – Unsure whether non-Archos GPS s/w will work.
    – No hardware buttons (well 3: power, vol up and vol down but can’t be mapped)
    – Some reports it corrupts memory cards when they’re removed

    I’ve also being thinking about the Nationite Midnite Xpress (English ver. of Chuwi W3000) but that has
    – No bluetooth
    – no kickstand

    Alternatively, there are some relatively cheap Benq S6 Mids turning up on ebay but I reckon they have poor battery life.

    I’d propably go for a Pandora but there’s no sign of those being available anytime soon.
    Possibly a smartq v5 but they are also not avail yet.

    Here’s what I’m looking for
    1. MUST-HAVES
    – No bigger than n800/vx545HD (i.e. pocketable), so 5″ max screen
    – WVGA (800 * 480)
    – Smooth video playback at above resolution (at least Xvid)
    – Touchscreen
    – D-pad or mappable Hardware buttons
    – Wifi
    – Bluetooth ADCP (because I like to listen on BT stereo headphone. Hate wired headphones)
    – Removable storage
    – Browser (faster than n800)
    – Ebook reader supporting txt / html
    – PDF reader
    – Image viewer
    – RSS Reader
    – File Browser with cut and paste
    – kickstand (or clamshell design). This is a dealbreaker for me as I like to prop a device on table to read/browse
    – Some availability of 3rd party apps.

    2. NICE-TO-HAVES
    – MKV playback
    – Flash playback, either in-browser or launched app
    – Big storage
    – USB Host
    – Speakers

    3. NOT NECESSARY (but would not say no)
    – GPS
    – Accelerometer
    – 3G
    – Hardware Keyboard

    I was interested in the W1010 you are shortly going to review but like the Midnite Xpress this doesn’t appear to have either Bluetooth or a kickstand.

  22. Curtain Panels · says:

    lithium batteries are nice to use because they are very light and have high power density ;;

  23. Curtain Panels · says:

    lithium batteries are nice to use because they are very light and have high power density ;;

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