UMID Mbook BZ Detailed First Impressions, videos, gallery.

Posted on 22 January 2010, Last updated on 09 February 2010 by

ANNOUNCEMENT: LIVE SESSION. UMID BZ will be live on on Monday 25th at 2130 CET. (Your local time listed here.) Join for live overview,testing and Q&A with video and chat sessions. JKKMobile will also be joining.
Recordings of the live session are here.


Finally, after a week of frustration without a charger for the UMID BZ, it arrived in the post and I was able to charge up and go with testing and hands on today. I’ve already had a few hours with the BZ during CES but there’s nothing like a day of focused ‘messing’ to get to know the device so here, after about 6 hours of  usage in total, are my first impressions.

UMID BZ Specifications and links

First-up, let me point you to the summary of the UMID Mbook M1 review where we highlighted the shortcomings of the M1.

We’re impressed with the technology in the UMID Mbook, the processing power, the battery life, the screen and the fast SSD. We’re not impressed with the fiddly micro-SD slot, headphone and USB ports though and these, we’re sure, will be major issues for a lot of people. Build quality could also be better.

I’m very pleased to say that those issues have all been sorted out with a 3.5mm headphone jack standard USB port, better access to MicroSD and an overall better build and finish although it has to be said that the BZ is not exactly beautiful.

The BZ brings a few other features too. Built-in optical mouse and buttons and a programmable capacitive slide area above the keyboard help to make the UMID even more useful than before. Battery life appears to be excellent (4-5 hours hard on-net use over an 8hr period today) and the touchscreen is light and bright.

On the minus side, the BZ only has the 1.2Ghz CPU. It’s hyperthreading capable though and appears to perform quite well with web and even YouTube up to windowed ‘HQ.’  H.264 720p videos play nicely once that Cyberlink codec is installed and configured too. In a test of javascript speed using Chrome and the V8V3 benchmark the UMID turned in one of the highest javascript power/weight scores ever. If you’re into pocketable web apps, this is one to look very closely at.

One aspect that has been nagging me today is the occasional freeze. It’s reminiscent of the freezing I’ve seen on the Eking S515 and the older Everun Note and that means slow disk write speed. Sure enough the low-end write speed is at 1MB/s which isn’t the worst we’ve seen and in most cases is going to be enough but where there’s a lot going on (for example in my heavy testing today) you might see the occasional hiccup.  Note: I have a 32GB SSD model here.

UMID BZ Specifications and links

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Click to enlarge. Full gallery here.

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17 Comments For This Post

  1. Derek says:

    Currently you can purchase a new u820 for $550 in Ebay direct from Fujitsu.
    How would you compare them at that price? I am stuck between the more powerful but larger u820, the UMID BZ and the sexy N5 if I can actually wait until march…..

  2. Fixup says:

    I posted about the U820 deal several weeks ago. The decision is easy: if you want a pocket PC, it is the UMID; otherwise the U820. Although U820 has a slightly larger screen, UMID’s screen is higher quality and far more easy on eyes. U820 is a better desktop PC; UMID is a better handtop PC; both can do both well.

    U820 has 1GB RAM, so it runs Win7 VERY WELL with full tablet features, such as touch and scroll in FireFox 2! Smooth and fast, with 500MB left for your own applications.

    I’ll wait for the 1GB and 3g version of UMID while enjoying my M1. The N5 might have a better looking, but UMID is the one for those who appreciate more than just looks. N5’s mouse location is right, but if its touch/screen are the same of S5’s, then they are far worse than UMID’s. M1’s touch/screen are so damn good, I really don’t miss the mouse, a finger nail tap is far more direct than a mouse.

  3. paquito says:

    Really?! Please send me the exact site to purchase Fujitsu U820 at this price. Thanks…

  4. Peter says:

    On there are many listings at $549 for “NEW FUJITSU LIFEBOOK U820 TABLET NOTEBOOK GPS PC VISTA”

  5. Another guy says:

    The problem is that the BZ doesnt sport a 3G slot yet. I mean, this is supposed to be a mobility device, right? so how come they didn’t include a 3G slot?!?! it’s totally retarded!

  6. Yanovski says:

    Chippy, can this device be charged through a USB Battery Pack, does it have a mini-usb port?

    did you manage to optimize video quality?

  7. Chippy says:

    No charging through USB.
    No mini USB port.

  8. Tom says:

    Is the screen angle drastically improved over the M1? Can you type on it using two thumbs without the screen angled to your chest like before. This was the primary reason why I returned the M1.


  9. kawatwo says:

    Thanks for the reminder Derek. I just picked me up one of those U820s. There are a few left at that price. Iv’e only been wanting one since the 810 first came out but could never bring myself to pay that much, but 549 with free shipping will do. Was waiting for the 120 GB version to come down a bit more, but this and a big SDHC will do. I couldn’t decide between the N5, S7, or UH900 or the U820 before it disappears. Ah, a computer that fits in a motorcycle tank bag and I can use while sitting on the can. Gotta love it. They are all great though.

  10. Tom says:

    Is the screen angle drastically improved over the M1? Can you type on it using two thumbs without the screen angled to your chest like before. This was the primary reason why I returned the M1.


  11. Tom says:

    Sorry for the double post. Not sure how that happened.

  12. Tom says:

    Is the screen angle drastically improved over the M1? Can you type on it using two thumbs without the screen angled to your chest like before. This was the primary reason why I returned the M1.


  13. gadgety says:

    Hi Chippy,

    Excellent as always. Best tech reviews on the internet! Could you try it with the thinkoutside stowaway bt keyboard, if you’ve got one during the live demo tomorrow? I seem to remember there would be top spec versions, are they still coming?

  14. themissinglint says:

    Could you demo the LogMeIn ignition software during the live demo? I would really like to see how well this thing can remote login.

    Tom: the review says that the screen can be set flat back, and says it is a very sturdy hinge.

  15. chippy says:

    Angle is improved enough for it to be comfortable now. Doesn’t lie flat though.

  16. Steve 'Chippy' Paine says:

    Laptops get stolen at MWC I hear. Best to take a little one that can be kept close to chest — Go Ultra Mobile!

  17. Sascha Pallenberg says:

    @chrisnordyke check out these reviews from @chippy and @jkkmobile and

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