UMID Mbook BZ Detailed First Impressions, videos, gallery.

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

Other notes:

  • This is a demo device. (Not retail pack. See case and package contents at Pocketables)
  • Recessed optical mouse more of a disadvantage than advantage (it’s recessed to prevent accidental usage)
  • Mouse buttons are hard and uncomfortable to use but advantages outweigh the issues. (In general, it might have been better to put the mouse/buttons on the keyboard frame but it depends on how you use the device.)
  • Mono speaker is loud enough for most operations.
  • Touchscreen has an extremely light and accurate touch. (It uses the same stabilization-enabled driver as the UMID)
  • Wifi / BT are independently controllable.
  • Return from hibernation is fast (20 sec due to 512MB RAM) and Wifi settings remain.
  • XP Home base install has 37 processes (includes BT, launcher, Intel graphics tray etc.)
  • Close lid to standby is very reliable (I set mine to go to hibernation after 20 minutes.)
  • Micro SD card transfers were fast enough for audio media.
  • VGA out adapter drives a 1920×1080 monitor
  • Skype works without headset.
  • Skype video works (not as good as M1 lower framerate)
  • Software includes ‘Thepot’ player which is a nice touchscreen launcher for other apps and UMID-specific features.
  • Wifi reception average
  • Bluetooth stack is Bluesoleil (good)
  • Good selection of keyboard shortcut buttons
  • Keyboard has some play and scissor-action keys not perfect for thumbing.
  • Super-bright screen (but doesnt go dark enough for night time use)
  • Silent operation
  • Heat build-up on charging with simultaneous use. Some heat build up on heavy use.
  • Incorrect balance on table with screen 80% open (OK when fully open)
  • Screen frame plastic looks and feels cheap.
  • Rubberised finish is non-slip.
  • As with all Menlow-based devices Forget any 3D gaming!
  • Resistive touchscreen.
  • No stylus.
  • No keyboard backlight
  • 370gm measured weight.
  • Couldn’t get mic in headset to work.
  • Included headphones very sensitive (loud!) and poor quality. (Normal headphones sound loud and acceptable Not hifi!)
  • No bass/treble control on sound.
  • No remaining battery time indicator (only %)

UMID BZ Specifications and links

Overall the UMID BZ is working very well and there are no major issues to report at this stage. In comparison with the U820 that I use, the UMID is better value, has longer battery life and is much lighter although I do notice the difference between the 1.2 and 1.6Ghz CPU at times. With 3G, this would make an excellent microblogging device. If I could change anything it would be the looks and the keyboard. Swap out the keyboard for the one on the Eking S515 and this would be one of the best two-handed UMPCs out there. Of course, the Viliv N5 is due in a few months so I understand why people might just hold-off on this until the first N5 tests come in!

IMG_1980

Well done UMID. Battery charging adaptor helps in two-battery scenario.

IMG_1987
Works extremely well as a microblogging device.

Video: Overview and VGA cable demo (to HD screen)

Video: Battery charger adaptor. We are not sure if this is part of the retail pack.

Our gallery of images is here and Pocketables have another set of unboxing photos here.

Reminder:  LIVE SESSION. UMID BZ will be live on UMPCPortal.com/live 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 UMID BZ review are here.

UMID BZ Specifications and links

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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…..
    Thoughts?

  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…pedpalina@gmail.com

  4. Peter says:

    On http://www.ebay.com 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:

    Chippy,
    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.

    Thanks,
    Tom

  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:

    Chippy,
    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.

    Thanks,
    Tom

  11. Tom says:

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

  12. Tom says:

    Chippy,
    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.

    Thanks,
    Tom

  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 pocketables.net 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 — http://bit.ly/9ETUO7 Go Ultra Mobile!

  17. Sascha Pallenberg says:

    @chrisnordyke check out these reviews from @chippy and @jkkmobile http://bit.ly/b7OIiI and http://bit.ly/aT2mXz

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