Is the Viliv S10 Too Expensive? What are the Alternatives?

Posted on 26 February 2010, Last updated on 26 February 2010 by

The very interesting multitouch-capable Viliv S10 Blade is imminent and baseline pricing has already been set at $699 by Dynamism. After we posted that news though, someone managed to reveal the full Dynamism pricing structure for the devices and there’s been a big discussion, mostly negative, going on in the comments section.

The pricing has since been removed from Froogle but here’s the detail:

1.6Ghz Models:

  • Viliv S10 32ssd –  Intel® Atomâ„¢ Z530 1.6GHz 32GB SSD Windows XP $699.00
  • Viliv-S10/32ssd – Intel® Atomâ„¢ Z530 1.6GHz 32GB SSD Windows 7 Home Premium. $797.00
  • Viliv S10/32ssd/3G – Intel® Atomâ„¢ Z530 1.6GHz 32GB SSD Windows 7 Home Premium Built in HSPA modem. $889.00
  • Viliv S10/64ssd – Intel® Atomâ„¢ Z530 1.6GHz 64GB SSD Windows 7 Home Premium. $857.00
  • Viliv S10 64ssd/3G – Intel® Atomâ„¢ Z530 1.6GHz 64GB SSD Windows 7 Home Premium Built in HSPA modem. $949.00

2.0Ghz Models:

  • Viliv S10/2.0GHz/64ssd – Intel® Atomâ„¢ Z550 2.0GHz 64GB SSD Windows 7 Home Premium. $987.00
  • Viliv S10/2.0GHz/64ssd/3G – Intel® Atomâ„¢ Z550 2.0GHz 64GB SSD Windows 7 Home Premium Built in HSPA modem. $1,079.00

Note that these prices are unconfirmed but they look correct to me. I already predicted $1200 for the high-end versions.

Note that the entry-level version does not support multi-touch (although an upgrade to Windows7 should enable that) The 2.0Ghz version starts with a 64GB SSD at a shade under $1000.

A quick comparison to my current convertible touchscreen device, the Gigabyte Touchnote T1028M, which runs 2GB on a retro-fitted 64GB SSD and 3G, tells me that the S10 is not something I should be upgrading to UNLESS….

  • I want up to 10 hours battery life. (compared to my current 2+4 using my standard and extended batteries)
  • I want hardware decoded video and flash video (Flash 10.3 supports the GMA500 under Windows 7 now although I haven’t seen this working in practice yet.)
  • I want a much more stylish device
  • I want a lighter (by about 400gm) device.
  • I want a multitouch touchscreen

My worry with the S10 though, despite the advantages, is that Windows7+1.6Ghz+SSD might not be fast enough to give an noticeable improvement over XP. Indeed, based on RAM requirements, the device could run into memory problems after extended or heavy use in which case. The same issue is true of the 2.0Ghz versions. I would personally choose XP as the OS under 1 GB scenario and that renders the multitouch screen useless.

Competitors.

If you consider the 2.0Ghz version, there are currently no competitors at this screen size so lets take the S10 1.6Ghz version with the 64GB SSD, 3G and Windows 7 Home Premium and compare it to German Euro prices for competitors.:

  • Lenovo S10-3T – 1GB RAM, Multitouch (1024×600) Windows 7 Home Premium 449 Euro
  • Gigabyte Touchnote – 2GB RAM, Single Touch N280 1.6Ghz (1366×768) Windows 7 Starter, 569 Euro
  • ASUS T101 MT – 2GB RAM, Multitouch (1024×600), N450 1.6Ghz CPU, Win 7 Home Premium. 320GN HDD. 499 Euro

View all devices in the database

Clearly there’s nothing out there that exactly matches the specifications of the S10. If the SSD is fast it will make a lot of difference to the performance of the device. The Menlow platform should also help with battery life too although do remember, the battery life is untested at the moment.

Upgrade prices for a Touchnote T1028X.

  • 3G retro-fit. 100 Euro (USB stick for 49 Euro is also a solution)
  • SSD Retro-fit – 64GB fast SSDs such as the one I use in my Touchnote are around 200  Euros.
  • Extended battery: Approx 60 Euros
  • Home Premium upgrade: 67 Euros.
  • Single-to-multitouch upgrade: (Not recommended due to warranty issues) Around 100 Euros.

Example: Total upgrade cost for 64GB/3G/2G  is around 420 Euros bringing the price of a Touchnote T1028X with single touch screen to around 890 Euros which is going to be very near the Dynamism price for the high-end 1.6Ghz S10. The advantages of buying the S10 are: 200-400gm weight saving, better looking, multitouch, hardware video decoder.

Or, you could stick with the ASUS T101MT with the 1024×600 screen for 499 Euro. Add a USB 3G stick and SSD for 250 Euros and you’re at about 750 Euros. For some, in fact many, I think this could be the choice they will make.

Touchnote upgrade for me?

Personall, the  Viliv S10 Blade has come in at about $100 more than I expected but when I calculate what I’ve spent on my Gigabyte Touchnote to bring it up to similar specs, the cost is much the same.  The S10 isn’t actually that OTT considering it’s not a netbook and only two years ago, you would have dreamed of such pricing!  Having said that, even considering the advantages of the S10, there’s no major reason for me to upgrade my Touchnote for the S10.

What do you think? Did Viliv price the S10 too high or, considering the battery life and SSD advantages, is it acceptable?

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