Viliv S10 Open Review: Session Debrief.

Updated on 10 March 2010 by

Once again we had a great audience for our live open review last night. Over 600 people dropped in to watch JKK and I testing out the Viliv S10 in an extended, close-up, warts-exposed review session.

IMG_2157

We recorded two videos from the sessions which are up at Ustream.TV (I’ll try and get these over to YouTube soon) but as a summary, let me go through some of the things we found out.

Hardware: Both of us are very impressed with the build quality, plastics and styling of the S10. It beats every other convertible 10 inch-er out there.

CPU differences: The difference between the 1.6 and 2.0Ghz version is of course noticeable. The 2.0Ghz version is much smoother in general operation and the difference was very noticeable when we compared the use of Microsoft’s Surface demo software. The 1.6Ghz version benefits well from the fast SSD though and once I had turned off Aero, the UI responsiveness went from poor to good.

Battery life: The production samples we have don’t show remaining battery time and only count down in 10% charge increments but we took measurements throughout the session and as the meter dropped to 80% I calculated that the device would run connected, in-use with 100% screen backlight, light browsing and video clip playback for 7.5 hours. For such a slim device it’s incredibly efficient.

Heat and Noise: None. Silent and cool to touch. One small patch gets warmer but it’s hardly worth mentioning.

YouTube video playback. 720p using Flash 10.1 beta was good (only tested on 2.0Ghz)

Video. MKV, AVI, WMV. H.264, Divx, WMV9, MPeg2 all handled well. 1080p played in Windows media player. NOTE: I now see that there are some additional codecs installed on this production sample. It’s obviously tweaked in terms of video software but it proves it works!

Special features: USB file transfer client. Fast SSD. 3-point multitouch.  Analogue video output. (S-video, VGA, component)

Loudspeakers: Very poor.

We talked at length about the value of multitouch in slate and laptop mode and clearly there’s a lot to be learnt here. Multitouch is new territory for me and I can see it fitting well with programmable gestures and on screen keyboards in tablet mode but I still can’t get used to holding 1.2KG of tablet. For me, multitouch in tablet mode is only going to be useful and feel natural when the weight is 800gm or less. As I said, i’m only starting the multitouch journey right now and maybe I haven’t ‘got it’ yet. If you’ve got thoughts or experience with multitouch, your input here would be greatly appreciated.

JKK will be doing some Viliv S10 videos this week. Keep an eye on JKKMobile. My unboxing overview is here.

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24 Comments For This Post

  1. Gretchen Glasscock says:

    Viliv S10 Open Review: Session Debrief.: Once again we had a great audience for our live open review last night. O… http://bit.ly/bwDZeD

  2. Rizzly says:

    Thanks for the in-depth review, I still think the price-tag might be a bit hefty though (if they are indeed as high as what can be found around the web).

    A few tips on tests you and JKK could do:

    Could you test how the device works together with the popular linux-distributions such as Jolicloud, Moblin and/or Ubuntu netbook remix?
    How does HD-playback work in these operating-systems, does touch work (not expecting any multitouch of course, since it isn’t implemented in any of those OS’s yet)? Also, how well does flash-playback work in these linux-distributions? It would also be interesting to know how long the battery-life is on linux as well :).

    Perhaps you could try this on other netblets as well (my own word for netbook-tablets :P) and see how the devices compare? Jolicloud at least is pretty simple to install side-by-side with windows and has all codecs and plugins pre-installed, so it shouldn’t be that much of a hassle to try out.

  3. Chippy says:

    Linux on the GMA500 chipset is just a nightmare. There isn’t an out-of-the box system yet although Jolicloud were talking about having support. Last time I tried it on 5 Menlow systems, it failed.
    The issue is that you’ll have problems getting touchscreen drivers, multitouch-capable software, kernels that efficiently use the CPU and GPU and other issues. I don’t recommend Linux on the Intel Menlow platform at all.

    As for the other convertible netbooks, it’s a time issue. We spend many hours testing the out-of-the box solutions that 99% of people will use. There’s no way we’d have time to test alternative OS’

    Sorry about this.

  4. Rizzly says:

    Well, GMA 500 has been available out-of-the-box with Jolicloud for quite some time now, apparantly even 1080p offline-video should work okay. The T91 supposedly works with touch, but then again that’s a single-touch screen. I bet the multitouch ones might cause a bit of trouble (the T91mt is supposedly not working for example).

    I do understand the reasoning behind not testing the other OS’s, I guess it would have to be in ones personal interests to try it out and make it work :P. I guess it’ll have to be buy and try for me if I want to find out how well linux works on a specific target.

    Thanks for the quick answer though :)!

  5. peter says:

    thanks for all these
    i’m just concerned that if the RAM is upgradeable?
    it doesnt seem to have access to the RAM without having to disassembling the whole machine

  6. peter says:

    and it was previously mentioned that the RAM on board is non removable.
    is just because it’s still a post production unit?

  7. Chippy says:

    Ram is soldered unfortunately. No upgrade possible.

  8. peter says:

    sorry i meant, “pre-“

  9. Christian says:

    I tried to watch the show yesterday but the connection at college was so slow that I couldn’t stand it. I love the S10 design but if I purchase a tablet is because I want take notes. For me touch screen in a tablet means inking with. I read around and I watch a video showing that the S10 doesn’t have the palm rejection. Is it true ?? That would make me very disappointed.

  10. ninetynine says:

    Try Intel’s new 10″ Convertible Classmate. Comes with perfect palm rejection, but only single touch.

  11. Chippy says:

    The classmate is indeed an interesting device. Somewhat heavy though.

  12. Christian says:

    It makes remember me the Ibook with that handle, and the design looks more a toy than a tablet. What about the Gigabyte T1000 is good for inking or it has the same problem of the S10?

  13. Jay says:

    I desperately want a small form-factor convertible tablet. To me the crucial features are HD video and inking. It’s very difficult to find that combination…does anything exist??

  14. AlexRou says:

    Ubuntu 9.10 has GMA 500 support and linux works much better than
    windows with GMA 500
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/HardwareSupportComponentsVideoCardsPoulsbo/

    Its a pain to setup but hoping it would be better for 10.04

    Also there is multitouch support for linux kernel 2.6.31 and above
    http://www.lii-enac.fr/en/projects/shareit/linux.html

    I’m thinking of getting one then throw windows out the window then put ubuntu with a ton of tweaking lol

    Should be a lot less laggy i hope :P

  15. Rizzly says:

    Yep, it’s just a matter of finding out if the Viliv s10 has an already supported screen or if there has to be a driver written for it. I’m putting my hopes to someone to try this out, since it is a quite expensive device. Being able to run a linux-distribution on the device would be a huge plus for me :).

  16. AlexRou says:

    Wow weird I can do reply lol

    anyway can someone find out the model and brand of the touchscreen pls

  17. AlexRou says:

    Even weirder I have to change browser each time i post

    and ment to say “I can’t do reply” on earlier post

  18. Luc says:

    If I look at Sony’s Vaio multi-touch it’s a lot smoother:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9kOGybHFLU

    So question remains if the S10 hardware or software causes the multi-touch to be not quite as responsive? It seems web scrolling is fine (but so does the S5) but multi-touch gestures seem little bit sluggish.
    Zooming web pages I can see is software related and could be fixed but rotating and zooming pictures should not have much of a delay especially with 2.0 GHz CPU.

  19. starodi says:

    Hi,

    Has Viliv improved WiFi range materially in the S10 from the X70 and other prior models?

    Poor range is a well noted non-feature of the other Viliv devices.

    Thx, starodi

  20. Lu says:

    By the way the video unfortunately doesn’t play anymore. See also someone else commented on the video page saying it doesn’t play. So hopefully this will be uploaded soon to youtube.

  21. AlexRou says:

    well one thing is certain the vaio have

    2.66GHz3 (Q8400S) Intel® Core® 2 Quad Processor
    NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 240M GPU with 1GB dedicated VRAM or NVIDIA® GeForce® G210M GPU with 512MB dedicated VRAM

    so its a ton more powerful

    BUT if u look at http://cs.nyu.edu/~jhan/ftirtouch/index.html
    it was done on a P4 2 GHZ laptop with unknown graphics and the lag is a ton less

    So in my opinion its all windows fault cuz that video was on XP with custom touchscreen and custom software also it uses heavy video processing
    as the touchscreen uses a webcam to sense the touch

  22. ap1120 says:

    ive been waiting for this review for a couple months now. Last week i became so impatient i bought a Dell latitude XT2 refurbished for 200 dollars more than the highest viliv s10 model. and the specs are ridiculous compared to this, and with the addition of a slim battery slice, battery life is in the ball park range of 9-11 hours! Without it however it lasts about 4.5 with windows 7. Also dual core processor and 4gb of ram! So although the viliv is an amazingly beautiful device i dont believe its worth 3 times that of an ordinary netbook! I may get one of these as an entertainment device in the future. And the video does not load. Could you please post it onto youtube?! thanks!

  23. Chippy says:

    Having problems getting the video to YouTube right now. Stay tuned.

  24. Grrr Power says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to compare these two models.. but then again, it really does depend on what you are looking for in your new device.
    The XT2 has a bigger screen size by 2 inches, and weighs almost twice as much as the Viliv. For me, that’s entering “laptop” territory, and for me, isn’t anywhere near as portable as I’m looking for.
    Thanks for the reviews, Chippy.. Very helpful. :)

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