Tag Archive | "sc3"

Gone Mobile Blogging… Watch and Communicate

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Finally we’ve got a bit of sun here in Bonn so it’s time to get out with the devices for some mobile blogging. I’ll be jumping on my bike to find a suitable place to work. Not too crowded, not too sunny. I’m thinking that the Rhine, south of Bonn might be good.

First though, I need to decide on what device to take and to do that, I need to write down exactly what I want to achieve.

  • Work. Full keyboard, 7” or greater screen. Bright.
  • Location. Tracking, occasional or live gps location information? If live, Ipoki or lattitude?
  • Connectivity. Built-in 3G or tethered?
  • Microblogging. Pocketable
  • Photography. Reasonable snapshot camera with easy export facilities.
  • Audio. For some tunes/podcasts on the way
  • Communications. Phone, instant messenger.

The first problem I have is that a true ‘work’ device doesn’t quite match up to the microblogging requirements because I would like a big keyboard. My phone, as with nearly all phones, isn’t up to what I want from a microblogging experience so we’ve immediately hit a choice between taking 3 different devices or making some compromises.

See full article for live tracking…

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Windows 7 RC1 Testing on the Gigabyte Touchnote and Kohjinsha SC3 (Intel Netbook and UMPC)

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If you had dropped by the live page earlier you would have seen me having some fun with the new publicly available release of Windows 7 Release Candidate 1. I’ve been testing it on the Gigabyte Touchnote T1028M and the Kohjinsha SC3 today and so far I’ve been impressed by how smoothly the install process has been. On both devices, almost everything is working and on the SC3, even the tablet features are available.

Gigabyte T1028M Touchnote.

I have a modified Touchnote netbook here with 3G, 2GB and SSD and it appears that most things are working out of the box apart from the 3G driver (fixed with standard drivers) the screen brightness and battery indicator. Smart Manager, the touch control panel, doesn’t install but Wifi, BT and WWAN can be enabled and disabled via the FN keys.  Installation was smooth and quick (expected with the SSD) and the touchscreen worked immediately.   The WiFi needed a Windows update but after that it was working perfectly. Standby, hibernation, SD reader, USB, WLAN, LAN, audio, multitouch pad, BT. Even H.264 and Divx videos work out of the box which is a real bonus. I haven’t tested the ExpressCard/34 slot but I’m not expecting a problem there.

IMG_8959

Kohjinsha SC3.

The SC3 is based on the Intel Menlow platform which includes the Z-series CPU and the US15W chipset (AKA Poulsbo – Exactly what you’ll find in a Sony Vaio P) It also contains a VIA wifi module, GPS hardware and, as with the Touchnote, an ExpressCard/34 slot. The SC3 required some drivers from Kohjinsha but after installing all missing hardware, only the redundant DMB module doesn’t work. As a bonus, after I installed the Pen-Mount touch drivers, the Tablet features of Windows 7 were enabled which means floating tip, handwriting recognition and a few other features are now available. With rotation working perfectly and a very usable OSK, the SC3 has suddenly turned into quite a usable little tablet device. Slower than with XP but faster than Vista and with all the additional features that were missing from XP. One thing I really love about Windows 7 is that it connects with the hardware decoding on the chipset and due to the built-in H.264 codec/filter, it can play 1080p out of the box. I tested a 12Mbps H.264 1080p video and it was working extremely well with only a bit of tearing to distract me. Unfortunately, the HDD on the SC3 is as slow as an old dog and there’s still the 2.5hr battery life to contend with. Windows 7 isn’t a magic wand!

In terms of overall performance, Windows 7 has slowed both machines down slightly from their previous XP installations but with more going on in the background, that’s to be expected. On the other hand, its a much smoother and quicker experience than Vista and the trade-off could well be worth it, that is, if you have a fast disk of 32GB or more, 2GB of memory (to be safe) and the money for what will be quite an expensive OS. Clearly Windows 7 is a nicer working environment and I’m sure that after a while on the Touchnote I’ll find myself locked-in to those little extras that make all the difference but I can’t see myself using Windows 7 on a ultra mobile PC or MID simply because of the drive footprint, memory footprint and the number processes running. Which begs the question, what happens when XP is gone? I still don’t see a Microsoft option for UMPCs and MIDs beyond 2010.

I’ll be keeping W7 on the Touchnote, working through the Windows 7 features and trying to fix the important battery indicator and screen brightness. If I can fix that i’ll be using it as my daily notebook unless I find other problems. As for the SC3, its there, its working. I don’t use the SC3 because of the slow HDD and short battery life so that’s that for the time being.

Vye to bring KJS/Kohjinsha to Europe with XP and 3G

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sc3 Vye Computers in the UK have long had a relationship with KJS/Inventec who design and manufacture the Kohjinsha range of Ultra Mobile PCs and netbooks but they have now decided to tighten that relationship by becoming a direct distributor of the KJS devices in the UK.

We’ve spoken to Vye and picked up information on their first offerings under the Kohjinsha brand prior to their launch next week. The first devices will be the SC3 and SX4, 7″ and 9″ convertibles. While these might be known models (I have an SC3 myself and the SX4 is based on the existing SX3) there are a few important differences that make them more interesting than they were before.

  • XP Home option
  • Embedded 3g option
  • Competitive pricing
  • UK Keyboard

For example, the SC3 with Windows XP  and embedded 3G will be selling for an RRP of 699 pounds making it a much cheaper option than the Sony Vaio P that it shares many specifications with.

  • 7” WSVGA Touch Screen (1024 x 768)‏ [That probably should be 1024×600]
  • Intel Atom 1.33ghz
  • XP Home
  • Embedded 3G
  • 1gb Memory
  • 80gb Hard Drive
  • 1.3 Mega Pixel camera
  • Built in Speakers/Built in Microphone
  • Full QWERTY keyboard
  • 2 x USB, RJ45, Multi Memory card Reader, Express Card Slot, Ethernet
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • Dimensions (WxDxH) 189mm x 155mm x 33mm
  • Weight 820g with Standard Battery
  • Standard Battery Life 2.5 – 3 Hours
  • Suggested Retail Price Inc Vat From £699.99

Other models will include GPS and Vista options.

Having tested the SC3 extensively I can tell you it’s got a fantastic screen (bright, rich) and the convertible touch screen rotation gives one of the best reading experiences I’ve had yet on a UMPC. The device can handle 1080p H.264 given the correct drivers (Cyberlink PowerDVD works well) as the chipset has built-in video codecs. The build quality is very good and there’s a good range of expansion ports. Memory is easily upgradable too. On the downside, the battery life can drop down to the 2hr level (an extended battery is available) if you use the device hard and there’s very little 3D graphics power. We’re going to contact Vye to see if we can get an SC3 with XP and 3G because it could be a good alternative to the Everun Note and Sony Vaio P and with XP, a much leaner and faster-booting system.

Launch is planned for 26th Feb so we’ll have reseller/url details then but in the meantime, check out our SC3 and SX3 product pages, keep an eye on http://kjs-uk.co.uk/ and follow http://twitter.com/lwrigglesworth on Twitter for updates.

Update: In related news, JKKMobile reports on lower cost SC3 import options.

What I Learnt from an Old UMPC today.

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I’m a very lucky person. There are about 8 UMPCs in the house at the moment but at times it gets to be a pain because I’m swapping around too much doing tests and trying out my latest ideas. Sometimes it’s almost impossible to choose a device. The SC3 because its small, has a good outdoor screen and looks good? The MSI Wind because its comfortable on a table or the Everun Note because its so damn small and powerful?

Today though it was different and I really surprised myself. I had about 5 minutes to decide on a device for the journey to a family outing and there was no question that extreme Ultra Mobile computing was the order of the day. A 3 hour car journey with no power and no WiFi. There was only one matching weapon in my arsenal, the Samsung Q1b. Based on the original Q1 design but using a 1Ghz VIA C7 and having a built in factory fitted 1.8mbs 3G module. The 6 cell battery was fully charged so it was an easy decision. In ultra mobile situations you need the best antenna and the best battery life and that’s what the Q1b always delivers. It was the perfect choice on the rough going Solar ultra mobile PC Tour last year and it was the perfect choice today. Email inbox cleared on the way out. Reader, Mail and a GTalk chat with JKK on the way back. 3hrs battery life left when I got home.

Boom! Reality kicks. 6 hours wifi-on with extended battery, a strong factory fitted 3G module and a sub kg weight in a tabletable form factor. The screen res was actually ok in the car as it was a bumpy ride but I’m always happier to bump up font sizes on a higher resolution screen so 800×480 isn’t perfect. CCFL backlighting is pretty horrible in daylight too so its really got me thinking about my requirements again.

As I lie here in bed writing this I’m wanting an SC3 with built in 3G and 6hrs online battery life.  A 3g Expresscard wont solve the problem as you cant hold the device and thumb the keyboard as I’ve been doing with this article. An extended battery isn’t good enough as it only gives  4-5hours on online battery life. The Everun Note with the extended battery is even worse and I really want that tablet mode. M912M wont work either as the internal 3G slot is BIOS locked and its too big for thumbing or two-handing,. The U2010 has a 5.6″ screen that i find too small, doesn’t have a factory fitted 3G option and its simply out of my price bracket. Q1 ultra HSDPA is the nearest I can think of at the moment. It doesn’t have the keyboard of the SC3 or Everun Note but seeing as I almost exclusively use thumbing or an on-screen-keyboard now on my UMPCs, does it really matter?

I miss my old Q1 Ultra and keep revisiting the thought of having another. Lack of keyboard backlight and pathetic mouse aren’t ideal but Expansys have some B-Stock  HSDPA XPTE units at just over 500 quid including organiser pack which is tempting me so much that it hurts. Especially as I have a couple of spare batteries, an SSD upgrade and a 2GB stick that I’ve just taken out of my old, broken Q1 Ultra. I’ll make my decision tomorrow but if anyone wants to buy my Kohjinsha SC3, please say so now and make my decision easier. Cost to you? Just over 500 quid of course!

More highs and Lows with the SC3.

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Following on form the previous highs and lows with the SC3

HIGH

sc3-reader
The SC3 really works well in portrait mode and
makes a great crossover e-reader / web reader.

About 3 hours later…LOW

sc3screenprob 
The user interface, 10 minutes after booting. Mouse pointer and TIP only.
The problem appeared after I tried readyboost (which hung.)
Now trying to find a way to recover (safe mode has the same problem.)

SC3 specs, info and links here in the SC3 info page.

Luvin’ the SC3 form factor.

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SC3 in BuxI’m in the ‘BUX (as my fellow US-based bloggers say!) with the SC3 and having a fun, productive time. Watching that battery level of course but really enjoying the form factor. To most people round here I guess it looks like ‘one of those small notebooks’ but they are so so wrong!

Things you can’t do with a netbook..but can with an SC3.

  • Thumb the keyboard. Yup, it feels comfortable for one-lines, IM, passwords and URLs.
  • Hold it in one hand and drive it via the touch screen while leaning  back.
  • Leaning back with a coffee in one hand and the SC3 converted to tablet mode reading feeds in the other.
  • Slipping it into my ‘man purse.’ [Yes, a debateable advantage ;-) ]
  • Bluetooth teathering to my phone (OK, some netbooks do actually have Bluetooth)
  • Feeling really happy that you have one of the smallest and most adaptable PC formats ever.

Problems you must cope with…

  • Battery life
  • Keyboard not as good as a netbook but im happy to sacrifice a handful of words per minute.
  • Vista keeps slowing me down with its disk activity and inability to be slim and fast. I checked out an XP-based 1.33Ghz Silverthorne-based device this morning. It was so much better.

I have decided to give the SC3 another chance. My Tekkeon and Samsung Q1U died last week so rather than shell out $1400 for my ideal Q1 Ultra, i’m going to get a slim, 30hw external battery pack that will fit in my gadget bag and provide some badly needed energy. When I get the chance, i’ll try out the Kohjinsha extended battery. It should save me $1000 while I wait for a new device. In the meantime i’ll have to put up with the rollercoaster of emotions that the SC3 gives me. 2hrs mobile happiness followed by massive frustration that device is unuseable without mains power! A bit like the HTC Shift but with a much, much better screen.

[Note about that rollewrcoaster: I was tethering to my N82 rather than using WiFi to save battery power and the battery on my phone died before I had a chance to post this. Battery life, battery life, battery life.  Grrr!]

Kohjinsha SC3 UMPC. First impressions.

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Lets start this article with a poll.

{democracy:4}

If there’s one thing that always annoys me in the ultra mobile PC category, it’s a wasted chance. Be it poor design, poor software or poor hardware. If there’s one thing that annoys me more than that its when a company makes the same mistake twice. Even worse than that is when the device in question is high-quality in every other respect. Because of this I find the SC3 the most frustrating device I’ve ever owned. I want so much to love it and take it into my daily life but….

sc3tablet sc3size2

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kohijnsha SC3 review over at Pocketables. Looks like we’ve got another good UMPC Choice. Even Vista works!

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kohjiscJenn and I have been having a private race to see who was first to get the SC3. She won! On the upside, it’s made me even more excited to get mine. It’s looking like a real peach of a device. My worry about Vista is fading away too. Here’s what she says about that:

"Keeping in mind that my review unit has 2GB of memory installed, Vista Home Premium SP1 runs extremely well on the 1.33GHz Atom processor. I’d even go so far as to say that it’s downright zippy and on par with what I’m used to (which isn’t much). I’ve experienced no disk thrashing, lagging, or slow-loading menu items and icons. Anyone expecting Vista to perform on the Atom the way it did on the A110 will be pleasantly surprised."

This is in line with what JKK is experiencing with Vista on the Atom-based 901 and very good news indeed. Tablet lovers are going to get very excited as Vista brings significant advantages over XP where a touchscreen is concerned.

I’m looking through Jenns review and thinking…why would anyone by an HTC Shift, Q1 Ultra or Fujitsu U1010/820 now? It’s tiny!

sc3size

Efficiency is in-line with what I extrapolated from the marketing figures. 2.5hrs battery life on a 20wh battery. Bear in mind though that the battery is smaller than one you’ll find on an Acer Aspire. The 4-cell version, still small, will give you 5 hours of work time.

A backlit keyboard, built-in 3G and on-frame mouse control would be the only things that would make this device any better for the pro-mobile user. The 3G requirement is arguable as you’ve got an ExpressCard/34 slot to play with on the SC3. Note also that the keyboard is relatively small. Smaller than the old Kohjinsha keyboards and the ones on the Asus 701/900/901. This may not suit those that need to input data over a long period of time. There’s also a heat-build on charging.

I’ll stop there as you need to go straight over to Pocketables to see it in all its ultra mobile PC glory. Well done for winning the race Jenn. See you on the next starting line ;-)

Specification and more links available in the UMPCPortal product database.

Silverthorne @ 1.33ghz. First test results in.

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I just cant wait any longer for that Kohjinsha SC3 to arrive. The videos and feedback from early tests have proven to me that this could be one of the best ultra mobile PC / mini-notebooks yet. Its tiny, light, well-specified and looks great. The question we are all asking though is…”How good will Vista run.” We’re one step closer to the answer today because I’ve just recieved a set of CrystalMark test results from DFJ. I believe this is the first ever set of test results for a production Menlow (Silverthorne/Pulsbo) device so lets take a quick look and I’ll make some comments below.

Detailed results here.

The tests were done on a stock device (Vista Home Premium. 1GB RAM) and overall, its looking good. The CPU figures are quite impressive. Better, in fact, than any other ultra mobile PC platform. Only the Intel notebook-based CPU’s used in the Q1 Ultra Premium and the Sony UX are better. Memory speed is also good. Top marks! Looking at the disk (Spinpoint N, HS06THB, 60G, 4200 RPM, PATA(ZIF), 8MB CACHE) I see a high average which, if you look at the detailed results, translates to a max read speed of 30MB/s and a max write speed of about 27MB/s. For a 1.8″ drive, this is about as good as it gets right now.

Looking at the graphics scores shows some very low-end results. They dont quite tally with the Vista performance score we saw so for anyone looking at gaming on this – dont! For the 3D components in Google Earth and Itunes, we’ll have to see how it performs when we do tests. I suspect it will be OK.

For a big list of comparable CrzstalMark results, see the list that Frank keeps over at Tweaks2K2.

Note that the CrystaMark test doesn’t show us any video performance results. The Poulsbo chipset contains hardware acceleration for many common codecs and we wont see those results until someone does tests with a media player. In theory, results should be good.

So will it run Vista? The jury is still out on that one. Ive seen Vista Home Basic running acceptably on the HTC Shift but it wasnt exactly fast.  With some optimisation, i think Vista is going to be acceptable for most people. For others, upgrading the RAM to 2GB might be the answer and for a few people, it simply wont be good enough. The flip-side of the coin is that we know it would run XP extremely well. I hope, after time, a downgrade to XP will be possible. Ive taken the precation to include Vista Ultimate in mz purchase so at least i’ll have the license when it’s a possibility!

Thanks to Direct From Japan for the test results.

SC3. More videos. See it working!

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‘Atom performance better than expected’

‘Great battery life’

’15mm keyboard pitch difficult’

Apart from the keyboard, which I’m prepared to adapt to if this baby performs, its getting better every day. This is definitely a ultra mobile PC and not a netbook!

Video from wowpow blog who haven’t announced this video yet so expect a new blog entry soon.

Click the image for more info on the SC3

Kohjinsha SC3 Vista Performance score looking surprisingly good.

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Before we discuss, let it be known that this is only a performance rating!!!

sc3vistascore 

These figures come from an image that Conics took of the SC3 yesterday. They’ve surprised me somewhat. Are we looking at a device that could be as spritely as a Q1 Ultra Premium?

SC3Processor – 2.7Memory – 4.2Graphics – 2.9Gaming – 3.0HDD – 4.3
Q1 U PProcessor – 2.9Memory – 4.4Graphics – 2.3Gaming – 2.8HDD – 3.6

kohjinshasc3-8Remember the SC3 uses a Z520 at 1.33Ghz (with 533 FSB and Hyperthreading) and the test was done with 2GB of memory installed and Vista SP1.

We’ll find out soon enough because our order is due to ship from Japan today.

Q1 U Premium scores from Frank.

Image from Conics

More info on the Kohjinsha SC3.

Kohjinsha to launch as SC130 in Korea. (AKA SC3 in Japan)

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Kohjinsha will launch the S130WG, a slightly modified SC3 (DMB receiver instead of 1-Seg) in Korea.

S130WG

Local price for the GPS version will be just under $1000. For more information check out our Kohjinsha SC3 coverage and the SC3 datasheet. We should have one of these a few days after they are launched in Asia (expected 2nd week July) so check back for hands-on news.

Aving.net

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