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OQO Model 01 handheld PC

Compact wonder?

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Driving the Model 01 is a 1GHz Transmeta Crusoe CPU, ideal for a device like the model 01. There's 256MB of memory which can't be augmented and although I initially thought that this would be the Model 01's Achilles heel, my fear proved unfounded. Although I'd never advise anyone to buy a notebook with less that 512MB of memory, the RAM complement isn't such an issue in the model 01 since you're unlikely to be doing plenty of multi-tasking or running heavy duty apps on a device this size. That said, if you are going to use the Model 01 as your only PC, the modest amount of memory could become an issue.

There's a 20GB 1.8in hard disk, which isn't massive by notebook standards, but it does offer active protection. The Model 01 can tell when it has been dropped and automatically park the drive heads before impact to avoid data loss.

OQO Model 01

The Silicon Motion Lynx 3DM+ graphics chipset has 8MB of video memory, but don't let the name fool you - you're not going to be playing top-of-the-line games on the Model 01. Strangely, despite the dedicated video memory, 24MB of system memory has also been appropriated.

The 5in transflective screen produces a clear image whether indoors or outside. The 800 x 400 resolution is pretty low compared to a laptop, but is far higher than an PDA. Writing word documents is no problem on this screen, and even web browsing isn't too much of a chore - although the limited width does result in some sideways scrolling on most sites. There's an ambient light sensor which adjusts the brightness of the backlight depending on the environmental conditions.

With dimensions of 12.5 x 8.8 x 2.3cm, the Model 01 is chunkier than most PDAs, but it will fit in your pocket - depending on how tight your trousers are. Weighing in at around 400g, the Model 01 is also heavier than a PDA, but still less than half the weight of the svelte Sony X505 notebook.

The Model 01 ships in two flavours, one with Microsoft Office installed and one without - the former will set you back £1695, with the latter costing £1485. Personally, I'd probably go for the version without Office, but then I'd be using the Model 01 in conjunction with a full-size PC.

I found OQO's baby to be a genuinely useful mobile tool. While I've been evaluating the Model 01 I've stopped carrying around a notebook. OK, I wouldn't want to spend all day typing on the integrated keyboard, but as I've proved with this review, you can type a fairly hefty document if you need to.

The OQO model 01 isn't cheap, but if you're caught in that middle ground where a PDA isn't powerful enough, but you don't want something as big as a notebook, it's definitely worth considering.

Verdict

The Model 01 is a beautifully designed, and well thought out mobile computing system. Although I had initial reservations about its real world usefulness, the more I used this pocket sized PC, the more reliant on it I became. Anyone who looks at the model 01 and just sees it as a cool gadget is missing the point, this is a fully featured PC that's small and light enough to be with you all day, every day. I can't wait to see what OQO comes up with next.

Review by
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OQO Model 01
 
Rating 80%
 
Price £1485
 
More info The OQO site

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