Feeds
60%

Samsung Q1 ultra-mobile PC

Nice hardware, shame about the OS?

High performance access to file storage

Review The jury's still out on whether Microsoft's ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) form-factor is the next step in the evolution of mobile computing or just a development dead-end sandwiched somewhere between notebooks, PDAs and PMPs. For now, all we can do is judge whether the first-generation hardware can actually cut it as a portable PC, and since Samsung was the first to launch such a product, it's in the dock today...

samsung q1 umpc

The Q1's about the size of a large paperback book, though it weighs considerably more than that. The front is dominated by the crisp, non-reflective 7in, 800 x 400 display, which looks very fine surrounded by the Q1's shiny black, control-covered faceplate. Make no mistake, this is a nice looking gadget. Below the screen are a pair of microphones, set up as an array to improve their pick-up ability. In the top right- and left-hand corners are the stereo speakers, driven by an SRS TruSurround XT engine.

The sound's not bad, but it's really only the bass-booster that makes a difference. In any case, nine times out of ten, you'll have headphones on. The array microphone is more useful, improving the quality of your end of a VoIP conversation - though network effects can still take their toll on the overall sound quality, of course. Array mics on a notebook with an integrated webcam make sense, but seem unnecessary on a device you unthinkingly pick up and hold in front of you when Skyping - at least, that's what I found myself doing.

To the left of the screen is a circular array of four user-definable application launch buttons, an Enter key and a button dedicated to Samsung's own settings application. On the other side of the screen sit a largely redundant analogue joystick - rather like the one on the Sony PlayStation Portable - and a key to activate non-native screen resolutions.

You'll use the latter rather a lot, though the results are irritating. The 800 x 400 display doesn't have sufficient vertically stacked pixels to show large dialogue boxes, forcing you to change the resolution to be able to see and click OK, Cancel and Apply buttons. You could keep the screen at 800 x 600 or 1024 x 600, but they're not native resolutions so you'll lose the screen's good looks.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
FOUR DAYS: That's how long it took to crack Galaxy S5 fingerscanner
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.