Vye mini-v S37B sub-notebook
The people carrier of the sub-notebook world
Review The Vye mini-v S37B is another player in the increasing number of sub-notebooks appearing on shop shelves, spurred on by the runaway success of the Asus Eee PC.
However, where the Eee is a little compact runaround, the mini-v aspires to be the seven-seater people carrier with the collapsible seats and all the bells and whistles.
The S37B's most obvious attribute is its 7in, 1024 x 600 touchscreen mounted on a swivel which allows the S37B to be turned into a tablet PC. The little laptop also includes a 120GB hard drive, compared to the 4GB of solid-state storage found in the Eee.
Vye's mini-v S37B: challenged by Vista
At first glance, the device looks a little cheap and plasticy but once you have it on your hands the build feels solid, and the swivel is well made and should withstand some punishment.
Although the S37B is more powerful than the Eee PC 701, like most people carriers it's a little underpowered for the job it's trying to do. It packs in a single-core 800MHz Intel A110 processor, the predecessor to the 'Silverthorne' Atom and essentially and old Pentium III.
To that add 1GB of 400MHz DDR memory which, when the makers shoehorn Windows Vista into this little device, means it starts to feel a little clunky when you try and run more than one or two apps at the same time.
Trying to run the Vista interface on the integrated graphics core built into the S37B's Intel G945 chipset doesn't help either. It's got access to just 64MB of that 1GB memory. It does the job a lot better than you might expect looking at these specs but we can't help but think that Vista was a poor choice of operating system on Vye's part.
It's really nice
I (well more specifically my money for the other half) got one of these last November back when they were around £850 to buy and the Eee's hadn't really hit the stores yet. I got one of the first 800Mhz models to get to the UK (there was a 600Mhz version but it got widely critised on speed).
For us it was an easy decision - the size and weight (the screen for the size is a very good resolution). It is also a touch screen which it has to be said makes life loads easier on a small laptop. And the keyboard is very nice to type on even with my finger size. But that said I think were it comes into its own is for women. She carries it around alot and loves that it goes in her bag and is unnoticable - no obvious laptop bag which is London is a plus. Lasts for a good 4-5 hours listen to music, running Word 2007, WiFi, MSN and browsing. Having used normal laptops the battery life really is quite amazing. It has a built in camera which is of good enough quality to capture A4 pages to be read later (such as books in libraries for research).
Get a USB 3G Modem with a few Gb a month and it makes for a great never miss a sporting event device. Just take it with you, set it up on the grass and tune in. The built in speakers are however a bit weak.
Don't get me wrong tho - its not just for women. I still get pangs of jealously when we sit in bed at the weekend and she gets it out and sits watching TV/Videos browsing the internet on her little touch screen beast.
Few pointers tho:
1) Buy a 2GB SODIMM. It's peanuts and the speed increase is considerable.
2) Follow one of the Vista speed up guides by turning off all the unnecessary services, etc. Again - it made a massive difference.
3) Reinstall it with XP - wow. Different computer :)
Be really sure on the EXACT model you want. The model that Philip quoted above (s18pb) IS NOT THE SAME LAPTOP AS THIS. He has quoted an AMD based laptop. The S37/41 are Intel based systems. In addition the screen is smaller on the S18 - 800x480 instead of 1024x600 - but the reviews generally on UMPC sites is that the 7" 1024x600 screen is very good and a key selling point of the S37.
The XP version of the reviewed laptop is actually the Vye mini-v S37BXPP.
Overall its a fantastic device. I've seen and used an Eee and Vye next to each other. I suppose the comparison I'd make would be something like Eees are bit like Fords. Everyones got one. The Vye is more like an Audi. It's "reassuringly expensive"/bit overpriced, it's a bit more refined, got more toys to play with, and you can show it off to all you're Ford mates to induce jealousy :) Essentially tho they are different - this is a tablet PC, which has a good keyboard and can be used as a laptop. The Eee is just a laptop. Chalk and cheese.
If you missus is after a laptop for general use, and you want a toy to show off, I can't recommend enough :)
In addition to my last comment we've been able to run full screen video with no issues on it using VLC Player. Not tried iPlayer myself, but VLC streaming over WiFi from my desktop works fine.
Yes, XP IS AVAILABLE - SO THERE !!!
a quick search on the friend of the little guy (Google) ....
happy To assist, as always
Machine looks nice, and is certainly interesting.
Question is, how can they put XP on it if it breaks the rules with it's table functionality?
Or are those rules only coming in after June 30?
so confusing....I'm gonna ask the Moderatrix for advice
Paris, cos my mouse missed the one next to it!