Samsung is the first big name manufacturer to release a UMPC in the US, and that's the Q1 we'll look at today. The Q1 is an absolutely beautiful looking piece of hardware with smooth, modern lines, solid build quality and a gloss piano black finish. It has respectable specs, with WiFi, Bluetooth, 10/100 wired Ethernet, 512 megs of DDR2 RAM and a 900MHz Celeron processor. Not bad for something so small! While Microsoft hinted that UMPCs would sell in the $500 to $1,000 range, it seems those numbers are a year off or more. The current generation of UMPCs, especially the Q1, have some pretty high specs so the price is $1,099. More than your everyday Dell notebook to be sure, but less than full-sized Tablets or most B5 subnotebooks such as the $1,600 Fujitsu P1500D and $2,000+ Sony TX series. Clearly at that price, with lower end specs than a "regular" notebook of the same price, the UMPC isn't for everyone.
[INDENT]Who and what is the UMPC for, then? It's for folks who don't want to carry a 7 pound notebook to do web surfing, email, work with MS Office documents and some light (we mean light) gaming. It's great for those who don't love touchpads or eraser stick pointers: with the UMPC you'll use your finger or the included stylus to navigate on screen. If you need extreme portability but find that PDAs meet all of your needs, want to have your music library with you or a selection of movies to watch on the road, want to do digital sketches or artwork by drawing on the screen, then the UMPC could be for you. If you need to power of Windows XP but prefer the 1.7 pound Q1 which is no larger than a softbound book to a heavyweight, consider the UMPC.[/INDENT]
Who isn't the device for? Novice users for one simple reason: some applications and even Windows itself expects at least 800 x 600 resolution. Occasionally you'll run into dialog boxes that run off the bottom of the screen. You'll need to use the hardware resolution switcher button to switch to 800 x 600 mode. Sometimes apps don't redraw the dialog boxes, so you might have to close it using the x button up top and restart what you were doing now that your machine is at a higher resolution. Computer savvy types with figure this out after a grumble or two, but novice users and even intermediates might be lost.
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