Samsung Q1 Ultra £799

2nd Aug 2007 | 23:00

Samsung Q1 Ultra

Samsung keeps faith with UMPC

TechRadar rating:

3.5 stars

A feature-packed UMPC, but look elsewhere for powerful performance

Like:

<p>Good screen</p>

Dislike:

<p>Quite heavy</p>

Samsung has to be commended for its continued support of the UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC) format. This is the third iteration in less than twelve months and is the second major design overhaul.

The obvious difference between this model and the original Q1 is the introduction of a QWERTY keyboard. It's been split with half on either side of the screen, so unless you can confidently touch-type, you'll find yourself spanning across the width of the device as you type.

The keys are small, but as you type with your thumbs while holding on to the device, it's slow but works satisfactorily.

The only problem we had with typing was the weight of the device; at 825g it may not be incredibly heavy, but you can feel it start to weigh you down as you type. A dial key, on the left-hand side, allows you to navigate, with mouse buttons on the right-hand side.

A row of buttons above the screen allow for quick access to the menu settings, so you can change the screen resolution, brightness and wireless settings at the click of a button. This is a neat touch and makes using the device out and about a good deal easier.

The 7-inch touchscreen looks great, having a 300NIT brightness, which is brighter than the average laptop. This level of backlight negates the silver haze you'll find on touchscreen displays. Being a widescreen panel, you can watch movies with reasonable image quality.

Low-power chip

Powered by the Intel Processor A110, this low-power chip means the device isn't cutting-edge in terms of performance, but even when running for long periods of the day, the Ultra never grew even slightly warm to the touch.

Running Windows Vista Home Premium, this isn't the fastest-loading machine, but once up and running, you can use it exactly the same as your laptop.

Dual cameras built into the front and back, similar to those found in mobile phones, offer a 0.3MP webcam and a 1.3MP video/digital camera. 802.11g and Bluetooth come as standard, and you'll need these wireless connections as ports are kept to a minimum.

When it comes to using the Q1, it doesn't really lend itself to being plugged in, as the power cable gets in the way. The brighter screen is a vast improvement and while the keyboard can be fiddly, once you grow accustomed to it, it's not as awkward as it first appears.

The Q1 Ultra is a reasonable step forward. It has moved away from the original concept of the UMPC, which can only be a good thing. If you need a machine you can carry in your hand, this is a good choice but we're still left wondering who the device is targeted at?

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