If you happen to like gadgets and folding paper, you’d have been pretty annoyed by the Origami project, but if you are a regular tech-head, these handheld little blighters were the talk of last year, and we got our hands on the first proper one to hit these fine shores…the Q1 from Sammy.
We won’t get into the why’s and why-not’s of the UMPC market here, because, if you can see the point you only want to know about the machine, and if you can’t, then you really need a lot more convincing than I can give here to part you with best part of a grand.
Aesthetically, the unit is very sleek, with its slightly glossy black façade and styled controls, and although it isn’t the best piece of industrial design we’ve seen, it’s by no means the worst.
Now you might think that the lack of mouse and keyboard would make it fairly difficult to undertake everyday tasks simply, and to be honest, I’d agree with you.
Although the touch-screen input for characters is easy, it is by no means quick or convenient, and anything over about 30 letters becomes a bit of a time waster, and with no hard navigation tool except the stylus, moving around can become a little frustrating.
Thankfully, Sammy heard your cries when the concept was unveiled and bundled with this unit the keyboard and navigational nub that makes it into a proper little computer. This is discretely styled away into a fancy leather pouch for easy carrying.
These new tools are very simple to use, and make the experience a whole heap better.
The operating system is all too familiar, with the Windows logo greeting you at every load up as per a normal laptop/desktop. Boot-up time never became an issue, and contrary to some reports on the internet, never really frustrated me to the extent it has other reviewers.
The media-only bootable OS loads a lot quicker than XP, and is useful if you only want to use it as an MP3 player or as a digital picture frame (2 uses we wouldn’t really advise; mainly because the speakers aren’t the best quality and the price of the unit to be utilized in the same way as two things 10 times cheaper).
The screen on the unit seems fresh and bright, and the resolutions you can utilize on it are superb due to the size.
Watching videos and reading web pages made extremely easy by the clarity, and by the fact it’s very resistant to scratches from the stylus.
Wireless-ly, the Q1 uses the Windows tools to set up the network, and it works in just the way you’d hope it to, making it extremely easy to get connected to the net and browsing within minutes.
If you’re in the market for a UMPC, then the Q1 is one of the best we’ve seen, almost seeming like a continuation of your arm at times.
Now all you have to do is raise the funds, and struggle with the whole UMPC concept then, and only then, shell out for it.