The first UMPC is set to hit stores this weekend, but judging from some of the early reviews, the device will be an enormous disappointment.
Samsung's Q1 will have the honor of setting the standard. But the devices aren't up to par. The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg summarized it with painful precision:
"Unfortunately, the Samsung Q1 is so deeply flawed in key respects that it amounts to little more than a toy for techies. For everyone else, it's impractical and frustrating. Unless the UMPC can evolve significantly beyond this first effort, it may wind up as a footnote in the history of personal computers."
At $1099, the Q1 is more expensive than a basic laptop. Battery life too is disappointing. And thirdly, the Q1 fails to solve the the PDA's biggest flaw: it's lacking a keyboard. Mossberg also trashed the tiny screen size and clumsy navigation.
David Pogue with the New York Times added that the gadgets are painstakingly slow.
He also pinpoints the problem with the screen: it isn't about the size, but about the 800 by 480 pixel resolution. That wouldn't even be such a huge issue if the UMPC wouldn't be running Windows XP: some of the dialog boxes won't even fit on the screen.
For all the hype that Microsoft and Intel created around the UMPC's launch, it sounds that they have failed to deliver.
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