Latest news on Samsung Q1 Ultra UMPC
UPDATE (5-7-07): Samsung unveils five Q1 Ultra UMPCs
Because the Q1 Ultra press conference was rather dull, with Samsung keeping important details like CPU and price to themselves, tracking down accurate information on the upcoming UMPC has been more difficult than it should be. Normally, a press conference is followed by a press release that includes a succinct list of specs and other pertinent info. Samsung somehow forgot this.
Good thing I took advantage of that sale on sheepherding gear. Here’s a round-up of all the latest bits going on about the Q1 Ultra.
Price and availability. Reuters is reporting that the device will sell for about $1590 when it becomes available in May. The Q&A session at the press conference confirmed the May launch and revealed only that pricing would be similar to the Q1. A lower-end, less expensive version will likely be released in the future, as will models equipped with hybrid drives.
CPU. This is a mess. DailyTech confirms earlier rumors that the Q1 Ultra "will be riding on Intel’s Centrino platform, codenamed Santa Rosa, and will be sporting a new Core 2 based processor running at a mere 800MHz. Intel’s 965 chipset will provide the core logic." Reg Hardware considers a ULV Core 2 Duo to be a "down-to-earth alternative" to the Steeley processor, which UMPCportal.com says the UMPC will in fact use. After some hands-on time with the device, DailyTech speculates that "it’s running a 90nm Dothan-based CPU at 0.8V." TG Daily, on the other hand, claims the Intel ULV processor is a Core Solo U1500 chip. Then there’s Engadget, who "received confirmation that the 800MHz Intel processor is an unannounced dual-core (not Core Duo) ultra-low voltage processor that Intel will be announcing in the next few months — so that’s 800MHz on each core."
Graphics processor. According to DailyTech, "a GMA3000-derived graphics chipset will offer DirectX 9.0c features." An anonymous commenter left similar info here.
Battery life. SlashGear has every right to be thrilled about battery life, not something that could be said about anyone when first-gen UMPCs were announced last year. The Q1 Ultra’s standard 4-cell battery will last for about 3.5 hours, while the optional 6-cell should double that.
Where’s the press release, Samsung?
One more thing: as much as I like thumboards, this one doesn’t look too promising. Steve tried it and said "the spacing is way too small." It looks very Treo-like to me, which is definitely not a good thing. I understand the concern about widening the UMPC to accommodate decently sized keypads, but squishing them into a small space that makes them uncomfortable and unusable is worse than a longer device.