UMPC

OQO to announce Atom-powered Model 2+ at CES 2009

Oqo_logo_2 One of the media events I’ve got on my CES 2009 agenda next week is Pepcom’s Digital Experience, a showcase that offered attendees the first official look at a lot of the MIDs Intel had on display at the last CES. Though the exhibitor preview email Pepcom sent out today doesn’t include Intel (or Sony) on its list and some companies remain decidedly vague about what they’ll be showing off (Nokia, for example, will be bringing "its latest mobile devices and services . . . which are transforming the Internet"), Digital Experience will still be a can’t-miss event for portable gadget and mobile computing fans.

Why? Because OQO will have its brand new Model 2+ on display! Yes, right there in the email, between Opera Software and PacketVideo, OQO has announced the successor to last year’s Model 02. We’ll need to wait until the night before CES to see how the new OLED-touchscreened UMPC looks from the outside, but here are some highlights of what’s on the inside: 1.86GHz Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, and built-in 3G connectivity. With the current VIA-based models starting at $1299 and the SSD version with sunlight-optimized display being priced at $2999, don’t expect the Model 2+ (why not 02+, by the way?) to be cheap.

In any case, I’ll be mobile blogging from the event, so you can count on seeing the new OQO as soon as I do.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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10 thoughts on “OQO to announce Atom-powered Model 2+ at CES 2009

  • I suspect the reason it’s not the Model 02+ is because they can’t use “02” outside the United States. Apparently, O2 wanted to sue them for trademark infringement. Note that in Europe, it’s currently called the e2 and, from Europe, you can’t access any of their web pages that call it the 02. If the new machine is called the Model 2+, they can use the same name all over the world. That ought to simplify things or them. At least, it will unify their branding.

    They priced their 64GB SSD version back when a $1000 premium for it was what every manufacturer did. Now that, AFAIK, they’re the only manufacturer to do this, I do hope that the price on their high end model does fall them. I’m not saying it’ll be affordable for most people. I just hope it will be less expensive.

    Having said that, I’m just sitting back and waiting for all the people who will compare it to 800 MHz Atom based devices that have only a 4GB SSD then pronounce it too expensive. For some reason, people’s expected prices decrease with the size of the box, regardless of what’s inside the box. That’s going to make the OQO a hard sell. For those people who actually need the most powerful Atom-based device on the market, and need a pocketable form factor, it may be worth the cost. (I don’t think this will be the general public though.)

    Reply
  • Avatar of MiKeN

    Well the new OQO seems to be a very good refresh if it stays along those lines. Power should no longer be an issue with the 1.86 GHz atom and 2GB of ram. That would be a first for a device that small to have 2GB of ram. As well the OLED display should be sweet though I am not sure how touch would turn out. The OQO was so great with its active digitizer. But as you said Jenn, this ain’t going to be cheap. I would consider picking one up again if it won’t have all the hardware failures of the previous gen.

    Oh and I expect it to run much MUCH cooler and not have so much fan noise.

    Reply
  • I tried an 02 for a week and the biggest deterrent to purchase was the fan noise. It was somehow pitched to sound like an attack of angry insects and never failed to draw concerned attention and even a few comments from others. That was not a good low-profile public computing experience.

    Of course, the environments in which I use it are relatively quiet compared to a tradeshow, so it may not be obvious, let alone annoying, in the showcase environment.

    Reply
  • I never purchased an OQO because of the cost. If it has internal 3G and is in the low $1000 I would consider one this time around.

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  • When I tried the 02 for a week, i found the fan no noisier than any other laptop. It was a little disconcerting since we don’t expect our pocketable devices to have any fan noise at all. However, the fan behaved predictably and I never needed, in a quiet environment, to do any of the things that would cause it to turn on. (I ended up not buying the OQO for other reasons.)

    That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Model 2+ is quieter than the Model 02. They’ve moved from a processor with a TDP of 7.5W to one with a TDP of 2.4W. The cooling system shouldn’t need to be as aggressive.

    My question with OQO is, and has always been, who are they selling to? A 1.86GHz Atom isn’t a world beater, but it’s significantly computationally powerful than anything else in its form factor. And, as MikeN said, it’s the only device this small with 2GB of RAM. It’s actually computationally more powerful, and has more RAM than any of those Atom-based netbooks. There may be all sorts of business or vertically integrated applications for this. However, it’s hard to see this as a mainstream, consumer device because the only way buying an OQO makes sense if you need that level of computational power in a device that small. If you need only one or the other, you have lots of cheaper options.

    (Of course, OQO may not need for this to be a mainstream, consumer device to stay in business. None of their previous products were mainstream, consumer devices. OQO seems to be doing well enough.)

    Reply
  • Avatar of John in Norway

    This is good news although, like others have said, the price is a concern. My OQO 02 is still chugging along although the yellow screen is annoying. I looked around for other devices but, to be honest, nothing has looked as if it can give the same experience – the superb keyboard, mouse thingy and buttons, scroll bars, superb battery life, zoom buttons etc. Yes, it has it’s bad points but if you’ve actually used one for any length of time you’ll realise that it’s unbeatable. As soon as I have some money I’ll probably send mine in to be repaired. Hopefully, Jenn will have one of the new ones to give away in a competition and The Giant Earwig will look down on me with big smile. :)

    Reply
  • JC, I think OQO has good internal technology potential but the form factor is what is killing their sales. Yes business people want a full desktop operating system computer with good power but what good is it if the input method is thumbs? Regardless of any verticle market, the basic reality is how does everyone use and prefer to do their work when they are using a full Windows OS and software?

    It is definately not with their thumbs! No matter what they do to improve the internals it will continue to be a weak selling product as it is just not very practical to use. If they made it longer say about 7″ and redesigned it around a touch type keyboard then they would have a real business computer that would sell.

    Reply
  • I have used one and price is not the issue if they made it into a touch type keyboard pocket laptop but in the current form price is a factor. I have used one for sometime and find the input of thumb keys is just not acceptable at all. Yes they have other issues like noise from the fan, runs very hot, and others but the form factor is why nobody really wants one.

    Just look at their sales after over 7 or 8 years with the same shape, they sell somewhere between 8-15k a year. I think with the many other options comming out they really need to rethink the form factor completely as it has never been popular at all.

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  • I can’t wait to hear more about the device. If it runs cooler and with less fan noise I may get one. I really like the form factor but the heat, noise and performance of the OQO 02 were issues for me.

    Reply
  • Avatar of selasi

    my X1 language is in dutch how do i change it to english

    Reply

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