VIA Nano-based Samsung Q1EX UMPC priced at $750


Following NaviGadget's discovery of the FCC documentation for the new Samsung Q1EX, Engadget found that the Nano-powered UMPC already had an official product page full of specs, some photos, a user manual, and other details. Since then, Samsung put the device up for preorder for a fairly reasonable $750. In addition to the 1.2GHz Nano processor, 2GB of RAM, 60GB hard drive, and Windows XP Tablet Edition operating system, the Q1EX features a 7-inch WSVGA touchscreen, 4.5-hour battery life, Bluetooth, WiFi, and . . . I'm sorry, but is anyone else bored?

I was wide awake when the story first hit Engadget's Twitter feed (half-past midnight here in Hawaii) but was so uninterested that I actually decided to go to sleep (hours later, mind you) instead of write about it.

I can't decide if my boredom is truly warranted, if I've simply become too cynical, or if my expectations are too high, but I look at the Samsung Q1EX, which really just looks like a Q1 Ultra without the split keypads (the two devices share nearly identical dimensions: 8.96" x 4.92" x 0.9" vs 8.96" x 4.88" x 1.16"), and almost couldn't care less about it.

I mean, except for the processor and . . . well . . . nothing else, really . . . what makes the Q1EX worth buying? Maybe my bitterness over the SWD-M100 WiMAX MID running Windows Mobile 6.1 is affecting my ability to appreciate the new device, but I don't see anything compelling here that warrants the release of a new UMPC. It's been such a long time that a company not only released a UMPC, but also actually used the stigmatized term to describe/market it that I just expected something better. Why reuse a term that so many have shunned without doing something new and exciting to it? No one is looking at the Q1EX and exclaiming, "The UMPC is back!" Even the guy behind UMPCPortal isn't quite sure what to make of it.

To be fair, the Q1EX does address and fix three of the biggest issues preventing the original UMPCs from being a mainstream success: battery life, power, and price. Unfortunately, I think it's just too late. The market has changed and people have moved on. Or at least I have.

A slate-style UMPC that doesn't look that different than it did nearly three years ago and that runs the same operating system it did when the first-generation was released, doesn't have an SSD or built-in 3G, and might have GPS (the FCC docs reveal an embedded SiRF Star receiver but the functionality isn't mentioned on the product page or in any of the official documentation) isn't the way I want to see the UMPC comeback play out.

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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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