UMPC

Viliv N5 professional model unlikely to be released

Viliv-n5-noproAs you know from my Viliv N5 review, there's a filled-in port on the left side of the clamshell MID that is unidentified and unacknowledged in the paper manual that ships with the unit. However, in early versions of the online manual, the mystery port was revealed to be an expansion connector with VGA, composite video, and USB link functions. This was accompanied with a parenthetical "professional only" note, suggesting that there would be a business-class model of the device.

Well, that portion of the online manual has since been removed and based on what I just heard from Dynamism, who works closely with Viliv and is always the first to bring their products to the US, there's good reason for that. From an email:

Although the N5 manual mentions a professional version with VGA out, there's no schedule for it, and it will likely never be released.

So if you didn't want to get the N5 available for preorder today because you were waiting for the pro version, then it looks like you could be waiting forever.

I understand that a video-out port is important for those who want to connect the N5 to a desktop monitor or TV, but if you just want to use the device as a mobile computing handheld, then you probably wouldn't have used the port anyway. The N5 is purely a handheld for me so I didn't even notice that it didn't have VGA-out until people started mentioning/asking about it in the comments of my review!

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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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42 thoughts on “Viliv N5 professional model unlikely to be released

  • You can substitute USB->TV out thing’s anyway I hear

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  • It doesn’t cut it for me without VGA… What is it a $700 toy

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  • Avatar of Lindsay from NZ

    Hasn’t got an optical drive either but I guess there are ways around. that. As for it being a toy – that’s a little harsh – the reviews of the device are very positive and will fit the bill well for those of us who have other computers to use with big screens. Myself I have a desktop for gaming, a netbook for productivity (and gaming) and the N5 will fit in my pocket for traveling. This device won’t suit everyone I agree but I think its best of breed at the moment and I’m getting one.

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  • I guess I’ll be getting the UMID SE then.

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  • Message to Dynamism and Viliv:
    It’s 2010 -get with the times
    I’m not going to buy any device with no video out and just a 1.3 atom and Windows Starter edition

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  • Oh, and I forgot to mention the derisory 11gb of user space on the sdd hard drive

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  • Very disappointing, especially considering all the delays getting this unit out the door. Oh well, makes my decision much easier–wherefore art thou, all-black UMID SE??

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  • Avatar of Nigel Ward

    *sigh* that’s a deal killer for me. How dumb is viliv not to include video out?!?

    I guess it’s fujitsu UH900, UMID SE or Toshiba libretto W100 (assuming that’s not vaporware!)

    Why make a design decision like that on the n5 when the screen is SOOOO small.

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  • Guess I’m not getting a n5. I was all set to purchase it, but it seems that viliv is incredibly disconnected with what the consumer actually wants. Why they advertize all these specs both on Dynamism and at CES boggles my mind. I tried contacting Viliv on so many occasions without so much as a response of any kind. Incredibly Dissapointing, the unit itself is already very far off its “$500” price tag they were gunning for too. Had $1000 saved up to get a n5 with video out (which I ASSUMED all units would have, but some how its a luxury?), and a 64GB SSD as 32GB does not cut it. Just wish they would have at least not made the SSD soldered in so that I could swap it out.

    (PS who did you contact at dynamism? I contacted them and got this response:

    “Hi Chris,

    At this time we are only expecting to offer the versions of the viliv N5 Series as listed on our site, and we do not know when future models with other options might be available if at all, sorry.

    Best regards,

    -Jeff”

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  • The deal breakers for me are the outdated 1.3 GHz CPU and 512 MB of RAM. I don’t care about the video out at all. At least the UMID SE is offering the specs I want. Even though Viliv is offering the nicer looks but, as always, it’s what’s inside that counts.

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  • I dont know if this changes anything for you, but the N5 has 1GB of RAM.

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  • The lack of VGA out seems to be putting a lot of people off, as do the higher than anticipated price, small ssd and relatively slow processor. It sounds as if initial sales may be disappointing.

    Sadly, Viliv will then be even less likely to invest further in this niche.

    I’d love to see someone test the N5 with a USB2VGA adapter or usb docking station to know if there’s a performance hit. Maybe that could work well for home use but it still means carrying extra weight around when going out to do PowerPoint pesentations. So people for whom that’s important might as well go for a larger, cheaper and more poweful machine :-(

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  • Personally reaching out to JKK to see if he can make a tutorial on soldering a video out of some kind to the motherboard. I’m sure the solder area is still set up for video out, just without the compotnents. If he can do that I MAY be more inclined to purchase a N5.

    Seriously, whats the point of 720p/1080p with no video out? Did they even try thinking through the uses for this device at all?

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  • Remember, though, that the virtual graphics card will have an impact on your CPU performance, and that impact only gets bigger as you add more adapters.

    http://www.slashgear.com/lenovo-usb-to-dvi-adapter-promises-1080p-external-displays-2854231/

    This is really going to screw playing video => external monitor regardless… I mean it makes having the capability nearly useless. If it had a 1.6ghz it may not take /that/ big a hit, but sitting at 1.3ghz it’s already on the low end.

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  • a really poor marketing decision.

    there is got to be some technical issues concerning the hd video processing working with real monitors that made their devices unable to vga out.

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  • a USB to VGA solution will require a lot of CPU power,
    wich if i guess correctly will not be capable of running HD videos.

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  • I was very close of buying n5 but after seeing chippy’s comparision with bz it seemed that bz is actually better device. SE especially seems quite good.

    There is also other but. After using my eeepc 701 in sunlight I decided that I won’t buy anything until pixelqi or similar screens are available on mids and umpcs.

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  • What a bummer with the VGA port. As a consultant, I travel a lot and use Powerpoint for my lectures. Although I also carry a flash drive with my presentations, having my own laptop or netbook to run the presentation has been a lifesaver on many occasions. Since the typical LCD projector only takes a VGA input, I need something with a VGA port.

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  • Lack of Storage was keeping me off the basic model, but the lack of the VGA really kills it for me. After watching Chippy’s videos on UMPCportal, I was thinking ‘The UMID is better if it was less cheap looking and had better specs (ram and processor)” well what do you know, UMID SE pops up (I doubt the timing is a coincidence) The really silly thing here is that I am still using my S5 loads (first UMPC for me) and the VGA out is great for plugging into my TV, watching films and doing Powerpoint at work, so I just can’t understand the logic with this.

    Really surprised Viliv dropped the ball so heavily on that one.

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  • Hopefully Viliv sells enough N5s to make it worthwhile for them to upgrade it. For me, it’s the slow CPU that’s preventing me from getting it.

    All the comments about people not buying it hopefully means there are also many people who will buy it but aren’t as vocal (as usual).

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  • Avatar of Lindsay from NZ

    I’m getting one. So there! to all you whiners…. ;-)

    The VGA thing is irrelevant to me as this is being purchased as a pocketable device that I can use on the run(can’t really fit a monitor in my pocket anyway).

    The UMID BZ SE might fit the bill for those who need it but I would rather buy the Viliv as they seem to make their products much better finished than UMID.

    Plus the keyboard on the BZ is cheap feeling and looking… not to mention the dodgy optical mouse and clicky mouse buttons….

    I think the N5 will sell well despite the comments from some of the folk here. I’m sure eventually someone will make something they like but just after they buy it something better will come out – always the way!.

    One other thing I really like the N5 for is its better support for the Menlow platform under Windows 7 – watching the HD vids play super smooth on the N5 is something you just can’t do overly well on the UMID running XP.

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  • I think the main reason people are annoyed is not so much that it lacks the VGA port (there are ways around it) but rather that all models of the S5 (and the X70 IRRC) had the port that the N5 lacks. That annoys me, partially as I was told the adaptor (£15) would work on both.

    As I said, if even the budget S5 can have the port, why on earth Viliv decided to leave it off the N5 is completely beyond me. There is simply no logic to it.

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  • So not an overwhelming success then Viliv?

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  • I’m more annoyed at how well spec’d they displayed the model, with all the offered additions that apparently will never see the light of day. 64 GB SSD is even listed in dynamisms printed ad. No Video out makes 720p/1080p video playing pretty much useless as you won’t even see the differences on a screen that small. I want a device that does not hamper usablility I would otherwise have with a netbook. This /SHOULD/ have every capability a netbook has, however it is extremely limited in its current version.

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  • My experiences that should clear some false information posted above:

    1)I’ve been using an eVGA USB-VGA adapter on my UMID M1 daily for more than a year now. Performance is no problem except one thing: no way to play 1080p via such USB adapters; 720P only, including those USB-HDMI adapters.

    2)My UMID M1 running XP plays 1080p without any problem, super smoothly, using only 20-30% CPU time. The trick is to install CyberLink MPEG and H.264 decoders, see forum for details. Win7 does have such decoders built-in.

    3)Like S5, N5’s screen and touch quality are no compare to UMID’s.

    4)N5’s main advantage is its standard miniPCI-e slot for easy adding/swapping a 3g module. Also, the SSD is stand-alone, not soldered on main board.

    5)UMID’s major problem is frequent black screen or freeze.

    6)Viliv’s email message is good marketing: “Don’t wait for the pro version, buy now!”.

    To me, Viliv’s products are all lame. The S5 and E70 are two heavy, the S70 is too large, this N5 has no VGA.

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  • Well, I’m still waiting for a UMPC to replace my Sony UX as a mobile presentation device running Powerpoint. Looks like the N5 won’t be it in it’s current form.

    Not having VGA out is a dealbreaker! Viliv should have a good look at how Sony carefully designed and included a Docking Station and a Dongle with the UX. Many hotels still don’t have reliable Wi-Fi, so I also regularly use that Ethernet connector. I do have a USB to Ethernet adaptor but I’d then need more USB connectors on the device or dock. (For UFD, CDROM/DVD or remote control)

    Having waited so long for this device, you have to wonder what they were doing all this time. It certainly wasn’t used to carefully think through usage scenarios. These small devices need good docking solutions for charging and port expansion when they are not being used on the move. My 2007 vintage Sony has a 32GB SSD. Do you think we could have a larger one three years later? Mystified!

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  • Are you sure the SSD is not soldered? JKK told me on twitter that it was. That’s a plus if it is indeed not soldered, but I’m not sure until I see someone actually open up the thing.

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  • Trust whatever JKK says. I just assumed that since the S5s drive could be replaced that the N5s could be too.

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  • Awesome! Just need to see if JKK can do a tutorial on possibly adding video unit to a N5. If he will then I will order a n5, add video out myself, and upgrade the SSD.

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  • Avatar of Joe Schmoe

    I agree that with this many negative comments about the device there’s probably just as many or more people who like the device. Most of the internet is filled with complaints and rants. Actual sales will determine its success and not little blurbs by the vocal few.

    I hope Viliv continues with the UMPC market. I’m not in the market for a new UMPC but will be looking at Viliv when it’s time to upgrade.

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  • +1…..

    Ordered one…

    ;)

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  • Acording to chippy: SSD is ZIF but custom size. WIth non 3G model, you might be able to get an SSD in. JKK is testing.

    Hopefully we will know more soon. Glad we have Chippy and JKK around to do our testing.

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  • The SSD module is the same type used in Benq S6.

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  • Do they offer 64GB SSD’S in that format? How fast are they? Sounds like JKK believes if you get the WIfi model it may be able to fit a runcore SSD in it. Said hes going to test it during the meet mobility podcast, guess we will see.

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  • JENN:

    Any chance you could test a USB to video (VGA or HDMI) adapter on the V5?

    That would be really cool, it would certainly assist those like me to whom no video-out is a deal breaker for an otherwise compelling device.

    If Dynamism have any sense they would send you a video adapter to test – unless of course they already know the V5 isn’t powerful enough to handle it!

    Thanks,
    Toby.

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  • +1 I also ordered one.

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  • There are already lots of info about UMID M1 and USB-VGA, there is no need to test this on N5. How USB-VGA plays on UMID M1 or similar 1.33GH, is exactly what you expect on N5.

    Go buy a USB-VGA adapter yourself, it’s only $20, then try it on a netbook and you’ll get the first hand experience.

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  • Avatar of Lindsay from NZ

    Well done! – Resistance is Futile…..

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