The Samsung Q1 passed my first road warrior test

The Samsung Q1 passed my first road warrior test

Summary: The Samsung Q1 UMPC was the only computer taken on a recent short business trip and performed well.. The Q1 was used as an internet terminal, word processor, TV monitor, portable media center and more while traveling across the country and back. Battery life still needs to be improved, but there are solutions to cover extended usage periods.

TOPICS: Samsung
I just returned from my short business trip last night and wanted to wrap up my thoughts on using the Samsung Q1 UMPC as my only device. On the flight out from Seattle to Philly I used the Q1 to watch the first hour of The Empire Strikes Back that I had transferred to my 1GB CF card and had about 56% of my battery remaining. I discovered that you first have to update your media library using AVS Station Professional in the full Windows XP environment before you can use content in the Windows CE AVS Now environment. I then reviewed the PowerPoint presentation we put together for our proposal interview using Office Professional 2007 Beta 2. Office looks good on the UMPC, but I need to figure out how to minimize the new top toolbar that takes up quite a bit of the display. I also started playing a game of Sudoku that comes as part of the Tablet PC feature pack. The battery just about died before I landed and I made a note to find out about an extended battery, another means to recharge the device or use it for longer periods, and a way to use the airplane charging system.

We then met with some other team members and I used Word and PowerPoint to create notes for the areas that I would be discussing in our interview. I really like the full screen reading two page layout in Word that let me see two pages of notes side-by-side on the 7 inch UMPC display. I used ritePen and my Think Outside keyboard for text input during this note creation time.

samsungq1road.jpg At the hotel I then used the UMPC to surf the net, connected to the hotel's WiFi network, and check out my favorite mobile sites while writing blog entries and reviews. There wasn't much on the hotel TV so I started up SlingPlayer and watched some content stored on my home DVR. The display was excellent for surfing and viewing video content and I especially like the 80 degree integrated stand on the Q1 that let me set it right on a table and the bed for viewing without having to hold it in my hand.

The next morning I woke up and checked my email and surfed a bit before heading out to finish preparing for the interview at one of our partner's offices, again using PowerPoint and Word to finalize the presentation and my notes. I also used the Camden, Pennsylvania free WiFi access to check my email. We then traveled down to Delaware for our presentation and I set the Samsung Q1 up on its 80 degree stand with Word open to my presentation notes. I then simply used my notes and tapped on the display to advance through them during the interview process. I need to purchase the latest version of Microsoft Street & Trips so I can check out the ability to navigate with the Q1 as I think it has a perfectly sized display for in car navigation combined with my Bluetooth GPS.

On the way home, I passed through airport security and one of the security personnel commented on how small of a laptop the Q1 was and then started asking several more questions about its abilities and functionality. As a mobile enthusiast I am more than happy to share about these gadgets and actually like to carry devices that serve as good conversation starters. On the flight home, I finished watching the movie and also read through the Q1 user guide to read in more detail about the features of the UMPC. Other than the battery life, I was very pleased with the Q1 and was able to be productive on the road in a package much lighter and more portable than a traditional laptop. I am close to pulling the trigger on the Q1 purchase as it meet my mobile needs and more.

Topic: Samsung

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  • Cool. (NT)

    P. Douglas
  • Did you also trial a full tablet PC?

    I'd be interested in you running the same trip scenario with a full tablet PC instead. You could go with a 12.1" screen one for weight if that's an issue. Probably one of those ones that folds over a keyboard would be best for the trial as then you could elminate the mini-keyboard that you're carrying around for the UMPC machine.

    Right now, if you're not getting any longer battery life from the UMPC then you do from a regular laptop it's hard to see the real advantage of one besides size.

    Also, how did you handle synchronizing files between the UMPC and your desktop?
    Robert Crocker
    • Size is a big advantage to me

      Robert, I had a Fujitsu T4010 convertible Tablet PC for about 6 months and it could do most of what the Samsung Q1 could on the road. However, it was heavier at almost 5 pounds and did not have the cool AVS Now feature that runs without fully booting into Windows XP for a great multimedia experience. The T4010 also cost almost US$2,000 so these UMPC devices are a way for someone to get a full slate Tablet PC at less than the price of a full size Tablet. The size advantage is actually huge for me as it allows me to use the Q1 around the house for fun and quick mobile surfing. I barely even noticed it was in my bag for my last business trip and have another trip coming up on the 25th where I plan to take just the Q1 with a new battery pack solution I am getting ready to try out.

      I do not sync files between my desktop and UMPC as I primarily use my home desktop as a multimedia storage platform (my wife uses it for her work). I do use a Mirra server to backup files from both my desktop and Samsung Q1, which also allows me to remotely access those files on the road. At work, I can also access files remotely using a secure web login.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
  • It's missing PC Card slot

    The one thing that would stop me from buying Q1 is that it misses the PC Card slot where I can put my 3.5G (HSDPA) Vodafone card which gives me 1.8MBit in my city.
    • CF to PC adapter may work

      I understand that some people have the need for a PC slot for this reason. I personally tether it to my Bluetooth mobile phone for wireless internet access when I am away from a WiFi hotspot and haven't used a wireless PC card.

      I understand that a PC to CF card adapter may work for some wireless cards. There are now also some CF format wireless cards available from some carriers.

      I haven't seen any UMPC designs or concepts with a PC card slot so users will have to find one of these adapters or a CF formatted card to get this functionality with a UMPC.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
  • needs to be more compact for this road warrior

    I think the umpc's eventually will be a great device but right now they are a bit too large to be mobile. They need to make a version the size of the old Psion 5mx so that it can be stored in your pocket and either have an integrated keyboard like the Psion did or a clip on or third party option small enough to store in another pocket. Cool but not there yet.