The Asus R2H UMPC was officially announced today, but a couple of the specs are less than expected. The device may have issues running at the default 256MB RAM with the Tablet PC OS and integrated GPS receiver. Nothing spectacular stands out on the device and UMPC fans may want to stick with the Samsung Q1 for now.
Regular readers know that I am a big fan of the UMPC devices and use my Samsung Q1 exclusively while traveling. I look forward to new UMPC devices as it helps with the competition so that manufacturers continue to improve their products and develop the technology. The latest announcement comes from ASUSTek Computer Inc. and surrounds the highly anticipated Asus R2H UMPC that was officially announced today. However, there is still no pricing or availability information on the unit.
Intel® Celeron® M ULV Processor (900MHz)
Genuine Windows® XP Tablet PC Edition
Onboard 256MB, DDRII 533, 1x SoDimm socket for expansion up to 768MB DDRII 667 DRAM support
7" WXGA touch screen LCD, ASUS Splendid Video Intelligent Engine
A couple other specs not listed are an integrated GPS receiver and an integrated webcam. I use my Samsung Q1 UMPC all the time for on the road GPS navigation so having an integrated receiver could be a nice feature, but I would worry about the battery life and placement of the device to get a good signal. Right now I use a Bluetooth GPS and throw it way up on the dash to get a clear shot of the sky and have the Q1 next to me on the seat.
The default 256MB of RAM is laughable with the Tablet PC OS and other specifications. All devices should come with at least 512MB RAM and this is a surprising spec given that it has integrated GPS as well. I also understand that a maximum of 768MB of RAM may be the limit on the device, but this can't be verified until they get into the hands of power users. I have 1GB in my Samsung Q1 UMPC and it was an easy self-install process that only cost me US$75 for the RAM module.
I like using the Samsung Q1 as a multimedia device with stereo speakers and other great features and it looks like I'll be passing this model up for now. The button layout looks nice and may be useful, but I still haven't seen a UMPC that is better than the Samsung model. Thanks to jkOnTheRun for the news on this announcement.