UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC) may not have been given the same amount of launch partners as Microsoft developed with the Tablet PC, but we're starting to see a steady stream of releases, with the TabletKiosk Eo V7110 being the latest cost-effective solution.
Weighing in at 880g, it feels solid in the hand but, with the battery pack sitting at the top of the device, it does feel top heavy. To help navigation, there are a wide range of keys scattered around the case, which means navigating the screen is easy. We particularly liked the inclusion of a specific right-click button, making Windows secondary functions easier to perform and giving it a more user-friendly feel.
The screen is a 7-inch panel and, depending on the task you are performing, you can easily find yourself switching between screen resolutions. We defaulted the panel to 800 x 480 pixels, as this gave the sharpest image quality, but when it came to opening dialogue boxes, we were forced to change it to 1,024 x 600 pixels so we could get more information on the screen.
At first, we thought it had a digitised screen, as it comes with an extra thick coating and didn't seem particularly responsive. However, this would preclude the use of the TouchPack DialKeys, which is the UMPC's primary input mode.
Instead, it's a touch screen, but you need to type with the tips of your thumbs, as using the fleshy part doesn't register with the sensor. This makes for an incredibly tiresome way of writing and we found ourselves using the handwriting recognition method instead.
Powered by a Via C7 processor, which clocks in at 1GHz, it's a responsive device that loaded applications relatively quickly. With 512MB of memory and a 40GB hard drive rounding out the specification, this is as powerful a solution as you'll need. One problem we found with the unit was the amount of heat generated, with the handheld becoming warm very quickly.
Our review unit was a pre-release sample, of which a problem with the battery has been identified, which shouldn't effect released models. In test, this unit gave a result of 97 minutes, but TabletKiosk is quoted in the region of 120- 150 minutes from the approved version.
The TabletKiosk Eo V7110 has a number of appealing features, but isn't ideal for everyday computing. The question of whether you actually need a UMPC device rather than a laptop or handheld is open to debate but, as a first attempt, this is as portable as the screen size will allow. We would like to have seen a better battery life and a more responsive touchscreen.