Samsung Q1 review

Does the UMPC have a future?

The Q1 is designed to be held in both hands

TechRadar Verdict

It's a good-looking machine, but what would you actually use it for?


  • +

    Good build and battery life


  • -

    Sluggish operation

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The project formally known as Origami, officially known as Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC), has materialised in the form of the Samsung Q1.

Sitting between the notion of a PDA and a Tablet PC, it comes loaded with Windows XP Tablet Edition, but instead of a digitised screen you'll find a 7-inch touchscreen similar to those used by handheld PCs.

The pen supplied is the same as you'll find on a PDA, but in order to perform right-hand clicks, you simply hold this down on the screen.

Samsung has gone for a sleek design. Weighing in at 800g, it's lighter than any laptop to date, but you have to forgo a keyboard. That said, Samsung will bring out a host of accessories, including a keyboard, to support the device.

Powered by a Celeron M 353 (900MHz) processor, it runs slower than your laptop and it does take quite a while for applications to load. On the plus side, because of Windows XP, you won't need to convert any files over.

Slow starter

So far so good; however, unlike a handheld, you don't get any instant-on functionality, but Samsung has bundled AVSTation Now - a Linux kernel that allows you to bypass Windows and drop directly into multimedia files.

Load Windows itself and you'll find dedicated software in the form of Touch Pack, and which includes DialKeys, which is a touchscreen keyboard that is split into both corners of the screen.

In this way you hold the Q1 with both hands and type with your thumbs. Measuring 35mm from edge of the device to the screen, you'll need to be nimble to get a decent speed at typing, as we found it quite frustrating. While it looks innovative, the easiest way we found to type was to rest the device on a desk, which adds stability and ease of use.

We were impressed with the actual build of the machine and its battery life was certainly usable. However, the main problem with the Q1 is to do with the whole notion of such a device.

With its longer boot times and frustrating keyboard, why would you swap your current handheld for this? Likewise, its screen is too small to compete against a tablet.

Samsung has put together an interesting and well-built design but, sadly, it's a form looking for a market. What Laptop staff was the former name of Its staff were at the forefront of the digital publishing revolution, and spearheaded the move to bring consumer technology journalism to its natural home – online. Many of the current TechRadar staff started life a staff writer, covering everything from the emerging smartphone market to the evolving market of personal computers. Think of it as the building blocks of the TechRadar you love today.