Samsung Q1 Ultra: A Just Okay UMPC

The UMPC ( Ultra-Mobile PC) platform is a peculiar mix of a laptop, a tablet, and a handheld PC. The Samsung Q1 was one of the first UMPCs, but it had component and performance flaws. Its new iteration, the Q1 Ultra, is better but still falls short of the mark.

This Vista-enabled, 1.5-pound device has an intensely bright screen. The 1.024-by-600 resolution is fine for watching video or perusing a site like Flickr, but the system lacks the processing power and RAM (just 1GB) to do Windows Vista justice, even with the Aero interface turned off.

The Q1 Ultra's touch-screen functions are enabled by Vista, so you can control the unit with just a finger. Writing a full sentence with the stylus, however, can be frustrating: The hand holding the stylus presses up against the screen, causing some interference. Moreover, the battery ran for only 2 hours 13 minutes playing a DVD via an external, optical drive.

The Q1 Ultra would have a better change of gaining market presence if Samsung dropped the price to $500 or $600. But even at that price, it would be no great bargain.

Samsung Q1 Ultra: $1,099

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