I reviewed the Samsung Q1 back in May. It was the first machine to launch into the new Ultra Mobile PC category and it definitely made a statement with its sleek and stylish design. The Q1 reminded me of a large version of Sony’s PSP, which is no bad thing at all.
Despite the fact that the Q1 was a definite triumph in terms of aesthetics, there was a question of whether the Ultra Mobile PC category of devices actually needed to exist. It felt almost like an attempted revival of the tablet PC, but shrinking the form factor and highlighting the multimedia aspects of the device. That said, there were certain aspects of the Q1 that I quite liked.
If, like me, you often find yourself sitting on your sofa with a notebook perched on your lap while you keep one eye on the TV and the other on your favourite websites, the Q1 is a great companion. When you’ve got all your bookmarks setup, you need very little in the way of keyboard input to read your regular sites, so kicking back on your sofa with a Q1 in your paws is an altogether more appealing prospect.
Likewise, watching video on the Q1 proved to be far more enjoyable than I had expected, despite the relatively small 7in screen. In fact, once I’d settled in to watch the last couple of episodes of 24, I completely forgot that I was viewing on a small screen, and just became immersed in the demise of President Logan and the abduction of Jack.
But when you considered what you were actually getting for your money compared to a thin and light notebook, it became difficult to justify the Q1. While the battery life and low resolution screen, meant it was even harder for the Q1 and the UMPC form factor in general to make a case for itself.
Samsung however, is not a company that’s short of innovation and the Q1 that I’m reviewing right now has one very significant difference from the original model. Whereas the original Q1 was equipped with a 40GB 1.8in hard disk, the Q1 SSD ships with a 32GB solid state disk in situ. This means that the Q1 SSD has no moving parts inside it, making it a far more robust unit than before, but the benefits of a solid state disk don’t end there.
The solid state disk is also much lighter than a standard mechanical drive, so the overall weight of the Q1 SSD is 734g compared to 779g for the standard Q1. Does 45g make a big difference on a device like this? I guess that depends on how light you like to travel – if you’re the type of person that doesn’t want anything bigger than an iPod nano and a Samsung D900 in your pocket, then that 45g probably is important to you.