As already mentioned, the solid state drive in the Q1 SSD draws less power than a traditional mechanical hard disk. This addresses one of the major concerns with the original Q1, which was the woefully poor battery life. I could barely get two hours out of the original Q1, but the Q1 SSD managed to claw closer to three hours. Of course that’s still not great, but it’s a significant improvement, and not far off what you’ll get with some ultra-portable laptops, like the HP nc2400.
Samsung has also doubled the amount of system memory, with the Q1 SSD shipping with a far more respectable 1GB as opposed to the rather meagre 512MB seen in the standard Q1. Everything else however, is pretty much identical and if you want a full rundown of the features and specifications, you should head on over to my original Samsung Q1 review.
You won’t be surprised to hear that the Q1 SSD is a lot more expensive than the standard Q1, but it may surprise you that the cost actually doubles. With the standard Q1 available for £700, you’re going to have to fork out £1,400 for the Q1 SSD! That is a lot to ask for the extra speed, battery life and weight saving that the SSD version brings to the table, but to be honest, I don’t think that Samsung is looking for volume sales with this machine.
The Q1 SSD is a technology showcase for Samsung; a halo effect product if you like. Creating a portable device with 32GB of solid state storage is nothing to be sniffed at, and Samsung has raised the bar when it comes to mobile technology. Is the Q1 SSD worth the money? That depends on whether you like to be at the bleeding edge of technology, and of course, whether you think that the UMPC platform is worth having in the first place.
Whether or not you like the idea of an Ultra Mobile PC doesn’t change the fact that Samsung has created an impressive technology demonstration with the Q1 SSD. The solid state drive means that there are no moving parts and thus reduces the chance of failure, even if the user is rough. The performance improvements are obvious, while the reduction in battery drain is welcome. What I’d really like to see though, is one of Samsung’s ultra-portable notebooks with one of these drives inside it.