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The 7in screen is a high quality affair with even lighting and reasonably vivid colours – I say reasonably, because being a touch screen, the display isn’t quite as punchy as it otherwise would be. The native resolution is 800 x 480 but there is a button below the joystick that will switch through 800 x 600 and 1,024 x 600 resolutions. However, since these higher resolutions are scaled, the image produced is fuzzy – unless you’re absolutely desperate for more desktop real estate, you should stick with the native resolution.
Considering that I’ve seen 10.6in widescreen notebook displays sporting a 1,280 x 768 resolution, I would have preferred for the Q1 to have a 1,024 x 600 native resolution. I accept that this would probably push the price up a bit, but considering that the majority of web sites are based on a 1,024 pixel wide template, one of the main uses of the Q1 would be greatly enhanced.
To the right of the screen is a four-way rubber pad for activating four user definable buttons. I’m all for customisation and this approach works very well, just like programmable hot keys on a notebook. Below the four-way pad is a Return button and below this is a Menu button.
The Menu button is very useful and brings up a multitude of configuration options like switching the Wi-Fi on and off, turning the sound off and changing the brightness level. A rather odd inclusion on this menu is an option to turn “Etiquette Mode” on and off – the reason why I call this option odd is because I can’t figure out what it’s supposed to do and there’s absolutely no mention of it in the user manual.
Also on the Menu list is a screen rotation button. With this you can switch the orientation of the screen through 360 degrees, in 90 degree steps. Unfortunately the joystick orientation doesn’t alter as the display rotates, so if you like navigating menus using the joystick, things start to get a bit confusing when you flip into portrait mode.
The chassis is littered with ports and connectors. On the right hand side you’ll find the power socket, a USB 2.0 port and a D-SUB port hidden behind a plastic flap. On the left is another USB 2.0 port, a headphone jack, a volume control, a hold switch and a connector for powering an external optical drive. The hold switch is a clever idea because not only does it deactivate all the buttons on the Q1, it also completely locks the touch screen.
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