Also, you’ve probably noticed that the Q1 has a headphone socket but no microphone socket. This is because there are two array microphones embedded into the front fascia, just below the screen. These do work surprisingly well and allow for VoIP functionality without the need for a headset. That said, if you did wish to use a headset, the lack of mic port would mean that you’re limited to a USB solution.
On the top is the power switch, a network port for the integrated 10/100 Ethernet controller and a CompactFlash slot. Samsung lists the CompactFlash slot as Type I only, which means that it shouldn’t accept an IBM MicroDrive. However, I stuck a 1GB MicroDrive into the slot and it worked fine – the problem isn’t that a Type II device doesn’t fit, it’s that there’s no eject button, which makes removing a MicroDrive a bit tricky as it doesn’t have the ridge on the edge like a Type I device.
Interestingly the throughput from the CompactFlash slot seemed to be somewhat below par. Now, when I was chatting to Sandra about the Q1 she said that she encountered stuttering problems when listening to MP3 files on a CompactFlash card. I didn’t have any problems like that, and in fact I have happily watched DivX video directly from a CompactFlash card in the Q1 with no stuttering at all. However, when I tried copying a 350MB video file from a card to the Q1’s internal hard disk, it took over eight minutes, even though I was using a fast SanDisk Ultra II card. Considering that the same copy took a fraction of the time using a USB 2.0 card reader, I can only assume that the interface on the internal CF reader is somewhat limited.
Unlike the OQO model 1, there’s no slide out keyboard with the Q1, it’s more akin to the Sony Type U. In fact in reality the Sony Type U could probably be considered a UMPC despite being launched well before the invention of the category. Without a keyboard you’re left to using the stylus when it comes to text input. The most obvious and simple method is to stab at a virtual keyboard, which works well enough for tapping in URLs or sending short emails, but you wouldn’t want to write a long document this way.