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Despite its obvious limitations there are certain aspects of the Q1 that have really grown on me, like the fact that it makes casual web browsing so easy. When I say casual web browsing, I mean lounging on the sofa with the TV on, while catching up on your favourite web sites. For instance, my wife has taken to using my notebook to browse the web because our four month old daughter makes it difficult for her to sit in front of a desktop machine for any length of time. As an experiment I handed her the Q1 and snatched the notebook away from her – within seconds she was happily browsing the web on the Q1 and had no desire to switch back to the larger and heavier notebook.
I was also very impressed with the video playback performance on the Q1. Having just watched the last two episodes of 24 on this little machine, I was surprised at how immersive the experience was. The integrated speakers are good enough for watching movies and TV shows, but you’re still best off plugging a set of headphones in to get the best effect. The Q1 does lose a little detail in dark scenes, but this is something that most portable media players fall foul of, although the touch screen probably exacerbates it slightly. The Q1 also has a mode called AV Now, which allows you to playback media without having to boot into Windows, but I couldn’t get any video other than basic WMV files to work using this method.
With a price of £799 including VAT the Q1 is a lot cheaper than the OQO model 1 or an ultra-portable notebook like the Sony TX2XP. That said, whether it’s worth the money is still open to debate – like the OQO model 1, the Q1 is an undoubtedly desirable product, but do you actually need one?
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