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It’s the 7in widescreen display that dominates the Q1 Ultra, and it really is a stunning example. Despite the fact that it’s a touch-screen, the image is bright and the colours rich and vibrant. Samsung has also addressed the disappointing native screen resolution that plagued the original Q1 – quite simply 800 x 480 wasn’t high enough for the Q1 to be taken seriously for basic duties like web browsing. The Q1 Ultra improves things considerably with a native resolution of 1,024 x 600. Considering that the vast majority of websites are 1,024 pixels wide, this resolution increase makes web browsing far more comfortable on the Ultra than its predecessor.
One thing that the new resolution doesn’t give you is enough lines for high definition video playback, but to be honest that’s probably a good thing. Unfortunately the hardware ticking along inside the Q1 Ultra just isn’t up to the job of playing back HD video, especially anything encoded in h.264. That said, if you happen to rip your video into something more manageable, the Q1 Ultra makes a decent portable media player. One thing that does hold the Ultra back in this respect is the rather poor sound quality that the internal speakers produce. That said, you’re more than likely to be using headphones with a PMP.
Another addition over the original Q1 are the two integrated cameras. Just above the screen is a webcam, so you’ll be able to make video calls via Skype or similar app. The other camera is mounted at the rear of the device and is designed for actually taking photos – there’s even a dedicated shutter button on the top right edge of the chassis. Obviously Samsung is keen to make the Q1 Ultra as feature rich as possible, but it does look pretty daft when you hold up a device this large and attempt to use it as a camera. Also, it’s only a 1.3-megapixel camera in the first place, which means that you’ll probably get better results from your mobile phone anyway.
Above the screen you’ll find four buttons, the volume up and down are fairly self explanatory, while the UDF button brings up the utility for programming the soft-buttons on the four way rocker. The last button is labelled Menu and brings up system options like screen brightness, screen rotation, mute, wireless LAN activation and battery level indicator. The Menu button offers a handy shortcut to some useful options that you’re likely to use quite regularly.
Also above the screen are six indicator lights for hard disk activity, wireless activation, battery charging and power. The last two lights indicate whether the joystick is in mouse mode or cursor key mode.