In my opinion OQO is probably the most underrated company in IT. We’ve twice had variants of its gorgeous ‘model 01’ pocket size PC in our hands – the original 01 and the 01+ Tablet Edition – and loved them both but the format has yet to really take off. It also beat Microsoft’s UMPC concept out the door by several years so hopefully the new ‘Model 02’ will get OQO the recognition it deserves.
As you can see from the photography the 02 is a much changed beast from its predecessor. Gone are the metallic, minimalist lines of the 01 and in comes a revised black facia and slide out thumb board with proper individual grey keys.
Inside the hardware has had a severe spruce up with a 1.5GHz VIA CPU, 1GB RAM, a 60GB HDD (with an automatic drop protection sensor) and a tasty 5in 800 x 480 resolution screen grabbing the headlines. The screen itself also has the ability to zoom to either 1000 x 600 or 1200 x 720 and has an active digitiser to support pen based input.
Connectivity is extensive this time round too with integrated wireless a/b/g, Bluetooth 2.0, EV-DO and – impressively – an HDMI port.
In fact, the only major downside I can see with the model 02 is that little has been done to improve battery life with three hours still quoted as the standard usage. An optional docking station does come bundled however for a quick mains charge and it sports a DVD rewriteable drive, HDMI and VGA video out as well as 3x USB2.0 and a standard 3.5mm audio jack.
Interestingly, the 02 has been certified as Vista-ready but early models will only ship with Windows XP (think it’ll run Aero?!).
Pricing for the model 02 starts from $1,499 (1.2GHz CPU, 30GB HDD) and jumps up to $1,849 for the spec listed above so you’ll still pay something of a premium for being on the cutting edge. Shipping won’t start for another eight to 12 weeks either but, saying that, it’s way cooler than a UMPC isn’t it…