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A New Kind of Computer?


I had a bit of trouble with the concept of Microsoft's Ultra Mobile PC project long before I saw any actual devices. Back in March I laid a few cards on the table in a way that some might think of as quite bold - commenting on something before I’d had the chance to try it out.

Often in life you get a completely different view about something from experiencing it than you do from hearing about it, and in terms of the Ultra Mobile PC you could argue that back in March I was putting the cart before the horse by forming a view before I’d seen it.

I was as keen as the next IT writer to get my hands on an Ultra Mobile PC as soon as possible, and got one of the first of Samsung’s Q1 devices, the first Ultra Mobile PC to hit the streets anywhere in the world. Having spent some time with it, am I prepared to change my view?

I know Riyad is going to write a full review of the Q1 and I won't rain on his parade by presenting another full review here. In fact, Riyad and I have discussed the Q1 and we have very similar views.

Instead, I'll stick to doing three things here. First I’ll discuss the ‘stuck between a rock and a hard place’ points I made in March; assessing whether, as Microsoft claims, the Ultra Mobile PC really is, “a new kind of computer…with small, lightweight, carry-everywhere hardware designs, you can connect and communicate, accomplish any task anywhere and at any time, and be entertained and informed wherever life takes you.”

Second, I’ll analyse how the Q1 fares as a Comfort Computing device. You might remember Comfort Computing centres around my desire to lounge on a sofa and use a computer efficiently without feeling it is too heavy or unwieldy to cope with.

In March I said the Ultra Mobile PC concept was Star Trek inspired, but the reality wasn’t up to the Star Trek ideals. To meet these, I argued the Q1 needed (at the very least) to boot quickly, have good battery life, and be small, light and easy to use.

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