CES 2009: New OQO Finally Adopts Atom

Can it still be a force in a market dominated by the cheap and cheerful netbook?

While the netbook market may be thriving OQO steadfastly continues to push its line of premium ultra portables and this might just be the best to date…

The ‘model 2+’ (seriously guys you can use other numbers than one and two) makes the welcome and long awaited move to an Intel Atom CPU and throws up a helpful array of hardware and software options.

From the off there is a choice of 1.3GHz and 1.6GHz CPUs, Vista or XP OSes (do you really need to guess the smart option? Hint: it isn’t pictured), up to 2GB RAM and a selection of three drives: 60GB and 120GB HDDs or a 64GB SSD. Ethernet, WiFi and WWAN make welcome appearances too but HSDPA really should be standard by now on a machine like this.

At 5 inches and sporting an 800 x 480 naturally the screen isn’t really for use over long periods though it does seem noticeably sharper and more vivid than on previous models. Furthermore the traditionally excellent keyboard continues to be tweaked for the better with each generation and is simple to touch type on – even if the FN key persists on sitting outside Ctrl. Grrr.

In these economic doldrums it may be harder to recommend OQO’s latest (especially considering the rash of netbooks available) but for those not constrained financially it launches any minute and still represents an interesting alternative in a highly appealing form factor.

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