Of course you don’t have to use the docking cable to stay connected with the OQO. There’s also a wireless network adapter built in (though of the slower 802.11b variety), Bluetooth for those who become frustrated with the tiny keys on the built-in keyboard, plus USB and FireWire ports (amazingly) squeezed in around the edges the chassis itself.
In fact the only disappointment is that a little more grunt hasn’t been made available this time around. The 1GHz Crusoe processor and 512MB of RAM cope fine if you stick to one job at a time, but if you try to run too many applications at once and start to flick between them you’ll notice significant slowdown – that said, the memory complement is a big improvement on the 256MB seen in the original model 01. And don’t let the ‘3D accelerated graphics’ claim fool you either – this is definitely not a gaming machine. But given the many advantages of being able to stick your work PC in your back pocket instead of having to lug it around in an armoured laptop case, it’s a compromise that many will be prepared to make.
And that really is the story here. The OQO model 01+, like its predecessor, is a story of compromises. This one is slightly more usable and flexible, admittedly, but the bigger considerations still remain. It’s great that the USB connection is now faster, and the extra 10GB of hard disk space is a plus too. Likewise the increased memory is also a welcome bonus, but Tablet PC Edition doesn’t actually add that much in terms of on-the-move practicality because the small size of the device makes it fiddly to use.
Neither is the OQO as practical as a standard laptop. The keyboard, though usable, restricts the speed at which you can work, you have to be prepared to sacrifice response times and performance too. It isn’t cheap either at a whopping £1,869.95 with Office thrown in.
But I reckon for something this well-designed and engineered that the compromises are worth making. A fully-featured PC that fits in your pocket? I’d love one, thanks.
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