Monday, March 26, 2007

One Month Q1P Usage Review - Part 1

I have had my Samsung Q1P for a little over a month now and I want to share with you my thoughts on how well it is meeting my needs. My first post outlined my computing needs and how I was meeting them with my Acer C110 tablet. The second post stated why I thought a UMPC would work better.

To summarize, I basically used my tablet as my sole computer, using it at the office and at home. I rarely travel, but when I do I would take my tablet with me. I mostly use the device to check email, keep track of meetings, surf the internet and use various Microsoft Office programs such as Excel, Word and One Note. I'm not a heavy note taker but I do like having the ability to take handwritten notes when I need to. I also like to spend time in the work space and like having the ability to easily take my computer with me so as to have information readily available. The Acer was working well for me but I wanted better battery life, a device I was more willing to take with me around the office and a better, brighter screen.

Those first three desires have mainly been met. Battery life with the 3 cell battery is only a little bit better than the Acer (2.5 hours) but the 6 cell battery only adds .3 pounds while doubling the life to 5 hours. Having this extra battery life is such a luxury that I don't bring home my charger at night as having the two batteries is more than enough to last me until I return to work the next day. Because of its lighter weight and smaller form factor I do find myself taking it with me more than I did with the Acer, however, I still find myself leaving it in my office more than I thought I would. The three main reasons is that it is not pocketable, I still need to disconnect (and later reconnect) three cables (VGA, power, USB) and I need to manually switch the display from desktop to UMPC. A docking station and display autodetect would be nice.

A few posts later, after quite a bit of research, I listed nine criteria that I would compare the various UMPCs I was considering. Based on my research the Q1P seemed to be the best but lets look at each now that I have had a month of usage with my Q1P.

  1. The first item of the nine focused on the fact that I would be using the device as my primary computer and that I wanted to have enough processing power. For what I use it for, I haven't noticed any difference between the Q1P and my Acer. However, the Q1 had rev g WIFI while the Acer only had rev b and the increased speed is very noticable and very nice.
  2. The second item had to do with being mobile. As I mentioned above the Q1 has some drawbacks in size (not pocketable) and in a lack of a docking station (obstacle to taking it with me more). But the Q1 is an improvement over the Acer in this category.
  3. I thought vectoring when notetaking would be a problem but it really hasn't been. When taking notes I tend to leave my palms on the bevel around the screen and don't really give it much thought. However, I'm a light note taker and for someone else it may be more of an issue.
  4. I thought not having an integrated mouse wouldn't be an issue, but after using the device for a month it would be nice to have one. Many programs I use weren't designed for use with a UMPC, specifically various buttons or icons are small and difficult to click with a finger so I tend to use the pen quite a bit. When laying down its more comfortable to hold the device with two hands but when using the pen you have to hold it with only one so you can use the pen with the other. This is not always the most comfortable especially when in landscape orientation. An integrated mouse would take care of that problem.
  5. The fifth consideration was having a built in cam and gps. While it would be nice to have these built in features the lack of these has not been an issue as I don't really do any video conferencing or take on the spot snapshots nor have I ever used GPS except in a rental car many years ago.
  6. Item six had to do with screen size and that a 5" screen would be too small. The 7" screen has been fine as I've demonstrated with various videos. However, the benefit of the 5" screen would be that the device could be pocketable.
  7. Item seven covered port replicators. Not having one has not been a big deal but it does require me to remove two more connections. However, I am thinking of getting a bluetooth keyboard and mouse so that I would only need to connect the VGA cable and power cable.
  8. Not having an integrated keyboard has not been a big issue. When at home I tend to use the iGo foldable bluetooth keyboard even when sitting on the couch and its worked fine. Not as nice as the Acer with its integrated keyboard but worth having the smaller and lighter form factor of the Q1.
  9. Using EVDO has been an issue. The Q1 does not have a PC card slot so my Verizon card will not work. I bought the Sprint USB device but it sticks out too much from the device and most times, for a better connection, I would connect it with a USB cable. This setup just makes moving around difficult. So I actually just returned the Sprint card today. Perhaps a bluetooth connection to a EVDO phone would be better but having EVDO integrated into the device would be much better.
I will continue this one month usage review in upcoming posts.

1 comment:

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