TechRadar offers up the first installment of a three-part interview with a Samsung R&D Engineer who shares news of Samsung’s UMPC plans. The company isn’t abandoning the UMPC market by any means and will continue to tweak the Q1 line with a refresh in the first […]

Samsungq1ultraTechRadar offers up the first installment of a three-part interview with a Samsung R&D Engineer who shares news of Samsung’s UMPC plans. The company isn’t abandoning the UMPC market by any means and will continue to tweak the Q1 line with a refresh in the first quarter of 2009. There’s no detail on what will or won’t be in the refresh, but there are plenty of opportunites and possibilities here from where I stand.

  • CPU options: Samsung can offer a variety of choices here. Both the Intel Atom and VIA Isaiah should be fair game, although I personally would still like to see a configuration with a true notebook processor like the 1.33 GHz Intel Core Solo model I currently use.
  • Samsung ought to consider a button or switch that disables/enables the hardware keyboard. Today, you can do this in the BIOS or through Device Manager in Windows. It should be easier to do because when you hold the device with two hands, it’s easy to hit keys by accident.
  • Two gigabytes of RAM should be standard with any Q1 model that runs Vista.
  • An active digitizer would be nice, but as much as I’d like to see it happen, I’m not expecting to.

These are just a few of my thoughts. How would you improve the Q1?

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  1. 1) I wish they would add a “del” key on the keyboard so I can bring up the task manager without having to program a button to do that.

    2) Maybe Left and Right trigger buttons on top of the device to be used specifically as the web browser’s Back and Forward function?

    3) Back-lit QWERTY keyboard.

    4) Audio input for microphone for better sound recording experience for people who use Q1UP for sound or video editing.

    5) Place the RAM slot somewhere easily accessible for easy RAM upgrade… Or, just include 2 GB of RAM.

    6) Automatically rotating screen would be nice.

    I guess that’s about it for me…

  2. Steve ‘Chippy’ Paine Thursday, May 22, 2008

    Good list PJ.

    I’d highlight the ‘backlit keyboard’ point and add that they need to include a real mouse pointer.

    A 5MP auto focus, glass lens cam would be nice too on the Premium.

    Update to a 1.6 or 1.8Ghz Atom and improve the battery life to 4 hours on the standard battery.

    One big issue I have though is the lack of XP in 2009. Without it, the Q1 is DOA for me.
    A cheap Q1 Ultra running on UME would be nice to stimulate the UMPC market a bit. $499 with Keyboard included perhaps?


  3. Remove the keyboard…

  4. I’ve never used the Q1 but I find it strange that you would want to be able to disable the keyboard from time to time Kevin. Every review I’ve ever read (including yours if memory serves) said that the keyboard is next to useless anyway. Wouldn’t it be easier to replace it with a qwerty keyboard or get rid of it altogether?

    Anyway, if I was going to get a UMPC I’d want a higher resolution screen (600 vertical pixels isn’t enough IMO) with a built in cover to protect it that doesn’t add too much space. Screen protection is the one big problem I’ve always had with UMPCs – at least at the price they sell for.

  5. Kevin C. Tofel Thursday, May 22, 2008

    Jake, I very rarely use the keyboard and would like it easily disabled so I think it makes sense that I’d want this option. When holding the device I’ve inadvertantly pressed keys when I didn’t intend to. I typically ink or use a folding, full-sized Bluetooth keyboard.

  6. Remove the keyboard!

    I’m still sulking that they (along with other device manufacturers) added a keyboard rather than either increasing screen space or decreasing the case size. Otherwise, I’d have considered ditching my original Q1 for a later model. But, I had the same argument with the Verizon salesperson about why I waited so long for the HTC Touch. There are clearly folks out there who are (or believe they are) more effective with those tiny keys. But I can write much faster with the stylus than I can type on miniature keyboards. I’m still not sure if it is about confusion over how to use a stylus or if there actually is a benefit for some people?

  7. Offer a model without the PepperPad keyboard wings, thus making it smaller.

    Cut the price by 2/3rds. OK, at least by half.

  8. I don’t think the keyboard adds to the size of Q1U, at least not noticeably. There is other stuff underneath the keys so removing the keyboard would not make Q1U smaller.
    I for one find the keys very useful – there is nothing stopping me from inking (though inking on a passive screen is not as good as on an active one) or from connecting an external keyboard – I do both. But on the occasions when I need to quickly type something or enter something that requires precision (e.g. passwords) I am very happy it is there. For someone used to suing a Blackberry or Blackberry-esque keyboard, Q1U’s split keyboard is not unnatural for sure. Keep it there (unless you replace it with HTC Shift-y one, of course)

  9. Lose keyboard- increase screen.
    Graffiti works for me

    Basically I want a Palm with a larger screen
    (yeah I was all for the FOLIO!!)

  10. Offer the ONE THING I’ve been waiting for since Origami’s / UMPC’s were announced…


    - To be albe to INK PROPERLY on the damn things without vectoring or worrying about resting the rest of of the hand on the screen, and

    - Touch the device’s UI without having to have a silly plastic stylus or fingernails!

    C’mon UMPC manuf. Put this type of screen in a 7″ device and it’s a killer UMPC…

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