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Summary:

I am getting blasted with questions about the Viliv X70EX UMPC that arrived yesterday, so I felt I had better offer up some further impressions after having used it for a day. I have taken some additional photos to show the size in the hand a […]

I am getting blasted with questions about the Viliv X70EX UMPC that arrived yesterday, so I felt I had better offer up some further impressions after having used it for a day. I have taken some additional photos to show the size in the hand a little better and one super-short video that shows screen rotation. I am getting good use out of the X70 already — even better use than the smaller S5.

 

I find the X70 very nice to use with an external keyboard and mouse in “desktop” mode. I get the size benefit of the little 7-inch EEE PC but retain the utility of a full-sized keyboard when needed. I used it this way almost all day today and didn’t feel like I lost any functionality at all. The screen is the perfect size for the 1024×600 resolution and I can easily see everything with the UMPC sitting on the table in front of me.

I do a lot of web surfing and have adopted a method that works well for me. I rotate the screen to portrait orientation using the Intel Graphics utility. It has hot-keys configured for rotation (CTRL-ALT-ARROWS) and can rotate in all four orientations. The x70 is comfortable to hold in the hand this way, even for long periods, and web browsing using Firefox with the Grab and Drag add-on is a joy.

The touchscreen is not as soft to the touch as that of the S5 but still works well. I do find the larger screen makes operating the interface by finger much easier than on the S5 and I don’t reach for the stylus often at all. The uBoard keyboard is working nicely on the big screen; I can use it like a thumb board easily in either orientation. That’s how I’m rotating the screen back and forth as well.

The 1.3 MP webcam does a decent job with Skype, though that’s the only thing I’ve done with it so far. It’s a stretch to keep moving the X70 until the camera field of vision is in the correct place as it is on the far right of the device. Sound quality is pretty good for this. I enjoy listening to music through the stereo speakers; the volume is loud enough and it sounds pretty good for a small device. Listening through headphones is very nice and the included audio utility makes it easy to tailor the sound to the music playing.

Reading e-books with eReader Pro in portrait is awesome. I can display a very full page and read to my heart’s content and turn the page either by tapping on the lower part of the screen or even with the D-pad controller. I’m enjoying it so much that when I go back to the iPhone I’m not liking that device as much as I did before.

The speed of the X70 is very fast, as I would expect from the SSD. Opening programs and folders is nearly instantaneous and it’s a great computer on which to do even serious work. Rebooting the system is quick (I haven’t timed it) and sleep/resume is just a few seconds. It’s a very full computing environment with the keyboard and mouse, as evidenced by writing this right now. I don’t feel I’m sacrificing anything — the mark of a very good device.

The X70 has integrated 3G but I haven’t been able to test that yet. I have the AT&T SIM in my iPhone and a T-Mobile SIM but I can’t use either one to test it. Using the iPhone SIM would violate my TOS and could get my account canceled. The same is true of the T-Mobile, but I’m going to cancel it anyway so I don’t really care. The problem is that T-Mobile U.S. 3G isn’t compatible with the 3G bands of the rest of the world so even if I can get it to work, it will be EDGE only. I’ll have to think about that for a bit and if anyone has any thoughts, please share them.

I’m going to continue to use it and report on how that goes. I have taken some photos, as mentioned, so have a look. You can compare the thickness to the S5; the X70 is even thinner than that and as a result feels good in the hand. Take a look at the video, which I knocked off really fast using my still camera. I couldn’t edit it, so excuse the few seconds in the middle as AVG decided to update the AV definitions after I started shooting.

  1. Will you be selling the S5 and buying the X70? Any good reason to have both models?

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  2. Excellent video even with out editing!
    Do you still have a Q1 hanging around? I’d love to see a side by side shot of them. Also do you think the S70 is too heavy/ big for a car mount? I was thinking of mounting the S5 to my ram mount on my dash but this looks more useful with the larger screen… so I may hold off on the S5 purchase depending on the price difference between the s5 and s70.

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    1. No Q1. Viliv sent a car mount so I intend to try that. I’ll take photos.

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  3. JK,
    Care to speculate on price for the configuration you received (ie 32GB SSD with 3G). If the difference from the s5 $599 is 3G and screen only, then I’m guessing they might be brave and sell it at USD799 or USD899

    Do you agree ?

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    1. I’ve asked for pricing information. My thoughts on pricing don’t count. :)

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    2. Preliminary pricing information (subject to change):

      16 GB SDD- $599
      32 GB SSD- $729
      32GB/ 3G- $879

      These prices might drop with promotions likely to be run at launch.

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  4. This looks like a great replacement for my TC1100. The price could be the clincher if $600-800

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  5. Does it run HD Youtube/ Hulu videos smoothly? or does it like studder

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    1. It stutters like every other Atom PC I’ve tried.

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  6. 1. Focusing on grip instead of weight, and understanding hand sizes differ, can you grip the X70 in landscape or portrait (say in an e-reading scenario) about as securely as a S5?

    2. “The touch screen is not as soft to the touch as that of the S5 but still works well.” Perhaps you can help me have a better mental picture of the experience since unlike you I can’t interact with the device. Using a continuum with the rather “hard” screen of an HTC Advantage (or P1620) on one end, and the S5 on the other, where does the X70 fit in?

    3. Another S5 vs. X70 question. I understand the X70 isn’t pocketable. You mentioned the S5 is pocketable theoretically but not comfortably. Is the lack of comfort due to weight, or size, or both?

    Thanks. Genghis.

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    1. 1. They both fit comfortably in my hand.
      2. In the middle.
      3. Both.

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  7. My computers update AVG in the middle of the night.

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    1. My mobile computers are turned off at night.

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  8. James, thanks for your posts on the S5 and X70, and helpful answer to the many questions, including mine.

    “I find the X70 very nice to use with an external keyboard and mouse in “desktop” mode.”

    Just curious, but which keyboard (BT?) and mouse (BT?) do you use?

    Also, the $64 question: Which device would you choose, and why? I realize the issue is subjective, but you’re usually very good at disclosing your preferences that influence your decision. Of course, if the answer will be the subject of a further post, just say so and I’ll (not so) patiently wait :-)

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    1. Stowaway BT keyboard and I just got (today) a MS Arc mouse. Previously I used a Stowaway BT mouse.

      Preference: Only had the X70 for a day but if price is close it would win.

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  9. Re the issue of the 3G modem working with AT&T: If you can tell us which modem Windows reports, we could try to research which bands it supports.

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  10. Hi JK,
    Please let me know your point of view about handwriting recognition on X70? does it work nice in this view like tablets?

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    1. Windows XP provides no good handwriting recognition nor inking support. Without the Tablet Edition, and it’s not currently available, there is no way to get good results. I can state that there is no palm rejection integrated so it’s not intended for inking and wouldn’t give good results anyway.

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