Plethora of Samsung Q1 reviews are out


Q1Since the roll-out of the Samsung Q1 UMPC/ Origami yesterday a number of major publications have produced reviews and overviews of the little Tablet PC.  Here are some of the major ones:

Stuff Magazine– mixed reaction, interesting claim they typed the article using DialKeys.

At this money, we still haven’t worked out why you’d want one over a ultra-portable laptop.

Because the Q1 is half price, maybe?

MSNBC News– nice overview of usage by a non-Tablet reviewer.

Let’s hope that UMPC manufacturers do their homework and get prices down in time for the back-to-school rush and, of course, the end-of-year holiday season.  If they do, Microsoft and its partners should have a winner on their hands.

PC Magazine– Rated 2 1/2 out of 5.  Reviewer seemed to be surprised there was no keyboard attached.

Just another slate tablet that can’t replace a true PC, but it makes for a nice portable media player that would be more attractive if it weren’t so pricey.

PC World– Author wrote the article about a handheld device even though:

There’s a lot I wasn’t able to evaluate from my look at the Q1. It was locked into a stand, so I wasn’t able to judge how comfortable it would be to walk around and work with. It’s 9 inches by 5.5 inches by 1 inch, weighs 1.7 pounds and has the kind of fold-out stand you see on the back of picture frames.

These are just some of the major publications who have published articles so far.  These articles have raised the ire of some Tablet enthusiasts but I have to state this is the initial reaction I expected.  They are also useful in their own way because these are consumer devices and will be pitched to non-enthusiasts and to those with no exposure to the Tablet PC.  These POVs are critical to understand how the public may react when Origamis start appearing in retail stores.  One thing is clear, these reviewers haven’t spent any time at all with the devices they reviewed because they keep comparing the price to that of laptops.  That’s like comparing a notebook price to a desktop.  The PC World author had the right idea in the end:

I’d like to live with the Q1 for awhile to get a better feel for what kind of digital companion it makes. But based on my experience so far, I’m not in a rush to buy one — and that’s not just because of the price. The Q1 just seems stuck in between — too big to use comfortably as an MP3 player and too small to efficiently perform the work tasks I need. 

I am pretty confident that spending some mobile time with the Q1 will make the utility of the Origami much clearer.  I only hope they revisit with a review once they live the full experience.


Hugh Sung

As i’m starting to do more and more podcasts (and hopefully soon, video podcasts), i can see the UMPC/Origami form factor as being perfect for mobile audio/visual work. Couple this with the Samson C01U microphone for mono audio recording, or perhaps M-Audio’s Fast Track Pro USB mic pre-amp, open-source audio editing program Audacity, and you would have one sweet workstation on the go! Mobility brings amazing opportunities – for example, just having the C01U itself has allowed me to sit down with some amazing guests for “podcasts on the fly”, thanks to the ease of setup and simplicity of equipment. I think the UMPC does that, and its possibilities will only be really appreciated in the context of what it connects its users to on the go, as opposed to just looking at the form factor itself.


Until these are at the $500 price point I think I’ll have to pass. For me, spending over $1000 means I’m replacing my laptop, not getting a 2nd one with a tiny screen. While there are a few situations that I think they’d be really useful, the ultra-mobile worker, the price and battery life kills it as a portable media device/primary pc accessory.

Looking forward to the 2nd and 3rd generation devices though :)

Anton P. Nym

For those complaining about a lack of keyboard, I suggest they try writing their reviews on a notebook… in Economy-class seating or on a busy commuter train. *Then* they can tell me about how DialKeys and Ink are inferior text-entry solutions and I’ll pay attention. *grin*

In the meantime, I’ll be pondering how to wheedle Best Buy Canada into ordering me a Q1 next week.

— Steve


I’m still on the skeptical side, too. Maybe I’m just biased. When these things were first introduced, I remember thinking, “hmmm, that reminds me of the Pepper Pad.” And then I remembered having first read about the Pepper Pad when it made someone’s “worst products of the year” list (unfortunately, I don’t remember who’s list it was and Google has been no help).

It’s also interesting to hear the reviewers complain that the UMPC is too big to be a “PDA” and too small to be a useful “laptop” — it’s sort of this wierd thing in between (and who needs a wierd thing in between?). Which, of course, is exactly what Microsoft intended it to be (I remember the project manager for Oragami describing in a video how he was able to convince the higher ups at Microsoft that there was no product in between PDAs and laptops, and he thought there was a market for such a device).

We shall see (maybe).

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