Reader question: Q1P purchase, Vista or XP Tablet?


Vista_desktop_basic_1Russ dropped us note and asked us to help with his Q1P purchase decision. Since you can currently purchase the Q1P with XP Tablet Edition 2005 or with Vista, he’s wondering which he should get. His specific question here might shed some light:

"I am looking to really utilize the handwriting features for meeting notes, etc…  I was wondering how well the handwriting works in vista versus XP tablet edition and i was curious as to which version you would purchase in regards to vista or tablet edition? Are there any major differences in operating capabilites, handwriting recognition, etc… that would make you lean one way or another? I really liked the vista origami experience but could live without if the handwriting in a tablet form was not as good in vista."

Since the hardware is the same on both versions, we can effectively just look at the software. Now that there’s a solution to the HID driver issue for the Samsung Q1 series of UMPC, I’d lean towards the Vista offering for a few reasons.

1. With the HID driver, the Q1P is now treated as a true Tablet PC by the OS, so you can leverage all of the built-in Tablet features of Vista.
2. Unlike the XP version, Vista will learn how to better recognize your handwriting over time and it does this automatically if you configure it so. You can also train it if you want to spend the time; something I believe is well worth it. XP will never learn how you write.
3. Vista offers one feature that could partially or fully offset any performance issues you might expect from running the newer OS on limited hardware: ReadyBoost. For a minimal investment, you can add a 1GB USB flash drive to the Q1P and get the boost; not so with XP.

Russ, I think there are more reasons that would lead me to Vista, but these are my main three, especially since your main concern was on the handwriting and inking experience. I’ll leave it up to the readers to point out any flaws in my logic and also to provide their opinions. Good luck on the purchase and let us know what you decide!



Unless the software says it is Vista capable I pretty much always open up properties on the installer’s exe and set compatibility mode to be XP. I also generally set administrative privileges at the same time.

If it comes on a CD? I copy it onto the hard disk and set the properties there.


Oh, I got it now! I followed all the leads, read all the stuff, installed the HID driver to let my fingers (and stylus) do the walking, and if I understand correctly, I’m ready to dive rather than tiptoe into Vista. That should take care of another problem I’m having with my tabtip that looks to require a complete reinstall of XP, so why not go Vista, have better handwriting recognition, flip, er, flicks, etc. Life is good. Except when one’s tabtip is acting weird.


I got the Q1 with the Pentium M & a gig, but XP, and the idea of better handwriting recognition is killer to me. I don’t understand what this HID business is, but it sounds like we’re close to where and what I want in a UMPC. With a couple of the extended batteries I can pretty much go all day.

(I’m also finding that I use the Samsung keyboard more than the BT Stowaway keyboard and mouse, but not the portfolio which I find adds more weight than function, all of which surprises me).


I checked at Best Buy if you go to the store and order it to be delivered there you can save the shipping cost. I know this really doesn’t help much it would be nice to get your hands on a device before you pay 1,200 bucks for it. I think I’m going to wait and see what the price of the Q1 Ultra will be I hope it’s announced the 18th as the rumor goes.

Hong Kong Phooey


I would wait for the Samsung Q1 Ultra at least for now. You’re right the Q1, even the Q1P only have minor tweaks in terms of hardware from the first release, Q1 Ultra seems to offer more.


I do not want to hijack jkontherun, but i wanted to some what take a poll and get fellow readers thoughts on something that i have been thinking about since i have been looking at getting a UMPC.

Since i set out to purchase a UMPC and after much review and research i feel that the Q1 is the best device for me. I started looking for places to purchase this item. The problem that i found with the UMPC which in my mind is not a new device with almost being out now for a year, is that i can not find one to be had in a retail store. I live in the Metro Detroit area not the largest city but by no means the smallest either. I searched the usual suspects such as Best Buy, Compusa, circuit city and Micro center. I can find the Q1 on Best buys and Compusa’s websites but when i walked into the stores looking for one none of them carry this product in the store and only sell through their websites. So i started to search the not so usual suspects and found the Q1 listed on office depot and costco’s websites. I went in to both stores and got the same answer only on their websites. Now i have no problem purchasing from the web, i do all the time and can usual find better prices.

When on sites such as Best Buys you can obviously choose to purchase online and then go pick up your purchase i checked availability at Best Buys for with in 100 miles of where i live and could not find one store that carried the product. So i went searching deeper and decided to check stores in California and only found one store that said they had it in stock. So i continued the same search with others like Compusa same thing. Now i know that i have read that people have found it at their local Fry’s but we do not have any in my area.

This got me thinking! Why do all of these retailers carry the product but only sell it online? Does Samsung have an arrangement that this device can only be sold online? Probably doubtful i would assume they want to sell as many as they can. So i started searching for the Asus and could not find one of these either. But once again all over the internet. I personally think that the UMPC is a great concept and really could change the way we compute to a degree, and yes i am a Geek, so i keep up with whats out in the tech world. The problem lies with the average consumer, who may not be so aware of what a UMPC is and how great of a product it is. Are UMPC’s being shunned? I would believe that if retail stores would carry these devices and showcase them where consumers can test drive the device just maybe the UMPC could have a better chance at making it.

My question / Poll to all of you is where did you purchase your UMPC? Retail or Internet? Why? Is it because you always buy online or because you could not find them in stores either? And i am curious to know what all of your thoughts are on this subject.

Thanks and i look forward to hearing your responses!!

Mickey Segal

The worst thing about Vista is upgrading. By starting with Vista you avoid that problem.

The second worst thing about Vista is Windows Mail (the successor to Outlook Express). If you plan to use some other mail program this doesn’t matter.

Mike Cane

There have also been objections about the level of DRM built-into Vista. Perhaps this also contributes to media playback sluggishness?

This has been very interesting. I thought for certain Vista wuld win out.

What’s this about adding a 1GB Flash disk? How is that done? Via CF card? I don’t recall hearing of this before.


First off i wanted to Thank Kevin for taking the time to give me his thoughts and also doing so in such a timely manor. I also wanted to Thank the rest of you for your input and suggestions as well.

I think that for now i am going to go with the XP Tablet edition one. For multiple reasons. I have not personally had the pleasure of installing and running Vista yet but i have heard and read many frustrations with software and driver support. The other reason is as Bill aka Tax Man pointed out it is difficult to find XP Tablet edition alone, so if i go this route i can always upgrade to vista when the time is right. Now i will have the best of both worlds and go with what works best for me in the long run.

I also wanted to say thanks to Kevin, James and all the users of the Samsung Q1. Watching the videos and reading others posts about how much they love the device has been keeping me on pins and needles until i get mine. It has been frustrating to read most of the major publication reviews out there on the Q1. Most of the reviews are extremely negative, and i do not feel that they gave it a real chance for the type of device it is. It seems as if they expected a laptop replacement with keyboard and all. This device may not be for everyone but it certainly has its place and it seems that all the true gadget lovers just love this device and could not live without it. Thanks for the positivity!!

Tax Man

@ Frank — good points about the sluggishness in general of WMP and iTunes. VLC won’t play my purchases from iTunes and the URGE music subscription is also DRM encoded, requiring WMP. Even though these programs are sluggish on any platform, I find a noticeable and irritating difference between XP and Vista on the Q1. Maybe, the extra oomph of the Q1P gives enough extra pep that the difference isn’t as noticeable. I can’t speak to that.

@Bob – You are correct. I didn’t notice any difference at all in running Office and OneNote under Vista vs. XP.

Bottom line — I can’t imagine that I’ll sit on the Vista sidelines running XP forever. Heck, I’m already itching to try Vista again with the HID drivers!

Bob Russell

Great topic and information. I’d add one point that seems to be a big issue for any Vista adopter:
* Driver and software compatibility.

While I don’t have personal Vista experience yet (but may order a Vista desktop this week), a lot of people have given up on Vista because they couldn’t use their software or accessories due to incompatibility.

If you are just using base software like Office and OneNote, that’s probably much less of an issue.


About your experiences with WMP11 Bill, I just don’t use WMP. That together with iTunes and QTimes are one of the worse media player you can use or find. I use other players for my needs like VLC, Zoom, etc.

Tax Man

I have an original Q1 with 1GB RAM. I upgraded to Vista before the HID drivers were released and tried it for about a week. After that time, I decided to go back to XP. I would have stayed with Vista but for the sluggishness of the OS. I found playing my music using URGE on WMP 11 or the Windows Media Center was very unresponsive. There was a noticeable lag when you tried to pause or fast forward to the next song or even adjust the volume. This was a non-starter for me. I don’t have that problem with XP. I did install the HID drivers on my XP installation and it did greatly improve the inking experience, even under XP. I think I’d be tempted to buy the XP version while you still can. You can always buy Vista and install it and revert back if you aren’t pleased with the result. It’s pretty hard to find XP Tablet PC Edition if you don’t get it with a tablet. YMMV.

Bill (aka Tax Man)


I am using the P1610 with TabletPC 2005. Is the speech recognition better in Vista? Can you give an example of why or how it is better? Also, I know that you have done quite a bit of testing on power consumption, is Vista better, same or worse than TabletPC 2005 in your current estimation?

Comments are closed.