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Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium: the bad

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Samsungq1upmousetouchscreenAlthough I’m initially impressed with the performance of the new Q1 Ultra Premium, it’s not all a “happy, happy, joy, joy” situation. There’s a few aspects about the device right out of the box that are disappointing and even downright aggravating.First up is the lack of HID drivers from Samsung. One would think that after producing the Q1 series for nearly two years, Samsung would have worked with eGalax so that the touch panel would be recognized as a Tablet PC input device, not as a mouse. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened; at least not out of the box, nor by running the Samsung Update application for new drivers. This means folks will either need floattip.exe, although I’m certainly going to try the drivers I used nearly a year ago on the Samsung Q1P. Until then, I’m stuck with ink that’s a little “jaggy” and I don’t have a floating Tablet Input Panel. I’ll report back after trying the drivers.

While we’re on the subject of inking, let me remove all doubts from folks wondering about vectoring. The device will vector just like all of the other models in the Q1 series. In fact, most touch-screen devices will be prone to the vectoring problem unless they have some type of palm-rejection software in place like the Fujitsu P1610 and P1620 devices. A device with a harder touch on the digitizer might help a little, but it won’t alleviate all vectoring.I’m also finding myself getting used to the screen. It’s different from the Q1 and Q1P and I don’t mean due to the 1024 x 600 resolution. No, I mean the actual feel of the screen when using a finger or stylus. Right off the bat, the screen doesn’t have the matte-like finish of the Q1 and Q1P. It’s a glossy finish or it has some type of glossy protector on it. It also has a little more “give” than I’d like. What I mean is how much the screen surface pushes in when touching it for input. The older models didn’t have much give at all, but I’m finding that the Q1UP does. I’m not crazy about that just yet, but I suspect I’ll get used to it. Because of the gloss finish and the screen give, the whole ink input feels softer to me. Like I’m not writing on a screen, but more on a screen with a soft, plastic protector on it. This also means fingerprints galore… oy!Here’s a pic of the glossy screen on the Q1UP. Note the clarity of the reflection.Samsungq1upscreenAnd here’s the same shot with the Q1P. The reflection is softer due to the matte display.Samsungq1pscreenI’ve already mentioned that the hardware buttons don’t rotate and I feel that’s another missed opportunity on the part of Samsung. The whole experience would be enhanced if this worked as it should.The last negative I can think of is the form-factor itself. I spent about an hour reading an eBook on the device last night when it hit me. Due to the extra thickness (about a half-inch thicker than the earlier Q1 devices), the Q1UP is… well… brick-ish. Not as much as the WiBrain was for example, but even with the subtle curves here and there, it’s pretty much a brick. A well-designed brick, but still a brick. ;)Lastly, while I love the 6-cell battery and the long run-time it provides, it causes the device to be out of balance. What I mean is, the left side is heavier than the right side due to the batttery. I’ve tried to balance the device in the middle and it immediately tips to the left due to the battery weight. If I had to guess, I’d say the weight distribution is about 60 – 40 from left to right. A deal-breaker or a major issue? Not for me, but I think people might want to know that about a device they might be holding for hours.

27 Responses to “Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium: the bad”

  1. This is a follow up on my previous comment above. I did an exchange with Amazon and the new unit suffers from the same screen problems as the first. The built in screen protector as I am calling it is ill-fitted on both units, causing it to bulge outward on the left side, causing taps and double taps not to register properly or not in the correct location. I can’t express how annoying this is in actual use, especially as their thumb mouse is aweful, leaving the device without a decent pointing device. In addition, my unit has developed an odd problem where I will hear the windows “device detected” noise, usually immediately followed by the camera taking a picture. My hands are nowhere near the shutter button when this occurs. I’ve seen this second issue noted elsewhere. It seems like Samsung has some real production issues with the Q1 UP.

  2. I recently purchased a Q1 Ultra Premium new from Amazon and it seems to also have the same issue as others here have reported with the screen. It feels like there is an ill fitted screen protector over the top of the actual resistive touch panel. This is quite annoying in several ways. I often find myself pressing on the screen without it registering, because I haven’t pressed hard enough to cause the outwardly flexed protector to flex in and make contact with the digitizer. I also find that even when properly calibrated, the touchscreen accuracy isn’t that great, as the tip of the stylus likes to slip when trying to press hard enough to deform the screen protector. Has anyone figured out whether this protector is removable in some way? Should I be returning my unit to Amazon in the hopes of getting a better unit?

  3. d4rkcell

    hi there, I am experiencing a very weird problem with my samsung q1up, my screen suddenly goes black when I am working with it, the music/video still played tough…but when I restart or put in sleep mode then turn on again, the screen goes normal again…it has happened a couple times…what happened to my samsung q1up, it was just 1 month old…

  4. Jovanni

    Great info guys, I actually just bought a Q1U-V. There is a lot of talk about HID drivers here and there, but I am a little confused; does Vista have the problem with the HID drivers that many people have been talking about in XP or is this an XP exclusive problem. If so, what is the best course of actions for someone on Vista, would floattip.exe be an option or new HID drivers from eGalax? Thanks a bunch, and by the way, this site is fantastic.

  5. I can only speak to the WiFi on XP at the moment because I won’t be installing Vista until I’m done reviewing the Q1U-P with XP Tablet.

    I see no CPU spike or other issue with WiFi usage, turning it off/on, etc… The Atheros AR5007EG is using the version of the Atheros driver. I believe that this is the driver that came with the device because I checked my Windows Update history and don’t see any updated Atheros driver installed. I’ll watch for this after the Vista installation.

  6. Most of you are talking about Vista, but there are also issues with XP and the Atheros driver.
    I downloaded every XP driver I could find and continued to have issues with video playback over wifi (but fine over EVDO/LAN). I just tried driver .92 and my Slingbox played fine. Now I need to go back to .67 and verify Slingbox still stutters.

  7. “I have used 3 different devices with Atheros and not seen this CPU spiking with either XP or Vista.”

    thats because it depends on the card/chipset, mode of operation, & even the AP. the problem is enormously widespread, Atheros has acknowledged it & after at least 1/2 dozen updates still cannot resolve it. so it doesnt look good.

    people who dont have the problem consider yourself VERY grateful. it spikes the CPU to 100% making the machine completely useless. in all my years of coding it was 1 of the worse bugs i have ever seen.

    rolling back to the default MS driver will resolve it, the only real drawback is that the range is decreased. but it is a very worthwhile tradeoff.

  8. Dominic Pace

    I tried installing XP (Tablet Edition) on my Q1P and couldn’t get the float tip and all the other nice fancy tablet stuff. What driver do I need to use?

  9. Good question Nate. Just last night on our podcast I said this wasn’t the “perfect device”, simply because such a thing doesn’t exist for me. However, these shortcomings are minor to me and I plan to keep the unit. The HID driver / floating TIP issue can be resolved in XP with an updated driver and I’ll be running Vista in the end anyway, where it shouldn’t be a problem. I can get used to the screen feel and I knew the vectoring would be present before I bought the device. For my personal use and budget, I already feel that this device was worth the upgrade due to the beefed up CPU, graphics and native 1024 x 600 screen. I’d be remiss, however, if I didn’t mention the items I don’t like.

    Jon, I know exactly what you’re talking about. It’s as if they put a screen protector on the screen and it’s not quite flat on the actual display. It “gives” on all parts of my screen, not just the left part. I’ve already seen the same comment / question over at The Origami Project forums, so this is either by design or is an issue with many of these devices. I’m not certain which yet. I have the same thought as you: it’s not really a big deal. If I find out it’s a production defect, I’ll be sure to share the news.

  10. Hey Kevin, now that you’ve pointed what you don’t like I’d love to see a face to face with the Q1P. I was considering upgrading to Q1U but I am not so sure of this.


  11. Kevin,

    I have been playing for the past week with the Q1UP and like you am very pleased with it. The only small problem I have is with the screen. The screen is nice and bright and the touchscreen responsive but I find that there seems to be a plastic surface layer raised ever so slightly on the left part of the screen. Is this normal ? The surface layer plastic doesn’t seem to be tightly stretched across the screen. It is not really a big deal but you can take your finger and press on the layer of slightly raised plastic up and down without registering a touch. Do you have this experience too? Or do i have a defective screen ?

    Thanks for your help.

  12. So, how to these shortcomings make you feel about the Q1UP as a whole?

    At this point, would you call it a keeper?

    Was it worth upgrading, or is the jury still out on this one?

  13. Steve, good point on the lack of backlit keys. I noticed it last night when checking e-mail and forgot to include it in the post. This is what happens when you go out celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the morning and go to work in the afternoon. ;)

    I doubt I’ll test the “grab and drag” extension because it works the same on all devices. It works well, but trying it on this device isn’t going to tell anyone anything new.

  14. All valid points although i actually prefer the ultra screen due to its lack of friction.
    I also like the weight distribution as it makes it easier to hold in the left hand (less torque)

    Lack of HID drivers is definately a big minus point. Lack of key backlightimg annoys me too.

    Have you tried ‘grab and scroll’ plugin for firefox yet? Its so nice.

    Any video playback results yet?