Final thoughts: Mac OS X on a UMPC


Inkinosxonq1upWow, I had only planned to leave OS X Leopard on my Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium for a few days and it’s been about two weeks. That alone probably says something right there.In any case, it’s time to say good-bye and get another operating system on the device. Some thoughts…

  • Using the device with OS X can be likened to using the same device with XP from a performance standpoint. It runs fast… faster overall than with Vista from my observations. Everything is snappy. Boot time is 35 seconds.
  • If Apple ever makes a touch-screen Tablet-like computer, they’ll have to tweak the OS X interface. The buttons at the top left of every window are too small, for example. Vista is actually better in this regard. Same with the width of the scroll bars; they’re just too small to quickly use a stylus or pen. I found myself using a mouse much more in OSX than with Windows.
  • I ran into far fewer dialog boxes that didn’t fit on the 1024 x 600 screen using OSX than I typically do with Windows.
  • Did I mention how fast everything runs?
  • I saw no significant difference in terms of battery drain
  • I wish I had the time to get the WiFi and a few other things working. Sleep would be nice; the device goes to sleep nearly instantaneously (faster than any device I have using Windows), but I can only speculate how quickly it resumes. When I resume, all of the hardware indicator lights appear, but the backlighting never activates, so I have to shut down and reboot. (In 35 seconds… oh wait, I already mentioned that).
  • As it stands now, here’s how I’d rate the inking experience between three operation systems: far and away: Vista offers the best experience. XP Tablet Edition comes in second and OS X is a distant third.
  • Answering a question from a prior comment: you can output to a second monitor through the UMPC’s VGA port. My second monitor runs a native res of 1440 x 900 and it was drop-dead simple to add and arrange the second monitor.

Now that the experiment is over, I’m comfortable saying that Apple could offer a touchscreen UMPC running OS X if they spent just a little time optimizing for the small screen. The device would likely run quite snappy with the right combination of CPU, graphics and memory. Although I tested this with 2 GB of RAM, I did quite a bit of CPU and memory monitoring. I believe that the experience would be average or better on 1 GB of RAM whereas my personal Vista experiences on 1 GB have been less than optimal. I’d never say that the experience rivals that of my Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro with 3 GB of memory, but to be honest, the difference in the experience isn’t as much as you’d think.



Does it mean that the dream UMPC would be OSX with Vista handwriting/inking capabilities? I’m trying to get this with Ubuntu and a virtualized Vista, but it is hard work.


Wait a minute!

Isn’t saying windows is linux based something like saying Apple is orange based?

And XP isn’t based on DOS. It’s based on NT, which was a decent OS. Unfortunately Microsoft added a lot of legacy junk for XP so it was better than 2k for consumers. It is my humble opinion that 2k was better.


Difference between OSX and XP/VISTA humm huge list. Main key points would be OSX has Mach/BSD kernel which allows it to better multitask and handle buggy apps, memory handling, security, etc.. XP/VISTA is still in a sense based off DOS (multitasking version ugh) thou this windows 7 does look like it has linux roots (from screenshots i’ve seen and the way it handles itself from reports).

As far as bog down you’ll get more out of OSX then you will XP on the same device and LINUX/BSD for x86 you’ll get even more out of vs the two (OSX still has alot of stuff for User Friendly/Newbie Mode use)

If Apple released a OSX for clones, you’d def. see Microsoft loose ALOT of users within 6 months (atleast 75%) It is that good (just takes alot of getting use to and tweaks comming over from windows )

John in Norway

‘I’m comfortable saying that Apple could offer a touchscreen UMPC running OS X if they spent just a little time optimizing for the small screen.’

This applies to Windows as well!

Seriously though, what’s the big advantage of OSX over XP for the average person? I’ve never played with Apple products so I don’t know. If it just means that low powered computers don’t bog down while waiting for antivirus and OS updates to finish then I’m all for it.

Wally Rodriguez

Hey Kevin:

I’ve been trying desperately to find more information on how to run OSX on the Q1UP with no luck. Any chance you could point me in the right direction? Any tidbits that I could use to get started?



How is the eee pc going with the windows CE install? I would like you to post on the little guy. I am looking at getting the eee pc 900. It is the same size as the Fujitsu p1620, but it is $549 instead of $1500.00. I really like that it has finger-glide, or multi-touch so a mouse will not be needed. Keep up the good work Kevin Tofel. I keep coming back to this website because of the reviews and info on mobile phones.

Mike Cane

>>>Did I mention how fast everything runs?

No, did you?

>>>Now that the experiment is over, I’m comfortable saying that Apple could offer a touchscreen UMPC running OS X if they spent just a little time optimizing for the small screen.

Bah! That sounds like the whimper of a whipped dog. You know Apple does *not* do “little things.” Jobs will do a tablet when he has something that will utterly disorient and drive into *suicidal despair* his competitors. He do love to hear all that wailing and gnashing of teeth, he do.


Thank you!

This is extremely valuable information. It’s unfortunate that Apple has been willing to build a less-than-2-lb presentation machine, but nice to know that one can be constructed!

Comments are closed.