Samsung plans Q1 UMPC refresh in early 2009

21 Comments

Samsungq1ultraTechRadar offers up the first installment of a three-part interview with a Samsung R&D Engineer who shares news of Samsung’s UMPC plans. The company isn’t abandoning the UMPC market by any means and will continue to tweak the Q1 line with a refresh in the first quarter of 2009. There’s no detail on what will or won’t be in the refresh, but there are plenty of opportunites and possibilities here from where I stand.

  • CPU options: Samsung can offer a variety of choices here. Both the Intel Atom and VIA Isaiah should be fair game, although I personally would still like to see a configuration with a true notebook processor like the 1.33 GHz Intel Core Solo model I currently use.
  • Samsung ought to consider a button or switch that disables/enables the hardware keyboard. Today, you can do this in the BIOS or through Device Manager in Windows. It should be easier to do because when you hold the device with two hands, it’s easy to hit keys by accident.
  • Two gigabytes of RAM should be standard with any Q1 model that runs Vista.
  • An active digitizer would be nice, but as much as I’d like to see it happen, I’m not expecting to.

These are just a few of my thoughts. How would you improve the Q1?

21 Comments

Andrzej Rusztowicz

Replace the split qwerty keyboard with slide-out one, like in Gigabyte m528. But definitely include the top row with numeric keys. If these were included in the current split one, it could actually have been usable (there is enough room for numeric keys on Q1U).

Additional hardware “magnifying glass” button (or two, doubled on both sides, maybe even on the back of the device) that, when pressed, would enlarge small part of the screen under finger, so you could easier click the proper tray icon or “close” button).

Drew Eastmond

Personally, I’m hoping UMPCs follow the original Origami concept and we start ditching the mini keyboards. Keyboard input is still a big issue to tackle. Here’s some ideas:

– Allow a dockable interface for components to be attached to a “rigid frame” built into the UMPC. want a keyboard attach it when needed. Detach it when your done.

– create a frame to insert the UMPC into that has a more functional keyboard built in

– Create a mini keyboard that can communicate with the umpc wirelessly. Even better slide it back into a built in slot

Also we need dual touch, higher resolution, better integrated graphics (let’s be real, vista needs more fresh meat), and l can’t stress it enough. no UMPC is going to make it main stream until it uses an active digitizer.
It’ll be a shame is mac bring one to market first. I’m buying to the first one the break the barrier

Drew Eastmond

Personally, I’m hoping UMPCs follow the original Origami concept and we start ditching the mini keyboards. Keyboard input is still a big issue to tackle. Here’s some ideas:

– Allow a dockable interface for components to be attached to a “rigid frame” built into the UMPC. want a keyboard attach it when needed. Detach it when your done.

– create a frame to insert the UMPC into that has a more functional keyboard built in

– Create a mini keyboard that can communicate with the umpc wirelessly. Even better slide it back into a built in slot

Also we need dual touch, higher resolution, better integrated graphics (let’s be real, vista needs more fresh meat), and l can’t stress it enough. no UMPC is going to make it main stream until it uses an active digitizer.
It’ll be a shame is mac bring one to market first. I’m buying to the first one the break the barrier

Gavin Miller

That’s a great thought JC. Maybe what’s needed is to give people a use for the technology. It’s been said on here before that the UMPC is a tech looking for a market. Well, maybe Samsung needs to do an Apple and create a compelling reasons to own this device – touch games, videos, music, touch enabled apps.

Origami is a good idea poorly executed but it’s a step in the right direction for UMPC devices.

JC

Hi yep a lot needs changing,I’ve had the 1st Q1 now the Q1 ultra.I like them both but both have bad features too.The Ultra’s key board can go I don’t use it,simply because its a pain in the arse.Easier to use writing recognition.Joystick and 4 way buttons are good.Maybe use a s-video plug or HDMI for TV/monitor connection.VGA is to bulky.A docking station would be handy for connection to TV/monitor and wireless keyboard and mouse.I use the Q1 when I go to site,on the plane for movies and when I’m home hook it up to the big screen.Processor needs attention it can’t handle new softwear to well.Bigger resoloution at least the normal size 1024×768.Maybe break out of usb size go thinner like the mac air.Oh yeah and a compatable modem for Australia please! hate having to use that next g usb crap or connecting the mobile.Most other functions I’m happy with.Also create a site for sammy Q1.Movies,downloads,uploads and upgrades more conveniant so we can throw away DVD’s,CD’s,Softwear.Less gear to carry.Cheers :)

Vincent Fox

1) Name it Q2 or Q3, not Q1+ Ultra XL Premium
2) Hardware MUST be equal to OS. Vista needs SSD of decent size and 2G of RAM. Low-end configs must be shipped with XP not Vista. I love how fast XP is on my Q1U-EL but let’s face it the pen functionality is second-rate compared to Vista.
3) BACKLIT KEYBOARD
4) Docking port and a real dock
5) Angled position for hand-strap (not straight-across) so you can comfortably hold for more than a minute,
6) RUBBERIZED titanium shell like ThinkPads.

kevin h

I have Q1 UP, which Im happy with. I would like to see 128gb SSD drive and back lit keyboard / buttons, 3gb memory and faster CPU. also HSDPA modem standard. This would make it the ultimate UMPC!? KH

Corrupted Mind

(1) More original Q1 than Q1U. (i.e. original form factor but Q1U battery life and power). (2) More battery life (A day to most folks means 8hrs) (3) Lighter and thinner (4) usable mouse pointer (5) SSD?

Oly

I’m a programmer as well … and I will agree wholeheartedly that the stylus and TIP won’t cut it for this use case. Honestly though, I find the screen real estate to be more of a limiting factor for an IDE than anything else. I use Eclipse and, frankly, I get frustrated with it on a 21 inch screen, so … As for typing, I’d say there are two answers that make more sense to me. One is to use a more laptop like machine which has precisely the keyboard you describe and can still be folded into a tablet. There are a few mini-notebooks on the market. But these are different devices to my mind … I wouldn’t carry them to the same places I carry my Q1. The other option (what I do when I get stuck coding on vacation) is to pull out my Sierra Bluetooth keyboard and my wireless mouse (almost as important as the keyboard). My Sierra keyboard is tiny enough to be barely a bump in my gear bag but has full size keys when you unfold it. I suppose the miniature keys would provide some benefit in a pinch, but I wonder how long it would be comfortable to code using the tiny keys that would be available in anything smaller than the various mini-notebooks? I don’t know, I’ve never really thought about that.

JR

I’m sorry everyone but i must disagree with the keyboard remarks. design it with a keyboard but not the one that currently on it. It should have a scaled down qwerty that slides or folds. I currently am still waiting for a device with at least 1.2GHz core solo, slide/flip keyboard as part of the device (i don’t want to carry one around), 1024 * 600 min native res, WiFi, BT and 4 hour batt life minimum.

I’m a programmer who just needs to type out blocks of code and execute programs in Visual Studio 2005 with C# so smaller keyboards are not problematic but split keyboards are just awful to work with.

Zoe Summers

Offer the ONE THING I’ve been waiting for since Origami’s / UMPC’s were announced…

DUAL ACTIVE DIGITIZER / HIRES CAPACITIVE TOUCH Screen overlay.

– To be albe to INK PROPERLY on the damn things without vectoring or worrying about resting the rest of of the hand on the screen, and

– Touch the device’s UI without having to have a silly plastic stylus or fingernails!

C’mon UMPC manuf. Put this type of screen in a 7″ device and it’s a killer UMPC…

RayDell

Lose keyboard- increase screen.
Graffiti works for me

Basically I want a Palm with a larger screen
(yeah I was all for the FOLIO!!)

Bruno

I don’t think the keyboard adds to the size of Q1U, at least not noticeably. There is other stuff underneath the keys so removing the keyboard would not make Q1U smaller.
I for one find the keys very useful – there is nothing stopping me from inking (though inking on a passive screen is not as good as on an active one) or from connecting an external keyboard – I do both. But on the occasions when I need to quickly type something or enter something that requires precision (e.g. passwords) I am very happy it is there. For someone used to suing a Blackberry or Blackberry-esque keyboard, Q1U’s split keyboard is not unnatural for sure. Keep it there (unless you replace it with HTC Shift-y one, of course)

Mike Cane

Offer a model without the PepperPad keyboard wings, thus making it smaller.

Cut the price by 2/3rds. OK, at least by half.

Oly

Remove the keyboard!

I’m still sulking that they (along with other device manufacturers) added a keyboard rather than either increasing screen space or decreasing the case size. Otherwise, I’d have considered ditching my original Q1 for a later model. But, I had the same argument with the Verizon salesperson about why I waited so long for the HTC Touch. There are clearly folks out there who are (or believe they are) more effective with those tiny keys. But I can write much faster with the stylus than I can type on miniature keyboards. I’m still not sure if it is about confusion over how to use a stylus or if there actually is a benefit for some people?

Kevin C. Tofel

Jake, I very rarely use the keyboard and would like it easily disabled so I think it makes sense that I’d want this option. When holding the device I’ve inadvertantly pressed keys when I didn’t intend to. I typically ink or use a folding, full-sized Bluetooth keyboard.

Jake

I’ve never used the Q1 but I find it strange that you would want to be able to disable the keyboard from time to time Kevin. Every review I’ve ever read (including yours if memory serves) said that the keyboard is next to useless anyway. Wouldn’t it be easier to replace it with a qwerty keyboard or get rid of it altogether?

Anyway, if I was going to get a UMPC I’d want a higher resolution screen (600 vertical pixels isn’t enough IMO) with a built in cover to protect it that doesn’t add too much space. Screen protection is the one big problem I’ve always had with UMPCs – at least at the price they sell for.

Steve 'Chippy' Paine

Good list PJ.

I’d highlight the ‘backlit keyboard’ point and add that they need to include a real mouse pointer.

A 5MP auto focus, glass lens cam would be nice too on the Premium.

Update to a 1.6 or 1.8Ghz Atom and improve the battery life to 4 hours on the standard battery.

One big issue I have though is the lack of XP in 2009. Without it, the Q1 is DOA for me.
A cheap Q1 Ultra running on UME would be nice to stimulate the UMPC market a bit. $499 with Keyboard included perhaps?

Steve.

PJ

1) I wish they would add a “del” key on the keyboard so I can bring up the task manager without having to program a button to do that.

2) Maybe Left and Right trigger buttons on top of the device to be used specifically as the web browser’s Back and Forward function?

3) Back-lit QWERTY keyboard.

4) Audio input for microphone for better sound recording experience for people who use Q1UP for sound or video editing.

5) Place the RAM slot somewhere easily accessible for easy RAM upgrade… Or, just include 2 GB of RAM.

6) Automatically rotating screen would be nice.

I guess that’s about it for me…

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