Samsung Q1U-V Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC)

[Update: 5 April 2012] Just popped for a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7. Loving it. Took a while to find a worthy successor to the Q1U. Way to go Samsung. UPDATE [19 Aug 2009]: Windows 7 totally rocks on this thing!!! At least as peppy as XP, probably better.
   Snap1

  • Buy.com has some more good photos **AT THE BOTTOM**
  • some of my own photos
  • Samsung’s Q1U landing page
  • (Interesting, they _just_ (Sept. 19th, 2008) withdrew their links for the Vista model that I got –for obvious reasons– looks like the new "Premium" model with a beefier CPU is the currently promoted Vista solution)

Samsung Software & Drivers Page

Specs on the model I got:

Model Samsung Q1U-V (NP-Q1UA000) (official spec PDF)
Weight 1.52 lbs
Display 7" 1024 x 600 touch screen LCD (nicely bright)
Standard Battery 4-cell Li-Ion Battery, 29.6wh Capacity (rated ~4.5 hours) (6 cells available)
OS Windows 7 absolutely rocks on this thing!!!
Dimensions 8.96" x 4.88" x 0.93" (think of a letter size sheet of paper, portrait orientation, folded in half, top to bottom)
HD 60GB 1.8” 4200rpm PATA ZIF (Toshiba MK6008GAH)
WiFi 802.11 b/g (Atheros AR5006X specs, drivers)
Wired Ethernet 10/100 Base TX
Bluetooth Bluetooth® 2.0 + EDR
USB 2 x USB 2.0
CPU Intel® Ultra Mobile A110 800MHz clock 512Kb L2 cache/400 MHz FSB
Video Chipset Intel GMA950, 128MB shared memory (specs)
System Memory 1GB DDR2 400MHz stock (upgraded to 2GB)
Memory slot SD/MMC
Audio HD Audio, SRS TruSurround Sound
Cameras Front facing low res web cam & rear facing video & still (1.3MP)
Speakers 2 x 1.5 Watts
VGA 15 pin out Max resolution 2048 x 1536 (nice)
Headphone out Yes
Microphone Dual Array
RJ45 (LAN) YES
Warranty 1 Year Parts and Labor
Fingerprint Reader NO

Update [29 Oct 2008]: Unfortunately my touch screen went all whacky, exactly like I’ve read about:

  • A Samsung rep (apparently) even fesses up to a bad batch of screens: Q1 Ultra Screen Issues 
  • Problem with screen in Q1 Ultras
  • Mine went bad on me while I was using it quietly on my desk… tried everything suggested with calibration tools… small improvements but nothing usable
  • Could’ve been due to cramming it in a tight backpack through airport few days prior so I’ll be a little more delicate with the new one
  • Servicing seems to be very speedy, turnaround is days not weeks… waiting for it now… will advise

Update [12 Nov 2008]: Servicing totally fixed the touch screen tracking problem.

  • They even went ahead and loaded the Samsung XP image rather than bothering with Vista
  • And swapped out the "Designed for Windows ___" sticker, nice touch.
  • Turnaround time was excellent.
  • It is definitely a new screen, old one had a telltale scratch on it … very nice to ditch that in the process.

Highlights:

  • I was a little surprised to realize the Q1U-"V" does NOT have the fingerprint reader (official spec sheet from Samsung breaks down the differences pretty well if you look closely) … kindof a bummer from a lost/security standpoint but fortunately this isn’t really where I plan to leave any "life data" anyway
  • Stock 4-cell, ~4.5 hr battery seems to get right to that mark if you’re not doing WiFi… I’ve since ordered 2 of the 6-cells so I can roll through a big/hike w/o concern
  • Going in/out of sleep mode is very instantaneous
  • Vista just kept going off into wait cursor lala land too often so I flipped it over to XP Tablet after a couple days of usage just like everybody else
  • You definitely wind up waiting on Vista for everything… as an IT guy it amazes me it ran as well as it did in 1GB of RAM on such a small CPU… I can’t imagine an average consumer actually putting up with this configuration though
  • Power slider switch doubles as full system input lock so you can’t accidentally bump anything while it’s on … very cool usability feature that goes to show Samsung engineers put some real usage design thought into this bugger
  • Watching a typical AVI movie over WiFi via VLC works like a champ under XP… Vista could barely pull it off.
  • The screen is great … super bright… you can see all normal Windows widgets at the native 1024 x 600 resolution … you definitely need the stylus to hit normal sized Windows widgets (min/max/close, scroll bar, etc.)… fingers work for bigger stuff or widgets not next to another … the Microsoft "Touch Pack" has a "Touch Improvements" tweak that makes the scroll bars double wide so you have a chance at hitting them with a finger… that’s a nice "touch" 😉
  • It does have a little heat to exhaust… nothing like a laptop of course… there’s actually a little fan in there… but it’s absolutely silent
  • Last but not least, it fits very well as an eReader:
    • 1.5lbs is very doable… holding it up to read from the lying down position definitely works
    • Adobe Reader has some nice features I never realized.. it’ll rotate the page so that rather than rotating the whole Windows Vista desktop (which is way slow) I can just rotate the document in Reader so that portrait viewing utilizes the longest dimension, awesome!
    • You can also flip Reader into full screen mode to get rid off all scroll/nav bars/buttons and take advantage of full real-estate…
    • a test Macworld PDF was fairly readable a full page at a time… shrinking an 8.5 x 11 inch page of text down by at least 50% while technically readable, would probably cause eye strain after prolonged reading at that size…
    • what works quite well is to zoom in to 125% and simply use a finger to drag the page into view as one reads… it’s very usable and intuitive this way
    • I am VERY glad I didn’t cave in for a cheaper unit in the popular 4"-5" screen size category (Nokia n810, etc.)… this is absolutely the smallest you could work with for reading full pages… and honestly, a little bigger (9"??) would not go to waste.

  • JBA

    Try vLite befor the switch to XP. Same as nLite but still kinda beta for Vista support.

  • Wondering if you could talk more about the fan noise. I’m looking at picking up one of these but laptop fan noise usually drives me crazy…

    Considering going fanless with something like the Dell Mini 9, but I really like the tablet format of the Q1U.

  • The fan is absolutely silent… I didn’t even realize there was a fan until I noticed the very minor heat output … I had to put it right up next to my ear to make sure.

  • Anonymous

    Have you looked into upgrading the processor/motherboard that the new netbooks are using? I still like my Q1u-v, but would like it to have one of the faster atom processors in it. Has anyone tried it yet?

  • Re: Atom upgrade – yeah you and me both sister! We all know given enough time/effort/money anything is possible in computers but I'm not going to be placing any hope in the CPU upgrade bucket on these units. The CPU is soldered. Stuff this size is a total custom fit all the way down to the heat profile. I paid about $665 for my Q1U… and well over a $grand when you add in custom accessories that probably won't migrate to another unit… yes that smarts compared to the dearth of $200 range Atom netbooks I see… but this tablet form factor has given me so much valuable real life usage it has been totally worth it. There are some really nice new Atom based tablets out there now for $500… the Archos 9 tablet, the Viliv X70 is $600 but they'll all come down shortly… that is pretty reasonable in my opinion… I say just hold out for another 6 mo-year and it'll be time to lay our trusty Q1U's down for a much deserved dirt nap.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, you and me both. I've looked at the newer netbooks, but seriously, I love the touch screen, etc the Q1u-v has. What has been soldered can be unsoldered (helped my dad put together a Heathkit back when home computers were new. You had to solder everything onto the boards yourself. When one was bad, we had to take it off and solder in a replacement. Hence my wondering if anyone had considered replacing it or both it and the motherboard. Wishful thinking I know.

  • Just to make sure we're not talking past each other here, the Viliv and Archos are 7" & 9" touchscreen "tablets" just like the Q1 series… i.e. no clamshell keyboard… which i totally agree with you, is the form factor of choice.

    I love using mine as an eReader… that's the primary reason i got it… a clamshell netbook just wouldn't be the same for that usage scenario of reading in bed etc.

    Also, I have read about folks overclocking the Q1U's with a tool called SETFSB… i tried it once… didn't work right off the bat, was wondering if i had a different chipset or something… a basic google will give you a lot of hits to explore: overclock+q1u+2009 … let me know if you get that working… i should keep trying so i have that trick up my sleeve when needing to impress 🙂

    In general though I find Win7 on this thing to be an absolute dream performance wise… no real reason to go looking for more oomph… it streams Video just fine and it cranks through my giant GPS German raster maps pretty dang well too.

    What scenarios are you running into performance problems?

    I'm sure you've done the RAM upgrade right??

  • Anonymous

    I haven't seen those around here yet, so I'm not familiar with them. They're always behind around here – netbooks just came in. Mainly its the processor being so slow, though I do admit I'm probably running more bells and whistles than most do. I use it for a lot of things and rely on the onscreen keyboard a lot. I do notice a good bit of lag on playing media on it. I use it for word processing, recording, volunteer work for the local independent living project, reading and even watching netflixs while on my treadmill. Yes, I did the RAM upgrade the moment I got it, and using the flashcard for RAM boost. Maybe trying Win7 on it would help. I usually just hibernate the device to avoid Vista's long startup. I really like my samsung, so I hate giving it up. I also like the built in keyboard, mouse, etc. I'll have to look into Win 7. I hear its faster than Vista. I just don't want to go backwards to anything like XP. I never liked it.

  • Gotta ask, where's "around here"? 🙂

    And yes DEFINITELY load Win7 as soon as you can get your hands on it… it's a very nice upgrade… you will really like the improved speeds especially compared to Vista… you will have a whole new machine if you've actually be running Vista on yours… I couldn't bear Vista trying and failing miserably to play video and such… so sat on XP until 7 came along… all the drivers work, the screen calibrates, there are zero downsides.