You've seen us taking the Samsung Q1 UMPC out of the box in Part I, and now it's time to sit down and actually use it. Its strongest attribute is its shiny black appearance with its first-rate industrial design, and coming in a close second is its prowess as a multimedia player.
Its 800x480 screen makes video look great, and HDTV clips look spectacular. Its easel-like stand that folds out of the back gives it the usability of a portable, high-quality LCD TV set.
On the negative side, besides having a processor that's too slow and a hard disk that's too small, dealing with its user interface is a downright clumsy experience. You have a choice of a cheap, too-short stylus, using your fingers which feel like hams on its tiny screen, or typing with the DialKeys application which gives you two quarter-circular keypad video overlays on the bottom corners of the screen.
More harsh criticisms and a conclusion, after the jump.
All these options are abysmal, to the point where we finally just plugged in a USB mouse to overcome the frustration. The thing needs a slide-out keyboard in the worst possible way. Even with that, the Windows Tablet PC interface seems too big for the screen, where many items don't fit properly.
Check out the DialKeys, which were difficult to use in horizontal mode (above)...
But impossible in vertical mode (below).
Overall, the Samsung Q1 is a second-rate first outing for the UMPC platform that's not worth $500, much less the $1100 street price. You'd be much better off buying one of the many multimedia players available on the market, and with the money left over, getting yourself a low-end notebook PC. Thumbs down, way down.