OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

You've seen both the OQO2 and the Flipstart, but when I loosed both of these little palm-top computers in the same room, it was a moment reminiscent of fighting cocks entering the ring, Superman facing Lex, Hiro meeting Sylar, Ken giving Ryu the Shuryuken...you get the idea.

Essentially, I have to say the OQO2 is brilliant, based off design, specs, price, and the details that come to a product in its second revision. The Flipstart is also nice as hell, with a higher-res screen, the clamshell which makes for easier viewing/typing on a table top, trackpad, VGA cam, and dedicated Ctrl-Alt-Del button. But because of aesthetics and details alone, I prefer the OQO2. I've put shots of all angles, rooter to the tooter, nave to chop, in the gallery below. And after the jump more impressions of the two that go more than just skin deep.

OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

OQO2 Vs. Flipstart: Live MiniPC Sizemodo and GropeS

The OQO2 boasts a smaller, magnesium case, better processors, and double the Storage and RAM at 60GB/1GB. The Flipstart loads its little-big body up with an external lid LCD, a higher res screen at 1024 x 768 (vs 800 by 480 of the OQO2). Basically, the OQO2 looks better in person, and on paper. It has yet to be determined which one is easier to type on, but my impressions for both are that you won't be touch typing on either one of these very quickly without an external Bluetooth keyboard.

OQO Minutia:
The OQO2's backlit keyboard and screen are brighter, and the OQO2 has a light sensor that auto adjusts those features.

The OQO has a zoom that goes in and interestingly, out, so that the max res can be up to 1200 by 720. Good for moving files around a desktop. Using the dock, which contains an DVD burner ($399) and every other port you'd expect in a dock, it has both VGA and HDMI ports capable of doing 1920 by 1080 simultaneously! That hits 128 - 256MB of your system RAM, but at least its doable.
What's also cool is that the OQO has a dedicated HDMI port on its bottom. Easy enough to use it for DVI or VGA with the right adapters.

The keyboard itself has FN buttons for bringing up a wireless control panel, rotating the screen orientation, locking shift, fn, ctl and alt keys, and the typical volume controls. And a numeric pad.

The OQO2's thumbstick is an evolved version of the Thinkpad's and its much nicer. (They have the original IBM team that did the first, and they evolved it without pissing off any IBM laywers.)

The OQO2 has a cool whip antenna for WWAN, and actually, the WiFi can use one of two antennas, whichever is better, and the WWAN uses both to make a mega-signal. OQO2 is available with Verizon or Sprint EVDO, and soon, HSDPA.

Flipstart Minutia:
The Flipstart's keyboard doesn't have a numeric pad, but it does have a nub and a trackpad, as well as a cross pad for arrow keys. dedicated media controls...annoyingly right below the spacebar. It also has a zoom button, and a desktop button, and a window switching button (like a dedicated Alt-Tab). By the way, the best thing about the keyboard is the dedicated Ctrl-Alt-Del button. Wouldn't need that if Windows didn't crash so damn often, but this is the harsh cold reality of the situation, and a solution just one click away.

The Flipstart also has a sideshow like Screen up on the lid, but since its not sideshow-powered, plugins for email checking, iTunes playback, and other stuff needs to come from Vulcan directly. There is a random USB port on top, too, which uses the pins, but not the exact plug. It's for expansion, not for your typical devices.

The VGA camera is pretty useful for conferencing. I'm glad its in there.

The Flipstart has a side toggle wheel, like an old blackberry, that can be used to quickly navigate through a quick menu the device has. Smart, as its unlikely you'd enjoy mousing around such a tiny screen for very long.

More later...

Oqo [Gizmodo]
Flipstart [Gizmodo]