Samsung Ships Q1 Ultra UMPCS

Samsung marks the year anniversary of the release of its Q1 UMPC by shipping the Q1 Ultra, a better all-around ultramobile PC with a lower price and enhanced usability.

This $799 handheld saves energy with an LED-backlit screen at 1024x600 pixels, and that helps boost the battery life to what Samsung says is 4.5 hours. Best of all, it has a QWERTY keyboard, and with half of the characters on each side of the screen makes it much easier to use than the awkward on-screen keyboard of its predecessor.

So what's our take on this release, and on UMPCs in general?

When we tested the Q1 last year, the worst thing about it was the lack of a physical keyboard, so this enhancement goes a long way toward its salvation. But we're still thinking that this whole UMPC idea is a solution in search of a problem. If you want a small unit, get yourself a WinMo when no cellphone, and if you want more power, get one of the great small laptops now available. We're finding it hard to get enthusiastic about this Q1 Ultra, but we'll reserve final judgment until we actually get our hands on one for extensive testing.

Press Release [Samsung]