Friday, April 07, 2006

The Model 1+: A Device Remarkably Close To A UMPC!

Sure, we’re all anticipating the arrival of the UMPCs, but as it turns out, there’s been a very similar product out for a while now. OQO released the Model 1 in early 2005. The Model 1 wasn’t automatically labeled as a UMPC because the term wasn’t really used at the time, but this was what the product essentially was. Now, OQO is releasing the Model 1+, an upgraded version of its predecessor. With so much hype about UMPCs, perhaps consumers will buy this solidly built but very expensive portable device.

The Model 01+ runs on a pretty powerful Transmeta Crusoe processor with 1 GHz. The RAM memory is also pretty comparable to even the standard laptop, with 512MB built in. In true UMPC fashion, the Model 01+ has a touchscreen, which is admittedly a bit small at 5 inches. At least they got the 800 x 480 resolution right. This should provide for some very crisp and clear imagery. The device also has a full QWERTY keyboard, a feature that a lot of UMPCs have passed up. 802.11b and Bluetooth support are also present for whenever you feel the need for some wireless web surfing or peripheral integration. The Hard Drive isn’t much really praise-worthy, but the 30GB should get the job done.

Now as for the biggest change, the Model 1 ran on Windows XP Professional Edition. The Model 1+ runs Windows XP Professional Tablet Edition 2005, a version with similar features, but with some specific nuances geared towards the touchscreen. Sure, the machine is a wonderful piece of technology inside and out, but the price will undoubtedly drive most people away. At 1,869.95 Euros (2,265.00 USD), this is a purchase that will take some serious consideration. Personally, I’d recommend waiting a bit to see what other UMPCs offer, and at which prices. If you’re so eager to experience the portable goodness that you can’t wait, the Model 1+ is pretty much one of your only options. Heck, it’s not a bad one at that.



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