Samsung's Q1 Ultra: 'It's better now! Promise!'
The newer version of Samsung's ultra-mobile PC tries to iron out the kinks of its predecessor.
No, Samsung reps didn't actually say that at yesterday's launch party for the Q1 Ultra ultra-mobile PC in NYC. But they might as well have. The original Q1, after all, was powered by a plodding Intel Celeron processor, had a battery life that ranged from 1.5 to 3.5 hours, and used a stylus-activated touch screen in lieu of a keyboard. The Q1 was released only in 2006, but customer complaints were enough for Samsung to push out a new device only a year later.
The Q1 Ultra is currently available (shipping in the next two weeks) in an $1199 model that is lighter and sleeker than its predecessor, has a QWERTY keyboard, a 60-gigabyte hard drive, and a battery that should last 4.5 hours (and which can be bumped up to 8.5 hours with an extended-life battery), and is equipped with a brighter, higher-resolution LED screen. It also has two cameras--a lower-resolution one on the front for webcam-like use, and then one on the back for actual picture-taking--and a biometric fingerprint reader.
Over the next few weeks, a $1149 business-oriented Q1 Ultra model will be released, which will run Windows XP instead of Vista. Along with that, a $799 lower-end model with a smaller hard drive and no cameras or biometric reader will be launched for a tighter-budget consumer market. There's also a super-high-end version in the works that will have cellular capabilities, but that won't be released until August because it's currently going through a qualification process with Cingular.