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Asus R2H: Origami UMPC in 'quite good' shocker

We weren't overly impressed by the Samsung Q1 Ultra-Mobile PC, but the Asus R2H breathes new life into the Origami concept

Our friends at Asus (of Lamborghini and leather laptop fame) have just sent us the company's version of the Intel/Microsoft Origami concept. It's called the Asus R2H and it's the most serious rival to the Samsung Q1 Ultra-Mobile PC.

The R2H uses the same size screen (7 inches) and internal components as the Q1, though it's slightly larger. We'll forgive its girth as it boasts a bevy of additional features -- most notably a 1.3-megapixel camera above the screen for video-conferencing, and a fingerprint reader at the top left-hand side. Fingerprint readers are an increasingly popular feature on laptop PCs as they enable you to log into Windows without using a password. This, as most MI5 agents will tell you, will come in very handy if you lose the R2H in the back of a taxi.

The R2H also has an integrated GPS receiver, the aerial for which is tucked away at the rear of the unit, so you can use it to find your way home when you're not using the device as a portable media player. Finally, there's a very handy mouse nipple at the top right that you can use to navigate your way around the Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system.

Whereas we were fairly underwhelmed by the Samsung Q1, we're pretty enamoured with the R2H. It has more features and though it's slightly less portable, we think it's much more functional. It's not all good news though -- the device has three separate 'hold' buttons, none of which actually work.

Still, it's a very early engineering sample, so we expect Asus to iron out most of the wrinkles before it's released at the end of August. The R2H should cost £799 -- the same price as the Q1. Watch out for a full review in the near future. -RR