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Yukyung Viliv X70EX review: Yukyung Viliv X70EX

Yukyung Viliv X70EX

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Expertise VR and AR, gaming, metaverse technologies, wearable tech, tablets Credentials
  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein
7 min read

In a world of ever-multiplying Netbooks and increasingly more versatile smartphones, it seems like there's been no better time than the present for ultraportable computing devices. Amid a landscape of larger, full-keyboard devices and smaller, pocket-size touch phones, the only question is whether there is room for the UMPC (or ultramobile PC), to thrive.


Yukyung Viliv X70EX

The Good

Sharp design; solid build; good-size touch screen.

The Bad

Software keyboard is no stand-in for physical one; media playback a mixed bag; high price.

The Bottom Line

The Viliv X70EX is an improvement on its older UMPC-like sibling, the S5, but compared with other Intel Atom-powered products, it's not exactly a bargain.

We previously reviewed the 4.8-inch Atom-powered Viliv S5, and now we've taken a look at its successor, the larger-screened X70EX. While many of our criticisms of the S5 have been addressed, a few larger-scale questions about the viability of the handheld tablet/UMPC format remain.

Years ago, before the iPhone and its wave of touch-interface Internet-friendly smart devices, UMPCs were hot because they represented the most mobile way to compute. However, for that portability, their prices were through the roof, often in the range of $2,000. Yukyung's Viliv X70EX starts around $587 (available from import sites like Dynamism and at other retailers), and while that's an improvement on value, it still looms large compared with $300 Netbooks and subsidized smartphones--and our review model included options that made it even more expensive.

Covered in gunmetal-gray plastic accented with a light silver band and chrome touches, the Viliv X70EX's exterior is minimalist and smooth, a rectangular box with slight curves and gently rounded edges.

Interface buttons lining both sides are symmetrical and blend into the case design, and are comfortable to the touch. In addition to a few dedicated and customizable menu buttons, there's also a small thumbstick that can be used to jump between cells or icons on a desktop, as opposed to trackpoint navigation. There's a small Webcam on the top right of the screen, a new addition since the S5.

At 0.88 inch thick, the X70EX is actually slimmer than the S5--and proportionally, since the X70EX is a longer machine, it looks even slimmer. At 1.6 pounds, it's hardly a lightweight. However, the feel of the whole unit is very rugged and well-built, and feels like it could withstand a fall or two.

For navigation, an actual stylus is included with X70EX, as opposed to the guitar-pick mini stylus that came with the S5. It slides into the top of the UMPC on the left side, and the right side has an extendable antenna for improved 3G reception (it has 3G connectivity built in, but a service contract is required). GPS is also built into the X70EX, like its predecessor, the S5. However, like the S5, there's no included GPS software; you'll need to install navigation software to take advantage of that feature. If you do, however, the X70EX comes with a nice rear-mounting bracket for turning the tablet into a car-mounted navigation device.

The Viliv's Cube UI attempts to put a more polished and simplified method of browsing apps and settings on the X70EX, but there are times when only browsing Windows XP settings will do for getting the Viliv to perform the way you'd like. The haptic-feedback soft keyboard works slightly better than it did on the S5, mainly because of the larger screen and virtual keys. Still, this is no replacement for a normal keyboard, and it pales in comparison to the iPhone virtual keyboard. We found it difficult to comfortably type anything more than a simple sentence

The X70EX's glossy 7-inch screen has a resolution of 1,024x600, which is similar to the S5's resolution, and equivalent to the standard resolution on many Netbooks. While a 10-inch screen can display this type of detail well, the S5's 4.8-inch screen made reading icons and text a joke. Thankfully, the X70EX's 7-inch display is far better at presenting text very readably and clearly. It's an excellent size for a tablet, offering real estate that a smartphone simply can't afford. The rear-mounted speakers are also surprisingly loud, more than adequate for playing video or music to near annoying levels for everyone around you to hear. We wouldn't call them crisp, but their volume makes up for it.

  Viliv X70EX Average for category [Netbook]
Video VGA out, via dock VGA
Audio Stereo speakers, headphone jack headphone/microphone jacks
Data 1 USB 2.0, mini-USB port for system link 2 USB 2.0, SD card reader
Expansion SD card None
Networking 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Optical drive None None

Two big things that the X70EX adds to the UMPC equation that the smaller S5 lacked are an SD card slot and a Webcam. The Webcam is a nice feature, but the SD slot is an essential one. The 32GB SSD isn't large enough for serious mobile computing use, but SD card storage at least makes the Viliv X70EX a contender, as well as making file transfers much easier. Like on the S5, a custom I/O port allows for video output. Annoyingly, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are controlled by the same setting on the Viliv Cube UI, which means it's both or none unless you tweak the settings through XP's device menus. The built-in HSPA 3G antenna is compatible with AT&T service in the U.S.

A note on price and configurations: for $587, you don't get the model we reviewed. That buys a 16GB SSD and doesn't include the 3G modem. We don't think 3G is a necessary feature, but you might find it worth the upgrade. You can even go whole hog to a 128GB SSD and Windows Vista with a free Windows 7 upgrade for the astonishing price of $1,359, at which point you might as well buy a discount Netbook or a 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Internally, the Atom Z520 processor is exactly the same as the one in the Viliv S5. The Z series is a lower power-consuming but more sluggish version of the Atom, which helps battery life but doesn't do great favors for the X70EX's zippiness. In our benchmark tests, the X70EX actually performed slightly worse than the Viliv S5. In anecdotal usage, loading Web pages and particularly flash files seemed to take longer than with a standard Atom N270 Netbook.

Playing back video on ESPN, Hulu, and YouTube worked smoothly in a window, but full-screen video got pretty choppy. For basic Web browsing, e-mail, and casual media use, the Viliv X70EX will perform fine. However, in a post-iPhone age, we were a little disappointed in the slow-response touch interface.

Multimedia multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Viliv S5
Viliv X70EX
Viliv S7

Jalbum photo conversion test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Viliv S7
Viliv X70EX

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Viliv S7
Viliv X70EX
Viliv S5

Video playback battery drain test (in minutes)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Viliv S7
Viliv S5
Viliv X70EX

Juice box
Viliv X70EX  
Off (watts) 0.4
Sleep (watts) 0.43
Idle (watts) 4.39
Load (watts) 10.01
Raw (annual kWh) 16.48
Annual operating cost (@$0.1135/kWh) $1.87

The included battery on the Viliv X70EX lasted 4 hours and 8 minutes using CNET's video playback battery drain test, which replays a video file over and over until the battery expires. This is a more extreme usage of the Viliv battery than Web surfing would require, and the X70EX should last longer in casual use. In fact, we found that when using it around the office it lasted the better part of a day. Still, the X70EX's battery performance is significantly worse than the smaller but thicker S5.

Yukyung offers a one-year limited warranty on Viliv products, and provides a toll-free number for service in the U.S. More information is available on the Viliv Web site.

System configurations:

Viliv X70EX
Windows XP Home Edition SP3; 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z520; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 500; 32GB SiliconMotion Solid State Drive

Viliv S7
Windows XP Home Edition SP3; 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z520; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 128MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 500; 32GB Sandisk Solid State Drive

Viliv S5
Windows XP Home Edition SP3; 1.3GHz Intel Atom Z520; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 256MB (Shared) Intel GMA 500; 60GB Samsung 4,200rpm

Asus Eee PC T91
Windows XP Home Edition SP3; 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z520; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 256MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 500; 16GB ASUS-JM S41 SSD + 16GB SD Expansion Card

Acer Aspire One AO751h-1545
Windows XP Home Edition SP3; 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z520; 1024MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 256MB (Shared) Mobile Intel GMA 500; 160GB Seagate 5,400rpm

Sony Vaio P688E
Windows Vista Home Premium SP1; 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z520; 2048MB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; 128MB Mobile Intel GMA 500; Samsung 64GB SSD


Yukyung Viliv X70EX

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 7Performance 6Battery 7Support 6