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CNET First Look
Yukyung Viliv S7The Viliv S7's small size and Netbook/tablet hybrid design are attractive, but its high price is illogical in a world of ever-improving and price-declining portables.
>> Hi I'm Scott Stein, Senior Associate Editor at cnet.com and this is the Viliv S7 Ultraportable. Now with the rise of really affordable $300 Netbooks, the landscape has changed pretty significantly. Now that hasn't stopped Yukyung from releasing its Viliv device, the S7, to compete in this market and offer a sort of a semi futuristic profile and size at a price that's a lot higher than most netbooks are. Now what the S7 offers that its brothers, the S5 and the X70EX which we also reviewed, have in their tablet form is that this actually converts. It looks like a clam shell netbook in one since but it will also swivel with its screen to form a tablet. So what does the S7 offer on the inside, an Atom Z25 Processor which is a little bit like the Atom processors that run in most netbooks and is great for battery life but it's going to run like a netbook that you're used to in a 9 or 10 inch size. It also has an SSD drive available in 16 gigs or 32 gigs. Some advantages that the S7 has over its smaller tablet brothers, the S5 and X70EX, is an SD card slot which is great for a device like this. You're going to want to expand the memory a little bit; and SD card storage is cheap. It has Wi-Fi but unfortunately it does not have an Ethernet jack built right into the machine. The S7 also throws in a special custom interface. It runs Windows XP but its interface tries to provide something a little snazzier and a little easier to control than the XP environment. Unfortunately it can be a little hard to figure out where exactly software programs are and even how to turn wireless on and off. The S7 actually has a pretty decent keyboard with nice responsive keys that have a decent width to them that is for the letters. Over here, the letters get really crammed together and it can become pretty hard to type efficiently. And in tablet mode, the 7 inch glossy screen looks nice and has a decent touch response, but it's not like an iPhone; it's not going to be a capacitive screen, you're going to have to press a little bit to make an impact on it. And a button on the side will flip the screen around to different horizontal or landscape modes so you can use it as an E-Reader. One of the most impressive things about the S7 was its battery life, over 8 hours in our test which was great; on the other hand, like we said, you're not going to be getting that robust of performance and for playing video we found that the S7 was actually pretty sluggish. The S7 though not exactly pocket size it's still a lot smaller than most netbooks. The question is are you ready to pay $700 to $800 for such a device which is what the Viliv S7 goes for. The answer I feel for most people would probably be no or heck no. On the other hand, if type of foreign factor is what you've been looking for you might be willing to invest in it. Be aware though that flip top devices such as the Asus T91 do sell for as low as $499 for very similar configurations. I'm Scott Stein and this is the Viliv S7.