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August 17, 2009

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[Exclusive] Viliv S7 3G - First few hours Impression

(由微腦狂人於5年零7個月之前發表)

Text: JOE

Upon searching our unboxing reviews, convertiable UMPCs are a rare item in our record. Most of them are come from

Kohjinsha UMPC. Thanks to the Viliv distributor of Hong Kong - ECT - they sent me the first keyboard-UMPC from Viliv of the Viliv S7 Handtop. Yes, it is officially called Handtop but I, personally, like to call it an UMPC.

With huge amount of competition from netbooks around, how Viliv or this 7-inches S7 UMPC can survior in the market? I will present to you my review/first impression of this little-white guy.


Full specification and press release here



Body and Finishing


Different from the preivous S5 and X70EX, S7 UMPC is white in color. The upper part is a little bit gloss but not a fingerprint collector. The bottom part is a common plastic white material. Although plastic, the finishing is acceptible good.







With the "True All Day computing" and "max. 9.5 hours battery life" as the slogans, the battery is still very thin and will not swallowing up the rear or bottom parts. There is no description of the battery type but it should be a Li-polymer battery based on its size.
[Update: Battery capacity is 34Wh]








Peripheral



On left-hand-side of the device you will find there is an extremely good improvement, the VGA port, which is missing in Viliv S5 and X70EX. Then, USB 2.0 x 2, mini USB (USB link), mic & headphone jacks, SD card slot, power jack, switch button and an unique I/O port (don't exactly know the usage now) are surrounding the outside.






Around the 7" (1024 x 600) touch screen you will find a 1.3M pixel webcam (Top-left corner), a Menu & Pivot buttons (Middle-right) and the "very loud" speakers are shared in both side.









Also, you'll find the trackpad and Left & right mouse buttons are located in the Top-right corner of the keyboard. Under which, is a series of LED indicators (Num Lock, Caps Lock & Scroll Lock). Opposite-side is another series of LED indicators (Power, Harddisk and Wireless/BT).
The trackpad is sensitive but is small. One drag cannot move the mouse point from top to the bottom of the screen.







Keyboard & Rotating Screen Hinge Quality


With the limitation of the body size, the keyboard is as small as Eee PC 701 and some keys (arrow & right-Shift keys) are even squeezed unacceptably small. Even so, I should say they are still usable as the position of the right-Shift is just in an accessable place so that you can still press it correctly.





One thing people concern the most for convertiable formfactor device is "The Hinge". Luckily, the rotating screen hinge is strong and stable (you will see how strong it is in the video).
[Update: Videos are uploaded]


First Impression





S7 is totally a different form factor from S5 and X70EX. The keyboard is significant to me as I always mentioned keyboard is essential to my usual work. Although some of the keys are small, they are still usable. The touch screen is sensitive as S5 or X70EX. I assume they use the same LCD brand. The new UI - Shuffle UI - appeared to show more animation. Except this, it is similar to the Cube UI in S5 and X70Ex in function. A new stuff but not an improvement. In general, S7 is keeping the high quality of housing of Viliv products but of course, I also have some comments on the following points.

1) There is no stylus. There is a plastic pug near the annetena (will not appear in retail version) but it is no stylus. I hope it is a reservation position for the stylus....

2) Uneven pressure on LCD panel. When you press the Menu or Pivot button, you will find the LCD color/image near the buttons will deformed. This is also happening in the middle of the LCD when you press the screen gently. It seems that the pressure applied on the LCD panel is not even. So that press in one position will affect the other position. My testing unit is an Engineering unit, I hope it will be fixed in the retail version.

3) The Pivot button actually is a screen rotation button. The rotation/orientation works fine in the XP envirnoment. However, when it is in the new UI mode (Shuffle UI), the image and icon of the Shuffle UI will be deformed when in the 90 or 270 deg. (You will see in the second video). It seems a software combatibility problem.
[Update: Videos are uploaded]

4) In my Engineering unit, the Wireless/BT and 3G modules cannot be switched on at the same time. Just like the Engineering unit in S5 Premium 3G. I suppose it is just a software problem. As long as viliv can fix it in S5 3G, I believe it can be fixed in the retail version of S7 as well.


I will have the performance and battery life tests on the coming days.





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