By February 13, 2007

UMPC Group Test (Part 3) UBiQUiO 702 review

This is the second week of our UMPC group test and over the last 7 days I have been using the UBiQUiO 702.

UBiQUiO 702 Main

Weighing in at over 1kg the UBiQUiO 702 is the heaviest (and largest) of the UMPC devices that we are reviewing in our group test. The 702 design is similar to the Samsung Q1, the screens are the same size and they share the same black gloss finish. The thing with the black gloss finish is that it looks great until you touch it afterwards it shows up all your finger prints!

This week the UBiQUiO had a good outing as I have been out of the office on a CCA Training course. The 6 cell battery offers great endurance lasting around 4 hours with fairly heavy use. The issue with the 6 cell battery is that it adds a lot to the weight and size of the device as it sticks out from the back of the device although this can be useful when you have the 702 on a desk as it doubles as a stand.

UBiQUiO 702 back

The 702 has an instant advantage over the Q1 in that there is a built in mouse buttons and pointer control. This works really well when you hold it in both hands and allows for efficient navigation, of course you can still use the stylus and touchscreen too.

UBiQUiO 702 mouse buttons
UBiQUiO 702 mouse

Whilst on the subject of using the device hand-held this is one area in which I found two potential flaws with the design. Firstly when you wrap your hands round the device to hold it you end up covering the CPU fan vents. Obviously this can lead to overheating. The other thing is the placement of the USB connectors. There are two USB sockets, one on each side of the unit. Both are in the exact position where you hold on to the device. This means that you can’t have anything plugged in while you are holding it, you can’t use USB keys.

UBiQUiO 702 left UBiQUiO 702 right

Like the Samsung Q1 the UBiQUiO 702 allows for text input via on screen keyboard or via Dial Keys but once again the relatively low native resolution of the display (800 x 480) means that the dials take up half the screen which limits their usefulness.

In terms of accessories, you do not get a great deal with the UBiQUiO. There is the obligatory charger, spare stylus, wired headphones/microphone and a plastic desktop stand. The only other thing you get is a yellow(!) cloth bag to put the device in. This wont offer much protection!

UBiQUiO 702 in the box

The 702 offers WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Once again, setting up a bluetooth partnership with my mobile phone was an effective way to get internet access this device but bluetooth is the only way you will be able to achieve this with the 702 as there is no PCMCIA or CF slot to use for mobile 3G cards. Fortunately the bluetooth on the 702 is reliable.

Although the bluetooth may be reliable the same cannot be said for the WiFi connection. Although the connection was easy to set up the connection would stop working at random intervals and at times would require a reboot to get it working again. Reception was also bad, even sitting close to my wireless router I could only get a ‘good’ signal, my laptop in the same place reports an excellent signal. With the 702 you’re stuck with WiFi as there is no ethernet socket to use instead.

On the plus side the battery life is good while the processor is reasonably quick and the hard drive, being a 2.5″ unit, is fast when compared with the Samsung Q1. The screen is quite large and is sharp and bright, touch screen is accurate enough but the native resolution too low in my opinion. On the down side, the biggest problem with the 702 is the weight. 1.02Kg may not sound like a lot but after holding it in your hands for 10 minutes you begin to realise how heavy it is, just like carrying 10 mobile phones! WiFi performance is also poor and there is a distinct lack of external connectors for VGA and wired ethernet.

Overall the UBiQUiO is a capable device but come back next week to see how the UBiQUiO 702 and Samsung Q1 shape up against the OQO model 01+ and I’ll be deciding which UMPC I liked best!


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Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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