By February 18, 2007

UMPC Group Test (Part 4) OQO model 01+ review

This is the third week of our UMPC group test and this week I have been trying out the OQO Model 01+.

OQO Model 01

The OQO is the smallest and lightest device in our UMPC Group Test, weighing in at 421g and measuring just 134mm x 86mm x 23mm, bigger than a PDA but smaller than an ultralight notebook, the OQO Model 01 is an ultrasmall Windows XP computer that will appeal primarily to businesspeople who need applications with them when they’re out of the office.

Unlike the other devices we had in the group test, the OQO has a built in keyboard and TrakStik–a small, rubbery joystick that controls the cursor. The keyboard is hidden under the slide-up screen which moves on a rack and pinion mechanism. The keys may be quite small but the OQO’s keyboard is easy to use. You won’t be able to touchtype but thumb typing on it is easy enough. The TrakStik is placed to the right of the keyboard, and buttons for left- and right-click are on the left.

OQO Keyboard OQO Keyboard close-up

At the heard of the OQO is a 1GHz Transmeta processor and has a 20GB hard disk. I found the OQO to be adequately powerful, it wont win any records but for Word, Excel and Outlook it’ fine and it will quite hapilly play back full screen video.

The built-in 5-inch transflective screen has an 800×480 native resolution which is quite impressive looking considering the size of the display, the back light isn’t very even though with some noticeable light and dark areas. The OQO comes with a neat docking cable. This plugs into the bottom of the unit and provides connectors for an external keyboard, monitor, and speakers. The docking solution uses an unusual cable with a handful of ports (Ethernet, FireWire, video, USB, audio, and AC power input) spaced out along it.

OQO Bottom
OQO Dock Cable

The main complaint about the OQ is that is runs quite hot during normal use. This makes it quite uncomfortable to hold after a while and you end up changing hands while using it.

Another thing that’s differnt about the OQO is that the screen is capacitive rather than touch-sensitive. This means that you can only use the supplied stylus with it, you can’t use your finger or another pointing device on it. This can be rather frustrating when you just want to quickly tap on something on-screen. You also have to make sure that you calibrate the stylus correctly and it makes a big difference whether you are left or right handed when you use it. I struggled with the stylus accuracy on the OQO. The stylus is housed top right of the unit.

OQO Stylus

The OQO Model 01 has full wireless capabilities, both Wi-Fi (802.11b) and Bluetooth. There’s one FireWire and one USB port on the unit however the USB is 1.1 only, not the faster USB 2.0. There’s no video-out on the unit itself, this is provided on the docking cable, but the device doesn’t make for a good presenation machine.


The standard battery in the OQO lasted about 2 hours and the extended battery about twice as long. The battery seems to take rather a long time to charge and this too seems to develop quite a lot of heat. The power adapter is also rather noisy while the battery is charging, producing a high-pitched whine.

Overall the OQO model 01+ is a decent device. WiFi and Bluetooth quality is better than the other devices on test both in terms of range/reception and reliability. On the down side the temperature that it runs at is the biggest cause for concern though, it’s probably a bad idea to allow the unit to chage within its carrying pouch.

So come back next week to see how we rate each device side-by-side where we’ll consider thing’s like cost, warranty etc.

OQO Closed


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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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