UMPCs are still niche products, and native US or European vendors for them are even rarer, so we're quietly intrigued by UK startup PsiXpda and their first UMPC. Having broken cover yesterday, SlashGear's demo unit arrived in this morning's post and we promptly shot an unboxing video together with a brief hands-on demo. After the cut, two videos with the PsiXpda UMPC and some first impressions.
First impressions are surprisingly positive, given the relatively lackluster specifications. An Atom Z510 processor - running at 1.1GHz - doesn't exactly inspire confidence, but from a cold boot the Windows XP desktop was on-screen in around 35 seconds and usable ten seconds after. Programs load reasonably quickly - though the fan kicked in pretty much full-time when we loaded up TweetDeck, known for being somewhat system-intensive - and with the addition of the dragging add-on for Firefox we were able to browse with no problems.
PsiXpda unboxing video:
The relatively low screen resolution (for a PC) of 800 x 480 does present a few issues with onscreen dialog boxes, which sometimes can be cut off at the bottom. We're also less than enthusiastic about the stylus, which has a very narrow barrel and only extends to a stumpy 3.25-inches. Happily the touchscreen itself seems pretty responsive, and the trackpad - which is integrated into the right-hand side of the screen bezel - works well (the left/right mouse buttons are on the left-hand side). Only the very middle keys on the full QWERTY are more than a slight stretch when thumb-typing, though there's not a great deal of travel and the buttons are quite loud.
It's possible to turn the WiFi/Bluetooth and 3G off independently, and with the addition of a SIM we had a connection up and running shortly after adding in the network's APN details. The supplied WWAN connection manager also allows you to make voice calls and send messages, though the interface isn't as friendly as a smartphone would be. Still, in a pinch you could use the PsiXpda for that.
We'll be putting the PsiXpda UMPC through its paces over the next few days, and seeing whether there's really a space in-between today's capable smartphones and netbooks/notebooks for it to occupy. Until then, enjoy the unboxing video and the initial demo video below!
PsiXpda demo video: