ASUS R50a 3G UMPC reviewed: High-end features with high-end price

ASUS' R50a UMPC might have been over-shadowed by the company's all-encompassing Eee PC project, but that doesn't mean the 5.6-inch touchscreen handheld has gone away.  Spanish-language site Hispazone have been playing with the Menlow-based device, and come away both feeling that it's a great improvement over the previous-generation R2H but still not entirely convincing.

Even with the built-in 3G and WiFi switched on, the R50a manages 3.5hrs from the battery; it also has GPS, and Microsoft's latest Origami 2.0 GUI.  Less impressive is the absence of microSDHC support.

In the end, though, it's the price that causes the most concern.  As Hispazone put it, for the roughly €1,000 ($1,357) you'll be paying for the R50a you could pick up a couple of ASUS' own Eee PC netbooks, which could certainly match the UMPC for internet use.  Then with the cash left over you could get a 3G modem to match the R50a's integrated data.  It's facts like these which are likely to keep the R50a – and perhaps UMPCs in general – a very niche product.

[via UMPC Portal]