Kohjinsha ultra-portable: another middling review

We've seen reviews of the Kohjinsha SA1F00A before, but I'm still in two minds about the dinky handheld.  On the positive side there's undoubtedly something cool about a full Windows XP laptop, complete with keyboard, that's small enough to make even the weakest road-warrior happy; on the negative, there've been all sorts of dark mutterings about usability and how fit for purpose its power-sipping specs are.  Now it's Jenn over at Pocketables' turn to have a try, and see whether the SA1F00A will fit into her mobile lifestyle.


It's a case of one step forward and one step back, really: the screen is clear and bright, thanks to the LED backlighting, but it's not a touchscreen and so that whole twisting convertible design isn't much use.  Yes, you could browse the net using just the trackstick and buttons either side of the display, but as soon as you want to go somewhere outside of your favourites you'll likely be wanting the keyboard.


And it's the keyboard Jenn was most disappointed with:

"I had high hopes for this keyboard ... It was a reasonable expectation, given the size of the keyboard and the "regular-looking" keys. But my god, was I wrong!" Jenn K. Lee

Missed keystrokes, varying amounts of pressure (bordering on abuse, apparently) needed to properly press certain keys, it even had Jenn wishing for DialKeys from the UMPC and that's saying something!

To be fair, there are some things that the SA1F00A does pretty darn well.  In the picture above you can see Jenn has had it hooked up to a 17-inch monitor, and you could quite realistically go higher than that considering the Kohjinsha will pump out 1600x1200.  There are enough ports to plug in a full-sized keyboard, too, making it an adequate desktop solution as long as you're satisfied with just some browsing, email and writing.


All well and good, but the whole point of the SA1F00A is that it's a portable computer.  Needing to plug in a keyboard, at least, undermines that entirely.  I'm starting to think we should just wait until version two!

Review: Kohjinsha SA1F00A [Pocketables]