PsiXpda UMPC video unboxing & first impressions

Chris Davies - Dec 5, 2009, 3:56pm CST

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:

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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:

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9 Responses to PsiXpda UMPC video unboxing & first impressions

  1. Not impressed.
    I doubt they will find a marketing niche.
    The keyboard is too big for that screen
    The screen is too small for the computer size
    The resolution is too low for that screen
    The processor speed is too slow for a computer, better for a smartphone.
    The battery is worst than any smartphone and no better that a MId or laptop
    Who wants one?

  2. Sadly, I think I have to agree. This is a lose your shirt kind of product. As much as I wish them millions of sales, it’s just too niche and too expensive to get in to retailers and really sell. Now, if they could have managed the same thing but with eight or so hours of battery life, then you’ve got a salable proposition. As it is, most people are just going to go for a netbook that is a hundred odd quid cheaper, runs hours longer and performs better.

  3. This is not likely to be going into any shops as it is specialist. For that, it suits me very well except two dealbreakers. Battery life (needs to be at least 4 hours with wifi), and the processor needs to be faster. Web browsing looks laggy.

    I’d take the 32GB model for on the go, mobile work as I am an IT Pro. Size is extremely important. Even netbooks are too big, and I can’t always carry one around.

    The Ubuntu moblin remix might be a bit more interesting for me rather than XP, provided I can still get access to the vast range of ubuntu linux programs and a linux shell.

  4. This device has been touted as a “Psion-type PDA” by some – particularly the company. I have been using Psions since 1992, and own two Series 5s. The PsiXpda bears no resemblance to any of the Psion handheld computers because it is a rebadged Asian TABLET UMPC!! What attracted us hard-core Psion fans was the clamshell form factor, allowing you to put the device in your pocket, or drop it, and still protect its wonderful though monochromatic screen.

    I have been using the UMID M1 mbook since Dynamism began supplying it, with Win XP, the same screen size as the PsiXPDA, a stylus but no mouse (which doesn’t matter for us Psion users), a 16GB SSD, a webcam, microphone, microSD card holder, WiFi and Blue tooth and a 5-hour battery. The entire well-working package costs 450 US Dollars. Even with 3G, the short battery life of the PsiXpda renders it useless. It is simply an attempted exploitation of Psion UK loyalty and I, for one, won’t (ever) buy it!.

  5. i went to the gadget show live today and had a go on one, i loved it, they could of made it so you can scroll down easier but other than that it doesn’t bother me. batter life is a pain if you are out and about a lot but i am not so yes i think it’s really good :)

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