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Samsung looks to be switching out the 600MHz for a faster, more expensive 800MHz unit

Samsung announced its second generation Q1 Ultra UMPC last month. The company stated that the device would start at $799 for the base model and would creep up to $1,499 for the range-topping model.

The base Q1 Ultra (Q1U-EL) was to be equipped with a 600MHz Intel A100 processor, 1GB DDR2-400 memory, 40GB HDD, 7" 1024x600 LED-backlit display, 802.11a/b/g, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, split-QWERY keyboard and Windows Vista Home Premium.

When announced, Samsung said that the Q1U-EL would ship in late May while the Q1U-V (800MHz/1GB/60GB/SD slot/dual cameras) would ship in mid-May. The Q1U-V started showing up online at the end of May, but the slower Q1U-EL was nowhere to be found.

Yesterday, information began popping up on the Origami Project forums that could explain the delay for the Q1U-EL. Samsung's new Q1 Ultra microsite now lists all variants as having the 800MHz A110 processor.

Online retailers have updated their product listings to show that the Q1U-EL now features the 800MHz A110 processor instead of the slower 600MHz A100 processor. Retailers reflecting the processor change include Bottom Line Telecommunications, Buy.com and PC Connection (they list the A110 processor, but have not yet revised their text to reflect the 800MHz clock speed).

Even more telling is that some retailers have also raised their prices to compensate. Buy.com is showing the Q1U-El at $875.99 while PC Connection is now listing the UMPC at $899. CDW previously listed the Q1U-EL at $799, but has since removed the price and now states "Call for Availability."

It may take a few more days for all of the commotion to die down and for retailers to get their pages updated, but it looks as though Samsung is saying goodbye to not only the 600MHz A100, but also the $799 price tag.

The only reason for the change as speculated by many is that the 600MHz processor just can’t cut it in Windows Vista Home Premium. Vista has been cited as being a resource hog and the 600MHz processor running with Aero enabled coupled with the 4200RPM hard drive could make for some unpleasant customers. This is what one Blogcritics blogger had to say about the 800MHz Q1U-V:

Before you think this unit is perfect, there is one important aspect that hasn’t been covered yet: speed! The higher end unit runs an 800 MHz “Genuine Intel” processor. The lower end unit runs a 600 MHz processor. I don’t know how anybody could handle the lower end units because at 800 MHz, this unit is slow. When I say slow, I mean as slow as watching a clock and waiting for a minute to go by. This unit is even slower than the original Q1 unit. Much of this is due to the new Windows Vista operating system, which hogs up a lot more RAM and CPU usage.

So when pressed with the thought of have a “slow” device and “really slow” device, it appears that Samsung appeared to go with simply “slow.”





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