Only UMPC gives its impressions of the new ASUS R2H

The last time we visited UMPCs, Samsung had stuffed a 32GB Flash-SSD drive into its Q1. That device features a 7" WVGA screen, 802.11g wireless, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and an ultra-low voltage Celeron M processor. The device is priced at $999 USD with the standard 40GB HDD and around $2,600 USD with the Flash-SSD.

Now we have another UMPC to talk about: Asustek's R2H. We first saw the R2H at this year's Computex and came away impressed with its build quality, screen and features. For those keeping score, the R2H features a 900MHz Celeron M processor, 768MB of memory, 60GB hard drive, 7" WVGA screen, 802.11g, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, fingerprint reader, onboard GPS, two USB 2.0 ports, a 6860 mAh battery and comes with a 2-year limited global warranty (1-year warranty on the battery).

Only UMPC has posted its impressions of the 2-pound device and they came away mostly impressed. Battery life, which has been a thorn in the side of most UMPCs, was actually quite manageable. Only UMPC was able to achieve run times of 2 hours and 12 minutes with all wireless functions turned on and maximum screen brightness. With all wireless functions turned off and with power saving options enabled, Only UMPC was able to achieve nearly 3 and a half hours of runtime. If there was one thing that the reviewers had a real problem with, however, it was with the over abundance of preloaded software which taxed the 900MHz Celeron processor:

The moment I switched the device, things were pretty much as expected. It takes you through the regular windows setup stuff (just the last part) and when the system is ready to login, I should say it took a while (about 2 mins ) for the UMPC to be ready for use. I kinda felt like booting up a new PC / Notebook from DELL, the stuff is loaded with tones of software in the start up.

While UMPCs are intriguing devices, they haven't quite lived up to expectations when it comes to sales. The high price of entry is one of the reasons and meager battery life is yet another. With customers having access to $500 notebooks from reputable manufacturers, $1,000 for a UMPC seems like a hard pill to swallow. Hopefully the situation in "UMPC Land" will improve with next generation "Vistagami" devices.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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