Category Archives: umpc

Crunchtime for JooJoo – the £319 12″ MID

It’s funny how one product can change everyone’s perceptions of what’s feasible on the marketplace. Nearly two years in gestation, the JooJoo’s origins are a hybrid of UMPC/MID and netbook thinking – netbook class hardware in a UMPC shell, but with the MID’s cut-down OS theory. With a stripped-bare UI, large, colourful multitouch screen and accessible x86 hardware, what started out as a gadget-geek’s fantasyevolved into a little bit of a commercial nightmare for the manufacturers and developers at Fusion Garage. None of which has any bearing, ultimately, on what you get for your cash when you find a JooJoo.

Wild JooJoos are pretty hard to find, few made it into the hands of journalists or end users but if you want your own you may track them down on eBay and the like.

(This was originally written in June/July 2010)
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Asus T101MT – Convertible Eee grows up

Asus Eee PC T101MTAsus are widely credited with redefining the netbook market, taking the 1990s concept of a “small, light connected laptop” that companies like Psion and Acorn pursued and Toshiba nearly cracked with the Libretto and turning it into the “small, light, cheap connected laptop”. Whilst there was a degree of the Eee riding the OLPC project’s coat-tails into the wider market’s consciousness the end result of that first device’s sub-£200 price point, robust SSD and Linux combination has been a flood of similar systems and the inevitable blurring of the netbook definition. You can drop the “cheap” bit for many, though functionality is very different to Psion’s Netbook. Asus, like Dell, Acer and Sony, are producing several models of netbook to fit any budget and requirement; the T101MT is particularly interesting in a tablet-obsessed 2010 and points to a surfeit of such devices for 2011.
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Teso J-10 – SSD upgrades

After completing the review and a couple of other articles, the Windows 7 tablet went back to The Tablet Store; as a quirky and endearing little unit I missed it! Fortunately, it came back to complete some other articles – but with a difference. Jay’s been researching what can be done with the J-10, and in place of the Hitachi SATA Hard Disc, there’s a 64GB SSD drive.

Whilst there are no other charges to the J-10 currently, how does the SSD affect the J-10’s performance?
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Archos 9 – UMPC, Tablet PC or PMP?

The Archos 9 has been doing the rounds for about a year now and was launched for sale in October 2009, enjoying a good run as one of the few low-cost UMPC style devices to make it into the mass consumer marketplace. Standing at the top of their odd-numbered range of Personal Media Player (PMP)/Tablet style devices, the 9 deviates from their crossover nature by being a full-fledged Windows system, albeit at sub-netbook specifications. Revitalising the appeal for the Archos 9, this weekend Amazon lowered their price to £369 from an RRP of £449 – making this one of the cheapest UMPC devices ever sold officially in the UK. Is there a value equation to be solved here or does the UMPC genre benefit from a few years and the Tablet’s newly-reconigsed status as a consumer product?
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What Makes JooJoo Tick – Inside Fusion Garage’s tablet

The JooJoo had an interesting gestation yet seems to have passed below the radar since birth, despite impressive 1366 x 768 HD screen and fast, dedicated web browser claims. The hardware wasn’t badly priced, coming in at £319 + VAT and Duty in the UK – so what’s happened? Somehow the hacking community appears to have overlooked the device too – at least when compared to the first Eee and similar devices. Yet it offers good, solid and attractive hardware to base projects on.

This article was originally written in July 2010, and held over for new announcements.
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Apad by any other name…

This is, first and foremost, a site for me to put the content that won’t fit in other, print media outlets. It’s full of half-written entries as work gets in the way, it’s sporadically updated. If something grabs me, then you’ll see it here eventually. Currently I’m enthralled, baffled and generally confused by the “iPad-killer” market of Shanzai tablets typified by the Eken M7001, iPed and the Apad (which has been adopted as the name for Shanzai/OEM Android MIDs, but actually refers to a 7″ Rockchip RK2808 based model commonly sold as the “iRobot”).

Amongst these, the Rockchip architecture has been out for ages – the Archos players are based on it – and MIDs have been showing up in various forms at consumer electronics shows particularly in Eastern territories for years. So why the sudden buzz?
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Upgrading the Teso J-10 or iiView M1Touch

As a pretty neat UMPC, the Teso J-10 (aka iiView M1Touch and also sold as a “Windows 7 Tablet” by Tablet Store UK currently – I’m not aware of any other UK importers) is already well equipped for most purposes. Most of the time, people want to add bluetooth, 3G and so forth; those are already present. However, it’s interesting to get a look inside and see how the J-10 is assembled.
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Tablet Store 10.1″ iPhone-styled Windows 7 3G Tablet

Shanzai gets it right sometimes, and Tablet Store UK’s Windows 7 tablet is one such case. Coming in at £449, with the 3G-equipped model tested at £499 with 160GB HD, HSUPA wireless from a Sierra Wireless 8781 and Bluetooth and WiFi via a combined module, this tablet is also known as the TESO J-10 and iiView M1Touch; it identifies itself as a THD PX1. Whilst many sites have opted to view this as an “iPad Killer”, such a concept is laughable – it’s an evolution of the Ultra-Mobile PC concept. So where has the concept been taken, and has it matured sufficiently to be worthwhile – and have the Chinese OEMs cracked something that few startup firms have managed…
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Dell Mini 10 (Inspiron 1010) – versatile HD netbook with TV, 3G and GPS

The netbook genre has exploded during the time I’ve been hosting this site – and I’ve overlooked most models despite owning two of the most popular ones due to a lack of time to review them. However, as the market for the devices matured, the need for something that wasn’t simply “good enough”, but was actually “complete and useful” became quite pressing. Having started with the obligatory 4GB Asus Eee and moved on to the exceptionally good value Acer Aspire One A110, the time taken for these models to acquire internal 3G networking and decent storage was frustrating.
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