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Old 05-18-2006, 05:00 PM
Ekkie Tepsupornchai
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,386
Default Sony Unveils the VAIO UX Micro PC (UMPC Competitor)

"SAN DIEGO, May 16, 2006 – Sony Electronics today introduced the VAIO® UX Micro PC, placing full-size computer performance in a pocket-sized package. Weighing just over a pound, the new PC has a Microsoft® XP Professional operating system and an Intel® Core™ Solo Ultra Low Voltage CPU for fast processing and long battery life. The UX model also features a 4.5-inch wide SVGA screen with XBRITE™ technology for viewing that slides up to expose an integrated keyboard. This allows you to access familiar applications easily in the same way you would on a full-sized computer."

So don't get the UX Micro PC confused with the Ultra Mobile PC (despite the fact that both could probably be represented using the same UMPC acronym). If you combine these two lines with the OQO, there's no doubt that the heavy hitters are targeting the same market segment with these mobile PC units. The real question is whether any of them will catch on or not. Actually, I know what will make this Sony stand out! It's the MemoryStick slot! That alone makes me want to shell out the $1800 USD for it!
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Old 05-18-2006, 05:17 PM
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There have been a lot of talk already on this device in the OQO Yahoo newsgroup - it's worth checking out. Also, my remarks on the device (from my blog post here):

These three devices are indeed very appealing. The hardware is based on Intel CPU's (even the low-end model, the UX-90S will have a Celeron M, which, as all notebook freaks know, isn't significantly slower than Pentium M's of the same CPU clock speed; it's only that they don't support speedstep and, therefore, chew through the battery far faster) and, therefore, will be significantly faster than that of the two OQO models (the OQO 01 only has an 1 GHz Transmeta Crusoe, which is significantly slower than even the Intel Celeron M). Its hard drive, taking the size of the unit (15 x 9.5 x 3.2-3.8cm) and the capacity (20-30 GB) into account, can be no bigger than 1.8", which will also mean it'll be pretty slow (no wonder IBM has switched back to using 2.5" HDD's in the latest X-series subnotebooks, the X60/X60s) but, knowing Sony, I think they will still be able to come up with something usable and not completely ruined by a very slow HDD.

The built-in Intel GMA950 Integrated Graphics Core, as notebook freaks may have already guessed/know, isn't really suited for 3D gaming. That is, it is not at all suited for 3D gaming. While it delivers passable results in synthetic tests, dedicated chipsets completely deliver a K.O. to it in games as can be seen for example in these comarative tests. That is - as with all integrated Intel graphics solutions, this chipset (and, therefore, the new Sony UMPC's) isn't for gamers either.

Unfortunately, the unit is considerably (about 1cm/0.4") thicker than the OQO (3.2...3.8 as opposed to 2.28 cm).

Also, the screen resolution, 1,024 x 600 on a 4.5" screen (the OQO has 800*480 at 5" - that is, the Sony has a definite lead here too), makes much more sense than, say, the Averatec UMPC, which will (?) have a SXGA (1280*1024) 5" screen - a definite, unnecessary overkill.

Also, the price of the unit, while not very cheap for US buyers compared to the OQO (the 20Gbyte Celeron M model starts at $1350 and the highest-end model is around $1900, which is around the price of the OQO), will be quite a bargain for European buyers (who, in general, need to shell out far more money for the same device than American customers) - if Sony indeed ships the units at the given price (700-1000 UK Pounds, depending on the configuration). It's still at least three times more expensive than a high-end PDA (not taking into the HTC Universal into account) like the Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket Loox 720, N560 or the HP iPAQ hx4700, though.

As the announcement is brand new, nothing other is known of the device. Speculations have already started - for example, on the OQO mailing list.

Depending on the alternates, this device may prove to be a decent pocket-sized companion to my heavy and big, but, screen-wise, top-notch (1600*1200 FlexView/IPS - its screen is approximately as good as that of, say, the iPAQ HP hx4700 and the VGA Fujitsu-Siemens Pocket PC's) IBM Thinkpad a31p. I may not get a Thinkpad x60/x60s, after all (albeit the x60s with the Ultralight screen is certainly appealing - if the screen is indeed as good as it is said to be).
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Old 05-18-2006, 05:23 PM
Raphael Salgado
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God, this is getting to be very, very tempting.

The UX50, the Japanese version, is previewed on Digital World Tokyo here:

The Japanese version has a CF slot in addition to the MemoryStick slot.
The US version has no CF slot, but has EDGE capability and comes with a Cingular SIM card. :!:

If I decide to get this device, I could either tether the Treo 700w's EvDO connection via Bluetooth, or trade off the 700w for a... eek, regular phone, drop the Unlimited EvDO and just get a data plan on the SIM card (may be similar prices, but no way similar in speed).

Either way, I'm looking at videoconferencing via Skype, MSN Messenger, or AOL, something that should have been implemented on Pocket PCs a long time ago. (On a sidenote, I've been told by a Cingular rep that the 3G rollout in the US will NOT have video telephony as UK 3G carriers do. They will only have video downstreaming of TV, movies, video clips, etc. Bleh. So much for a HTC Universal-like device on Cingular's 3G network and making video calls. Looks like the best workaround will be the UX180P.)

According to DWT, "The UX50 will go on sale in Japan on May 27 and in the U.S. in July. In Japan it will cost around ¥170,000 (US$1,547) and in the U.S. will cost about $1,800, Sony said." Anyone planning to go to Japan anytime soon? If you can't wait, GeekStuff4U is importing these guys from Japan with a hefty premium, but comes with a 3-year warranty (back to Sony Japan).

If you can wait, Sony USA will have them first week of July at $1799.99 or financed at $51 a month. Hmm! Fully loaded 1.2GHz version with Windows XP and a 30GB drive, but a 1-year Sony US warranty.

Yes, I've been doing my homework on it, and cringing to press the Submit Order button... 8O
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Old 05-18-2006, 06:03 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 256

I like it. I'd buy it. I'm drooling.....
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Old 05-18-2006, 06:43 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 740

Will these devices be Sim-locked in any way? The fact they ship with a Cingular card concerns me. Are they also available with UMTS standard?
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Old 05-18-2006, 06:48 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Thiis one good looking device. Specs aren't too bad either. I'll take the CF Card over the EDGE/Memory Stick version anytime.

It's too expensive though AND it only has a 4.5" screen. Now that I've seen the 7" on the UMPC, I can't go back.

The Sony is REALLY a Pocket PC on steroids. At $1200, it would be very tempting. However, I'm not cancelling my TabletKiosk order just yet.
Rick Gomez - Owner/Consultant
fiona Systems Integration
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Old 05-18-2006, 07:20 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 434

Actually, all of the UX models use an Intel Core Solo processor, not the Celeron.
James Kendrick* ...using mobile devices since they weighed 30 lbs
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:58 PM
Raphael Salgado
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I saw JK and his review of the TabletKiosk eo UMPC and my first impression is, "Wow, that's big."

I Photoshopped and measured out the Treo 700w, the Dell Axim X51v, and the UX180P. This is what it will look like is comparison.

It's still pocketable, but would you want to slip in a $1800 device in your pocket without some skin or protection?

In case you've owned or seen the previous U series (U50/U70P/U750P), here's a size comparison of the two.

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Old 05-18-2006, 10:41 PM
5000+ Posts? I Should OWN This Site!
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Originally Posted by jkendrick
Actually, all of the UX models use an Intel Core Solo processor, not the Celeron.
Thanks for the clarification; the Register article stated "The UX-90S has a 20GB hard drive and a choice of Celeron M or Core Solo U1300 CPU." That is, even the cheapest model will have a P-M, not just a C-M?
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Old 05-19-2006, 02:19 AM
Nurhisham Hussein
Contributing Editor
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,111

Menny, here's the product rundown from

But fil at posted this as well:

UX180P: US version
Intel Core Solo Processor U1400 (1.20 GHz), Windows XP Professional SP2, Integrated Wireless Wide Area Network (WAN) accessing Cingular Wireless National EDGE Network, 512MB RAM,30GB, 4.5"5 Wide SVGA LCD, Touch Screen

VGN-UX50: 169,800 yen
Windows XP Professional (SP2), Core Solo U1300(1.06 GHz), 512MB, 30GB, Microsft Office Personal 2003

VGN-UX90PS: Japan version (customizable)
Windows XP Home Edition (SP2), Celeron M 423(1.06 GHz), 512MB, 30GB, 147,800 yen
Windows XP Professional (SP2), Core Solo U1400(1.20 GHz), 512MB, 30GB, 189,800 yen
Windows XP Professional (SP2), Core Solo U1400(1.20 GHz), 512MB, 30GB, Microsft Office Personal 2003, 209,800 yen
Link to original post

So you can get a Celeron model but only in Japan - but to my mind, apart from price, what's the point?
"A planner is a gentle man, with neither sword nor pistol.
He walks along most daintily, because his balls are crystal."
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