Let me tell you the story of a man, who after seeing the Toshiba Libretto a long long time ago. Had his mind set that one day he'll get a computer which can fit into his pocket AND STILL be a capable machine. Through out the years since then, his adventures in finding the ultimate portable went on a wild trip from a 10" Acer C110 Tablet PC to an 11" Fujitsu P1610 to what is most commonly known as the smallest Convertible Tablet PC, the Fujitsu U1010. And the man was satisfied with the petit little machine.
But technology moves along. And a lot of things have happened in the 2 years since the U1010, processors got faster, more efficient. More features could be crammed into smaller systems. And then this comes a knocking..
This is the ViliV S5. This is currently the SMALLEST PC. Let me just drive the point in. This thing has a 4.8" screen, it's running off an Intel Atom processor, it can run Windows 7 and it's DAMN SMALL
This thing is almost pocketable, if you have deep pockets. And how were they able to make it this small? The S5 has NO KEYBOARD.
I placed a battery on top of the S5 so you can see how thick it is compared to a AA battery.
If I had a video playing on it, and someone saw it. They'd think it's a portable media player instead of an actual Windows PC. Heck.. it's about the same size as my first media player, the Zen PMC.
Now that sure brings back some memories.
The ViliV S5 build quality makes it feel like a solid brick, when you hold it in your hands it feels like a well built device. And as mentioned, the design echos a PMP, so on the top of the S5 are the volume controls, and an earphone jack.
The little indention you see on the left is for the TV Antennae.
Before you get overly excited, this is not for analog TV, this is for DMB TV. And.. I *think* only the antennae is included, not really sure if I can get it working here. Interesting thing to note though, when I was buying the device, the salesman kept insisting that this was the GPS antennae. Yes, the S5 has a SIRF Star III GPS chip in it.
On the right side of the S5 is the power switch, which also act as a hold switch to prevent input from the touch screen and buttons. That's a useful feature for a notebook trying to be a media player. You can also find the battery latch here.
Removing the battery and there's another surpise awaiting.
Yes, there's a SIM card slot underneath the battery. The ViliV S5 has a built in 3G modem that you can use for data communications.
Underneath a rubber cover on the left of the S5 is where you'll find all the connection ports.
From the top, you'll find a reset button, a multi IO port (where all the video connections live... cable not included in the package though), ONE USB port, and one USB client port. The USB client port is to allow a folder in the S5 to be accessed like a thumb drive when connected to another computer. The fact that there was only ONE USB port made installing Windows 7 a very interesting experience for me.
Didn't help that I crushed the USB hub when trying to bring it back home from the office. And the bare innards were exposed during the installation process.
Then we come to the side where the action is. The front.
First on the left you have the directional pad, and a menu button.
The DPad maps to the arrow keys, and when you press it, it's equivalent to pressing the TAB key. Below that is a menu button which maps to the Windows key. Pressing and holding the menu button for a few seconds switches the DPad to act as a mouse instead. And the little sticker below the button is still protecting the IR port for the OPTIONAL remote control.
On the other side of the 4.8" 1024x600 screen you'll find this trio of buttons.
The OK button works as the ENTER key in keyboard mode, and the LEFT click in mouse mode. The C button acts as a RIGHT click in either mode. And the last button with the funky graphic? It invokes the S5's software keyboard.
Oh.. and the grill openings on the top of both sides are the speakers. I don't know how to grade a speaker but I'll say, this thing is loud.. but I feel it's not loud enough to pass the Chinese Wedding Dinner scenario.
A carrying case came with the S5 when I bought it. It's a simple clip on cover that snaps onto the indentions on the S5.
It doesn't WORK PROPERLY! the main reason being that the only thing keeping the clip in place in the groove on the S5 is FRICTION.
And the clip isn't made from hard plastic, this means it can just flex when you're holding it and out comes the S5. And that would be a very very bad day indeed!
So I decided to look for a replacement, and I found this.
This is a RM5 water bottle holder which I found in the Daiso RM5 shop at the Curve. It fits PERFECTLY as a slip cover for the S5.
I left a little bit of it sticking out but it goes into the case fully and PERFECTLY, and once it's in the case it fits PERFECTLY into my Docker's side pocket! I just need to remember the warning about not using hot items in the case and make sure the S5 isn't piping hot when I put it in... think the thing will melt or something.
And that's the physical look on the S5, I guess I'll get to other things like performance and driver support in another post since this is quite huge a post already.
But I guess I can say this, if you're looking for a PC which can almost fall into the pocketable category. This IS IT! If you don't mind the comparatively lower spec'ed 1.3Ghz Atom processor. If you don't feel intimidated by how small words look under 1024x600 on a 4.8" screen. This IS IT! If you need full PC capability on the move in a small package. This IS IT! If you need to try out how well Windows 7's touch enhancements work on such a small device.
This is ABSOLUTELY NOT IT!
Cause Viliv dropped the ball on this one, the most important aspect of their touchscreen driver and they screwed it up. Basically the touchscreen driver doesn't tell Windows 7 or Vista that it is in fact, a touchscreen. And thus, Windows doesn't enable the touch features that would have helped A LOT with manipulating such a keyboardless PC. I'm hoping that since it's just a driver issue, this can be fixed by ViliV releasing a new driver.
But seeing how Viliv expected the users to install the Windows 7 driver, I'm kinda skeptical at their ability to deliver such a patch. :P
So, while this is a COOL device, the lack of proper support for Window's touch features stop me from labelling it as an AWESOME device and telling everyone to get it.