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VIA UMPC OQO can really play games

VIA UMPC OQO can really play games

You may need little fingers to game like this, but it's certainly addictive. Who needs a trendy Macbook in Starbucks when we're happy fragging, thanks.

Lots of internet users seem to be claiming that the latest videos posted on the VIA Arena website must be fake. But we're here to tell you that they are very real indeed. When it’s not utterly discriminating against us left handers (of which both yours truly and Tim are better off for being), you can actually play a number of games, including retro classics like Quake 3, Half Life and StarCraft on VIA’s new OQO UMPC.

The OQO UMPC is incredibly painful with the tiny buttons and the fire keys being on the same side as your WASD, but hey, it works. It works so well, in fact, that you should be no less well-equipped than anyone else at your LAN party. That is, as long as they don’t suggest a round of BattleField 2.

We would probably recommend avoiding FPS titles like Quake 3 due to the tiny confines of the keyboard and lack of a mouse. Ideally the mini computer is suited to RTS games like Command and Conquer or Starcraft, or just browsing the net and checking email. For these types of tasks, it's better than anything else that's out on the market right now. It's way more comfortable than a mobile, but nowhere near the bulk of a laptop.

We were genuinely well impressed with the device, but until the inclusion and mass roll out of WiMAX in them, we can’t see them replacing either mobile phones or notebooks any time soon. A mobile phone is smaller and can still surf the web (albeit for a significant cost and discomfort), whereas a notebook has the distinct advantage of a full size keyboard: typing with thumbs is extremely slow process in comparison. It's really hard to fathom when exactly you are going to want one of these with such alternatives already available.

And at around £1200, it’s still a luxury product that’s hard to work on and “only” plays classic games. It does sport HDMI out, which is a fantastic addition for a slideshow or video output to a big screen, but that appeal is still only for a niche market even if it’s one that will inevitably grow. VIA may not see this as such a downside, but a business needs to earn enough money justify the cost of future R&D.

It's not that the OQO UMPC is a bad product, in fact it's quite the opposite. It is way more than we would have expected, but at the end of the day it is just too far ahead of the curve. In a market where everyone needs a cell phone, laptop or both, this fits into neither.

Of course, we can only begin to dream up some of the modding-related benefits...

Ever thought of owning an UMPC? Let us know in the forums.

19 Comments

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olly_lewis 12th June 2007, 16:37 Quote
Pretty sweet... If only the Vista was a bit more compatible with older games and you could use Vista instead of XP, but in time compatibility will improve...
Wonder if it could handle Sim City 4... on low low settings?
Bindibadgi 12th June 2007, 16:42 Quote
Might do, that's the kind of game you could kill hours on one of those things (providing you have a plug socket :D)

I've requested one from VIA for review, for a month, so we'll see.
BioSniper 12th June 2007, 16:44 Quote
I'm surprised Quake 3 and HL are being classed as "Retro classics" as in all honesty I thought "retro" was generally a tile given to items of around 20 years in age.
Oh well.
Paradigm Shifter 12th June 2007, 16:51 Quote
Agreement, Biosniper.

Reminds me of my old Psion 5mx. Ah, good days. :D
Jokkocze 12th June 2007, 16:57 Quote
ooh.. one of those would be nice..
Anything on when they'll be avalible?
./^\.Ace./^\. 12th June 2007, 17:02 Quote
Hey we can now have some portable Quake death matches any where that you can get the internet forgt lan parties, now we can have where ever you want parties :D
Also there must be a wider range of games that can be played on the OQO model 02.
I still have the problem with the EVDO/WWAN conection only comming from Sprint and Verizon right now. I'm in Canada and I use TELUS so I would have to work out some kind of activation with them :( At least the WiFi will work in most cities
Hugo 12th June 2007, 17:16 Quote
You can buy them already from expansys
Tulatin 12th June 2007, 17:18 Quote
So basically t'is an overpowered PDA/Cell Phone/Etc, or an underpowered mini laptop? Pretty cool, tbh.
./^\.Ace./^\. 12th June 2007, 17:21 Quote
I wouldn't say uder powered :D I will run Windows Vista ultimate, that need a good amount of processing power :D
Bluephoenix 12th June 2007, 17:22 Quote
have one
I guess there are benefits to being in the US after all ;)

it plays Sim City 4 quite nicely, and even manages supcom (low settings)

I'm in fact writing on here and can say that its a nice beast, but not meant for FPS action on the go. As far as the mobile broadband goes, I didn't bother with it, too expensive :( but the availablility of Wi-fi (and the fact that almost no one remembers to secure theirs) over here makes it easy to connect.

for those looking for ways to get the games going on the go with laptops without using the CD drive (and massive battery loss) use daemon tools, copy the disc and mount it from the HDD.
Bindibadgi 12th June 2007, 17:59 Quote
This is what I told VIA(Arena); as soon as hotspots and WiMAX prevail things like that will be all the rage with twittering and blogging on the go.
Jokkocze 12th June 2007, 18:09 Quote
From 1500 USD and up.. :(
./^\.Ace./^\. 12th June 2007, 18:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluephoenix
the availablility of Wi-fi (and the fact that almost no one remembers to secure theirs) over here makes it easy to connect.
In downtown Toronto you can find a free WiFi hot-spot on almost every street corner. Peolpe just don't secure there WiFi like they should :D
I have a question though :? what is the WiFi range like with the OQO's antenna :?
Bluephoenix 12th June 2007, 18:37 Quote
excellent, it picks up on a linksys 54G router signal even through 3 cinderblock walls, at about 3/4 the max distance, but still gets full speed. my freind's Vaio won't even see the router at the same location.
riggs 12th June 2007, 18:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
Reminds me of my old Psion 5mx. Ah, good days. :D
Hehe, so true! Although I couldn't afford a 5 series, so went for a Revo...still a damn good machine though. Think I've still got it somewhere...

This thing looks damn nice, if a little pointless for most folk. I'd buy one, but only if I had vast amounts of cash to spare.
DXR_13KE 12th June 2007, 21:55 Quote
to expensive for my pocket, but it owns!!!!!! :D
zhangmaster12 12th June 2007, 21:59 Quote
ive had the pleasure of actually trying one myself, and i must say that its a great product. The screen is a little small and a little dark, but with a few adjustments, the lighting can be improved. It is faster than my parents dell p4 2.4 ghz and is extremely light and lives up to the name of UMPC.
GoodBytes 13th June 2007, 01:43 Quote
looks cool and interesting... but I had very very bad experience with Via products... specially for mobo's. Never latest more then 3 months and all I had was sever BIOS issues. So, personally I don't know about this....
Paradigm Shifter 13th June 2007, 12:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by riggs
Hehe, so true! Although I couldn't afford a 5 series, so went for a Revo...still a damn good machine though. Think I've still got it somewhere...

This thing looks damn nice, if a little pointless for most folk. I'd buy one, but only if I had vast amounts of cash to spare.
Mm. I ended up going for a 5, despite the extra cost... the keys were so much better, and they were actually a half-decent size considering the overall size of the Psion. I was so annoyed when the ribbon cable got damaged and all it gave me was a corrupt screen! And Psion wanted over £400 to repair it! I think not - it cost me less than that! ;)
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