The OQO 02

The evolution of the uPC space over the last two years has seen multiple competitors leapfrogging each other. Now, the OQO 02 sets a new standard for delivering high-performance and rich functionality in a remarkably small package. Its wealth of features and tiny size make it a uniquely fantastic product. 

 The OQO 02 measures 5.6 x 3.3 x 1.0in (142 x 84 x 25mm) and weighs less than 1lb (less than 450g). (The exact sub-1lb weight can vary by configuration.) To get an idea how small this is, fold a standard A4 sheet of paper (regular copy paper) into a quarter of its size; that has about the same footprint as this PC. It has a warm, glossy consumer-friendly style — a noticeable departure from the minimalist industrial look of the 01. 

 The OQO 02 is powered by a 1.5GHz VIA C7M ultra low-voltage CPU that breezes through Windows XP, Windows XP Tablet, or Vista. Please note the digital pen is only standard on Tablet PC models. For XPH, XPP, or Vista models, the pen is sold separately. The 5″ 800×480 outdoor-readable glossy TFT is nothing short of spectacular; it slides up to reveal the keyboard. There is 1GB (max) RAM, and up to 60GB hard drive.

  The hard drive has three useful features: it is shock mounted, it has automatic dropdetect to minimize the risk of data loss, and the ability to create a hardware-encrypted virtual hard drive (which Windows recognizes as a separate letter drive) to protect sensitive data. Video performance, driven by a VIA VX700 with integrated GPU with dynamically allocated RAM, is particularly impressive. As with other uPCs, you can “zoom in” (decrease screen resolution) in order to make small text easier to read. But uniquely, you can also “zoom out” — increase screen resolution to beyond the native 800×480, all the way to 1200×720 (as well as 1000×600). Text is still readable, and this is a useful feature when viewing large documents, graphics, or webpages. Video output is supported on VGA, HDMI, & DVI, up to 1920×1200 resolution. Dual-display is also supported.  

The OQO 02 has several different input methods. There is a touch screen with active digitizer (digitizer pen optional). There is also a track stick pointer, which is the method that most people use. Along the lower right-hand corner of the screen, a touch sensitive area makes it easy to scroll vertically or horizontally through webpages or documents. There is a “cool blue”-backlit keyboard with excellent tactile feedback. 

 For ultimate connectivity on-the-go, there are a number of wireless options. You can purchase an OQO 02 with integrated Sprint or Verizon EVDO WWAN. (Note that Sprint/Verizon integrated data modules are carrier-specific, so please be sure to order for the correct carrier. Please note that this WWAN option only functions in the United States and requires a data service subscription with the carrier at additional cost to any existing plan.) There is also 802.11a/b/g and Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR stereo headset support.

  [A quick note to shoppers who are familiar with the 01: What has really impressed us about this new model is how thoroughly OQO addressed any criticisms that were present with the 01. Upon the release of the 01, everybody agreed that it was a remarkable technical achievement, but some critics felt that it was weak on intangibles. It was slow — but the 02, with an improved CPU and graphics processor, is fast. The screen was dim — the 02’s screen is not just bright, but extraordinary. The keyboard was bad — 02’s keyboard is about as good as a keyboard that size can get. Wireless connectivity was weak — the 02 has nine integrated antennas (you can use Bluetooth and WiFi at the same time without conflict) and a retractable whip antenna for Wireless WAN (use it when you need it).] 

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