More Asus R2H UMPC Questions and Answers

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I’ve gotten some more questions about the Asus R2H Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) that I’ve answered via email, and I’m going to continue posting them here, for anyone who’s interested.

Can you remap the buttons on the front to do other things?

Not that I’ve been able to find. There are custom Asus applications that have to be running in order for the buttons to even work. It’s probably possible, but would require an app that could impersonate/intercept the communication between the buttons, and remap them to something else. Luckily, the buttons are quite useful, and I don’t really find myself wishing for more functionality from them. But customization is always a nice option.

I want to try and run graphics apps on it, have you tried Photoshop or any OpenGL apps like games or 3d software?

I haven’t run any 3d apps, other than Google Earth, which performs acceptably in DirectX mode. I was kind of surprised it worked as well as it does. In the end, though, remember it’s basically a 900MHz system with Intel 910 Integrated Graphics, so 3d performance isn’t going to be stellar. But the apps should at least run. I’m going to try Second Life on it, because it would be awesome to use a UMPC as a little Second Life terminal, but I don’t have high hopes, because Second Life chugs on even my X41 Tablet PC.

What is the pen like, solid plastic? Any buttons on it?

The pen (stylus) is actually metal, and very substantial feeling. However, since the R2H uses a touch screen, and not an active digitizer like other Tablet PCs, there are no buttons or any special functionality. It’s simply something pointy to use on the screen. It’s better than any other PDA or UMPC stylus I’ve used, though. Feel free to substitute a nice stylus/pen combo as a replacement, if you’re the pen-carrying type (I’m not).

Have you tried out the GPS?

Yes, it works great. You have to enabled it every time using the “GPS_SWITCH.exe” application, but that’s not a big deal. It takes a while to get an initial fix, but that’s common to most GPS units. I’ve used it with Streets and Trips 2006, and with 3rd party navigation software (iGuidance). It simply shows up as a standard NMEA GPS device on COM 2 at 4800 baud/bps.

Does 2 pounds seem heavy? I want to carry it around with me. It won’t fit in a pocket will it?

It would fit in a large pocket (like a big coat pocket or similar). I have some cargo pants with huge pockets on the leg where it would probably fit, but I haven’t tried it yet, mainly because I can envision my pants falling down at inopportune times because of the weight. I already carry enough gadgets in my cargo pants to make that a real danger. 🙂 It does feel kind of heavy, for what it is, but I was surprised to find out that it feels about the same, if not a little lighter, than the Samsung Q1. It’s more square (less rounded) than the Q1, which makes it feel a little bulkier, but it’s not too bad at all.

In your demo the processor speed seems adequate. Are you happy with the speed?

Yes, quite. It’s a zippy little machine. 🙂 Don’t expect a powerhouse, but it’s very snappy and responsive for every day use. Even under Windows Vista (which felt a little faster than Windows XP, believe it or not).

What about the slow hard drive? Is that an issue?

You won’t really notice the slow hard drive unless you’re doing something really disk intensive, like editing audio files. This is where I had problems with slowness on my X41 Tablet, which has the same type of 1.8″ 4200 RPM hard drive (the same tiny drive used in the iPod). I haven’t actually experienced any slow hard drive issues on the R2H, but that’s mostly because I know not to attempt heavy duty stuff like video editing, etc. The disk is plenty fast for running basic apps (office, Firefox, etc.), listening to music or playing video, etc.

How hot does it get? If I sat there on the train trying to draw pictures and make art on it would it be burning my fingers or uncomfortable?

According to Notebook Hardware Control, the temperature during normal use is about 150 Fahrenheit. It gets warm to the touch, but not hot. Think typical warm laptop feel. It won’t burn your fingers. 🙂 I think the metal chassis, body, and face help to dissipate the heat better than a plastic enclosure would.

What kind of battery life are you getting from it?

I haven’t done formal tests yet, but I get about 3.5 to 4 hours with the 4-cell 6800mAH extended battery.

Also I think it would be fun to record music on it. Can you turn the screen off while the machine is still active? Do you think it would power a non powered mic?

There’s no switch/command to turn the screen off, but you can set the Power Management settings to turn off the display after a period of time. You could lower this to something like 1 minute, and use it for audio recording, etc. The integrated mic on the front sounds OK, but not spectacular. I’m pretty sure the mic input jack doesn’t supply power to a non-powered mic (very uncommon in laptops, or even desktop computers), so you’ll need a pre-amp or mixer to power a mic that requires it.

Hope that’s helpful – keep the questions coming! I’ll do my best to get them answered. The more I use the R2H, the more I like it. It’s become a big part of my daily gadget usage. I’m planning some more video reviews, too – general software and usage, GPS navigation demo, etc., so keep an eye out for those.


25 thoughts on “More Asus R2H UMPC Questions and Answers

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  8. ignar says:

    Wow, I was surprised at your weight comparison to Q1. Q1 felt definitely much lighter in my testing. It was not just lighter, but due to its round shaping, was much easier to hold. I understand each person may feel differently, but with my primary reason of switching from R2H to Q1 being weight, I feel obliged to show my surprise.

  9. Mike says:

    Just got an R2H yesterday but no matter what I do I can get the fingerprint scanner to recognise my prints (or someone else who tried it). Is there a trick to this or do I have a faulty unit?

  10. Tim says:

    I just got my R2H yesterday, and I found the button that brought up the media center player thing to be kind of dumb/pointless. Instead, I’d rather have it hide/show dialkeys.

    So, at least for this button, it seems to want to first try to run ‘Program Launcher.exe’, which is C:\program files\microsoft tablet something (Sorry, i’m at work and I can’t remember the entire path). There’s a program called showhide.exe that shows/hides dialkeys. I copied it to the same path as Program Launcher.exe, and renamed the existing Program Launcher.exe to Program Launcher Old.exe, and renamed showhide.exe to Program Launcher.exe, and now that button shows/hides dialkeys.

    I imagine you could simply replace Program Launcher.exe with any .exe of choice, or use something like AutoITScript to make a small .exe that runs whatever you want to re-map that button.

    As to the rest of the buttons, I don’t think you’d want them re-mapped. They’re pretty useful the way they are.

    As to other thigns that I’ve noticed –

    The CPU isn’t too bad. I was kind of surprised how well it performs. It does really well when doing 1/2 things at the same time, but, after that, it starts to degrade noticably. But, it’s not that bad for a 900 mhz cpu – It’s just not designed to have 15 apps running like I do on my regular desktop.

    It runs kind of warm.

    Don’t get the wrong idea, though, I like it quite a bit. There are some things that seem to be pretty well thought out – it’s amazing how many things don’t fit into 800×640 resolution, so you can press one button and resize the screen so you can see the buttons.

  11. Vince says:

    Can you listen to MP3 music from an SD card with both the display and hard drive off? This could possibly give enough battery life for those long flights. At present I get over 9 hours of battery life from my HP Jornada 720, which I want to replace with the ASUS R2H, listening to MP3 music on compact flash cards.

  12. Yes, you should be able to do this. There’s no way to manually turn off the hard drive and display, though you can set the timeouts for this to some small period of time in Power Options, and it should work just fine.

  13. RaMpB says:

    Jan 1st, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    Can you install Quickbooks Pro on the R2H?

    Where do you buy a CDROM for this unit?

    Where can you buy an additional battery (longer life than the stock one)?

    Can Outlook on R2H sync with my desktop PCs Outlook using Bluetooth?

    Can you customize Mobile Theater?

    Can you use AIM on this unit?

    Thank you

    Jan 1st, 2007 at 11:34 pm

    Also how is the handwritting recognition? I didn’t see any Inkshows for that.

  14. Patrick says:

    Hey Josh,
    thanks for taking the time to post the answers to people’s questions first of all – saves me from having to ask them again:) Anyhoo, I was thinking of getting the R2H, but there have been reviews that have benchmarks that are reporting lower computer speed scores than the similarly spec’d samsung Q1. I’ve read that getting rid of some of the bundled apps helps…Have you tried/needed to remove some of the bundled apps? Does it help?

    Also, would love to hear your thoughts/recommendations re the R2H in dealing with graphic intensive powerpoint presentations and complex excel sheets, since these would probably be my critical applications.

    Thanks in advance!
    ps: unboxing vid was cool 🙂

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  18. Luciano says:

    Hi Guys !!!!

    I’m having some problems on my R2Hv.
    Every time I start the computer it takes to long to boot up and some times it freeze up on the ASUS logo at the beginning of the booting process.
    I use to have blue screen problems but I’ve fixed that with a program call Regcure.
    This boot problem started less than 2 weeks ago after I installed a driver for my Hp printer but I’m not sure if the driver is the problem.

    I would apreciate.If anyone can help.



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  20. ravi patt says:

    I just got my R2H and it boots great only problem is the display does not it the screen size and hate to have to move the screen up and down using the joystick. Can anyone help me how to adjust the display to come on one screen. Also the pointer does not work properly.

    Any help is appreciated.


    • You need to change the screen resolution to 800×480 pixels.

      As far as the pointer being off, fixing the screen resolution might correct that. If not, try running the screen calibration app.

  21. Toolboxskyline says:

    so when i turn my asus r2h on theres no display on the screen. the fan is running and everything but still no display. battery is fine and ive also tried it plugged in and its not there a series of buttons im supposed to touch in a certain order to have the screen work>?

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