Podcasts, Video

Video: Windows Vista on the Asus R2H Ultra Mobile PC

As promised, here’s a 30 minute video of Windows Vista (the final RTM version, Ultimate flavor) running on my Asus R2H Ultra Mobile PC. The file is about 180MB, formatted for iPod in iMovie (but it should work just fine anywhere).

Hmm. Not sure why the video disappeared. You can access it directly at blip.tv at this URL:

http://blip.tv/file/110303/

Or you can download the video file directly at this link:

http://blip.tv/file/get/JoshBancroft-VideoRunningWindowsVistaOnTheAsusR2HUltraMobilePC355.m4v

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I shot the video on the day after Thanksgiving, at my wife’s parents’ house. I cover the installation process (went smooth), what worked right out of the gate (surprisingly, almost everything), what required some extra tweaking and driver installation (WiFi, etc.). Lots of general usage, including some appearances by OneNote 2007 and using Word 2007 to post to my blog.

I’ve since gone back to Windows XP – I talk about the reasons in depth on the video. Nothing major, but a combination of small quirks that I’m confident will be fixed down the line with driver and software updates from Asus.

Hope you find the video useful and informative (and maybe even fun, in a ubergeeky sort of way :-)). Post a comment or drop me an email if you have any questions about Windows Vista on the Asus R2H UMPC!

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I’m honored – I won two 2006 “Inkblot” Awards

Warner Crocker over at Life on the Wicked Stage (and Gottabemobile) is a fixture in the mobile gadget world, and in celebration of the second birthday of his blog, he’s done the Second Annual Life on the Wicked Stage Ink Blot Awards (“the Blotties” for short ;-)).

And guess what? I won not only one, but two awards!

Best I’ve Got More Pictures Of The Asus R2H UMPC Than Anybody: Josh Bancroftand

Best Tablet PC Demo In A Restroom (at least the only one blogged about): Josh Bancroft

Thanks, Warner! I’m honored! Congratulations to the rest of the Blottie recipients (check out the list for mobile gadget highlights from all of 2006), and here’s to another great year of blogging about and from cool mobile gadgets! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Asus R2H question: Outdoor screen visibility and rotation

Oscar sent me a question about the usability of the Asus R2H UMPC’s screen in outdoor/sunny conditions:

I’ve been thinking about getting a umpc for use in my airplane for gps navigation and XM satelite weather downloads. It would replace an old Fujitsu LTP-600 which is barely legible in the bright cockpit. I have two questions about the r2h that would help me decide whether to give it a try:

1. What can you tell me about the legibility of the display in bright conditions. In a car? In the open on a sunny day? I realize this is somewhat subjective.

2. Does the r2h have a portrait display mode?

Oscar, I haven’t used my R2H outdoors very much, but I think it would be acceptable. Like any other LCD, it washes out in bright light, but I usually just crank up the screen brightness to compensate. I’ll have to do some more testing, and see just how usable it is. Does anyone else have any experiences that might answer Oscar’s question about the R2H or any other UMPC?

Regarding a portrait screen orientation, yes, the R2H can rotate the screen 0, 90, 180, and 270 degrees. That is, you can orient the screen pretty much however you want. You can do this with the default Intel graphics driver software that comes pre-installed, but there’s a freeware app that makes it much easier to rotate your screen. It’s called uRotate. It requires the .NET Framework 2.0. It lets you go from any screen orientation directly to any other with a simple graphical interface, rather than having to dig through menus, or cycle through all of the stops in between (like on the Samsung Q1). uRotate is a must have app for any UMPC, in my opinion.

Anyone else know of good screen rotation software?
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Why did I pick the Asus R2H UMPC over the TabletKiosk eo 7210 or another model?

I’m trying to catch up on my backlog of questions about the Asus R2H Ultra Mobile PC that I’ve received via email and comments. So here’s the first one. James asked:

One question I did have is did you look at the TabletKiosk machines, specifically the eo 7210? Apart from the GPS functionality it seems to have every feature you were looking for, or may be I missed something?
 
I’m really interested why you chose the R2H. I’m thinking about getting a UMPC so I don’t have to lug my laptop about anymore, but am quite nervous about which one to choose. The eo 7210 appeals because it has a dock, so it looks like it could be very useful for both mobile and office work. Have you any  experience in using the asus this way?

Well, James, I mostly compared the Asus R2H to the only other UMPC I’ve had direct experience with, the Samsung Q1. Compared to the Samsung, the R2H has more RAM, a bigger hard drive, GPS, an integrated camera, and an SD slot (instead of CF). At the same price, and most everything else being equal, those were the factors that made me chose the Asus. That, and the fact that my friend Brian, who has been into UMPCs a lot longer than I have, and has owned a Samsung Q1 for a few months, said that he would have chosen the R2H if it had been available when he bought his Q1. He just couldn’t wait. ๐Ÿ™‚ We talk about this a little bit in our podcast reviewing the week I spent with a Samsung Q1.

Because of all that, I honestly didn’t do much research on the TabletKiosk eo 7210. I guess, if you get right down to it, it might have been because it was a brand I had never heard of, versus Asus, which I’ve had experience with. But I don’t have any negative reason why I stayed away from the 7210 – it seems like a very popular device with the UMPC community and around the blogosphere. And TabletKiosk seems to be doing a better job of getting involved with the UMPC community than any other manufacturer. It looks like a fantastic device, and I probably should have given it more consideration.

If TabletKiosk (or any of their resellers) wants to send me a review unit, I’d happily do a comparison/review of it with the R2H (and probably get Brian to pitch in some thoughts comparing it to his Samsung Q1). ๐Ÿ™‚

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