Published on June 10th,2010 at 4:37 PM
By >Daimaou - G.G-B

[Mini Review] Viliv N5, a great MID needing, however, some little improvements

Viliv N5, a great MID needing, however, some little improvements

For most of us, the Geeks, smaller the better, and when Viliv announced its N5, we were anxious to get our hands on this baby and find out if this new MID is worth our consideration and investment.

iPad friendly video here !

– Intel Atom 1.33 (Z520) / SCH US15W
– 4.8″ WSVGA (1024×600) Touch Panel
– 1 GB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz
– 32GB SSD
– Wi-Fi B/G
– Bluetooth Ver2.0 + EDR
– 172W x 86.5H x 25.5L mm

First Impression
The Viliv N5 is overall extremely well-built and it does not look or feel cheap. On the contrary, its satin finish gives us the feeling of holding a luxury product in our hands. Design-wise we have nothing really to argue as we at AkihabaraNews all loved the lines and curves of the N5, however there are a few things that troubled us as to the of the N5.

First and foremost, we really did not appreciate the “Glossy” screen mounted on the N5, actually the N5 comes with a none-glare LCD but due to some basic design reasons and also in order to reinforce the N5 screen, Viliv decided to add an additional glossy plastic layer on top of the display making it very difficult for you to read your N5’s screen outdoors or under direct light. Boost-up your screen’s brightness and things will be slightly better, but you will on the other hand kill your battery much faster.

Lack of functionality would also be another problem that you may face with the Viliv N5… Let’s put it this way, the N5’s TrackPoint is not the best TrackPoint ever. You will quickly get used to it, especially if you are holding the N5 with your both hands. Now if you are planning to use the TrackPoint of your N5 when this one is resting peacefully on a table for example, well, that is another story as you may instantly wish to get a wired or wireless mouse plugged to your computer ASAP.

Not well-balanced? Call me crazy, but, when I put down an MID, a Netbook or Notebook on a table and manipulate the screen to get the perfect angle, I expect them to lay flat… Quite basic but the N5 does not seem to understand. With a screen and top lid apparently too heavy and a computer not sufficiently well-balanced, you will quickly find out that your N5 will have a tendency to fall back like a good old rocking chair. To make things even worse, also depending on the surface you are laying down, your N5 may give you a puzzling “Holiday on Ice” -like experience. Granted this just seems to happen on very few surfaces I’ve tried, but the tiny ergot on its battery does not really refrain our MID from easily sliding certain surfaces, a scene a bit reminiscent of the ones in those old Cowboy movies where the bar tender slides you a glass of Whisky.

Finally, Viliv does not seem to have thoroughly thought through with the N5 is the unique USB slot. While this little port works just fine with the little cap that covers it protecting both your USB port, Micro Card port… , it does have a tendency to make your N5 wobble a little if you leave something plugged to your N5 and let it rest on a table. Just imagine for a second that you want to use your N5 on a table, this could be at home, your office, Hotel, train… and want to plug a mouse to it, you will quickly realize that, here as well, your N5 will be slightly unstable and wobble a little… Nothing really annoying, but still, I’d like my gear to be steady.

Everyday usage
You may think that my overall slightly negative “First Impression” may have influence over my opinion on the of the N5, well this is quite the opposite in fact! Sure the N5 does not come with the fastest CPU ever made by mankind, but the combination of Windows 7, an SSD and the ATOM Z520 give us, even on battery, a quite snappy little MID. My first surprise was too see that the N5 was indeed booting pretty fast, and it even seemed to me that the N5 was booting slightly faster than Sony’s latest Vaio P.

And if I have to compare the the N5 with the Vaio P, I should say that all in all I had quite similar experience, with however, the N5 having some troubles to play some DivX videos and YouTube videos smoothly in full screen.

Made to be mainly used as a basic Web surfing, Email and note taking device, the N5 works pretty well in those regards and will surely satisfy you, well at least it did exactly what I was expecting it to do. Unfortunately, and due to the high demand on this device, I could only play with it during the last 2 days, and could not go into deep with my test. For the same reason, I won’t be able to give you my final thoughts on the N5’s battery life.

Technically speaking, the N5 gives you exactly what it claims it will… The overall experience whether on battery or plugged-in will be enough for most of you, and It was for me. If you are just looking for doing basic notes taking, surfing the web, replying to emails, writing articles during press conferences or just to blog like crazy or tweet like a manic, the N5 is by far a real killer. Now personally, even if my first impression may have sounded pretty negative, the Joy of having a small yet powerful device in my hands has overtaken some of the complaints I had first. I’ve also found out that I can in fact reduce the N5’s screen glare by applying a dedicated anti-glare filter on it… Sold at a quite reasonable price, at least cheaper than a Vaio P for example, the N5 is a no-brainer and you should not hesitate a second.

Note : If you are leaving like us in Japan you can get the Viliv N5 directly fron Hanwha-Japan (see like below), otherwise if you are not in Japan the best way for you can get a Viliv N5 in its 32GB SSD version is via This link.

Category Review Laptops
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  • drifter77

    Seriously, is the weight redistribution this bad? Does the N5 fall backwards at a certain angle? What if you open the display to a wider range do you get the same problem? Thanks for the review.

    • Daimaou – G-A.G

      at a certain point the PC flip backward… and this is quite “annoying”, if you open it “wider” you won’t have this problem since the lower part of the LCD will finally touch the surface where your N5 is laid on

  • speculatrix

    too late, I already bought a fujitsu U2010 aka U820, which seems superior technically, if a bit chunky!

  • KohPhiPhi

    I intend to use this thing holding it on my hands (thumb-typing style) while on the move, so my issue wouldn’t be balance but glossiness. What’s the point of a mobile device that cannot be used outdoors??!?!?!?!

  • AJ

    Hi all
    I’m new here so please help if you can.
    This review is touching some aspects of the device that are kind a interesting.
    First a mobile device is the one that you don’t need an extra bag for it or hard to carry…. should be fit in a pocket but not bulky…and run the full windows (at least for me with all I have in windows)
    This N5 fits the picture
    Have been waiting for N5 for long time now, questions:
    how difficult may be to read or brows on a 4.8 screen size?
    Regarding above mentioned, what are other options?
    Thanks for all your inputs.

  • KNikkor

    Been using the Viliv N5 for 3 weeks. Great UMPC, really ultra mobile (mini). Older users will need their reading glasses (including me)! The power packed in this tiny clamshell beats all. I can only see one fault, and that’s you cannot charge from a USB, you need its dedicated charger, however I hope that a USB charger accessory may soon appear. One should remember that this is a UMPC so don’t expect it to have as many I/O ports as other larger alternatives.



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