Published on December 7th,2006 at 4:48 AM
By >Daimaou - G.G-B

SA1F00B, the Kohjinsha UMPC

While major manufacturers such as Samsung and ASUS offer computers that fit the exact UMPC specifications from Microsoft, other companies such as Kohjinsha provide exciting products at much lower prices!

Let’s track back a bit before starting this review, so you can have some important background information.
1) Kohjinsha is not a company that came out of nowhere. In fact, Kohjinsha is a well known computer company in Japan. They offer the SOTEC products (Dell-like Japanese products)
2) Our review will be short, as we only have the computer for a few hours. We cannot test every features, and cannot try to see if the CPU can endure everything a geek likes to do with his/her computer.

The SA1F00 is an ultra compact computer measuring 218x163x25.4mm and weighing 960g. It has a 7” display which technology is derived from video systems and Japanese car GPS systems. That explains its poor resolution of only 800×480.


SA1F00B, the Kohjinsha UMPC
(WMV9HD 720p Direct Download “Right click, Save as…”)
SA1F00B, the Kohjinsha UMPC
(WMV9HD 720p Torrent “Right click, Save as…”)

Kohjinsha offers 2 versions of its UMPC on the Japanese and Korean markets. The SA1F00A has 512MB of RAM and a 40GB hard disk. The SA1F00B also has 512MB of RAM, but a 80GB hard disk. The computer can receive up to 1GB of RAM. So far, this UMPC like computer has a rather common configuration, but the real difference with a Samsung Q1 or an Asus R2F lies with the choice of CPU. Kohjinsha decided to install a 500MHz AMD Geode LX800 CPU, which seems rather light compared to the 900MHz Celeron installed in the computers that receive the Microsoft UMPC label. We’ll get back to this topic later on.

The other main special feature of this UMPC is its pivot screen that allows you to use the computer in slate mode like a Tablet PC, or in PC mode. Such feature would sound useless without a touch screen, but in slate mode, portrait viewing makes it easier to read Word and PDF files, eBooks, even surf the web. Kohjinsha thought about including a mouse, an up and down scroll, and a left/right click on each side of the screen to further facilitate reading documents in portrait mode.

The SA1F00A we had was a pre-production version that had a slight defect on the trackpoint located on the screen which made it difficult to move the mouse around. The Kohjinsha representative confirmed that this was a known defect only affecting presentation and pre-production models. The small keyboard was nice and pleasant to use, as was the “glide” beneath it.

On the usability and finishing end, even if the materials used seem rather cheap looking, the SA1F00A is quite a nice surprise: the products is usable and has flexible communication options (Wi-Fi and Bluetooth).
Nevertheless, even if we found the SA1F00A and B to be good machines, potential buyers need to be aware of their CPU’s real potential.
For a simple usage including web surfing, email, office tasks and photo sharing, the GEODE LX800 and its 500MHz CPU is fully enough. You may start experiencing difficulties if you intend to use this computer as a media center. Listening to MP3 and WMA audio files will be OK, but when it comes to watching DVDs off an external player, the CPU will not be able to handle USB 2.0, or properly decode Mpeg2 and DivX videos with high resolutions or bitrates. So for watching videos, the SA1F00A is not the ideal machine because of its CPU.















Pros:
Size
Weight
Price
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi
Pivot screen

Cons:
CPU
cheap looking materials

Conclusion:
This being said, this PC is still a good machine available at a very decent price for users who are looking for a compact mobile desktop that can be connected to the Internet via network, modem, Wi-Fi, or a Bluetooth phone.

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