June 19, 2006 11:37 AM PDT

Samsung unfolds Origami tablet in stores

Samsung's minitablet PC is finally landing on some store shelves.

The Korean electronics manufacturer said Monday that the Q1--the first brand-name device to use Microsoft's Origami Project software--is now available at all 32 Fry's Electronics locations in the U.S. as well as in some Best Buy stores in Texas.

Until now, the Q1 has been sold online only by Best Buy and CDW. Samsung said in a statement that it has seen "strong initial sales," but the company declined to offer specifics. Samsung launched the $1,100 Windows XP machine last month.

Samsung's Q1

IDC analyst Richard Shim said demand for the device still appears to be fairly limited.

"If there were truly big demand for this, you'd think it would be a nationwide Best Buy move, rather than just in Texas," Shim said.

There was much buzz surrounding the Origami effort, but as details of the minitablet emerged, some of the enthusiasm waned. Analysts said the first crop of devices was likely to appeal only to gadget enthusiasts, given their high price tag and the fact they only offer a couple hours of battery life.

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Video: Samsung shows off Q1
H.S. Kim, Samsung's executive vice president and general manager of computer systems, rolls out the company's new Q1 in San Francisco.

Shim also noted that there's been little interest from either big name computer makers or from the Asian contract manufacturers that make a substantial portion of the world's portable computers.

"We haven't heard from any of the other PC makers or other major brand names that they are coming out with models in the near term, so it makes me think the market is still limited," Shim said.

Microsoft has said a new crop of devices, code-named "Vistagami" will ship early next year, along with updated software based on Windows Vista.

See more CNET content tagged:
Richard Shim, Microsoft Origami, minitablet PC, Best Buy Co. Inc., Samsung Electronics

4 comments

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It's a 900mhz slowpoke.
Of course nobody's interested.

They couldn't even put in a cheap low end 1.6ghz chip.
Posted by kamwmail-cnet1 (292 comments )
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ULV vs "low end"
The Celeron 900MHz in the Q1 is a Dothan core ULV model with 512KB L2 cache. It is a cheap CPU at ~$140, but putting in a "cheap low end 1.6GHz chip" is a bad solution.

Samsung obviously chose a ULV model due to the tiny form factor and power consumption. A Celeron M 900MHz ULV uses about 1/3 the power of a Pentium M 1.6GHz chip (7W TDP vs 21W TDP). The lower the power, the less cooling required. The Celeron M lacks some power saving features, but it's not a huge difference at idle or light load.

For $100 extra Samsung could have used a Pentium M 1.1GHz ULV chip with better performance and even lower power for typical use. At $1100, Samsung should have used at least a 1.1GHz ULV chip.

A device as small as the Q1 will not use regular laptop chips so forget about >10W chips. Single core ULV chips top out around 1.3GHz. An upcoming dual core Yonah U2500 1.06GHz (~7-8W) looks pretty good for multi-threaded performance.
Posted by gopher123 (1 comment )
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