Viliv S5 MID

viliv_03 James Kendrick (aka JK) of jkOnTheRun is so enamored of the Viliv S5 that he (gasp) bought one. After reading his First Impressions of the Viliv S5 Premium UMPC, I may too.

The Viliv S5 is a MID. I’ve written a lot here about MIDs, an acronym for Mobile Internet Devices.

I was holding out for the OQO Model 2+. But given recent reports (started by jkOnTheRun BTW), it doesn’t look like there will be a Model 2+; or an OQO company for that matter. So it’s time for other options. The Viliv S5 may be it.

Here are the main specs:

Size: 154(W) x 84(H) x 24.4(T) mm (6.0 x 3.3 x 0.96 inches). So it’s pocketable.

Weight: 420g with battery (0.92 lbs). So it won’t weigh down my pocket.

Screen: 4.8" WSVGA (1024 x 600) resistive touch (more on this below). So web pages should be viewable, and with a minimum of scrolling.

Processor: Intel Atom 1.33GHz (Z520). So reasonably powerful, yet with the Atom’s good battery life.

Memory: DDR2 1.0GB. Adequate. 

OS:  Windows XP Home. A good choice until Window 7; Vista would be a dog given the processor and RAM. Though Ubuntu 9.04, anyone?

Communication: WLAN 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, GPS Sirf Star3. Good, but I wish it had 3G since I may not always have WiFi available (and maybe it will have 3G; see below).

Storage: 60GB HDD 1.8". Good capacity, but I wish it had an SSD instead (and maybe it will have an SSD option; see below).

Keyboard: Virtual and haptic (like the Blackberry Storm).

Ports: Audio, USB, USB (link), Multi I/O for Video Out (optional cable required) and Component I/O Cable TV Out (optional cable required).

What intrigues me about the Viliv S5 is that James is not someone easily satisfied by a device but he really likes this one. While I prefer capacitive touch, James says: “The touchscreen is a resistive digitizer, but it’s so light touch that it feels very much like a capacitive one. Manipulating the screen via fingertip is very similar to the way it works on the iPhone.” You really have to read his review to understand his take, that Viliv did a very good job of optimizing this device as a MID. It goes into and out of standby fast, it is very responsive, it has good battery life, etc.

Given the Viliv S5 is pocketable, it’s not surprising that pocketables also reviewed it. Jenn’s conclusion:

“The Viliv S5 Premium has so much going for it (build quality, performance, battery life, size/weight, versatility, price, etc.) that at a glance, it would seem almost impossible for anyone not to love it, want it, and buy it. But here I stand, fully aware of how remarkable the S5 is and why so many consumers can’t wait to have one as their own, yet still not wanting one as my own. The dealbreaker for me, personally, is the form factor. I just prefer slider and clamshell UMPCs/MIDs with hardware keyboards: simple as that. [p] If, however, the slate style appeals to you, then you’d be hard-pressed to find anything better than the Viliv S5.”

I like slates, so it’s not a problem for me.

I do wish the Viliv S5 has a SSD instead of a HDD, and 3G. And maybe it will, according to jkkMobile. So I definitely will have my eye on this device, but probably will wait until SSD and 3G is available.

Update (4/27/2009): jkkMobile’s First days with Viliv S5 UMPC has an interesting 7 minute video in which JKK uses and discusses the Viliv S5 and compares it to another leading MID, the UMID M1.