Thanks to the good folks at Dynamism, I’ve had the opportunity to check out the Vye S37 Ultra-Mobile PC made by VyePC. Very similar to the Kohjinsha UMPC, (it is built on the same platform) the Vye S37 is nothing if not small and compact. The model I’m evaluating comes with 1GB of RAM and is running Vista Home Premium on an Intel A100 chipset running at 800Mhz. It also comes with 120GB Hard drive. (Note that Dynamism is now touting a model of the Vye with 32GB Solid Stage drive.) It is an intriguing little UMPC that offers what looks to be good performance, but it is not without its faults.
The Vye has captured a lot of attention recently, and of course for this Tablet PC guy who loves to Ink with a stylus one of the first things I wanted to check out was how it would perform in that department. Sadly, it doesn’t Ink well. But that was to be expected. So, moving on from that department, the other big question is about the keyboard. Is it viable to touch type with? For me and my big clunky hands the answer is no, at least in the early going. To get a second opinion I asked my wife to try it out with her more delicate hands. She says it is a keyboard she could get used to, with one caveat. You’ll have to see the InkShow for that.
Those two big questions answered, there is a lot to like about the Vye S37. With only 1GB of RAM, it is performing better than I anticipated running Vista Home Premium. Much better as a matter of fact. It can be upgraded rather easily to 2GB of RAM if you so desire. The size and weight (2.17lbs on the model I’m evaluating) feel quite comfortable to lug around. That said, parts of the construction feel a bit cheap to my touch. The screen is quite spongy (you’ll see this in the InkShow) and that is a concern. The battery latch also doesn’t feel secure enough to hold it in place, given that they way the form factor is designed, you will want to use the battery as a handle.
Is the Vye S37 a viable UMPC? I haven’t decided yet. I’ll be giving this a shakedown during rehearsals this week for our next play. I already know I won’t be able to rely on it as a note taking device, but I’m anxious to see how it holds up under some real world conditions.
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