"The only way to be truly satisfied, is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do." Steve Jobs
Once "inking" gets into your veins you will never be able to live without it. Frank J. Garcia

My Surface PRO 3 'Must Have' Accessories List

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

[H] Consumer review the AMTek T700

Beside the error of reporting this unit like it was made by VIA, this is one of the best review that I have read about the eo V7110.

...the battery life is unacceptable, the machine gets a little warm, and it could really use a shot in the arm for video acceleration and even CPU power. It’s also WAY too expensive, with competing devices reaching over $1000. Furthermore, as good as the Tablet PC OS and Touch Pack GUI are at this stage, they could definitely take a few hints from the guys who worked on Windows XP Media Center Edition. It would be nice to browse multimedia from inside the program launcher instead of limiting it to, well, launching programs like Media Center to navigate to what you’d like to watch or listen to.

But for a first revision of an ambitious platform, my experience left me hopeful that the UMPC market matures and that all companies involved are able to make these devices faster, cheaper, even more intuitive, and with a longer battery life. Did I mention cheaper? Yeah, let’s start there…

The author of the review mentioned that the CPU utilization while playing movies is too high. I should remind here that the VIA processor does only decode MPEG-2 format and that according to our tests only one video player in the market is fully optimized to use the VIA processor, WinDVD v7.0. The AVI format is not the best format if you are trying to save some battery life in this device because it use only CPU and it does not use at all the Video Chip. If you play the same movie in MPG-2 format or just the VOB file from a ripped DVD you will find a lower CPU use and a little bit more of battery life. I also found a better performance playing movies if you decrease the color dept to 16 Bits instead of the default of 24 Bits and you wont notice too much of video degradation.

Recovery DVD, stand, and T-shirt

Jeff has posted pictures of a nice surprice he received unexpectedly from TabletKiosk.

Carrypad PlaceBlade Video

Carrypad has posted a video of the PlaceBlade that will make the day of many gamers: Need for Speed played in an eo!

Well, it was an old version but according to Steve it was great.

Loren has tested the Q1

Loren has tested the Q1 and has given his opinion about it:
So far I give the Q1 top style points, the eo top handwriting points, and the Founder top joystick/button points.

Source: GottaBeMobile.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The recovery CD and the plastic stand

Shhh! We are being followed... Shhhh... No, I'm not crazy. If you don't believe me read this email I just received from TabletKiosk:
The recovery DVD will be shipped back to you with your updated eo (and yes we've been watching the post's on blogs and are including the stand and a additional gift for early adapters)

what can I say? Today in the morning the tech guy who gave me my RMA called me by my name before I told him who I was. I believe that Martin (I think that was him) who was the person that took my call and transferred me to the tech guy recognized my Spanish accent. :) And now who ever replied to my email tells me that he/she is reading our blogs.

That was funny and a nice touch. :)

About the eo extended battery release date

this is the info that I just received from TabletKiosk:
We are currently undergoing CE & UL certification. Once this has been approved we will go into mass production - we anticipate we will be shipping by the early July.

Update on my Extended Battery from eo.

I just got a confirmation email from my order. I'm ending paying $150.07 including shipping and taxes (using my 25% discount)! If I did not have this discount I would have to pay $189.37 that means that I saved here $39.3!. You made my day TabletKiosk. Let me post again the link to that battery at TabletKiosk. No words about when I should receive it.

Another Q1 Review from one of Microsoft Contest Winner

Mark Polino was one of the winners of Microsoft Origami contest. Here is what he said about his Q1.

  • The WiFi isn't as powerful as my Dell 700m. At the edge of the signal strength, the Dell held the signal better than the Q1.

  • Domain logins are tough. This is an issue for any slate table. The Samsung has a CTL-ALT-DEL button but its a recessed dot that requires the stylus to push.

I selected these two points because I just read a review saying that the WiFi range was very good, that's the first point, and the second point because I can not repeat one more time that I love my eo because its buttons. The CTL+ALT+DEL button of the eo is just perfect and it's located in the perfect place.

I was asked what would be my dream origami, and my answer was one with: the eo buttons, the eo flexible hardware configuration when you are purchasing it, the eo Mouse, the eo 120g digitizer, the Q1 mics and speakers and the ASUS integrated GPS. I can live without the VGA output wich can be added later on with one of those USB to VGA adaptors and I can live without a CF Card slot and I can live without an integrated Ethernet because I want this dream machine to be a really mobile device. None of the current Origamis in the market has the Battery Life that would like to see that is around 4 hours with the normal integrated battery and around 8 hours with an extended integrated battery. And for the end I would add Microsoft price range betwen 500 to 700 dollars.

And please, do not mention me VIA processor. My dream machine will have something else, an AMD perhaps. VIA processor is not bad but they have not matured yet. TabletKiosk, are you taking note?

Q1 vs eo

Here is what an ex-owner of an eo has to say about these two devices: the Samsung Q1 and the eo V7110.

All in all the Q1 would kick the eo's butt if it weren't for the screen that is too sensitive. The better battery life, CF slot, VGA out, much better wireless reception, integrated mic array, better sound quality (headphone jack and speakers), integrated stands, and ethernet port still push it past the eo. Some may miss the point stick and the "joystick" does seem almost redundant. Samsung should just switch it out for a point stick. Then there are a lot of other small reasons why the Q1 is worth the extra $100, such as the included restore CDs, AV Now, USB transfer cable.

What you have read is the summary; lets post here a few other fragments like these:

Big plus (over the eo): The wireless reception is MUCH stronger. It is on par with my work laptop. I can receive our public signal in my little corner of the office.
The screen has a "softer" feeling physically (more spongy) than the eo.
Screen calibration is correct on the login screen (a password is required by default)

The above is something that TabletKiosk also needs to work with. Having the Login Screen out of calibration looks very unprofessional.

Doesn't seem to remember my resolution changes from the rez-change button (after reboot).
Rez-change seems a little slower than on the eo, not much.

From reading the above comment about the speed changing the resolution and other comments about games that work in the eo but do not work in the Q1 I have the feeling that the VIA video chip is a little bit better than the Intel installed in the Q1.
The screen is too sensitive. You can't write properly with your hand resting on the screen or you'll get "streaking". I didn't have this once with the eo. Time to learn to rest my hand on the edges of the machine...

The display sensitivity is one of the complains that I find in most of the Q1 owners, so it seems to me that TabletKiosk did good switching to 120g displays.

Why isn't TIP enabled and why does it require a hack download to get working? Isn't this a part of TabletPC? I think this actually has something to do with the drivers for the touch screen.
TabletPC Experience pack wasn't preinstalled.

The experience pack was preinstalled in the eo.

I don't want to enter in the debate of what Origami is better because there is not a real and definitive answer for this kind of question. What is good for you could be the worse thing for me. Without any doubt IF TabletKiosk would have done a better job testing these devices we would not have this recall and if we would not have this recall the eo would be in a lot better position to compete with the Q1. In another hand, we can't blame on TabletKiosk alone. AMTek did a very poor job configuring these devices, from my experience with the eo, the drivers installed in this device look like generic kind of drivers that have not been customized at all for the specifics of the eo. The Q1 as you can see from some of the above comments is not free of problems; they just are less critical than the one that were found in the eo. A second batch of eo will have a better battery life and some of the issues like the MIC not working wont be there anymore. That second batch will be in a better condition to compete with the Q1. The question now is how TabletKiosk is going to recover the trust from buyers. The 25% discount for owners of the first batch was a nice move. Lower prices than the one offered by Samsung in the Extended battery and other accessories is a second step that I would like to see from them. And finally, other accessories like the plastic stand, screen protectors, cases, really portable keyboards like the one from Stowaway, those are things that could attract back that portion of the market that turned the head toward the solid reputation of Samsung in front of the failures found in the first batch of eos.

Where I'm from people say, "A Man is not measured by how many times he falls but by how many times he stands from his falls." I won't say that I'm inclined to buy anything else from TabletKiosk at this moment because I'm not (except eo accessories), but I could change my mind easily if they have a good "after purchase services" and I have to admit that they are working hard trying to gain my confidence and the market confidence back. Time will say the last word.

Update: About the Recall

Just called TabletKiosk a few minutes ago to get my RMA number. The parts have not arrived yet to TabletKiosk, that means that if I send my unit today probably I wont get it back until next Monday and the eo is going to sit there useless for a day or two. Knowing that I was advised to send them the eo next Monday something that I had in mind already because I was almost sure than in a short week like this probably they would not have enough time to fix it and send it back in the same week. They are getting the same amount of parts than the amount of eos that they have sold so do not worry about that everybody is going to get the eo fixed. The return address, in case you don't have it is:

386 Beech Ave, Suite 6, Torrance, CA 90501

Be sure you get a RMA from them before you send your unit. TabletKiosk's phone is 1-310-782-1201

is Microsoft Buying eBay?

According to CNET, there is some buzz around Microsoft thinking about to buy eBay to merge it with MSN to better take on Google. Keep in mind that by buying eBay Microsoft will acquire Paypal and Skype. Is not this a Monopoly?

WoW in an Origami

For those who has asked, WoW works in a Q1 according to UMPCBuzz. Unfortunately no details were posted at this time.


If you work in the marketing field and you want to use your eo for presentations you don't have to wait for the cradle to get a VGA ouput. The Port Authority2 USB 2.0 to XGA Adapter is what you are looking for. This USB adaptor is like adding an extra video card to your eo. Price: $99.99

ALLTP's customers recall

I just receive an email from John Hill at TabletKiosk with information about the eo Recall:

I kept the format of his statement, all upper case. So know you know, if you bought the eo from Alltp.com you should contact TabletKiosk to get it fixed. TabletKiosk's phone number is 310-782-1201 and they are located in California.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Lets dream a little bit

I was reading again Steve's review and I stopped for a few seconds in this sentence: we found ourselves using the supplied plastic stand a lot.

For some reason TabletKiosk decided not to include this must have accessory in eo boxes. Lets dream for one second; what a nice touch would be if TabletKiosk sends us with our fixed units one of these stands!

CarryPad review PlaceBlade P7

CarryPad has just posted a nice and very complete review of the PlaceBlade P7 also known here in USA as the eo V7110. Steve is just a master highlighting features and disappointments of this Origami:

Microsoft are marketing their UMPC platform to the masses. At the moment, this is not going to happen. Prices, style and performance will need to be changed to achieve that. The Paceblade Easybook P7 does, however, have a place slightly outside Microsoft's target market.

Its not a stylish device and its nothing new in terms of hardware or software but its short learning curve and fantastic mobility makes it really usable in a lot of scenarios. The Easybook P7 seems well built and the switch-gear is solid and very well placed. The ergonomics of the device are good. Battery life needs to be addressed and for a lot of people, the lack of keyboard may cause problems. Processing power is adequate for most tasks apart from 3D games and very high bit-rate videos. Connectivity options on board are good but a docking station is needed for VGA and other cabled connectivity. The additional on-screen software from Paceblade is a good addition and work well in certain scenarios.

The full text of this review can be found here.

Audio driver for eo

The audio driver at TabletKiosk web site at this moment is version This driver is newer than the original driver that came with the eo (, it fixes the "MIC issue" but it's far from perfect. It adds an annoying noise in the beginning of sounds and sounds peaks. The audio driver from Microsoft update site is which is the newest one that I have found but it's as buggy as version 4150

VIA and Amtek need to review this driver one more time. The only work around to avoid the short noise described here is to decrease the volume level.

New WiFi driver for eos

TabletKiosk has released a new WiFi driver v1.0.43.11 that can be downloaded here. Would be good if TabletKiosk adds the version No. of all drivers to the description in that way customers can easily download only those drivers that they need to keep updated their devices.

About this driver, run the setup.exe, it will find the current driver and will uninstall it. After that, DO A RESTART, XP will try to install the drivers for the hew hardware found. Cancel that and run the setup.exe again.


Changes at TabletKiosk's site

The extended battery for the eo V7110 is already on sale here for just $149.95 taken off 25% offered by TabletKiosk to early adopters who are suffering from the so called "battery life issue" that's only $112.46!. I don't have to say that I'm placing my order right now!

Another change is that now the eo drivers and documentation can be downloaded here.

Way to go TabletKiosk!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Online reporters win court case vs. Apple

This is a very important news for the Bloggers: First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects us. We do not have to reveal our sources of information.
three-judge panel in San Jose on Friday overturned the trial court's ruling, saying that online and off-line journalists were equally protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The ruling also states that Web sites are covered by California's shield law protecting the confidentiality of journalists' sources.

If upheld, the ruling could have a far--reaching impact in California courts on other writers who publish electronically, including bloggers who regularly post news and opinion online without the backing of a mainstream news operation.

Source: news.xinhuanet.com

The HDD data won't be touched during the eo recall

I just have been informed that:
HDD content will not be effected at all in this hardware modification - your data will not be effected in any manner. This being said, it is always wise to back-up your data, as we [TabletKiosk] can not be responsible for lost data.

The eo recall wont cost users anything

According to Martin Smekal , CEO of TabletKiosk, "the voluntary recall will not cost the user anything but a short period of time without the system. "

You can read the entire text in the comments of this post at GottabeMobile.

I'm trying to figure out here how I can send my unit and get it back the same week because it seems to me that if I send it this Tuesday I'm gonna received no earlier than next Monday.

I feel that TabletKiosk should have released more info in their letter (email) to customers explaining more about the recall, for example, this detail about who is going to pay for the shipping and how that's gonna be done.

Universal Lithium Battery Pack

A few day ago I ordered the NBMate-118, a battery bank with an output of 16 and 19 volts (4.5A max) and 118 Wh.

The TabletKiosk eo V7110 uses a 19 volts/3.42A, so selecting the 19 volt option in the switch located in the bottom side of the Battery bank is all that's needed to have it ready to be connected to your eo.

This bank comes with a plastic bag with different sizes and types of tips. Once you select the right type and size it's easy to connect the tip to the cord coming from the bank matching the "+" sign in the tip with the same sign in the cord. The cord between the bank and the eo is very short and I ended getting from RadioShack an extension cord for it. I could not find one male-female so I had to build one cutting one end of the female-female cable and welding in one end a male tip that I bought from the same store.

This battery bank is a little bit smaller than the eo and weights about the same. If you carry both in your bag practically you will have the feeling of having with you a full size laptop from the point of view of weight.

Now, how long this battery bank last? I have not enough time to run a lot of tests but with the display at 100% and browsing the web I reached the last Friday more than 5 hours, no counting the eo battery. So between the two batteries probably I could browse the web for more than 6 hours.

Another point that I liked of this battery pack is that you can connect your eo to it and have it charging at the same time.

Conclusion: Even if you are planing to buy the eo extended battery that should be released soon, I would recommend to buy one of this too. Between this battery bank and the extended battery you could reach easily 8 hours or more without having to connect the unit to a power outlet.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The recall is good but...

The eo recall confirms something that many of us suspected; the eo had hardware problems beside the software problems that we found (C3 state issue). The C3 state issue if it's fixed could gives around 15% of more battery life. Now, if you take 85 mins + 15% that gives you 97 mins a number that's not close to 120 mins. or the 130 mins that the European units are reporting. So that was a clear indication for us that there we had something else, a hardware problem. Now TabletKiosk is fixing the hardware issue but what about the C3 state? I have not seen in any place that TabletKiosk has admitted that beside the hardware problem there is a software issue that needs to be fixed. If both issues are fixed this unit could reach about 2.5 hours (150 mins) browsing the web and more if the WiFi is turn off... 2.5, does this number rings your bell?

But as customer I feel the need to warn others of what could happen after this recall or as result of this recall. First of all, probably we are not going to see any other device coming from TabletKiosk made by Amtek something that is a wise move, I agree. But, if this happens I'm afraid that we, current owners of this first Batch, are not going to see any C3 issue fixed unless European and Japanese owners of Amtek T700 put some pressure on Amtek and VIA. In my case, I'll keep mentioning the C3 State issue in whatever place online and off-line I'm asked about these devices. We can't let them to forget about it.

If you are a webmaster or a blog owner and you are reading these lines, please, do us a favor and mention the above facts in your site. A hardware issue will be fixed this time but still a software problem to be addressed by TabletKiosk.

Friday, May 26, 2006

eo official notice about recall.

May 26, 2006

Dear Valued Customer,

At TabletKiosk™, our primary goal is to provide outstanding products and superior service that "exceeds our customers' computing expectations." Guided by this philosophy, we take great effort to ensure that our machines perform exactly as they are promoted.

We recognize that the first shipment of eo™ v7110 was affected by a battery life that did not perform as advertised.
For this reason, we are initiating a voluntary recall of eo™ so that we can replace the defective component to provide you with a better functioning machine.

To expedite the process, please contact TabletKiosk at 310-782-1201 or eoreturns@tabletkiosk.com for return shipping instructions. Upon receiving your eo™ back in our facility, we will modify the hardware and will ship the machine back to you within 72 hours of receipt.
We apologize for the inconvenience caused by this issue and hope that you will support our decision to issue this recall. To thank you for your understanding and patience, we are pleased to extend the following offer to all current eo™ owners:

25% off any single eo™ accessory -
  • - Offer good towards any new accessory order placed before July 31, 2006

  • - Offer may be applied to any accessories currently on back-order

With our sincere apologies, thank you for your understanding.

The TabletKiosk Team


386 Beech Ave, Suite 6
Torrance, CA 90501

Ph: 310.782.1201

Fx: 310.782.1205

eo Recall coming soon

After more than a week of full silence, TabletKiosk has released some info about what's going with the battery issue:

We will be sending out a notification later today to all recipients of the initial unit. The repair is hardware based and will require the unit being sent back to our offices for update (we have identified a set of defective cords / capacitors on the initial production run causing the high power drain). This repair will also effect the delivery of on-order systems slightly – we have some units that will ship next week that have the new suppliers components installed, and we are working diligently with our supplier to meet current demand, however some orders may be delayed a week or two while we transition to this new source for these components.

On a side note for your information we will also offer a 25% discount off any eo accessory to these first users to try and help compensate for the frustration this issue has caused.

The above was the text of an email sent Today by Martin Smekal, CEO of TabletKiosk, to John Tokash.

I guess that in that email that we are supposed to receive they will explain us all the details of this recall, from who will pay for shipping in both ways of to how long this recall is going to take.

eo fix could be released in about two weeks

According to Jeff Henderson from Ampex, we could see a Battery Life Fix in about two weeks.

I can say without hesitation that this issue will be resolved shortly. I am under NDA in many areas, but can say that you will see an update from them in about 2 weeks that will extend battery life to 2-2.5 hours (I have not tested just reporting on what I have been told).
About when the extended battery for eos will be released he said:

The extended battery has been moved up to ship end of June (6 cell battery)

And them he added a note that really took me by surprise:
and there are other updates coming that will extend battery life accross the board (These I can't talk about but I can say they are coming, and you will be pleased).

NDA, NDA, NDA ... I'm so happy! Sure you know why!

VIA blaming on AMTek

VIA is blaming on AMtek the bad results seen in eos and other devices of the same family made by this manufacturer. That's the message I got when I read the news in multiple sources and the original posted at PCW.
But Colin Brix, chipset platform group international marketing specialist, said although such devices would find strong markets in the future, the current generation needed better battery life, and to be slightly smaller, slimmer and more powerful.

'Some of the first models we are seeing are not at their optimum,' he said.'The technology is there, but for early devices they are really rushed.'
If the CEOs of TabletKiosk and AMTek make another UMPC with a VIA processor they should start looking for another job because unless they start to export eos/placeblade to Mars I don't see who is going to buy one. Unless... they find a fix for this generation of origamis based on VIA.

Games tested by Origami Team

According to this post, Origami Team tested some games in what they called "our app compat testing" and here is what they found:

Games that work:

  • Microsoft Links 2001

  • Microsoft Zoo Tycoon 2

  • Baldur's Gate II: The Collection (Shadows of Amn & Thorne of Bhaal)

  • Madden NFL 06 with Bonus!

  • Sims 2

  • World of EA Sports 04 - Golf

  • World of EA Sports 04 - NBA

Games that don't work:

  • Microsoft Age of Empires II: Gold Edition

  • Microsoft Zoo Tycoon Complete Collection

  • Bungie Halo: Combat Evolved

  • Microsoft Dungeon Siege: Legends of Aranna

  • Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi

  • Half Life 2

  • Tony Hawk's Underground 2

  • World of EA Sports 04 - NHL

  • World of EA Sports 04 - Nascar

  • Worms 4 Mayhem

I tested Microsoft Age of Empires II in my eo and it did work but I have seen reports of games that work ok in eos and do not work in Samsung Q1s.

Note: I know that some of you want me to check WoW. Well, I can't find a demo of this game and according to some pages there is not any demo for this game so, sorry guys.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Universal Lithium Battery Pack.

I just received the battery pack I ordered a few day ago. It's a little bit smaller than the eo and about the same weight. I'll post some pictures that I took of it later. It works greate you connect it to charge and while it's charging you can connect it to your eo and have both charged at the same time. The only thing that l don't like is that the cable between the battery and the eo is too short. I'll have to visit Radio Shack to look for a way to extend that cable. I have not done any battery life test yet, Today is a very busy day for me: my daughter's High School Graduation. But this long weekend I'll post some numbers and pictures.

Is Microsoft supporting 800x480?

Sometimes I think of Microsoft like a bunch of teams working in different projects no knowing what other teams are doing and how will interact what they are doing with other projects of the other teams. And this is an example.

The above screenshot is taken from Outlook 2007, one of the tools that will end installed in the majority of the Origamis. the resolution: 800x600. As you can see even at this resolution bigger than 800*480 the contact edition screen is cut off at the bottom.

Are you taking note, Origami team?

UX50 Review

It looks pretty... but functional?
I had planned to write this review on the UX50 but its keyboard is simply too cramped and unresponsive. There’s almost no tactile feedback from keypresses and typing is a real chore. The onscreen handwriting recognition is no substitute either, as PDA fans will attest.

Then there’s the screen. Yes, it is clear and bright but it’s pretty obvious that 4.5in just isn’t going to be enough. My eyes really hurt after about 15 minutes of web surfing and that’s despite constant use of the zoom buttons.

These are comments taken from Digital World Tokyo review of the New Sony UX50.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

PlaceBlade Vs eo

Today I compared the drivers installed in a PlaceBlade P7 vs the ones installed in our eos. The bad news is that beside the wifi, all drivers were the same. The WiFi had a newest drivers in the PlaceBlade. And I said Bad News because I really don't think that this is the cause of a poor battery life.

Office 07 in an eo

I installed today Office 07 in my eo. Of course, I have not had time yet to fully test it but here are my first impressions:
  • It looks prettier than previous visions.

  • It uses a little more space in menus and buttons leaving less of "usable" space in our small displays.

  • I was expecting to see a very slow performance in our eos but, no, it works "decently".

Vulnerability in Word Could Allow Remote Code Execution

Microsoft is investigating new public reports of limited “zero-day” attacks using a vulnerability in Microsoft Word XP and Microsoft Word 2003. In order for this attack to be carried out, a user must first open a malicious Word document attached to an e-mail or otherwise provided to them by an attacker.

You can read the whole text here. The problem is that if you are a TabletPC owner or an UMPC owner for sure you have Outlook 2003 set to use Microsoft Word as your email editor because that gives you all the good features that Microsoft Word brings to "ink" users. If you read the above linked document you will find that a patch for this vulnerability is going to be released in June, 13th and that the workaround recommended by Microsoft is to disable in OutLook 2003 the use of Word as the default editor!

Come on Microsoft!


If you have a PCMCIA wireless modem and you want to use it with your UMPC them you should check this USB to PCMCIA adaptor that Alltp is selling for must 199 dollars.

This USB to PCMCIA Card Adapter/Reader is a new model developed in response to customer needs. Demand is very high. We are currently taking backorders for delivery in early June.

Take your 3G wireless internet access anywhere using this PCMCIA Card Reader. It allows the use of a wide number of high speed datacards via a USB port enabling these PC cards to be used with a tablet, UMPC or laptop without a PC slot.

Most PCMCIA wireless modem cards are compatible; check the list below to find out whether yours is included or contact us for advice. Please note that the unique hardware design of this unit has been developed especially for these types of wireless modems, so other card types are not supported. It does not support memory cards.

  • PC5220 - Cingular, Verizon

  • PC5740 - Verizon

  • Kyocera Wireless Passport KPC650 - Verizon

  • Novatel Wireless S620 - Sprint

  • Novatel Wireless V620 - Verizon

  • Novatel Wireless U730 - Cingular

  • Sierra Wireless Aircard 580 - Sprint

I just bought a Cingular 2125 (refurbished for only 99 dollars) preparing myself in case I need EDGE connectivity some day. Currently I have an unlimited GPRS plan for 24 dollars, and I don't use it that much so to pay almost 60 dollars per month for 3G connectivity is not something that I'm looking for at this moment. But if you think about it, I pay 30 dollars for my DSL and 24 Dollars for GPRS, that's 54 dollars. The major problem that I see right now is that I'm not the only one using Internet at home and if I cancel my DSL service I will have to leave a PC all the time on with this card to share Internet with my daughter and wife.

Source: GottaBeMobile.

Come on TabletKiosk, what is going on?

Here is second machine tested in Europe that have a decent battery life!

Finally I sat down and started some battery tests. And this is where the suprise came in. The Easybook P7 doesn't seem to suffer from the same battery problems as the Eo. 2 hours seems to be no problem for the Easybook P7. 3 hours low-screen useage (wifi off) seems highly possible which makes the Easybook a pretty good contender now against the Q1. The VIA chipset can process MPEG-2 in hardware which means you could potentially stream an MPEG-2 film over wifi (try VLC software for that) and get well over 2 hours. Thay will also apply for DVB-T which is streamed in MPEG-2.

Yesterday we did an external comparisson of the battery labels and it seems to us that the eo and the P7 use the same battery. I'll try to spend a little more time today with Steve to see what else we can find.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Games on an eo

Wendy at Origami Project posted about a few games that can be played in an eo.

Some of my thoughts about Microsoft work in the Origami Project

Somebody asked in Origami Project forum that if our expectations were met with these Origamis devices. Here is what I answered:

I'm disappointed with Microsoft because they released this whole concept when the the current OS is not fully supporting these devices. For example, the log on screen do not support the 800x480 resolution, so the distance between my stylus and the place in the screen that I'm trying to hit reach up to 5 mm on the edges of the screen.(I have found that this is a eo issue) But here is another example, those who had seen how the TIP works in a Tablet PC and how it works in a touch screen origami will notice that there is a lot of work to do to in the TIP.

I'm disappointed with battery life in general. 2.5 hours is really nothing when you are talking about mobility.

And later on I added:

Microsoft did not work hard enough to release this concept. Just think about it. What they have provided? The Touch Pack? A Game? Come on guys! I have not used launch program at all, with all due respect for Sear. I usually have my desktop organized in a way that in a same amount of clicks I can have whatever program I want opened. And it's less painful to configure than the Program Launcher. Are you telling me that they worked hard enough to integrate this Program Launcher to the OS? Come On! Every time you install a program you have to add it manually in that Launcher when in my desktop all I have to do is drag the icon to a pre-created folder to keep the short cuts categorized. The Touch Experience has been enhanced using a XP Theme. And another company made the DialKeys. So, please, do not tell me that I should be happy with Microsoft for what they have done. Do you think that Sony designed the latest "X whatever is the name" in one month after Microsoft released the Origami Concept? They have been working in these small devices for years. I agree that having Microsoft and Intel pushing this concept it the best thing that could have happened but sorry, I'm not pleased with Microsoft roll from the point of view of Software in this concept. Microsoft may be have done a great job pushing the concept from the point of view of hardware but from the point of view of software I do not see anything that have impressed me. May be they just thought that with Vista they will deliver what people like me are expecting. Ok, but Vista is 9 month away from now. I would be felt well if Microsoft instead a Touch Pack Experience would have released an Origami made by them. But if you take the Q1 and the eo and you compare to those prototypes that Otto held in his hands in his first interview about Origamis you will sure find out that there are few things in common. That tells me that these OEMs (AMTek, Samsung and Asus) were working in this concept may be since long time ago and using their own ideas of how these devices should be. Microsoft even did not mention the AMTek in their press releases neither in their web site until a few weeks after the Origami concept release. May be I'm wrong but it seems to me that this happened because they did not know about AMTek's T700. Of course, they were happy to see that somebody else was working in the same idea at the same time and they added the AMTek T700 to the Origami Group.

You are mentioning to me the eo Battery Issue. But this is not just an issue for TabletKiosk. It's well known that with the Service Pack 2, Microsoft introduced a new problem for Notebooks using USB2 devices. A new problem in the shape of a Battery Life Leak. This problem is consuming between 15 to 30% of the battery life of the eos. Yes, this issue is not present in Samsung's Q1. But keep in mind that Samsung has been dealing with this problem for a while and it's a big company with a lot of resources that neither AMTek nor TabletKiosk have. And the most important thing they had the support of Microsoft in this game from the beginning while AMTek and TabletKiosk, I'm afraid, that entered the game at the last moment.

But... This is my opinion... and as a Human Being, I'm probably wrong.

What do you think about it? You can post your comment here at my blog or using this link from Origami Project Forum.

Yes, another Q1 Review

This one comes from the UK based page ITWeek.

A UMPC could thus find a niche as a lighter alternative to a Tablet PC, but performance and battery life need to improve before the Q1 could be a worker’s chief business client.

I have to agree with them in these points. Even when I have not felt any slowness out of the ordinary in my eo a better performance wont damage anybody. And Battery Life is my major complain. I really believe that if you are talking about mobility a device with less than 4 or 5 hours can't be include in that category.

Q1 with a Flash Card

According to JKOnTheRun, Samsung could be releasing a new Q1 with a 32 GB Flash HDD this Summer. No price is available yet but if you compare the available Flash Card prices I don't think that his device is going to be cheaper than current Q1. A Flash HDD should use less battery so, will this device going to break the 5 hours barrier?

Another Software Bug in eos

Dustin, member of Origami team confirmed today another bug in eo devices, here is what he said:

the eo does suffer from an odd login problem where the digitizer is off by several pixels when trying to tap in a password on the login screen. It's annoying but not something the Q1 suffers from. I don't know what the cause of it is though.

This is not a major problem because using the mouse you to click in the keyboard keys needed for your password but... would be good if AMTek and Microsoft look into this problem trying to find a solution. Again, it's not a big problem but for those that has to log on into a network a few times per day it takes a lot of time that could be have used in more productive things.

How to change the scroll bar width

That was something that I did not like from current Origami configuration. I just added this how-to to my list.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Carrypad got an eo!

Well, Steve exactly got a Paceblade Easybook P7 aka eo in USA. He will be playing with this unit for a few days to review it. So you better bookmark this link and check it often. I'm dying to read his report of how is the battery life in that device. And of course l hope that he finds something that we could not find about this and the MIC issue.

Another Q1 Review

I'm so glad that I have an eo with my joystick kind of mouse! The eo could be not that pretty but to me is the better button configuration out there.

In addition to the pen the Q1 offers an analog joystick on the left side. I'm not sure if there's something wrong with ours or not, but the experience is awful. You have to push and hold the menu button on the right, then move the joystick on the left. The mouse jumps around in seemingly 10 pixel intervals, it's just terrible. To click something you have to press the auto scaler button on the left once or twice depending on which click action you want. Be mindful though that the entire time you have to be holding down the menu button on the right. The analog input is basically useless as a result, hence the benefit of having a Bluetooth mouse.

You can read the full review here.

I still asking myself

I still asking myself what means Mark 4.5, yeah, I know about BatteryMark, etc, but I still don't understand what they did to get 2.5+ hours of battery life. I'm saying this because while I was tracking down info about the Vusys Dokodemo, I found Play.com selling it and advertising the "Re-chargeable 26w Lithium ION Battery (2200mAh), 2.5+ hours battery life under mark 4.5 (4 hours with optional extended battery)".

I really hope that that device really have more than 2.5 hours of battery.

eo cousin with better battery life

Reading JKOnTheRun I found about a review of a Vusys Dokodemo (what a name!) that is the same device than our well known eo. The review says that the eo is a very "slow" device based in the results of who knows what Benchmark tool. Well, I have been using the eo for more than two weeks already and I do not find this device slow at all. Of course, I have 1 GB of RAM and a 7200 RPM HD that no doubt about it is helping me a lot. Anyway, the reason why I'm mentioning this review here is because that machine has a better Battery Life than eos and similar battery life to the AMTek device that we have used in some of our tests and comparissons, owned by JKK.

Q1 inking experience

Kevin Tofel from JKOnTheRun is getting a Q1 and he posted about it here. What got me by surprise are the comments about the bad experience of people inking in the Q1. The screen is so sensitive that they can't rest the hand on top of the screen while inking. Well, that's a very good thing that we have in our eos. I have not experienced any problem while inking in the eo. I really do not place my whole hand in the screen when I'm inking but part of it yes, and I really do not play too much attention to this anymore because I'm not getting any disturbance from doing that in my inking.

are eo owners having any problem when they are taking notes in the eo?

Q1 Review

MobileTechReview has posted a very good article about the Q1.
Pro: Incredibly portable yet usable Windows machine. Windows XP Tablet Edition and the excellent touch screen make the most of the device. The display is vibrant and responsive. Good built-in stereo sound with SRS and dual array mics. Intuitive and easy to operate controls. Very attractive device that turns heads. Well connected with WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0 and wired Ethernet. Works with standard USB keyboards and mice as well as monitors.

Con: The resolution isn't consistently supported by 3rd party or even Microsoft's own software: dialog boxes will sometimes run off the bottom of the screen, requiring user-prowess and judicious use of the res switcher button. Price is high when the device has to compete with higher spec-d traditional notebooks (that's the price you pay for miniaturization). Pen is a little cheesy.

I have to agree with this review. It's pity to see how Microsoft has released the UMPC idea when it does not support fully the 800x480 screen resolution. To me, to see how the touch screen loses the calibration in the OS Login screens is just unbelievable.

eo: About the MIC issue and the Audio Driver Update

It's good to see that TabletKiosk in UK is releasing this audio driver update under the status of BETA. And the reason why I'm saying this is because the driver still very buggy. After the installation of the driver the MIC works in applications like Spyke or Sound Recorder but it fails to work correctly in Microsoft Recognition. One of the things that I found is that the OS control when you click in the Tray Speaker Icon does not control the MIC at all, you can disable the MIC using that control but you can not enable it back or change the level of the MIC or anything like that. To control the MIC you have to open the VIA Audio Control using the Tray icon or you have to go and open the Sound and Effect applet in the Control Panel. When you try to configure the MIC using the Recognition Wizard from Microsoft it just wont let you. Another problem that I found is a noise like a "crack" at the beginning of any sound, like the alarm sound and in some movies at the beginning of each words when the sound reach a high level. It seems to me like the portion of the driver that has to deal with sounds is not properly configured as it was the previous driver where I did not find any problems relative with sound.

It's good to see that TabletKiosk is working in this driver and it was good to release this beta because many of us were afraid that the MIC issue was a hardware problem and now we know that it was just a driver no properly configured. But still a lot of work to do in this driver.

One interesting point is that if you run Microsoft Update one of the hardware drivers available is the sound driver. Unfortunately, after the update I still have the problems described by me here.

Once again, this release is better than nothing but still just a BETA.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Review about wmp11 and URGE

The Washington Post has published an article about the new WMP 11 and URGE.

Urge's downloads also can't be played on Windows Mobile handheld organizers and smartphones. If you try to open one, you're sent to a Web page inviting you to install the desktop versions of Windows Media Player 11 and Urge, an impossibility on a mobile device. The final annoyance comes when you copy purchased songs to another computer. Urge will treat them as rented downloads, incapable of being burned to CD, until you sit through a "Restore My Library" procedure that downloads new copies of the music.

Windows Media Player 11 isn't any old beta release; it's essentially a system upgrade, one that can be removed only with XP's System Restore tool. Nobody should install this kind of preview software lightly.

It seems to me that I was not the only one no impressed with this new tool and service.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

eo: Mic issue fixed

TabletKiosk's site in UK has rebased a driver update that fixes the so called "MIC issue" in eo devices!

I tested and it really works guys. One down, one more to go TabletKiosk!
Source: Carrypad.

How to change the Tablet OS language

Just added to my how to section.

Thanks for the tip JKK.

Should I return my eo?

If you are asking yourself this question I would recommend you to read this nice article written by Jeffrey Graebner at his blog. He summarize magnifically the Battery life controversy in eos devices.
I would probably seriously consider returning my eo if there were another UMPC on the market that met my needs as well, while giving a better battery life. Right now, that just isn’t the case. The Samsung Q1 may do better in the battery life, but it falls short of my needs in the area of storage space. I also don’t like the user interface nearly as well. Sony’s just announced UX-series UMPCs also look nice, but they are too small, too expensive, and also fall short in the storage capacity.

At least for now, it looks to me like it is basically a choice between the eo and no UMPC at all. Barring any changes in circumstances in the next couple weeks, I’m pretty sure I’ll stay with the eo
That's my same position. the eo has serious issues that need to be fixed, but so far, it's the best UMPC in the market for my needs. BTW, Jeffrey, I'm blogging this from my bed with my eo!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Extended Battery

I just placed an order for one of this: PM-118 External Battery.

I can't live anymore with this poor battery life.

Vista on an eo

Yes, John Tokash has posted a screen shot of eo's Control Panel running Vista!

Some Good News...

John Tokash is reporting at his blog that he has tested the MIC Driver update in his eo and it works fine so the MIC issue is going to fixed soon. The other good news is that he installed VISTA in his eo and it did work fine. This is what he said about it:
I installed Vista last night on my eo.

I haven't had an opportunity to install all the drivers, but it seems fairly responsive right out of the gate.

Also, the touch point and mouse buttons work fine and a usb keyboard also works.

I'll probably have some more time to play with it this evening.

Why users are returning eos?

I asked that question to one of the users that is returning his eo and here is what he said to me:
I like the ultramobile concept. I love the touchpack, the size, the weight, the button layout and the useablity of it as a result... the whole package. The rediculously short battery life-- currently, it is rediculous but even if a fix is found it ain't good-- is a huge problem for me. Add in the mic issue and a potentially great device is unusable for me. And I am not confident that a fix will come out that will make this actual physical device workable-- maybe in a later run of the EOs but not this first batch.

It makes me really sad because I love so much about it. The issues are just too numerous and limiting for me.

So it is going back.

Well, like I said to him, I DO believe that a fix is going to be found in one way or another even if they have to recall these units. After all, we bought them because of their advertised 2.5+ (big plus) hours of Battery Life, and now they are promising a fix. I know that's hard to trust in a company that has failed to delivered what they advertised but... Come on, hope is the last thing that we should lose.

In another hand, while some are returning these units other are willing to buy the returned units, check this link. I wonder what is going to be the price for these Open Box Units? Any words on this TabletKiosk?

eo could run Windows Vista

I just ran Windows Vista Hardware Upgrade Advisor in my eo V7110. I could not check drivers because I was not connected to Internet despite that here are the results: The eo could run Vista if you are not thinking about to use the Media Center User interface.

  • To get the Media Center user interface, you will need a graphics adapter that either has 128MB of dedicated Video RAM or uses shared memory. Your current graphics adapter has 64.00 MB of dedicated memory.

  • Support for Pixel Shader 2.0 is required and your current graphics adapter does not support this.

  • Support for 32bits per pixel. Your current graphics adapter supports this.

  • Support for DirectX 9 is required. Your current graphics adapter supports this technology.

I'll update this report tonight when I check the drivers.

Microsoft reveals for the First Time Officially Vista requirements

Microsoft is, officially and for the first time, telling PC owners what are the requirements to run Vista here. You can find a complete list of the minimum requeriments here.

Windows Vista Minimum Supported System Requirements
  • Processor - 800 MHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor

  • System Memory - 512 MB (forget about any UMPC with 256 MB of RAM if you are planning to update it to Vista)

  • GPU - SVGA (800x600) (is not 800x480 the default Origami Resolution?)

  • HDD - 20 GB, HDD Free Space 15 GB

  • CD-ROM - At least an external CDROM

  • A Graphics processor that is DirectX 9 capable.

As you can see, probably we are going to be able to "run" Vista in our first generation UMPCs but forget about the "new Windows Aero user experience".. But, if you want to be sure you better run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor.

Battery Drain in StandBy

Well, lets talk about more productive topics. Should we? How much battery is drained when the eo is in standby. According to some tests done by me and other users, the eo uses around 2 to 2.2 % per hour of its battery. So if you leave your eo in Standby during the whole night you will see your battery with around 16 to 25 % less in the next morning depending of how many of sleep you get.

Users returning eos

Wow, I think that TabletKiosk is about to get back all the units sold in the first batch. Really bad news. (link1, link2)

and link3. I think that is time that TabletKiosk uses a little more Gail, Marketing Manager, to tell the rest of us why we should keep our units. But please, do not come back with the eo specifications telling us how good these devices are. If there are people returning them back is because what we got does not match those specifications, do not you think? What about a 50% OFF in the price of the extended battery for those who do not return these babies? What is that 50 dollars? 80 dollars? That's nothing for TabletKiosk comparing that to what is going to cost them if we all send these units for a refund. That's nothing compare to how much I has paid in aspirins to calm down the headaches I get when I think about the so called "eo Battery Life Issue".


  • Is not time to send your engineers and AMTEK's ENGINEERS to Korea to learn from Samsung how to write proper drivers????

  • Did not your prototype testers tell you about all these issues?

  • Are you guys waiting until the ONE MONTH PERIOD OF FULL REFUND is over to see what you are going to do with us, the last Mohicans?

Come on guys, you were very active during the prelaunch events and now you virtually have disappeared in your caves?

You have not resolved yet even the simplest issue: The MIC issue. The ONE MONTH RETURN FOR REFUND offer held users for one week or week and a half, but it's not holding anymore. You have to act fast, believe me. And when I say "believe me" think about the hidden sense behind these words.

I wonder for how long Loren is going to keep her eo because the beautiful smile that you can observe in this picture did not last too long.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Let me repeat it again TabletKiosk

You have a problem with your drivers and settings. As you can see in this post the Samsung Q1 processor enters and stays in C3 state all time no matter what USB device is connected and if they are being used or not. That's called only in one way: Drivers that have been well written and configured.

Dynamism.com shipping Q1s

I just received this email from Dynamism.com a few minutes ago:

Dear Customer,

Thanks again for joining our UMPC waiting list.

We are still looking at June for the Tabletkiosk and possibly July/August for the ASUS, but we are now shipping the Samsung Q1. We received our first units this morning and are working down the preorder list. For new orders, customers can expect delivery by next week.

If you have any other questions or would like to place an order over the phone, please give us a call at 800.711.6277 or 1.312.587.0402. You can also order online at http://dynamism.com/q1/pricing.shtml.

Thank you

Dynamism Sales Team

A tip for TabletKiosk

The Samsung Q1 has a BT USB device and the processor in entering all the time to C3 Stage. I have some Q1 owners running some tests for me here. And they reported that having the BT ON and Connected to a headset the processor was still entering in C3 state. In general the Q1 is always running in C3 state even when they are using it in no cpu high demanding tasks. That explains why the Samsung Q1 has a better battery life.

eo Battery life issue: the saga continues

JKK, the owner of the AMTek T700 that reports better battery life, has spoken with Martin Smekal, CEO of TabletKiosk, and gave him the information to find out the production batch of that unit. Comparing batches probably will help to find out what is different between that unit and those sold by TabletKiosk that have worse battery life.

Source: John Tokash's Blog

Video Players Performace Roundup for eo V7110

Microsoft has released Windows Media Player 11 claiming that it's faster and it's better player than the previous version. I partially agree. Some features of this new version are really a lot better but I found that the general performance is not really better at least when it's playing Videos in some portable devices such as the eo V7110

I ran a series of tests using different video/multimedia players to find what is the better option for owners of any portable device such as any Notebook, Tablet pc or UMPC. What you will read here could no apply to your device because programs sometime fail to detect and use the video chip features. This is why sometimes you read that a program has been optimized for ATI or GForce or any other video chip type. So the following results apply to eo V7110 devices. In my tests I copied a DVD to eo's HDD and played from there using: VLC, Divx Player, WinDVD 7.0, WMP 10 and WMP 11. I used a DVD and no an AVI, WMV or any other file format because with those files the player wont use the VN800 decoder which only decode MPEG-2 format. Said all these, here are the results: 

CPU Utilization. This point tells how efficient the program is using the hardware acceleration features of the device video chip. 

  • VLC      78%

  • Divx Player     77%

  • WinDVD 7.0      66%

  • WMP 10      76%

  • WMP 11      82%

As you can see from the above numbers and charts, the only one that really use the VN800 Video Chip from VIA, is WinDVD 7.0. 

CPU Clock Speed. If the device is forced to use more CPU it will switch to higher speeds. Something that can be seen clearly in the following charts:

VLC CPU Clock Speed Chart


Divx Player CPU Clock Speed Chart


WinDVD 7.0 CPU Clock Speed Chart


WMP 10 CPU Clock Speed Chart


WMP 11 CPU Clock Speed Chart

As you can see, WinDVD 7.0 does a better job switching speeds from 600 MHz to 1 GHz. The rest stay between 800 MHz and 1 GHz and WMP 11 stays 98 % of the time at 1 GHz going sporadically for just fractions of seconds to 800 MHz. 


The higher the CPU utilization and Clock speed is the higher is the Battery Power Consumption. Taking in consideration this point the smarter choice is to use WinDVD 7.0. I have to say that I would be happier if WinDVD 7.0 stayed at a little bit higher CPU speed. Lets say around 650 or 700 MHz, because probably that would give a little better play back (performance) and wont skip frames to keep the video synchronized. But even with this issue the overall experience with WinDVD 7.0 is good. 

WMP 11 plays very smooth but at a higher cost of having the CPU running at maximum capacity the whole time and of course that will give us the lowest battery life possible. I tried to change the Video Acceleration settings in WMP 11 and I found that if you enable all the settings on that Setup Screen looking for a maximum Hardware Acceleration the video play back becomes very bad and the CPU Clock speed stayed anyway at 1 GHz. To get it smoother I had to disable some of the features listed on that screen and that gave me the desired result; something a little better than what I experienced in WinDVD 7.0.

WMP 10 worked a little better than WMP 11 from the point of view of CPU/Battery use but not even close to WinDVD and the video play back was very choppy. I found too that WMP 11 had more options to play around to get a better video chip/cpu utilization than WMP 10.

One more thing. The Touch Pack Windows Media Player Skin works perfectly with Windows Media Player 11.

Power Drain "fix" from Microsoft

Just Yesterday Microsoft released a patch to fix the battery power drain in Windows XP SP2-based portable computers:

This problem may occur if one of the following conditions is true:

• The portable computer cannot enter the deeper Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) processor idle sleep states.

This occurs when the USB 2.0 driver leaves the asynchronous scheduler component running continuously. This prevents the processor from entering the deeper ACPI processor idle sleep states, or C-states. C-states save power when the processor is not busy. These states range from C0 to C3 or C4. Typically, an idle portable computer uses the C3 and C4 states to preserve battery power. If an idle portable computer cannot enter or maintain the C3 or C4 states, the battery power drains more quickly. This problem is fixed by installing the download that is available in this article.

• The USB host controller is unable to turn off.

This typically occurs when devices are removed from a nested USB hub that is attached to the host controller. The host controller does not recognize the device removal. Therefore, the controller is never turned off. This prevents the processor from entering the ACPI processor idle sleep states. This problem is not fixed by installing the download that is available in this article.

• The USB host controller uses the periodic scheduler for USB 2.0 devices.

This typically occurs when devices that rely on the periodic scheduler are attached to the host controller. These may be isochronous (Isoch) devices such as audio devices. Alternatively, they may be interrupt devices such as mouse or keyboard. This problem is not fixed by installing the download that is available in this article.

The bad news is that I tested it and it does not work or fix anything in our eos. The problem is that the eo WiFi and BT adaptors are USB devices. If you read what Microsoft is saying about this issue you will easily see that in our case the USB Controler is never stopped because those adaptors are simply never removed from the eo. As result the Periodic Scheduler is never stopped and that prevent the processor from entering in C3 or C4 stage. Microsoft's solution forces the USB Scheduler to be stopped if the USB device is removed, in our case Microsoft together with VIA needs to find a way to decrease the USB periodic scheduler for USB 2.0 devices to let the proccessor enter the C3 power stage at least. So basically, we are in the 3 group where Microsoft says:

• The USB host controller uses the periodic scheduler for USB 2.0 devices.

This typically occurs when devices that rely on the periodic scheduler are attached to the host controller. These may be isochronous (Isoch) devices such as audio devices. Alternatively, they may be interrupt devices such as mouse or keyboard. This problem is not fixed by installing the download that is available in this article.

Anyway... the patch can be downloaded here.

About John Tokash's conversation

Yesterday I posted about a conversation between the Blogger John Tokash and Martin Smekal, CEO of TabletKiosk. After re reading the news today I thought that I should add a few comments in the hope that Martin reads them.

3. They are working on a driver fix for the microphone. It’s not a hardware issue. They are getting close to a fix.

JKK reported that his machine does not suffer from the mic issue. He can't use the MIC in the voice recognition but at least he can record using it. So it seems to me that at least in his machine, either AMtek used a different driver or it uses the same driver but it was configured different.

4. They have not identified a specific component (to Martins knowledge) that is drawing a lot more power than it should.

USB components. We have proved that USB components are not letting the processor to reach the C3 Power Stage. This is a well known and documented by Microsoft Issue. There could be other reasons for this poor battery life but that is one of the problems that these machines have.

It seems to me that either they are not reading and using our findings at all or the engineering team working in these issues don't have a clue about what to do and how to fix these issues. I really believe that if they enter into a more close interaction with users probably together we could find faster a solution. I do not know anything about drivers but I'm willing to test what ever they have and report back ASAP my findings. But that's just me. We have other members of this community that may be of some good use to them.

Update: Yesterday Microsoft released a patch to fix the battery power drain in portable devices caused by USB 2 devices. The patch does not fix eos issue and after reading Microsoft's comments it seems to me that probably only Microsoft in conjunction with VIA can find a solution to this issue.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Latest news about eos issues

John Tokash has posted a summary of his conversation with Martin Smekal, CEO of TabletKiosk.

1. Martin wants to talk to JKK, because Amtek is having the same trouble as TK - they know of no production machines that can get the battery life.
2. Some preproduction units may have been able to get that battery life, so Martin would like to track down JKK and find out where his device came from. (JKK’s device has a much longer battery life than other Amtek/eo UMPCs)
3. They are working on a driver fix for the microphone. It’s not a hardware issue. They are getting close to a fix.
4. They have not identified a specific component (to Martin’s knowledge) that is drawing a lot more power than it should.
5. They do see the whole thing draining the battery too fast, though. VIA, Amtek, TK and the battery manufacturer are all working on the problem.
6. Martin is still hopeful for a software/firmware fix for the battery problem.
7. The FCC version of the board does not look like the production version, so it’s not a surprise that JKK’s does not look like the FCC version.

WMP11 works in eos

Yes, it works in Eos, but it's tar from being the best video player. Stay tuned, tomorrow I'll post why.

WMP 11 available for download

WMP fans can download the beta version 11 at Microsoft Site. I only use WMP to play wmv files because of its poor quality video format (yeap, I'm a Dvix fan) but I'm downloading it to install it in my eo to see how it works in an Origami Device.

Sony UX50 in pieces

If you want to see the Sony UX50 in pieces, here is the link. I have not said anything about this new device of Sony because I really don't think that XP in such small screen is going to be a confortable experience. Beside that, Sony as shown us one more time that they are the masters in designing electronic devices.

Source: Origami Project Forum

What is going on with journalists?

If you have nothing to do and you want to waste some time reading something really bad then I have a link for you here. I have never read in my life an article so full of mistakes and ignorance. Just read this:
This one was a full production model by EO called TabletKiosk.

Jesus! Don't write about something that you don't know! eeeeeooooo is the name of that Origami Device about what you want to write. T a b l e t K i o s k is the name of the company!

Let's get right down to it, unless you need this product, you really don't want this product.

My guess is that when you buy something is because you need it. So what is your point here????

The specs of Origami are flat out stupid, but that won't stop MS from throwing money and resources at their latest next big thing.

So you are assuming here that a huge portion of the market that need a device under 2 pounds with no keyboard, CDROM, are stupids and you, of course, you are the only smart guy around! Ask yourself, why all eos are sold out, even with the bad press around the "Battery Life Issue"? Why all the Q1 are sold out? Well, it seems to me that Microsoft is not the only stupid around.

Now listen to this guy!

The reason I think Origami is dead in the water is cost and battery life. For $600, you can get a full-featured laptop at a local big box retailer. Sure, it is trash, won't last a year of real use, and has miserable battery life, but you get a bigger screen and more horsepower. For $1400, I bought a 3.5 pound HP Evo4010 with a 12" screen, 50% more battery life, and all the bells and whistles. I just don't see the middle ground being all that favorable a place to be.

First of all, you get less battery life but you get a small device with a weight of around two-pounds. I would say that the battery life that we are seeing in Origamis devices is what is "standard" in nowadays notebooks. I would not carry everywhere the HP evo4010 but I'm carrying everywhere my eo V7110. That's what the difference of just ONE-POUND means. Just try to find something under 3 pounds and you will find out how the prices go up really fast.

If Origami was half the thickness, 1/3 the weight, $400, and had a 6 hour battery life, I would tell everyone to run out and buy them. The TabletKiosk is by no means a bad machine, quite the opposite, it looks solid and capable, but Origami is just plain wrong as a concept.

This guy really has the Origami concept wrong. First of all, the goal is to have a machine in the price range around 500 to 700 dollars. Second of all, the goal is to have a machine with a weight of less than 2 pounds. And of course a battery life of at least 8 hours. What this person is missing here is that there is not any notebook, DVD player, GPS, or whatever device out there with a battery life of 8 hours, a screen size of 7" and a processor running at around 1GHz. Add to that HDD and Connectivity and you will have an equation where the only thing that will come out TODAY is what you see in the eo and the Q1. The Origami concept is not what you see Today, what you see Today is just the beginning of a new era of connectivity and mobility. I just think that Mr. Charlie Demerjian just was sleeping when the Origami concept was unveiled or he just did do the homework to write this article. Once again... you better don't write about what you don't know.


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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Microsoft has reported the Battery Issue to AMTek

Emily, one of the members of Microsoft Origami Team owns an AMTek and She also is suffering from the so called "Battery Life Issue". According to her words at OrigamiProject Forum, Microsoft has reported this issue to AMTek.

WMP 11 beta coming soon

According to news posted at ITWorld.com, Microsoft will release tomorrow a beta version of Windows Media Player 11 "that mimics the sleekness of its main competitor, Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes."

This launch is in conjunction with the new MTV music store that has been integrated with this version of Windows Media Player.

No news about compatibility of this version of WMP and the new Origamis devices up to this moment.

There are other serious bugs in AMTek devices

I really sorry about all these but there are other problems with the devices sold by TabletKiosk and made by AMTek. I'm mentioning AMTek because after all TabletKiosk is just a seller of these devices.

  • some users are complaining about very bad WiFi range. I have not experience this issue but I have seen other complaining about it. Would be good to establish a record of what kind of AP they are accessing because from my experience with PocketPCs and WiFi there are some AP that do not work too well with some WiFi integrated cards.

  • The MIC is not working in many devices, in fact, I have not found yet somebody reporting a MIC working. The only person that has reported the MIC working is the one that owns the latest released AMTek device. TabletKiosk units have this problem.

I'll contact TabletKiosk today about the MIC issue to see what they have to say about it.

I have to say it or will explode like a bomb

It's pity to see how in the tabletpc/umpc community the only page that reported about the "Battery Life Issue" and asked for an explanation to TabletKiosk was GottaBeMobile. It seems to me that the rest of the pages have opted for keeping the good relationship with TabletKiosk hoping to get some "prototypes to test" in the future. Well, if TabletKiosk has a black list, no doubt about it, my name is the first one there. And no because I wanted to be in that list. I'm just saying what I see and defending the interests of the users. We have paid for these units so we should get what we paid for.

To TabletKiosk and other companies, I do not support any company I do support the true and I do support consumers. When you do things right I report them but I do have to report too when you do not do the right things and that's what I'm doing now.

Amtek board has been changed

Somebody has opened one of the just released AMTek T700 device and compared the board with pictures of the eo V7110 prototype sent to FCC for testing.

No doubt about it, the board has been changed as it can be seen in the above picture. At this moment we don't know yet if the actual board in the V7110 released to the public is the same than the one sent to FCC or the one released by AMTek but it wont be late before somebody with an actual V7110 open it to find out the true. As we reported before, the AMTek device has a better battery life than the one released by TabletKiosk. Another difference is that in the TabletKiosk device the Mic Jack is not working (I still checking this point) while in the AMTek unit the Mic works perfectly.

If you are an owner of the eo V7110 better keep an eye open toward this news because if we can prove that the board is different and that due to these changes these units are not performing properly, it seems to me that TabletKiosk will have to recall our batch unless they have a software fix, something that some experts think that is very improbable.

Source: Origami Portal.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Green Amtek

Soon you will see eos , SmartCaddies and Amtek in all colors!

More Pictures here.

What a shame!

Via has published a Press Release about the eo V7110:
eo is one of the first of a new breed of UMPC devices that fuse traditional PC functionality, with unprecedented mobility and connectivity. Custom tailored for this new breed of devices, the VIA UMPC platform combines the power efficient VIA C7® -M ULV mobile processor and VIA's highly integrated chipset solutions, enabling eo to feature best-in-class battery life with outstanding multimedia performance, and world-class security through the built-in VIA PadLock™ Security Engine.

Wait a minute, are they talking about the same eo that I own? The one with 1:25 mins of battery life? VIA, you better stop talking and fix this thing!

Google Earth

Yes, Google Earth works perfectly in the eo V7110. Do I have to say where you can find this program?

Another Game: Diablo

I tested today Diablo. This is in fact one of the Game that best performs in the eo V7110 that I have tested.

eo Battery Life issue update

Once again I requested info about this issue and once again all I got was the usual answer:
Hi Frank,

Thanks for contacting TabletKiosk Technical Support. We are still working on the battery life issue and will notify you as soon as we have any news.


Gene Ueunten

Where to buy Samsung Q1

If you still looking where to buy the Samsung Q1, here is the email I received today from Dynamism.com:

Dear Customer,

Thank you for joining our UMPC waiting list. We just wanted to update you as we have reached the middle of the month.

We are still waiting for details on a few of the UMPC models, but are very close to shipping the Samsung Q1 - http://dynamism.com/q1/main.shtml.

We do not yet have a firm Q1 delivery schedule, but we do expect to know more
during this coming week. We will update you as soon as we have the delivery information, or by the end of week (whichever comes first).

Thank you

Dynamism Sales Team

Price at Dynamism.com, $1199.00.

eo restore procedure

docblyne, a Origami Project user has posted his experiences trying to restore the OS from the restore files included in the second partition of the eo. The bad news are that there is a lot of work to do to make it work and what I read is something that requires a minimum of experience using PCs.

BTW, I still looking for somebody to tell me how the MIC works in the eo because I have not been able to use it yet.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

AMTek releases an eo with Better Battery life

According with some posts that can be read here and here, AMTek has released an unit with the same Bios Version and the same unit version than the eo but with better battery life of around 2 hours (2:15 while browsing the web). If versions numbers are the same that means that probably just some drivers or settings has been updated. Now the main question is why AMTek has not provided this update to TabletKiosk? or does TabletKiosk already has this update and is testing it?

If all this is true (and it seems to me that it's true because the numbers shown are hard to guess) we could have a fix very soon.

eo Mic

Could anybody tell me how I can make the mic works in the eo? I have tested two headsets and I have not been able to make neither one to work. I have seen other complaining about the same situation but until today I did have time to test it.

Connected using my GPRS

I paired my phone mpx220 via Bt and I'm bloging this using my phone. The eo could not find the phone so to pair them I had to start the process from the phone, who did find eo just in a few seconds.

Samsung at ebay

Yes, if you are looking for a Q1 I there are a few of them for sale at ebay! But be prepare to pay up to 1500 dollars! So far, no eos at ebay.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

More on Games: Age of Empires II

Age of Empires II: I tested the demo of this game on my eo and it runs well. Another Game I tested was Freelancer, this game worked too. I did not go so far in the game but the few thing that I tested worked.

I tested also C&C Generals. This one was too slow; just unplayable.

If any once knows about any game that does not require a keyboard, let me know and I'll try to test it as long as the Demo can be downloaded freely.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I'm having problems understanding English

My English is getting worse lately! did I read:
"During the past week we have identified that the battery life of the production eo v7110, is not meeting the originally published run times of 2.5 hours"?

The last 4/14/2006, Robs Bushway was telling TabletKiosk about this issue.
I’m getting 1 hour 40 minutes on the battery. I’m not sure if this a prototype issue or standard behavior. I was very disappointed with the battery performance.

that Same day Martin Smekal, TabletKiosk CEO, replayed to Rob saying:

#4 The pre-production unit you have does not have it’s power management features implemented, and there are on-going bios modifications that will effect the battery performance in the production unit. However, this being said take into consideration this is a full X86 architecture system running full Windows XP operating system, while utilizing a three (3) cell battery. A standard Tablet PC or Laptop will have at least a six (6) cell battery to achieve 3.5 hours of battery life.

We are confident that with the Bios modifications and the VIA processor being stingy in power consumption, we will meet our claimed active computing time.

Come on Guys, admit that you knew this before you started to ship these units. One more time you are not telling customers the true! At this point I"m thinking that the real reason for the initial shipment delay was this Battery life issue and not any problem with the back cover.

This email that you have sent is far from being an apology.

eo Battery issue update

Just got this email:
Dear Valued Customer,

During the past week we have identified that the battery life of the production eo v7110, is not meeting the originally published run times of 2.5 hours. We are diligently working on this issue and we hope to have a solution within a short period. However due to the nature of this problem we are unable to provide a firm delivery date for this patch.

We understand that you purchased this unit with expectations based on our published performance data and since we are unable to guarantee that we will be able to meet these expectations, once a resolution has been found, we would like to extend your return period to 30 days, so as to provide you the opportunity to return your unit without any restocking fee, contingent on the system being returned in good condition with all original packaging material.

If you would like to return your unit please contact our support department at eoreturns@tabletkiosk.com and we will immediately issue you a Return Authorization Number.

386 Beech Ave, Suite 6
Torrance, CA 90501
Ph: 310.782.1201
Fx: 310.782.1205

I got mine the last May 4th, so I have practically untill June 2nd to decide what to do. And of course, they have until June 2nd to retain my money. If they do not have this issue fixed, Sorry TabletKiosk, time for me to get my money back and buy another Origami or TabletPC! Who knows, maybe I'll find a LS800 at a good price!

The Standard Reply

Hello Mr. Garcia,

Our engineering team is continuing to work on this issue, however at this moment we do not have a solution that we can offer to you to extend the units battery life. We hope to have some sort of acceptable solution in the very short term, however we do not have any firm delivery date for this patch.

We understand the unit is not performing to your expectations and if you are unable to wait for this resolution, we will refund your purchase price for this unit fully, contingent on all original packaging material is returned with the unit. Just let us know and we will issue an RMA for the unit immediately.

386 Beech Ave, Suite 6
Torrance, CA 90501
Ph: 310.782.1201
Fx: 310.782.1205

I would like to know what is considered very short term?! And for how long can I hold the unit without losing the right to return it back for a full refund? What about other solutions such as the offer of an extended battery at not cost or half of the cost to pay me for the aggravation and all my time testing this unit trying to find a solution for this problem? What about a public apology because of the false advertisement?

No more 2.5+ hour of battery life.

Yes, after all this noise TabletKiosk has removed their claim advertising the eo with more than 2.5 hours of battery life. I was patiently waiting since the last Saturday when I first went publich with my statement about the 1 hour and 25 minutes of battery life while browsing. And I waited until I saw that they have removed that from their site. That means only one thing if somebody did not get the message. The eo wont get even close that battery life. Thanks God I took a screen shot of that page in case it's needed. My question is: What they are going to do about it? Like I have said. I do not want any money back. I want what I paid for. I want what they advertised.

Are you happy with your eo Battery Life?

It's a reallity that the Q1 is a lot faster and it has better battery life. The only point where the eo was supposed to be A LOT BETTER was the Battery life and we know now that its just 60% of what Q1 owners get with an Intel Celeron that runs all the time at 900 MHz while eo runs at 400 MHz when the CPU is not loaded. We have been talking about Battery Life since the Saturday, May 6th and almost a week after I have not received a single word from TabletKiosk saying anything about this issue. Is this the type of Post Sale Care that TabletKiosk brings to it's customers? Well, I have learned my lesson! Sorry guys but I CAN'T RECOMMEND THE eo TO ANYBODY, it's the slower UMPC in the market and the one with the shortest Battery Life. The Q1 is simple a lot better at this moment that I'm writing these lines. 1 HOUR AND 25 MINUTES is the worse Battery Life that I have seen since my first LapTop in 1994.

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And let me put it here clearly, THERE IS NOT WAY THAT THE EO COULD GET IN THESE CONDITIONS 2.5 HOURS OF BATTERY LIFE. And we all know how this is called in this FREE COUNTRY. I have said.