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Raon Digital's Vega UMPC unboxing / impressions

Darren Murph

While a full-on review of a finalized unit has yet to surface, the folks over at CarryPad have withstood the lengthy customs holdup to give a once over to the oh-so-small Raon Digital Vega UMPC. Rocking a footprint and screen smaller than the already tiny OQO and Sony UX, those lucky testers were taken aback at just how minuscule this thing really is. They admired the sleek, black styling, and praised the LCD quality, but felt the maximum resolution of 1,024 x 768 was too microscopic for actual use, and found the native 800 x 480 option much more pleasing on the eyes. Windows responsiveness wasn't blistering, but did exceed their expectations, and ran several basic applications without putting too much strain on the 256MB of RAM; two other nifty features were its ability to boot into Linux successfully, and be accessed as USB storage when off or in standby. Possibly the most satisfying report comes from the battery life -- while not quite matching the longevity of the Newton MessagePad, the test unit survived three hours of active use, a few hours of standby, and still showed 20% of juice remaining. The biggest digs (and potential deal killers), however, are its apparent lack of WiFi without the style-hindering USB attachment, and the perplexing decision to omit Bluetooth entirely. While there are certainly areas of concern, CarryPad felt the Vega UMPC was "more impressive" than expected, especially in areas of size and battery life -- but if your plans involve heavy internet surfing or pairing it with the endless amount of Bluetooth possibilities, you may want to hold off.

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