Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

eo Battery Life Issue

Saturday, May 20th, 2006

Anyone who has followed discussions of the TabletKiosk eo v7110 in various forums or blogs should know by now that there is a fair amount of controversy surrounding the device. The primary issue is that the originally advertised battery life (with the included 3-cell battery) was over 2.5 hours, but the reality is that the eo cannot manage more than 90 minutes or so under normal use. Even with pretty much everything (including the screen) disabled, testing has generally shown an upper limit of about 2 hours.

The issue is well documented on other sites and has been publicly acknowledged by TabletKiosk as well. Over the course of last week, requests sent to their technical support department (I opened a ticket with them myself) met with fairly terse, stock responses acknowledging their awareness of the issue and that they were working on finding solutions. On Friday, they sent a mass email to all eo owners once again stating that they were working on the issue and extending the no-penalty return period for purchases up to 30-days instead of the usual 15. Right now, there is a lot of discussion online among early adopters about whether or not each of us plan to keep our system or make use of this return policy.

Many are pondering whether TabletKiosk knew about the problem before they shipped or not. I have worked either with or in technology quality assurance groups for much of my career and I know that QA can sometimes take a back seat to marketing-driven deadlines. It really looks to me like TabletKiosk was pretty focused on being able to issue that press release announcing that they had the first UMPC available in the US market and that probably resulted in a rush to shipping. They also were likely influenced some by the rather excited and somewhat impatient pre-order customers (including me) who were really making it known that we wanted to get our orders as soon as possible

We do know that the shipment of the first batch was delayed by a little over a week after they discovered that a large percentage were defective due to a case molding problem. At first, it might seem that the extra time spent verifying that the remaining units were ready to ship should have increased the chance of them identifying the battery life issue; the opposite may very well be true. The need to identify and certify the units that did not have the show-stopper defect could easily have caused a large percentage of basic functionality testing to be set aside. With the impending shipment of the Samsung Q1 greatly threatening the ability to issue that “first to market” press release, serious measurements and testing of the battery life may simply have been set aside. (more…)

TabletKiosk eo v7110 – First Impressions

Sunday, May 7th, 2006

I received my TabletKiosk eo v7110 UMPC yesterday and have since been working to get the device configured as well as generally becoming familiar with it. This definitely shouldn’t be considered to be a full review as my experience thus far is rather limited, but I am going to share some first impressions in several key areas.

Design and form factor

The eo is a very well designed device with a layout that makes it quite comfortable to use. The buttons and pointer control stick are extremely well positioned for comfortable access while holding the eo in both hands. The surface is smooth and well-rounded and the unit feels very solidly built without being excessively heavy.

The one fairly significant issue with comfortable handling of the device is that it gets quite a bit warmer than I would have liked during operation. When plugged in to the charger, it gets downright hot. Even when running on the battery, it still gets quite warm. It isn’t so hot that it isn’t useable, but I did find that it puts off enough heat that I probably won’t want to use it for very long in a non air-conditioned environment and I suspect I’ll want to use it on a tabletop whenever feasible. (more…)