The Samsung Q1 Ultra is a well-designed UMPC (ultra-mobile PC) that's full of potential. Unfortunately, much of the Samsung Q1 Ultra's potential remains unrealised.

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The first generation of UMPCs was released last year by Samsung and a handful of other vendors. (Read our Samsung Q1 review here). These devices are "tweeners" sized between laptops and smaller mobile devices such as PDAs. They run Windows but, like smaller mobile devices, UMPCs have touchscreens.

First-generation UMPCs were not hugely well reviewed, on the whole. Complaints focused mainly on display quality and price. The second-generation Samsung Q1 Ultra shores up some of those initial shortcomings - but not enough of them to make the world sit up and take notice.

The Samsung Q1 Ultra - initial impressions

Almost 9in long by about 4.7in wide and 1in thick, the Samsung Q1 Ultra is marginally smaller than the first version of the device. It weighs 0.7kg.

After switching on the Samsung Q1 Ultra, the first thing we noticed is its 1,024x600 7in display, which is sharp, bright and extremely viewable for basic tasks. Handily, you can switch the Samsung Q1 Ultra's display from its default landscape to portrait mode by pressing a button on the device and, from the menu that appears, selecting the option to rotate the display.

A quick look around the Samsung Q1 Ultra found an impressive amount of storage and input/output capabilities. The model we reviewed had a 50GB hard drive, a SecureDisk memory card slot, two USB slots, an ethernet slot and video input for standard monitors. The Samsung Q1 Ultra comes nicely loaded with other features such as a built-in 1.3Mp camera, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which connected quickly and without hassle.

Browsing the web using Internet Explorer was a satisfying experience with the sharp display. The Samsung Q1 Ultra's ability to switch to portrait mode was particularly helpful for web browsing.

However, it didn't take long to become frustrated by the slowness of the Q1 Ultra. The test device with an 800MHz processor and 1GB of RAM was flat-out underpowered, with applications taking an annoyingly long time to load. A version of the Samsung Q1 Ultra is available with an even-slower 600 MHz processor.