Video: Windows Vista on the Asus R2H Ultra Mobile PC

December 4th, 2006 at 3:40 pm
Watch Now:
icon for podpress  Windows Vista on the Asus R2H Ultra Mobile PC: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download (92)

As promised, here’s a 30 minute video of Windows Vista (the final RTM version, Ultimate flavor) running on my Asus R2H Ultra Mobile PC. The file is about 180MB, formatted for iPod in iMovie (but it should work just fine anywhere).

I shot the video on the day after Thanksgiving, at my wife’s parents’ house. I cover the installation process (went smooth), what worked right out of the gate (surprisingly, almost everything), what required some extra tweaking and driver installation (WiFi, etc.). Lots of general usage, including some appearances by OneNote 2007 and using Word 2007 to post to my blog.

I’ve since gone back to Windows XP - I talk about the reasons in depth on the video. Nothing major, but a combination of small quirks that I’m confident will be fixed down the line with driver and software updates from Asus.

Hope you find the video useful and informative (and maybe even fun, in a ubergeeky sort of way :-) ). Post a comment or drop me an email if you have any questions about Windows Vista on the Asus R2H UMPC!

I’m honored - I won two 2006 “Inkblot” Awards

December 3rd, 2006 at 6:09 pm

Warner Crocker over at Life on the Wicked Stage (and Gottabemobile) is a fixture in the mobile gadget world, and in celebration of the second birthday of his blog, he’s done the Second Annual Life on the Wicked Stage Ink Blot Awards (”the Blotties” for short ;-) ).

And guess what? I won not only one, but two awards!

Best I’ve Got More Pictures Of The Asus R2H UMPC Than Anybody: Josh Bancroftand

Best Tablet PC Demo In A Restroom (at least the only one blogged about): Josh Bancroft

Thanks, Warner! I’m honored! Congratulations to the rest of the Blottie recipients (check out the list for mobile gadget highlights from all of 2006), and here’s to another great year of blogging about and from cool mobile gadgets! :-)

Asus R2H question: Outdoor screen visibility and rotation

December 3rd, 2006 at 5:39 pm

Oscar sent me a question about the usability of the Asus R2H UMPC’s screen in outdoor/sunny conditions:

I’ve been thinking about getting a umpc for use in my airplane for gps navigation and XM satelite weather downloads. It would replace an old Fujitsu LTP-600 which is barely legible in the bright cockpit. I have two questions about the r2h that would help me decide whether to give it a try:

1. What can you tell me about the legibility of the display in bright conditions. In a car? In the open on a sunny day? I realize this is somewhat subjective.

2. Does the r2h have a portrait display mode?

Oscar, I haven’t used my R2H outdoors very much, but I think it would be acceptable. Like any other LCD, it washes out in bright light, but I usually just crank up the screen brightness to compensate. I’ll have to do some more testing, and see just how usable it is. Does anyone else have any experiences that might answer Oscar’s question about the R2H or any other UMPC?

Regarding a portrait screen orientation, yes, the R2H can rotate the screen 0, 90, 180, and 270 degrees. That is, you can orient the screen pretty much however you want. You can do this with the default Intel graphics driver software that comes pre-installed, but there’s a freeware app that makes it much easier to rotate your screen. It’s called uRotate. It requires the .NET Framework 2.0. It lets you go from any screen orientation directly to any other with a simple graphical interface, rather than having to dig through menus, or cycle through all of the stops in between (like on the Samsung Q1). uRotate is a must have app for any UMPC, in my opinion.

Anyone else know of good screen rotation software?

Why did I pick the Asus R2H UMPC over the TabletKiosk eo 7210 or another model?

December 3rd, 2006 at 5:27 pm

I’m trying to catch up on my backlog of questions about the Asus R2H Ultra Mobile PC that I’ve received via email and comments. So here’s the first one. James asked:

One question I did have is did you look at the TabletKiosk machines, specifically the eo 7210? Apart from the GPS functionality it seems to have every feature you were looking for, or may be I missed something?
I’m really interested why you chose the R2H. I’m thinking about getting a UMPC so I don’t have to lug my laptop about anymore, but am quite nervous about which one to choose. The eo 7210 appeals because it has a dock, so it looks like it could be very useful for both mobile and office work. Have you any  experience in using the asus this way?

Well, James, I mostly compared the Asus R2H to the only other UMPC I’ve had direct experience with, the Samsung Q1. Compared to the Samsung, the R2H has more RAM, a bigger hard drive, GPS, an integrated camera, and an SD slot (instead of CF). At the same price, and most everything else being equal, those were the factors that made me chose the Asus. That, and the fact that my friend Brian, who has been into UMPCs a lot longer than I have, and has owned a Samsung Q1 for a few months, said that he would have chosen the R2H if it had been available when he bought his Q1. He just couldn’t wait. :-) We talk about this a little bit in our podcast reviewing the week I spent with a Samsung Q1.

Because of all that, I honestly didn’t do much research on the TabletKiosk eo 7210. I guess, if you get right down to it, it might have been because it was a brand I had never heard of, versus Asus, which I’ve had experience with. But I don’t have any negative reason why I stayed away from the 7210 - it seems like a very popular device with the UMPC community and around the blogosphere. And TabletKiosk seems to be doing a better job of getting involved with the UMPC community than any other manufacturer. It looks like a fantastic device, and I probably should have given it more consideration.

If TabletKiosk (or any of their resellers) wants to send me a review unit, I’d happily do a comparison/review of it with the R2H (and probably get Brian to pitch in some thoughts comparing it to his Samsung Q1). :-)

Newer Asus R2H shipments come with built-in stand?

November 30th, 2006 at 6:11 pm

I’ve seen this several places now, and have been meaning to mention it:

Just got home and cracked open the box [on my R2H]. It’s the US version (being from the US and all) and I was surprised to see the battery had the stand built in. From what I’ve read, the US version came with that chessy plastic stand. It is the bigger 6860 battery too.

Justin or Sean over at ProPortable.com (affiliate link), do you guys have any info on this? I’m not surprised that the package contents change slightly over different shipments, but I’d really like to have the stand integrated into the back of my 4-cell battery on my R2H. :-)

You can see from my 162-photo R2H Unboxing gallery and half hour R2H Unboxing video that both R2H units I received have no integrated stand, and come with the separate plastic stand.

Anyone have a concrete explanation for this? What’s a geek gotta do to get a battery with the integrated stand? ;-)

Thank you Google Reader…

November 29th, 2006 at 12:52 am

… for not showing me how many unread items are in my aggregator right now. I’m behind on reading feeds, like I’m behind on just about everything right now. Blogging, email, work around the house, work at work, determining my future at Intel (shh!), and a whole lot of other things. That’s why I’m sitting in my office at midnight, can’t sleep, cleaning out feeds that I haven’t checked since before the Thanksgiving break.

Mind you, I’ve been reading whatever is the latest in the “all feeds” river of news view, so I’ve kept up on what’s going on, for the most part. And there are some items I’m saving for later, that I know I’ll want to read (my “short list” feeds). But for the most part, it’s been liberating to know I can get way behind on reading feeds, and pretty much just mark them all as read and start fresh. It makes me question how much value I get out of reading over 600 feeds. I wonder how few feeds I could “get by” with, but I just can’t bring myself to find out. I’m obsessive/compulsive about it, or something.

But at least Google Reader doesn’t tell me how many thousands of unread items I have right now (like Bloglines did). Just a sympathetic little “100+” that says, “Hey, I know  you’re busy. I’ll hold on to this stuff until you get around to it. Don’t worry.”

So, thanks, Google Reader! :-)

My inaugural post on blogs.intel.com/it

November 27th, 2006 at 10:59 am

I was invited to be one of the bloggers at blogs.intel.com/it a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve owed them a post ever since they gave me access and put up my bio. Well, now I’ve posted. :-) And I think it’s an interesting one.

Check it out, and let me know what you think. I’m not going to stop blogging about Intel stuff here, by any means. I still haven’t figured out exactly how I’m going to do it, but there will likely be cross-posting of Intel-related stuff between this blog and the official Intel one. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ve also got a ton of stuff I want to post about the Asus R2H UMPC, including my video of Vista running on it, and why I decided to go back to Windows XP. It’s a busy week, but look for lots of good UMPC stuff coming! :-)

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22nd, 2006 at 9:10 pm

fear my art skills! ¥


(no, Emma didn’t draw


Asus R2H Ultra Mobile PC Unboxing and Hardware Review, with 162 photos

November 20th, 2006 at 8:20 pm

This is going to be a long post - you’ve been warned. :-)

As most of you know, I recently ordered two Asus R2H Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPC). I did a 34 minute video of the Unboxing Ceremony of the first one, which was very popular (it’s been viewed 1072 times so far). After that I dove into playing with and customizing the R2H, and because I’ve been busy with that, I’ve been kind of quiet here on the blog.

I have a ton of stuff to post about the R2H - it’s an incredible device. There are several videos I want to do, including one documenting running Windows Vista RTM on it (what I’ve been busy with for the last few days). But here’s something I want to share now, to whet your appetites for more R2H info. :-)

The second R2H I ordered is destined to be used by the sales staff of my brother’s company, Wright-Way Moving and Storage, in Seattle. Since I shot video of the first Unboxing Ceremony, I took photos of the second one, as well as literally every square inch of the hardware and accessories. By the time I was done, I had a photoset with 162 photos in it. Those thirsty for details on the R2H hardware and packaging, I think you’ll be satisfied.

You can view the whole photoset in this photo album on TinyScreenfuls.com - created with the awesome Flickr Photo Album WordPress plugin. Here are some highlights of the Unboxing and handsome hardware of (in my opinion) the best Ultra Mobile PC currently on the market. Remember, there are 162 photos in total, these are only some highlights: Read the rest of this entry »

Test Post from Word 2007

November 13th, 2006 at 5:22 pm

Office 2007 final bits finally showed up on MSDN. Looks like Word 2007 has a built-in blog posting functionality (I’m using it write this post on my Asus R2H UMPC using a ThinkOutside Bluetooth keyboard). Pretty slick – Word just became a bona fide (and decent!) blog editor! J

Here’s a screenshot:

How about some Ink? Hmm. Doesn’t appear to be supported.

I think OneNote 2007 now has this blog publishing capability, too, so I’m going to check that out. Using OneNote as an ink-enabled blog editor would be awesome! J

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