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View Full Version : Samsung Q1: Possible viable portable emulation unit?



Leathco
03-07-10, 12:58
Just picked up one of these from the other auction place. Looking forward to getting it, if they would have just put a controller on the face it would blow even Pandora out of the water.

http://www.woot.com/Images/Sale/Samsung_Q1_Ultra_Mobile_PC_ULD-detail.jpg

Notice the left side has a joystick mouse control (the unit is also touchscreen) and the left side has 4 programmable buttons (internal software can have buttons programmed as app quicklaunchers or keyboard keys). Programming them as keyboard keys may work well for gaming emulation for early titles.

But lets check out the particular unit I'll be getting (assuming I don't get conned and gotta get the money back by making a paypal claim, seems to happen to me every 4th or 5th time I buy on eBay over 100 bucks)

1 gig RAM
1 GHZ CPU
60 gig HDD (ouch, kinda small, might add a 32 gig thumbdrive to boost the storage, since hard drive is a 1.8 inch ZIF drive and a pain in the ass to find the right one to upgrade this thing) WiFi 802.11g/b
Bluetooth 2.0
Input Device: 3 button pad, 8-way stick, Touch-screen
Graphics Processor: Intel GMA 900
Mainboard: Mobile Intel 915GMS Express
Data Bus Speed: 400 MHz
Microsoft® Windows® XP Tablet Edition 2005
7” WVGA (800×480) display (scales to 800x600 and 1,024x600 resolutions)
Dimensions: 5.5” x 1” x 9”
Weighs 1.7 lbs

So, while the performance is lackluster for a standard PC, it blows a lot of handhelds away other than newer UMPC units.

The best part is the price, these started out in late 2005 at $1099 dollars. You can get one today for around 200 (mine will be $190 shipped). Someone is selling one on Amazon.com for $220 with slightly lower specs.

Links to my specific unit (unit looks bulkier cause pics are in a case and including the keyboard/mouse nub attachment and extended battery) http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320555527791

Since my GP2X Wiz failed horribly for portable gaming (damn screen), I think this may be a good bet for powerful retro gaming for cheaper than a Pandora (although functionality with some games will be limited unless you use the stand on the back and plug in a USB Gamepad). The nice thing is that with the specs on this I should be able to run new versions of MAME without a horrible performance hit, as well as emulate anything up to the N64 era. It should also work great for older PC games, as I'm a sucker for any Star Trek PC game from the middle trek gaming days (around the time DS9 and Voyager was out) as well as some newer classics like Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament.

Obviously, the biggest concession is limited use without attaching a keyboard or Gamepad (thank god the back has a build in stand!)

lestat1uk
06-07-10, 04:56
you will have to give us a review when it arrives, it does look good, but isn't calling the tablet a handheld a little unfair? :)

Leathco
07-07-10, 11:50
you will have to give us a review when it arrives, it does look good, but isn't calling the tablet a handheld a little unfair? :)

Hmm, not sure what you'd file it under. Technically it fits in PC gaming, but its small enough to qualify as a handheld (I'm guestimating about 10 inches long)

And it looks good that I'll get it, seller PMed me a tracking number and clarified that it is a Q1F (original Q1 had 512 RAM, 40 GB HDD and 800 MHZ CPU, Q1F has 1 GB RAM, 60 GB HDD and 1 GHZ CPU)

Seller also sent the extended battery which brings the run time from 3 to 6 hours (realistically prolly from 2 to 4 hours)

Now I'm looking for a gamepad, since the one I use for my regular PC is pretty bulky for travelling. Looks like my best bet for mobile gamepads is a Genius Maxfire Pandora Pro (what a mouthful) http://www.amazon.com/Genius-Pandora-Pro-mini-retractable/dp/B000OE07AA
I like how the controller folds in half and has a retractable cord. As long as it has good response time, this should be a great companion controller for this tablet.

Hoping this all works out. I never considered buying an older tablet PC for retro gaming, but the more I think about it the more it makes sense. Funny how a 1100 dollar tablet PC can be picked up for 200 bucks just 5 years later.

lestat1uk
07-07-10, 04:39
The reason why i said it was a little unfair as it is just a bit smaller then my netbook(10.1), and i would never call it a handheld When i think of a handheld i think of something that is small enough to fit in your pocket, but then saying that look at the size of gamegear and atari lynx(could this be a three part editorial coming up ;)). I had a tablet pc (i cannot remember what one it was though or spec ) briefly back in 2008 i think it was (it was another item i briefly bought whilst i waiting for my pandora) and the thing really struggled with mame, and the vectrex emulator so i took it back and got a refund. I hope yours works good, i am looking forward to hearing what you think of it and at that price it is certainly worth the money.

Leathco
07-07-10, 10:04
My concerns are with emulation too. I'm hoping the specs on this one are good enough for Mame, but its definately a fingers crossed sort of deal.

Hows your netbook do for retro gaming? I had an Acer Aspire One that was kinda shoddy on anything past SNES, including Mame. However I think the fact it used an Atom processor might figure into that. Unfortunately for me, the hard drive died, and soon after I replaced that the screen began getting green vertical lines in it. It wasn't worth it for me to change out the LCD panel, I just sold it for parts and picked up the Q1. I mostly use these things as portable computers to download stuff at wifi hotspots, net access, and a small all-purpose computer I can just carry quickly to the car and go anywhere with.

I'm usually adaptable with size as far as portables. I wear cargo pants at work, so if a unit fits inside the large lower pocket its good enough. This BARELY fits. I'd still prefer a Pandora, but wait time plus finances demand a suitable, cheaper, alternate for now.

lestat1uk
08-07-10, 01:29
I have a Samsung n310 (Intel Atom N270 processor. 1Gb RAM. 160Gb hard drive) i don't really use it for retro gaming. I use it sometimes when i am mobile and have to repair peoples computer/laptops, or if they want games or dingoo help. I have daphne on there and that runs well, and i have vpinball on there and again works really well, but i have an mame arcade machine for my mame needs(a very low spec pc in there). I wear cargo pants at work to, i had to buy a nintendo ds metallic case and customize it a little so my Pandora would fit in there. I didn't want to knock my Pandora and lose it after this long a wait.(btw they just released gemrb running Baldur's Gate on the Pandora and i cannot put that down at the moment).

Leathco
08-07-10, 10:37
That sounds cool. I wanna try the Diablo games on my unit when it comes in today, but I'm worried they won't play due to the screen resolution. Praying MAME works fine.

I wonder since Quake works if Unreal Tournament works on Pandora too? I liked that one a little better than Quake 3. I'd also love to play something like Bridge Commander or Klingon Academy on there, but I don't think those games ever got Linux ports (sigh)

Leathco
08-07-10, 10:37
That sounds cool. I wanna try the Diablo games on my unit when it comes in today, but I'm worried they won't play due to the screen resolution. Praying MAME works fine.

I wonder since Quake works if Unreal Tournament works on Pandora too? I liked that one a little better than Quake 3. I'd also love to play something like Bridge Commander or Klingon Academy on there, but I don't think those games ever got Linux ports (sigh)

lestat1uk
09-07-10, 01:30
That sounds cool. I wanna try the Diablo games on my unit when it comes in today, but I'm worried they won't play due to the screen resolution. Praying MAME works fine.

I wonder since Quake works if Unreal Tournament works on Pandora too? I liked that one a little better than Quake 3. I'd also love to play something like Bridge Commander or Klingon Academy on there, but I don't think those games ever got Linux ports (sigh)

Techinically Unreal tournament works, but there is a problem(http://www.gp32x.com/board/index.php?/topic/54871-unreal-tournament-goty/)

As far as bridge commander and Klingon Academy both of them are windows games (if they were dos games dosbox would have emulated them well). Maybe there will be some sort of dedicated emulator for this sort of thing. It is still early days yet and hopefully more good stuff to come.

Reading all this stuff on the Pandora makes me wished i could program, i would love to get involved more on the Programming side but really would not know where to start.

Diablo is an excellent game, and Diablo 2 predating Baldur's Gate, i have not been online with Diablo 2 in a long time, i got sick of people cheating with hacks.

Leathco
09-07-10, 12:50
I didn't play much online Diablo 2. I was in college when it came out, so we all played it on LAN in the school. LAN Diablo 2 was just frickin sweet in the day, especially when we all brought in our own PCs.

Ya know, there's a few Linux games I'd like to see ported if I knew how. A fun strategy one I like called Singularity, then FPS Alien Arena and OpenArena are both pretty fun.

Going back to the Q1, it came in yesterday. It looks like the 8 way stick is nonfunctional for some reason, and the stylus was missing, but everything else works as described. Dunno if the 8 way stick coulda got damaged in shipping or not, but its a minor issue to me. I'll open it up later and check the soldering and see if its an easy fix or not. Ordered a replacement 3 pack stylus for 99 cents shipped, so that problem is solved cheap and easy.

I started out by installing Ubuntu 10.04 on it, but it has touchscreen issues where the mouse cursor won't go past the desktop onto the toolbars if you use the touchscreen. External mouse works fine, as does the USB analog nub on the USB keyboard it came with.

So, I acquired (yar matey) a copy of Windows 7, and am installing it now. I also have a version of Maximus Arcade backed up on a USB HDD I bought back in the day, so I'll update it and slap it on with a ton of emulators and roms for my review. Speed in Linux was quite acceptable for emulation, we'll see how it handles under the larger Win 7.

The more I use it, the more I agree its not really fitting as much as a "handheld", but it makes a great portable platform that you can just toss in the car and go, even better than a netbook because you can leave the keyboard behind and rely only on touchscreen and on screen keyboard if you just wanna go out and web browse at a public wifi spot. Extended battery is a must, I get 4 and a half hours on the extended battery with screen at full brightness and wifi on.

Leathco
14-07-10, 03:53
Working on the review now, part 1 should be posted within a couple days. This review is gonna be given in the retro gaming perspective, how to use it as a PORTABLE (not handheld....sigh) retro gaming machine. Actually, you CAN use the onboard controls for basic games and retro RPGs that don't require fine control, but I wouldnt recommend it for Mario Bros.....the onboard controls aren't responsive enough. A Gamepad is a must.

Video 1: Hardware rundown and specs of the Q1
Video 2: Recommended accessories (external HD, Gamepad, and a 3G mobile internet connection)
Video 3: Software part 1 (recommended OS and software for functionality)
Video 4: Software part 2 (console emulation)
Video 5: Software part 3 (arcade emulation, this video may be updated later as my Mame Roms are old, from the .86 set, gonna pick up the newest .136 set soonish)
Video 6: Viewer/Forum Q/A Requests (answering questions from forum members and viewers, I always get a few questions)

Video Unknown: Pinball Emulation (I don't have the PinMAME ROMS yet, will prolly order a DVD from romcollector.com for ease of time and my satellite download threshhold)

Unfortunately, for new ROMS and for my PinMame ROMS it looks like I gotta order discs from romcollector.com, as my satellite internet limits what I can download, unless a fellow forum member is willing to burn and ship me some DVDs at cost of discs and shipping.

lestat1uk
17-07-10, 08:01
Sorry i have just seen your posts (not been on the forums much, been playing a lot on the Pandora and trying to catch up on Fringe :D ), i have pinmame and roms but they are about two years out of date, you might be better off going to website and downloading them, if not let me know and we could sort something out.

Leathco
27-08-10, 04:28
Sorry I haven't checked up on this post in awhile. I'm finally getting around to getting a good chunk of work done on this review. Part 1 has been up for a few weeks, and Part 2 is being uploaded as we speak.

I bought a DVD of Visual Pinmame, and it kinda-sorta works on the Q1. Performance is more or less fine, but the problem is screen resolution. The table actually covers up the scoreboards and whatnot. Kinda usable, but kinda disappointing too.

On a brighter note, Mame works great, at least with my older .87 romset. CHD games are a no-go, but stuff like Marvel vs. Capcom, Metal Slug, and Mortal Kombat 3 run fine. I'll prolly just give up and order the newest Mame set from the same guy I got the Pinmame from, although I still think 30 bucks may be a bit steep.

At least my limited internet prob might be solved. I use Virgin Mobile for my internet access when I am working or abroad, who used to charge 60 bucks for 5 gigs a month. Well, there's been some plan restructuring, and now they are charging 40 bucks for "unlimited" access. Early adopters saw that they had a limit of 400 gig (not a typo, four hundred gig) but now the counter just says unlimited instead of 400 gig. Even I couldn't download that much in a month, so since I was paying 60 a month for 5 gigs, we'll give this 40 dollar unlimited plan a try. Might just get rid of my Wild Blue satellite connection.

lestat1uk
31-08-10, 12:49
hello mate, i am going to check out your review in just a bit, i thought you might like link to a guy i buy my mame roms from, the deal is pretty good al bit cheaper then thirty bucks.

http://www.us-lazarus.com/rom-burner/sets/index.shtml

they have laser disc game dvd's for both daphne and mame but they cost a bit more.

Glad you are getting this internet problem sort, my internet is connected to my mobile phone contract, i have a contract with the mobile phone company orange here in the uk, and part of the deal at the time was, i get a free psp, a free phone, and later because my contract was over £35 a month i got free unlimited internet to which i abuse ALOT!!!.

Have you tried some sort of vectrex emulator on there, because one of the things that really pissed me when i had one of these tablet pc's (briefly) was that it could not play java vectrex with out stutter, so i took it back to the shop and got my money back. That was about three or four years ago now.

Leathco
31-08-10, 01:06
No, I haven't tried Vectrix emulation yet. I'll prolly throw that one in the Viewers Questions part of the review. So far I've only uploaded parts 1 and 2, which part 1 gives hardware specs and part 2 is accessories you need to have for it. Part 3 is prolly coming next week or the week after, and starts up the console emulation vid.