Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has launched its ultra-mobile PC, which is expected to be available in Best Buy stores this summer.
The Q1, which was developed in collaboration with Microsoft Corp. and Intel Corp., will be available online through the retail giant beginning May 7, Samsung said.
The Q1, which Samsung demonstrated in a San Francisco news conference on Monday, is smaller, but comparable in performance to a full-sized notebook PC. The device is made to outperform personal digital assistants and other handheld computers, but is substantially more expensive with a retail price of $1,099 in the United States.
The Q1 has a 7-inch LCD touch screen and weighs 1.7 pounds. Microsoft marketed a prototype of the ultra-portable PC, code-named Origami, this year in a viral marketing campaign that was unusual for the software giant.
“The Q1 is a good companion PC for the mobile professional that is looking for the freedom and flexibility of a small mobile device without having to sacrifice functionality,” HS Kim, executive vice president of Samsung's Computer System Division, said in a statement.
Intel, Microsoft and Samsung have heralded the product as the "next generation of mobile devices," touting its portability as a PC and mobile features that include support for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless technologies.
Research firm Gartner, however, has called current versions of the ultra-portable PC "tweener" gadgets that are too big to be a personal digital assistant, or PDA, and too small to be a useful notebook. A device that matches Microsoft's hype of a "lifestyle computer" is still at least two years away, Gartner says.
Samsung's Q1 includes technology that lets the device show movies, video and still photos; and play music without booting up Windows. The gadget also enables users to input data directly through the monitor screen, similar to a handwritten note. The data is stored as an image file.