Korean device maker Viliv isn’t exactly a household name in the West. But over the past few years the company has produced some of the most interesting portable computing devices around. That includes the 5 inch Viliv N5 Windows computer with a QWERTY keyboard and the Viliv S10 Blade convertible Windows tablet. Now it looks like the company could be getting ready to close its doors.
UMPC Portal has received tips from multiple sources suggesting that Viliv will soon close up shop. That’s despite the fact that Viliv introduced three new Android and Windows tablets earlier this year.
The two Android tablets have yet to materialize, but the Viliv X70 Windows 7 tablet has started to show up at retail web sites. The tablet features a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, a 1.5 GHz Intel Atom Oak Trail processor, and a 32GB solid state drive. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it to ship though.
I totally agree that this is sad. I own an S5, S7 and N5 and all are great. I was anxiously awaiting the new 7 inch tablet running the Oaktrail processor…..oh well!
If true, they are pretty much the last of the UMPC makers besides a few who either only dabbled or produced lower quality products.
I for one was really hoping for an update to the N5…
I’ve been waiting for an update for the N5 too. I have to say my N5 has provided more portable functionality than any device I’ve used that ran a mobile OS (only used an iPad 1 and Android phone). I for sure won’t be buying any of the upcoming tablets and will go back to buying CULV ultraportables.
I’m hoping my N5 will last a while. When it comes to versatility it beats out all the Android and iOS devices out there. They just have way too many limitations.
I’ll be buying ultraportables from now on too. Anything above a 5 inch screen with an Atom CPU is just a waste of money. If I need a bag to carry around a device then I’ll expect it to do a whole lot more than my N5.
Yup, anything with a screen larger than 5 inches and has an Atom processor is a waste of money. Also, anything with a screen larger than 5 inches and running any version of Android or iOS is an even more waste of money.
Euh… Asus (with the R2H) and Sony were also UMPC makers. They still exist! But they focussed on more current stuff like sleek tablets.
As long as you’re making chunky UMPC’s you’re still stuck in 1998 🙂
Like I said, only those who dabbled or produced low quality products would be left.
Sony for example, despite having a strong dedicated user fan base that continue to use and mod the few units Sony sold, have never done anything else in the UMPC market and barely even touched the netbook market.
Though I’m sure people will start modding the Sony Vital as soon as it comes out but that’s basically the new Sony PSP and aside from running Android is probably not too much can be done with it…
While the tablets are presently popular but a touch interface only UI is limiting, not being as flexible as a UMPC can be, and a UMPC doesn’t have to be chunky!
Though sliders, like Smartphones, may eventually run Windows 8 and become the new UMPC’s… We’ll have to wait at least another 2 years to see how the market will evolve.
Ok, perhaps my understanding of the word “dabbled” is wrong 🙂
What do you think is the main difference between an UMPC and a tablet running Windows 7?
I went from an Asus R2H running Windows 7 to an EXOPC running Windows 7.
I see the EXOPC as a real tablet/slate whereas the R2H was more of a UMPC.
Yes, UMPC’s are primary a small form factor version of a pen computer, usually with a secondary input option like a track point or optical mouse and usually a keyboard of some sort. While a tablet is usually a Slate, usually lacking any other input options besides the touch UI that doesn’t work well with non-touch otimized operating systems.
OS like Android and iOS lack native support for pen inputs and only recently has Android started developing features like better USB host support.
In addition to the other limitations of Android and iOS compared to desktop operating systems like Windows and OSX, are some of the reasons why there is still interest in the UMPC market, albeit insufficient to keep many of the companies that did more than dabble in the UMPC market from going under.
The problem is UMPC’s have been too pricey and Windows not useful enough in the small form factors to appeal to most people.
Hopefully Windows 8 may finally change this and allow a return of the UMPC but till then it’s too much of a niche product and we’re stuck with tablets and netbooks to ultrabooks for now.
I partially agree with you. I really don’t miss the alternative inputs at all!
Although I expect a lot of Windows 8 I think Windows 7 is way better than a lot of people aknowledge.
I’ve had this discussion on several fora, but I think that a lot of people that “throw away” Windows 7 as a slate-cabable-OS don’t put enough effort in investigating the touch enhancements. It is not touch-friendly out of the box, but you can make it touch friendly in a few clicks!
Next to that it is the OS that people “know” as used with a keyboard and mouse…that makes it harder to understand that you can also use it with touch. I think it would be somewhat similar if Apple all of a sudden started handing out pens, keyboards and mice to people to use their iOS devices.
I would have to disagree, now while Windows 7 can be pretty well optimized with some effort to be usable on a touch only interface it remains that Windows is still optimized for keyboard and mouse input.
Like what would you do if there was a crash? You can’t hit Ctrl+Al+Dlt with a touch screen! While many programs are optimized to keyboard shortcuts.
Even on the web many Flash sites are designed for a mouse and don’t work well with touch screens.
Work arounds and other compromises can help to a degree but nothing beats native support. Especially since most people just want simple and have it work out of the box.
It’s the reason Android and iOS are so popular because they are simple and easy to use, despite their limitations.
But those limitations are also why some people still prefer to use Windows or Linux on their portable devices and without UMPC’s the options for those type of users are now less until newer solutions become available and we’ve yet to see how well those new solutions will work…
This is truly unfortunate. I own a Viliv S5 and have found it to be absolutely top-notch. These folks had the b*lls to bring entirely new devices (and new classes of device) to market, and you have to respect them for that.
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