Brought to you by Norton Symantec
Viliv S5 Premium
In search of a handheld that bridges the gap between netbook and Apple iPhone? The Viliv S5 Premium strives mightily to straddle that divide.
- Fast Win XP device with 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, battery life seems decent
- Software keyboard can be awkward, skimpy documentation, 3G performance spotty
As UMPCs go, the Viliv S5 Premium delivers on many of its promises, although the disappointing 3G performance will deter some people and the software keyboard makes it a poor choice for anyone who frequently wrangles Office documents. For this price, you can get a nice, lightweight netbook or even notebook. We recommend checking out the Viliv S5 Premium only if you absolutely must have a 500g Windows PC that works well with Wi-Fi, and you're not expecting to do a lot of typing.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
Note: Pricing for this product is in US$.
The Viliv S5 Premium UMPC is speedy and well connected, but disappointing 3G support and an awkward software keyboard make it less than ideal for everyday use.
In search of a handheld that bridges the gap between netbook and Apple iPhone? The Viliv S5 Premium strives mightily to straddle that divide - and it does so with some success - but some drawbacks (including an awkward software keyboard) will probably preclude mainstream acceptance.
Styled as a portable media player, the Viliv S5 Premium is a small but loaded touchscreen (tablet-style) Windows XP Home Edition UMPC. Based on a 1.3GHz Intel Atom processor (from the chip family that kick-started the netbook craze), the Viliv packs not only Wi-Fi and Bluetooth but also GPS, although you'll have to supply your own software to use it. And some models offer a slot that accepts a SIM card for a 3G cellular-data network.
At first glance the Viliv looks a lot like a midrange GPS system for a car (and in fact you can buy a $50 kit, with a charger and windshield mount, to use it as such). Measuring 6.0 by 3.3 by 0.9 inches and weighing about 14 ounces, it's available in three configurations. A $599 model includes a 60GB hard drive but lacks the 3G slot. A US$699 model swaps the 60GB hard drive for a 32GB solid-state drive but still omits the 3G slot. The model I tested, which sells for $799, provides both the 32GB solid-state drive and the 3G slot.
The 4.8-inch, 1024-by-600-pixel display is crisp and bright, and more responsive than most UMPC touchscreen displays I've tried (albeit prone to picking up fingerprints). And speaking of responsiveness, one of the more appealing aspects of the Viliv S5 is its fast boot time: The XP desktop takes only about 20 seconds or so to appear after you power the device on.
You get a four-way joystick, but no mouse or keyboard--and on such a tiny Windows display, fingertip touches don't always land where you mean them to. Fortunately, the Viliv S5 does provide help, although not in the form of a traditional stylus: Instead, you get something that looks like a guitar pick strung onto the handstrap. It works pretty well as a mouse substitute.
But the keyboard workaround is less successful. The Viliv displays an on-screen software keyboard. To access it you press a hardware button on the right side of the bezel; that summons an icon at the lower right of the screen, which in turn toggles a translucent software QWERTY keyboard that stretches across the entire width and halfway up the height of the display. While that makes for large keys (supported by haptics feedback), the keyboard also often winds up on top of the field or line that you're typing. The Viliv doesn't resize the screen's contents to accommodate the keyboard; instead, the keyboard simply covers the lower half of what's on the screen. Being able to (sort of) see through the keys helps, but sometimes the clutter prevents a clear view. (Alternatively, you can supply your own USB keyboard and connect it to the Viliv's USB port.)
As a result, I found myself frequently tapping the keyboard's "hide" key, which makes the keyboard go away but leaves the software toggle intact, so that I could see what I'd typed or move between fields. The keyboard does not automatically appear when you're in an empty text box, and there's no predictive text entry to help you along. This setup is not a great way to work, and it's the Viliv's biggest drawback. Even the iPhone, with its smaller screen, does a better job of ensuring that you see what you're working on and of allowing you to move through a series of text fields.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy S9+ review: A predictably-exellent flagship uplifted by a standout camera
- 2 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Music Producer Takes Microsoft Surface Into The Clouds For Australian First Performance at 3,000ft
- HP double down on premium style for modern workforce PCs
- Lenovo recalls ThinkPad notebooks after overheating hazard
- CES 2018: Everything Announced By ASUS
- CES 2018: Everything Announced By Dell
PCW Evaluation Team
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
- Netgear Arlo Go review: An expensive but comprehensive home security solution
- ASUS ROG Zephyrus M review: Leaner and meaner
- Frostpunk review: A richly conceived and vividly realised city sim
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTTest AnalystQLD
- CCSystem Administrator (TRIM) - BrisbaneVIC
- FTSenior Test AnalystWA
- FTSAP ABAP (CRM)/ UI5 DevelopersOther
- TPSenior Project ManagerQLD
- CCChange AnalystNSW
- FTDevOps & IT Operations | Trading & Finance | LinuxOther
- CCPrincipal Project Manager - ieMR ImplementationQLD
- CCPEGA SSA DevVIC
- FTSenior Integration DeveloperVIC
- CCiOS Developer - Brisbane locationQLD
- FTUX/UI DesignerQLD
- FTData AnalystOther
- CCAutomation Test EngineerQLD
- CCProject Manager (mid-level)NSW
- CC.NET DeveloperQLD
- FTJunior-Mid Level Technical Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- CCPerformance AnalystNSW
- FTSystems EngineerSA
- FT.NET DeveloperOther
- CCTechnical Project Manager - BankingVIC
- CCSharePoint 2013 DeveloperVIC
- FTSAP Test AnalystsOther