So you can enjoy the sunshine while listening to your favourite music or podcast. Thanks to Sennheiser. Enter today.
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 Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
- 2 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip review: Killer form-factor, lethal price-tag
- 3 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 4 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 5 Xiro Drone Xplorer V by Rapoo review
Latest News Articles
- Dell updates XPS 13 2-in-1 and XPS 13
- Asus’s new ZenBook laptop range pack in new 11th-gen Intel Tiger Lake processors
- MSI launches its first business laptop range with Tiger Lake processors
- Microsoft slash 15% off the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3
- Huawei's new Matebook D14 is even cheaper on Amazon right now
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- Sonos Arc review: The Main Event
- Soundbars: Why they’re worth it and which one should you buy
- Buying a laptop this EOFY? Here's a cheat sheet
- 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