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 PC World newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
- 5 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Latest News Articles
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
- Lenovo's ThinkPad P71 will work with HTC, Oculus VR headsets
- Lenovo's Yoga A12 Android 2-in-1 has futuristic touch panel keyboard
- In PC comeback, ARM will battle Intel in Chromebooks and Windows 10
- Dell: Mainstream laptops with wireless charging are still years away
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPUI/UX ConsultantWA
- FTAnalyst Programmer (Natural/Adabas)SA
- FTProject ManagerNSW
- TPHRIS Business AnalystQLD
- CCArcSight Security Engineer - Contract - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- CCTest ManagerWA
- CCTransport Planner - GIS SpecialistNSW
- TPSenior Project CoordinatorNSW
- CCCyber Security ArchitectNSW
- FTSecurity Engineer - Permanent - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- FTSupport Analyst / Production Support - InformaticaNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- TPInsights ManagerWA
- CCDevops EngineerNSW
- FTLead PMONSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer - JavaQLD
- FTFull stack Developer - Senior (Java or C# and AngularJS) x 3QLD
- FTInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW
- TPTest AnalystQLD
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCNetwork Engineer/ Network AdministratorQLD
- CCCommercial Contract AdministratorNSW
- FTInfrastructure Security Compliance OfficerNSW