As promised when we previewed the technology earlier this week, Transit got some hands-on experience with the ultramobile, Windows CE-running device during its debut at the CES Unveiled event here in Las Vegas. We didn't get enough time to test whether the eight hour battery life claim was true, but we did get a good sense of what a useful product it could be for the on-road writer.
While having an ultramobile PC which can exactly replicate a conventional notebook might be a worthy long-term goal, Transit would happily settle for something which can surf the Internet, synchronise with Outlook, and let us generate the odd Word document or two that won't need converting to use on our PC.
On all those fronts, the S-Xgen delivers admirably. Its screen, while small, is bright enough for effective work in variable lighting, and its USB port is sensibly positioned for adding and removing data.
The fold-out keyboard is admittedly no match for a full-fledged, non-folding model, but it is much, much better than the equivalent external keyboards that have long flooded the market for PDA usage.
While the soft rubber keys felt a tad squidgy on first use, they responded much better if the screen is rested on its integrated stand, which gave the whole unit a useful stability. And it easily fitted in our jacket pocket, which is a big advance on any notebook we've ever tried (and one or two phones)
Yes, it's expensive at $US1,400 -- but mobility nearly always comes at a cost, although that's something we often forget in an era of mass-market, low-spec notebooks. Transit would definitely like one of these babies in our shirt pocket, and we'll be crunching the numbers soon.