The OQO: WindowsXP in the Palm of Your Hand

Using It

Since the OQO runs WindowsXP, it can do almost everything that a normal PC can. You can surf the web with Internet Explorer, check your email with Outlook or chat with AOL Instant Messenger. On the flip-side, you can also catch the same viruses, Trojan horses and spy ware. However, it really is a marvel to be able to use full-bore WindowsXP in such a small package.

You can navigate Windows using either the TrackStik pointer or the Digital Pen. The TrackStik works like the famous (or infamous) eraser-top pointers in older Dell laptops and IBM ThinkPads. It does take some getting used to, but it is an accurate and speedy way to move the Windows cursor around.

The Digital Pen works like the digital tablets from companies such as Wacom. The Windows cursor follows wherever you hover the pen. You select items by either using the mouse keys or by double-tapping with the pen. I found that the accuracy of the double-taps was not that great and often had to use the mouse keys after many failed taps.

In the office, the OQO is meant to be docked to a USB mouse and/or keyboard. After fiddling with the built-in keyboard, TrackStik and Pen, you will want to return to the full-sized world. Your fingers and your sanity will thank you.

Boot Times And Battery Life

It takes one minute and 7 seconds for the OQO to boot into the Windows desktop. You can cut this time down to 28 seconds using the Windows hibernation mode. With Standby mode, you could slash "boot times" even further, but we did not take time measurements.

OQO advertises the battery life of up to three hours with normal usage. We did not have the unit long enough to do thorough battery benchmarks, but did find that the unit lasts around two to two and a half hours. The battery is user swappable, with extra batteries costing $149 from OQO.