OQO

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OQO, Inc.
Former type Private
Industry Electronics
Fate Acquired by Audiotone
Founded 2000
Defunct 2009
Headquarters San Francisco, California
Key people Andrew Popell, Founder
Jory Bell, Founder
Jonathan Betts-LaCroix, Founder
Nick Merz, Founder
Robert Ford, Founder
Michael Prichard, Founder
Products Subnotebook computers
Revenue 0
Employees 0
Website http://www.oqo.com/ (archive)

OQO was a U.S. computer hardware company that was notable for manufacture of handheld computers. Its systems possess the functionality of a tablet PC in a size slightly larger than a personal digital assistant (PDA). According to Guinness World Records, the "OQO" was the smallest full-powered, full-featured personal computer in 2005.[1] The company's first version of subnotebook computer is the OQO model 01. Recently, it has been compared with the Ultra Mobile PC platform, although it was introduced before the UMPC took flight. The UPCs are capable of running slightly modified versions of Linux or other x86-based operating systems.

OQO was reported to have stopped production in April 2009[2][3][4] because of financial difficulties. The company's web site indicates that OQO ceased operations entirely as of April 2009.[5] Engadget reports, however, that in 2010 OQO was bought by Audiotone, its business partner in China, and released a new model.[6]

OQO Model 01[edit]

The original OQO model 01 was announced several years before prototypes were even seen, leading many people to call it vaporware until it was finally released in the fall of 2004. The computer shipped with Windows XP installed (Home Edition or Professional, but the Tablet PC Edition was not available until the model 01+ was released) and featured a 1 GHz Transmeta Crusoe processor, 20 GB hard drive, and 256 MB of RAM. It included USB 1.1, FireWire 400, a headphone port, and a built-in microphone, integrated 802.11b wireless radio, as well as Bluetooth. The OQO uses an Wacom electromagnetic induction-type pen stylus with a magnetic field sensitive 800x480 resolution transflective screen. Retail shipments began on October 14, 2004. Its size is 4.9 in by 3.4 in by 0.9 in and it weighs 0.9 lbs.[7]

OQO Model 01+[edit]

The OQO model 01+ was announced and released on September 27, 2005. Representing an incremental update to the model 01, the OQO model 01+ features a larger 30 GB hard drive, 512 MB of RAM (Double that of the OQO 01), USB 2.0, and an internal speaker. It also adds support for portrait display mode (An update for the model 01 is available from OQO). It also has a redesigned screen bezel intended to improve the accuracy of its Wacom enabled display (By increasing the space between the bezel and edge of the display).

Originally it was only available running Windows XP Home or Pro editions. The OQO model 01+ running on Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 was introduced on January 4, 2006, taking advantage of handwriting recognition and improved navigation.

OQO Model 02[edit]

The OQO model 02 was introduced by Bill Gates in January 2007 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. He showcased OQO's next generation of ultra-mobile PC, the model 02, in his keynote address that weighed in at a mere one pound and is small enough to fit in a pocket, the model 02 is the world's smallest fully functional Windows Vista PC.

Like its predecessor, the model 02 Ultra-Mobile PC is a handheld device that runs Windows (choice of XP Professional or Vista Business.) The new product sported a new black casing and a backlit keyboard, a much brighter 5 inch LCD screen, 800x480 pixel display with an active digitizer for pen-based input.

Several models were introduced at the time with VIA C7-M ULV processors that ranged from 1.2 GHz, 1.5 GHz, and 1.6 GHz, choice of 512MB or 1GB of RAM, and choice of hard drive. In the solid state drive (SSD) category a 32 or a 64 GB are available, or standard HD choices are from 60 to 120 GB. Also included is Bluetooth 2.0, 802.11a/b/g WiFi, USB 2.0, a 3.5 mm x 1 line out/line in audio jack and an HDMI-out port. The model 02 also offered optional integrated EV-DO mobile broadband with choice of Verizon or Sprint as service provider.

Advanced security features are also provided, including an on-board Trusted Platform Module, and thanks to the VIA C7-M's built-in Padlock features, hardware-level encryption, hashing and random number generation functions.

The model 02 also has the ability to zoom to 1000x600 and 1200x720 interpolated modes, horizontal/vertical screen rotation, and a sensor that automatically protects the hard drive in case of a drop. Accessories include a novelly-designed docking station (with a DVD+-RW drive, HDMI and VGA video out, three USB 2.0 ports, and a 3.5 mm audio jack), an extended battery that lasts up to six hours, and choice of a soft leatherette "executive" case or durable aluminum "stronghold" case.

Since its introduction in 2007, the model 02 has won the following awards[citation needed]:

  • Stevie Award for Best New Product
  • Japan’s 2007 Good Design Award
  • LAPTOP Magazine, Ultimate Mobility Issue: LAPTOP Ultimate Choice 2007
  • Business 2.0 Magazine: 4 Stars (Editor’s Choice) and "Our Picks for ... Ultramobile PCs."
  • Microsoft: “2007 Windows Vista PC Innovation Award”
  • Gizmodo: “The Best of ‘Best of CES 2007’ Lists” (Best Computer)
  • Popular Science: Best of CES 2007
  • Wired Magazine: CES Winners and Losers
  • LAPTOP Magazine: 2007 Best of CES Awards
  • LAPTOP Magazine Rating: 4 Stars
  • PC Magazine Editor’s Rating: 4 Stars

OQO Model e2[edit]

OQO in September 2007 announced the availability of the model e2 with embedded HSDPA mobile broadband capability, providing customers in Europe and Asia with widely available high-speed Internet connectivity.

The OQO model e2 with embedded HSDPA is designed specifically to meet international demand for anytime/anywhere computing with access to the Internet and networked PC applications in a pocketable and ergonomic design. the OQO model e2 supports "open SIM" HSDPA ("3.5G") as well as UMTS, EDGE, and GPRS.

The model e2 with embedded mobile broadband supports data access through UMTS/HSDPA at 2100 MHz, and is downward compatible with GPRS/EDGE networks at 900 MHz and 1800 MHz. Download speeds of up to 3.6 Mbit/s are currently supported.

The product is available SIM-free and network unlocked, allowing customers maximum flexibility in selecting their preferred wireless operator and data plan. Users of the model e2 have their choice of connectivity options, including tri-band wide-area wireless, WiFi 802.11a/b/g and Bluetooth 2.0.

The OQO model 02 and OQO model e2 come with a VIA C7-M ULV processor (1.6 GHz, 1.5 GHz, or 1.2 GHz), up to 1 GB of RAM, up to a 120 GB hard drive, with the option of a 32 GB or 64 GB solid-state drive, has Bluetooth 2.0 (with Enhanced Data Rate), tri-mode WiFi (802.11a/b/g) and optional 3G mobile broadband (EV-DO in the US, UMTS/HSDPA internationally).

OQO Model 2+[edit]

OQO Atom-based "model 2+" was unveiled at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco labeled as "OQO MID" as a "technology demonstration."[8] The model 2+ has been formally announced at CES 2009, and is available with a 1.33 GHz or 1.86 GHz Intel Atom processor, 2GB RAM, Qualcomm Gobi global wireless internet, touch screen, and is the first PC to feature an active matrix OLED display.[9]

Projected shipping date was around May 22, 2009, but the product never shipped. OQO ceased production because of financial difficulties.[10]

Company Status[edit]

OQO has ceased operations.[5] In April 2009, OQO started returning unrepaired in-warranty devices - a sure sign that the company was in dire financial trouble. In addition, the company stated that it would no longer offer any repair or service support, although third party warranties remain in effect. In May 2009, their phone numbers were disconnected, and emails were not deliverable.[11] Their website also indicates "We are sorry to report that OQO Inc. is out of Business as of April 2009, OQO has closed."[12]

OQO Model Specifications[edit]

Component Model 01 Model 01+ Model 02 Model e2 Model 2+ (Pre-production) model 03 (China Copy)
CPU Transmeta Crusoe 1 GHz Transmeta Crusoe 1 GHz Via C7M ULV 1.6 GHz Via C7M ULV 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z540 1.87 GHz Hyper-Threading Intel atom Z550 2 GHz Hyper-Threading
RAM 256MB DDR 512MB DDR 1GB DDR2 1GB DDR2 2GB DDR2 2GB DDR2
Hard Drive 20GB HDD 30GB HDD 120GB HDD or 64GB SSD 120GB HDD or 64GB SSD 120GB HDD or 64GB SSD 120GB HDD or 64GB SSD
Display 5" Transflective 800x480 LCD 5" Transflective 800x480 LCD 5" 800x480 LCD 5" 800x480 LCD 5" active matrix 800x480 OLED 4.8" active matrix 1024X600 OLED
USB 1.1 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
Wi-Fi 802.11b 802.11b 802.11a/b/g 802.11a/b/g 802.11a/b/g 802.11a/b/g/n
WWAN n/a n/a EVDO from Sprint or Verizon HSDPA EV-DO and HSPA HSDPA 3G
Bluetooth 1.1 1.1 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.1
Wacom Yes Yes (Improved accuracy) Yes Yes Yes unknown
GPU Silicon motion Lynx 3DM+ Silicon motion Lynx 3DM+ VIA VX700 VIA VX700 Intel GMA500 Intel GMA500
Removable Battery 4,000 mAh or 8,000 mAh 4,000 mAh or 8,000 mAh 4,500 mAh or 9,000 mAh 4,500 mAh or 9,000 mAh 4,500 mAh or 9,000 mAh 4,500 mAh or 9,000 mAh
Battery Type lithium polymer Lithium Polymer lithium ion polymer lithium ion polymer lithium ion polymer unknown
Docking Cable USB 1.1 USB 2.0 replaced by dongle or dock replaced by dongle or dock replaced by dongle or dock replaced by dongle or dock
Dock Zinc stand Zinc stand Gloss Black w/ optical drive Gloss Black w/ optical drive Gloss Black w/ optical drive Gloss Black w/ optical drive
Ethernet 10BaseT 100BaseT 100BaseT 100BaseT 100BaseT 100BaseT
Dongle RJ45 & VGA RJ45 & VGA unknown unknown
Keyboard 57 key 57 key 58 key 58 key 58 key 58 key
Weight 397g 397g 413g* 413g* 413g* 426g*

* Depends on configuration. OQO computers with standard battery, solid state drive, and no WWAN weigh approximately 413g (14.5 oz).

Linux-on-OQO[edit]

Many individuals have managed to install Ubuntu, Debian, Suse, Fedora, etc. on OQO UMPCs, with or without Windows alongside. There is an Ubuntu distribution for the devices (unsupported by OQO) available at [1] and some documentation and instructions at [2]; alongside this, OQO says that installing Linux on an OQO UMPC will not void the warranty [3]. Driver support has improved with more recent kernel versions. Ubuntu Intrepid 8.10 works well, with the exception of software scaled resolutions and the on-board HDMI and VGA ports, which do not support driving an external display at a different resolution. Other than these caveats, everything else is functional. A user on the OQO talk message board has released a slightly modified Ubuntu installer specifically for the OQO that works without having to specify custom installer boot options.[citation needed]

OS X-Leopard-on-OQO MODEL 02[edit]

In April, 2008 an independent enthusiast released both screen-caps and video showing the Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard installed in dual-boot fashion on his OQO model 02.[13][14] The achievement, believed to be the first in its kind, was announced on the OQOTalk Community. It was quickly picked up by the technology writers at Engadget and Slashdot.

References[edit]

External links[edit]