My OQO Model 02 is here!

Well, I did it. I broke down and bought an OQO. I just received it on Monday morning.

My first impression after playing with it a bit is one of amazement over the (lack of) size. Wow, it really is that small! It’s smaller that I ever realized from looking at pictures. And light! It weighs only a pound with the standard battery.

First startup, configuring Windows XP Pro.

Setting up the integrated Sprint service was a breeze – when I called Sprint directly. A card in the box says you need to call a number at OQO to activate that. I called the number on Monday and talked a very friendly rep who was not very technical, and I don’t think she was very sure of the script she was working through. Somebody (from OQO? Sprint?) was supposed to get back to me within 24-48-72 hours with activation info, but that never happened. I waited until Friday, then decided to call Sprint directly. When I did that, it was a piece of cake. Took a little longer on the phone than I would’ve liked, but the rep was helpful and knew his stuff. So now, I’m off and running with Sprint EVDO service, as of a couple hours ago.

This isn’t my first experience with EVDO (or with Sprint Mobile Broadband), so I think I know what to expect. Check in later to see if my expectations are satisfied. So far, I’m excited to have a computer, ANY computer, with integrated EVDO. No more bulky USB modem! No more PC card!

The OQO next to my work-supplied HP Compaq nw8240.

Other quick notes:

  • Lead time was about three weeks from order-to-do for just the computer.
  • I ordered a ton of accessories, including a case, larger battery, etc. These haven’t shipped yet, but the order status recently changed from “received” to “building to order,” so I’m hopeful that they’ll be shipping soon.
  • No pen yet. Doesn’t come with one, I ordered it separately. I used to use Wacom tablets in my past life, so I think I know what to expect here. I have to tell you – currently lacking the ability to use the active touchscreen has not been an issue yet. I might not end up being a heavy pen user.
  • I ordered an extra VGA/Ethernet adapter. Didn’t pay attention; didn’t realize it already came with one. Oops. Anybody want to buy my extra one?
  • No free case included. Not even a felt bag. What’s up with that? Even an iPod comes with a grotty felt case so you can protect it from scratches while it rides in your pocket. I ordered a Stronghold case, which I haven’t yet received, but I’d also like a snug soft case. Short of using a Crown Royal felt bag, what are my options?
  • I chose XP Pro as the OS. Am I going to regret that decision? So far, it’s been fine. Nothing is confusing, everything works, and I’m glad that I’m avoiding Vista. My other laptop came with Vista, and while the eye candy is nice, I found many interface/system changes confusing. My only concern here is that I’m missing out on tablet PC functionality. I didn’t want to order XP Tablet, because it felt like a step backward, OS-wise, in my estimation.
  • Battery life: I don’t know how long the battery lasts yet. Just got the thing on Monday, and have been so busy with work that I haven’t had enough play time to see. I should find out soon. I also ordered a double capacity battery, which I have yet to receive. If I get five hours out of that, I will be very happy.
  • This is my first computer with integrated Bluetooth. Nice. I’ve only tried connecting a mouse to it, so far. Can I use a Bluetooth headset with Skype? I’ll be testing that soon, as I’m a huge Skype user.
  • The small screen size is not an issue. The screen is sharp and clear and easy to read. I wear glasses already, so small type doesn’t bother me. I also love how you can zoom out to emulate a larger monitor. This will come in handy for some dialog boxes and other things that require a larger display.
  • Last but not least, it does really fit in a pocket. I’ve been keeping it in the inside pocket of my sport coat, and it also fits into the back pocket of jeans just fine. I’ve been careful not to sit on it.

The computer has already come in very handy when helping my coworkers check into their hotel here in Chicago a few days ago. The hotel couldn’t find the reservation, and my Gmail account (pulled up on my phone) didn’t have all the necessary details. I needed to log in to Expedia, but their website was too complicated for Windows Mobile to handle. So, I pulled the OQO out, logged in to Expedia, and handed it to the desk clerk, showing him the confirmation number and guest names. He wasn’t impressed, but I was.

After placing my order, and while waiting during the three week period between ordering and arrival, I ran across Hugo’s blog. Hugo had an OQO, loved it, but then went radio silent. It turned out he ended up going through three OQOs, for reasons that still aren’t 100% clear to me. Breakage? Build defects? Some other problem? No issues with mine so far, but it’s only a few days old, so I’m a little nervous. I hope Hugo’s issues were the exception, and not the rule!

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