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Some long term thoughts on using a Kohjinsha SA1F00V

Awhile back I bought a Kohjinsha SA1F00V to test it out as a lightweight Tablet PC. After a few months of usage, I can say that I’ve not been that impressed with the device but neither have I been so frustrated with the device that I felt the need to toss the thing out the window.

The Bad

Annoying default partitioning scheme

I hate these laptops that advertise the hard drive size (40Gigs) then you get some weird partitioned scheme that you didn’t ask for
(with of course a few more gigs knocked off for a recovery partition). What this means is that you really only get 16GB or 19GB but not the full 40GB – (Win XP + Bundled Garbage) thanks to these partitions if you’re not willing to suck it up and reinstall the preinstalled OS


Yes it’s slow as a dog. This is one of those things that I wish you could test drive at the store by being allowed to install a stack of apps that you like and play around with it for a couple of hours. Once I loaded up an AntiVirus program, iTunes and Firefox life got pretty miserable trying to use iTunes and Firefox together. Also, the virus scan just slows the machine down each time I boot up Windows since it feels compelled to download updates and run full disk scans when I’m planning on using it. *sigh*

Keyboard tactile is awful

There have been other reviews on the keyboard not being that great and I’ve even came to the conclusion it wasn’t that great before I picked one up but decided to forge ahead anyways. After using it for a longer period of time I realize a crappy keyboard makes it very annoying to do anything requiring serious input on it without readjusting your brain how to type well on it.

Graphics drivers don’t support monitor mirroring

This is really bizarre and disappointing. I came up with a plan to try to use it as a cheap tablet by mirroring the output of the display to a larger monitor and drawing on the 7″ screen however the drivers for some inexplicable reason don’t have mirroring support which sucks. I spent some time trying to see if I could just use the touchscreen while outputting to an external monitor but it’s really disorienting. Even some SLIGHT visual feedback on the 7″ touchscreen itself would have been REALLY helpful.

The Good

Okay now that you’ve read some of my more outstanding gripes on the device. Here are some things that I considered nice about the Kohjinsha

Not a complete ripoff

The price point wasn’t that bad considering you do get lightweight tablet functionality

Standard components

The parts that most people will fiddle with are mostly standard laptop components instead of weird proprietary junk. The hard drive is a normal 2.5″ PATA drive which you can swap out if you try instructions like these (I just did). The memory is standard SO-DIMM instead of Micro DIMMs which saves a bit on price.


This thing is easy to toss into a bag and be mobile with it. I’ve even held it one handed while traveling on the train from Yokohama to Tokyo and that didn’t kill my arm (try that in a crowded train you 17″ notebook warriors)

Decent battery life

The battery life is around 3-4 hours with the usage that I do

Standby when the lid closes doesn’t suck

I’ve had so many variables with trying to get a Windows laptop to sleep when I close the lid compared to a Mac. I’m happy to say the Kohjinsha does the job without requiring a lot of fiddling with anything. Perhaps if I was a heavier power user on it I’d bork the drivers to prevent it but in my usage it worked which was a lifesaver when you’re trying to catch a train transfer.

Better than the rest of the PDAs at reading PDFs

The design of the Kohjinsha makes it a very good platform for reading stuff while on the move. I’ve tried a Zaurus, Palm, and a couple of other PDAs and reading novel or long textbook type of stuff was very painful due to screen resolution and slowness of the platform. I can say that the Kohjinsha makes a better eBook reader than these other solutions.

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