Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.


Photo
- - - - -

ViewSonic Airpanel as a web browsing tablet? Better solutions?


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Luke_Y

Luke_Y

    Second Unit



  • 425 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 20 2001

Posted July 18 2006 - 11:59 AM

ViewSonic Airpanel as a web browsing tablet? Better solutions? I have been waiting and waiting for someone to make a tablet type web browsing appliance for a nice low price, but nothing yet that I know of. I dont need any PC functionality, just something small and light with a 10" or so screen, good battery life, and a tablet type form factor that accesses the internet over my wireless network. You know, so I can sit on the couch with the wife and browse while she watches TV or wherever I want around the house without lugging a laptop. Should I just watch e-bay for a good deal on an Airpanel (say $300) or is there a better solution. PS I use my PSP sometimes but it's realy too small and the browser is hardly elegant.
Luke

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Kimmo Jaskari

Kimmo Jaskari

    Screenwriter



  • 1,529 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 27 2000

Posted July 19 2006 - 01:00 AM

I just bought a Nokia 770. It's also quite small, but the screen resolution is 800x480 (on a 4-inch screen.) That is sufficient to show most web sites without a need to scroll horizontally. The browser is Opera 8 and the built-in flash version is only 6, which is beginning to become a bit of a worry, but it works excellently for me to surf on. In addition to that, it can also do a lot of other fun things if one adds third-party software.

The new 2006 OS upgrade for it has built-in Google Talk (including voice chat!) and improves performance noticeably compared to the 2005OS, and as for software - FBReader is a truly excellent e-bookreader, for instance and there is a lot more available already with more on the way, see http://maemo.org/mae...tionCatalog2006 for a list of some of what is available. Minimo, a small variant of Mozilla, is also in the works, there are working releases of it but they aren't very polished yet. There is a screenshot here of it in full-screen mode that is also very representative of what you'd see with the built-in Opera. With Opera you can easily zoom in and out too.

Will it be as good as a 10-inch screen? Nope, highly unlikely. Is it enjoyable to surf on? Absolutely, especially after you install Privoxy on it so you don't have to wade through ads on the small screen. It is also portable in a way that a remote-control-terminal like the Airpanel isn't, it will work without problems anywhere you can get a WiFi connection or indeed everywhere if you have a phone with bluetooth that can act as a modem. Opera is great at converting web pages on the fly from the normal size to an optimized view where they convert the page so no horizontal scrolling is required, so that is also an option to surfing in normal "desktop-like" mode.

It's built on Linux so a little bit of geekiness is definitely recommended to get full use out of it, but for me at least it has become a valuable daily tool/toy; not without its little flaws and problems, but all in all not half bad.
"If we do happen to step on a mine, Sir, what do we do?"
"Normal procedure, Lieutenant, is to jump 200 feet in the air and scatter oneself over a wide area." -- "BlackAdder 4"

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Luke_Y

Luke_Y

    Second Unit



  • 425 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 20 2001

Posted July 19 2006 - 02:48 AM

Hmm, hadn't seen that. Looks nice, don't know that I could get past the small screen though.
Luke

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Kimmo Jaskari

Kimmo Jaskari

    Screenwriter



  • 1,529 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 27 2000

Posted July 19 2006 - 08:12 AM

Depends a lot on eye acuity, I'd say. I can read web pages just fine unzoomed and if it gets too small I zoom to 120%. You can then drag the page around with the stylus if you need to go side to side or up or down, or use the hardware buttons of course. In extreme cases, I combine the automatic page reflow thing Opera has with zoom, but that is very rare. It really is quite practical to surf on as-is. The high resolution is key. It is roughly three times higher than your PSP, for instance. I had a Pocket PC with 640x480 and the extra pixels to get to 800x480 really make a big difference in day-to-day surfing. With 800 you usually don't need to scroll horizontally, but with 640 you usually do. It's not for everybody, but it's pretty cool.
"If we do happen to step on a mine, Sir, what do we do?"
"Normal procedure, Lieutenant, is to jump 200 feet in the air and scatter oneself over a wide area." -- "BlackAdder 4"

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Luke_Y

Luke_Y

    Second Unit



  • 425 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 20 2001

Posted July 22 2006 - 01:50 AM

Any other input on this? I am hesitant on the AirPanel as they are a bit old, tech wise. I was hoping someone was aware of something similar but with a bit larger screen than the mentioned Nokia.
Luke

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Vivek_IVB

Vivek_IVB

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 90 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 26 2005

Posted July 22 2006 - 03:55 AM

Is it just for the web? How much typing versus clicking?

I have a Fujitsu 3400 10" P3-400 that would be fine for just browsing or as a control interface for your HA/HT system. Upside is that it's a real PC, P3-400, now down to $160 on eBay, so it's cheap and re-usable in other areas. Heck, with a wifi card in it, you could even take it to a hot-wifi spot to sit & browse,

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Luke_Y

Luke_Y

    Second Unit



  • 425 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 20 2001

Posted July 22 2006 - 11:18 AM

We may have a winner there. The price is right, only thing I would worry about is battery life. I would likely use it only on battery and the AirPanels claim 3-4 hours. Whats your experience with battery life?
Luke

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Vivek_IVB

Vivek_IVB

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 90 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 26 2005

Posted July 22 2006 - 03:50 PM

Sorry, can't help you there. I usually leave it plugged in, rarely take it out to roam.

Try the CQC forum (www.charmedquark.com) - there's tons of us using it on there for HA/HT purposes. Perhaps someone else has an opinion.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users