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Wireless Networking Hardware

ViewSonic AirPanel v150 Review at Ars Technica 139

Haxby writes "Ars Technica has a pretty thorough review of the ViewSonic AirPanel (15 inch model). You might recall that this device/design won 'Best of Comdex' in 2002, but as the review clearly shows, it's not really all that great, and it's way overpriced. The biggest problem is video performance: it sucks. Poor resolution and hideous rendering times (partly Microsoft's RDC's fault) make it next to useless. Is more bandwidth the key to making these things more palatable?"
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ViewSonic AirPanel v150 Review at Ars Technica

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  • I think (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pingular ( 670773 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @02:31PM (#7640482)
    Is more bandwidth the key to making these things more palatable?
    I think better use of the available bandwidth is more important than more bandwidth. You can have all the bandwidth you want, but if it doesn't use it properley, then it'll still be a poor piece of equipment.
    • Re:I think (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Goyuix ( 698012 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @02:40PM (#7640570) Homepage
      Having actually read the article (last night on my notebook connected through wifi wishing for a tablet to read on instead) - the article mentions that bandwidth did play an important part in the test. While not perfect at 1000Mb, it was substantially better than 11Mb.... that could also be related to a PC with a better rendering backend, but who knows....

      This device isn't meant to stream video (though for almost $1000 it should!). My other complaint is that it at 6lbs and a 14-15" screen, it is too bulky for the intended use. The smaller one is much more appealing to me, but at the price I certainly won't be getting either.

      Why can't they just put Windows Mobile 2003 on it instead, give you full PDA capabilities, and use the terminal services client that is part of the package... I mean come on people!
      • Re:I think (Score:2, Redundant)

        by nate1138 ( 325593 )
        They have a smaller model with a 10" LCD. I've had my hands on it at the local CompUSA, and it feels solid. Only 800x600 res though.

        Of couse, you read the article and already know that.
        • How much does that go for?

          I have a small handheld PC-like device which runs Windows CE.NET 4.1 on a 400 MHz XScale PXA255. It is real WinCE, *not* PocketPC and as a result, sucks a lot less... It has a 800x480 screen and these days is my primary computer. It has a little built-in keyboard on which I can easily touch-type; after an hour of owning it, I am able to type just about as fast as I could on a full-blown keyboard, although symbols are a bit funky. (they are in the Japanese locations, shift-2 = " e
          • I can't find it on CompUSA.com anymore, but I think it was either 499 or 599. It really fit the hand well, and felt like a solid piece of gear. What I'd love to have is a machine like this that used something like VNC or RDS, but with acceptable video quality, as well as the option to playback audio/video on the host system, or on the handheld.

      • That's essentially what they are doing. The AirPanel runs a modified CE OS and it uses TS to connect to the desktop. You can't run CE like you do a PocketPC, instead there is only one "app" on the AirPanel and that is RDC, TS in disguise. Bandwidth is the key factor in these machines not performing as well as they could. Until we get 10gbps connections, streaming video via wireless RDC is not going to happen. The idea is a good one, it's just not possible to implemnt it perfectly right now.
    • Better use of bandwidth won't help. Imagine a simple and tiny 640x480 display at only 16 bit color with an eye-bleedingly low refresh of 60Hz.

      640 horizontal bits x 480 vertical bits = 307200 ordered bits of information needed for a full screen.
      307200 x 16 color bits per pixel = 4915200 bits, adding color.
      4915200 x 60 times a second = 294912000 bits per second (295 Mbps, approx.) needed for fair, artifact-free viewing.

      This is only rough math to tell me that this is nowhere close to being a desktop replace
      • I don't get it. We've been getting ~640x480, colour displays of ample quality over the air for decades. Ever seen TV?

        A panel easily flourishes with that model. The panel itself is essentially a nice LCD TV with a small processor (you could probably do it on a Z80) and sensitivity. it sends "click 160,30" messages and that's it. The display is essentially the TV-out of the videocard being broadcast

        With HDTV it would rock-- a 1080i image
        • TV broadcasts are going through you 120 different ways right now because of literally millions of watts of sending power. Even small markets use 2.5 million watt towers. That's too expensive for desktop computers; can we agree on that? Of course I've seen TV, but thanks for the troll.

          The TV-out that you speak of is, again, high in bandwidth, otherwise we would see wireless options like we do radio tuners for iPods and the like.

          If the unit sends 'click 160,30,' and that's it, you have a wireless tablet.
          • >Even small markets use 2.5 million watt towers.

            2.5 million watts?!

            I'm in a fairly urban-sprawly market. Many of the large broadcasters use 100kW towers. Some use 300kW. I find I can easily see a *35kw* station located 160km+ from here

            A tablet needs to go only a hundred metres or so.

            >You have essentially said nothing.

            I'll admit that was written awfully.
            Today's tablets are smarter than just 'click 160,30'. They have to parse a remote-desktop protocol. In the tablet I suggest, the CPU never se
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Microsoft only is it? Well, scratch that for a christmas present...

    Linux user here.

  • by questamor ( 653018 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @02:34PM (#7640516)
    I've only just started looking at LCDs and need to know if anyone else sees them ALL looking like trash? I'm rarely up on new hardware tech, 3D stuff doesn't impress me and the ancient 17" CRT I have has done me well. However looking at several brands of LCDs I'm wondering whether I just see them different to other people, or if they truly only have one advantage, clarity. I've taken a look at the screens on Dell, Acer and Apple laptops, 15 & 17" screens from Dell Samsung and BenQ, and a few Apple Cinema Displays. I can only say I see the BEST of them as under a quarter the quality of even an average CRT. I couldn't see any reason to pay even HALF the price of a CRT for one, let alone MORE. Anyone else see LCDs like this, or are my eyes just plaine fucked?
    • I have seen a few high resolution models that look very nice. Unfortunately those run close to $1000. It's not worth it when you can get a high resolution CRT for about 20% of that.

      • It's not worth it when you can get a high resolution CRT for about 20% of that.

        Go for a good dual 85Hz+@1024x768 (or even triple!) CRT setup instead of one LCD for now and spend the rest on an extra PCI video card or a dual-head card. Once you go multiple you'll never go back.
    • LCDs suck. my gf got me a top of the line 19" Samsung for my birthday several months ago and i still havent figured out a way to get a decent picture. maybe if i get a video card w/ dvi.

      Basically, if you value image quality, stick with CRT. If you value style and form factor, get an LCD.

      • Are you running Linux or Windows? Linux fonts are notoriously bad even with the FreeType kind of configuration.

        Another possibility is that you're trying to run a ridiculous resolution. LCDs are great if you want to have an ultra stable screen. If you want a lot of real screen estate, you should be a CRT.

        • Are you running Linux or Windows? Linux fonts are notoriously bad even with the FreeType kind of configuration.

          The fonts are not anti-aliased when using RDC, its the same as running with font smoothing turned off. I wish cleartype was enabled on RDC. Nice thing about RDC is there are mac/linux clients, and linux servers. Faster than VNC, but vnc has more client/servers ports.

          BTW, my console fonts are not bad, true vga goodness. :) In fact I use vga2 or console in all my gui's. vga2 looks perfect in putt
      • Make sure you're running it at it's native resolution. Anything else will be dithered either up or down.
        • i'm running windows cuz i need 2k3 for work stuff.

          Checking the resolution again will probably be worthwhile though--thanks for the comment.

          I tend to fall into the "sensitive eyes" category though--I'm the guy who wants a 40-inch sony direct view because rear projection sux and plasma is too pixilated.
      • LCD monitors aren't going to look very good using the VGA input. Also if you like to run insanely high resolutions, you need to stick to a CRT.
      • The answer is DVI. I have two 19" Samsung LCD monitors. With analog they were a little disappointing; with DVI they are fantastic. The image quality is excellent.
    • We all got LCD screens at work. At first, I was highly skeptical. Now, I want one for home.
      • I am the same. I have a nice 19" iiyama (nice, nothing fancy) at home and used to have 2 bad 15" CRTs at work. When the bi-annual IT replacement came around I pleaded to get them replaced with iiyama's, but no they were on a corporate mission with LCDs so I got twin 18" panels. Now I love my LCDs, they have a small bezel, a crisp display and can be organised much more flexibly than CRTs ever could. Granted I don't work with video (the odd webconference only)... but for my work (spreadsheets, ad-hoc prog
    • Well, you're missing one thing. LCDs envolve ZERO eyestrain, as they don't have the 'glimmer and flux' of a CRT. Sure, that's only REALLY bad on a CRT at 60hz, but I've found that over long sessions (say 6 hours+) I'm noticeably less fatigued from using an LCD. That said, my main machine still has a CRT, as I do a fair bit of graphics work on it.
      • 60 Hz? I bet that would hurt.

        I run my work monitor at 100 Hz. Now I can't see the flicker!
      • Looking at an image at 60hz is about the same as staring directly into a fluorescent tube, except there's words and pictures.

        Even though you're conscious of the the flicker (incredibly, many users aren't until someone changes their settings for the "Oh, wow -- I never knew!" effect), I think the eyestrain you're referring is still entirely due to it. The magic number (i.e., absolute minimum) is 85hz.

        Until I see an LCD display that offers an image identical to a high quality CRT monitor, I don't see any re
    • BTW, once my LCD (EIZO) was properly configured, there is zero blurring...and it's hooked up to two machines via a switch.
    • You aren't the only one; I don't like them either.

      I also don't like the ultra-hi-res TVs out now because I can see more of the mpeg compression artifacts on DVDs than on a regular TV.
    • by FueledByRamen ( 581784 ) * <sabretooth@gmail.com> on Friday December 05, 2003 @02:54PM (#7640675)
      I've gone through some really nice CRTs and some really nice LCDs, and I think that the LCDs are better overall.

      My two best CRTs right now are a Dell (Sony rebranded) 19" Flat Trinitron, and it's absolutely beautiful (very bright and clear) in 1280x1024x85hz. My other great CRT is a Sony 21" (not sure of the exact model, but it was very expensive), and it looks great in 1600x1200.

      The last two LCDs I've had, though, have clearly outclassed both of them, both in functionality and style. I had (sold to a friend) a Dell Ultrasharp 1900FP LCD. Best desktop monitor I've ever owned, especially when using the DVI connector. (The VGA interpolation didn't look as good as straight DVI, but I rarely used it.) It ran at 1280x1024x70hz, and did a great job for every game I threw at it - Battlefield 1942, Quake 3, JK2, MoH:AA, and a few others. I only got rid of it because I bought a laptop.

      The other LCD is permanently attached to my laptop - a Powerbook G4 17". Its brightness and clarity are far better than that of most CRTs that I've seen (and match or exceed that of both of my higher-end CRTs). I like the 1440x900 resolution, too; it seems to me to be a good resolution for that size of panel, unlike Dell's laptops, many of which try to cram 1600x1200 into a 15" panel (unreadable). DVDs look great on it, along with Quake 3 and MoH:Spearhead.
      • LCDs certainly have it on clarity. In the small patch of well-coloured screen on an LCD, It's beautiful. Crystal clear, font smoothing works well, and there's no LCD flicker. Problem is to me that usable area is about an 8" circle in the middle of the screen, with the corners quickly fading to such a dark inversed colour, I physically need to move my head to the corners of the screen to read a clock. That neckstrain is horrid compared to anything I've had on a CRT, and it's what makes me think that people d
      • FYI. LCD's don't have refresh rates. CRT's do. So saying that you ran your LCD at 70hz is incorrect as it has no refresh rate.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          LCDs don't have "refresh rates" in the same sense that CRTs do, but they do have update rates. The plus side is that while a low refresh rate (say, 60 Hz) on a CRT can be seen by those of us with good eyes as an abhorrent flickering, the same "update rate", when used on an LCD shows no flickering.

          The only reason I pay any attention to maximum "update rate" on an LCD is that it gives me an idea of how responsive the panel is, regarding quick changes, like in video. It's especially important when using an LC
      • I like the 1440x900 resolution, too; it seems to me to be a good resolution for that size of panel, unlike Dell's laptops, many of which try to cram 1600x1200 into a 15" panel (unreadable).

        Most OSs can scale their fonts to be appropriate with with resolution of your monitor. Try setting it to 130dpi or so.
        Looks beautiful on my 1600x1200 15" laptop running winxp.
    • My opinion of LCDs:

      • Good enough quality for most of my work
      • Saves a lot of desk space
      • Saves a lot of power
      • Way overpriced
    • Anyone else see LCDs like this, or are my eyes just plaine fucked?

      No, you're right. This is even more true when dealing with plasma TVs.. Flat panel TVs look like shit. You're not paying for picture quality, you're paying for a thin TV/monitor.

    • Why do you think LEDs are so much worse? The low frequency of most of them? large pixels? Something more than "they look bad" would be nice.

      Also, would I be correct in thinking that OLEDs will solve many of the LED issues, in that because they don't have to reflect light, the pixels can be made smaller, closer together, and have faster response times when turning on/off?
    • I was a long time CRT user also, but recently switched to one of the new NEC panels (I forget the number, but they are fairly prominent on most of the shopping sites). Anyway, the main reason I bought it was the image quality - and it is stunning. Fairly pricey - about $500 for a 17" model but it is worth it IMHO (and as a bonus the case design is very sexy). It took a little while to get setup right (the auto-set was less than satisfactory) but once I fiddled enough I got totally rock solid 1280x768, with
    • It could be your eyes, or the way your lcd is configured, or, uh, have you been smoking strange things recently?

      I've got two LCDs, a Dell 1900FP and a 1901FP, plus my 15" powerbook. Any one of those three kicks the crap out of my Dell 21" trinitrons. What do I mean by "kicks the crap out of"? I mean that I can use any of those screens for 16 hours a day, no problem, but I can't use the trinitrons without serious eye fatigue. Oh sure, before I had the LCDs I didn't know it was eye fatigue, but even spen
      • For me, it doesn't matter what the refresh rate is-- white flickers like mad. Period. Of course, this is only on CRTs-- I have to change my color scheme or risk serious eyestrain headaches; I bet I could learn to tell refresh by the flicker pattern at this rate.

        However, until LCDs drop in price to be equivelent to CRTs, I don't foresee any real solution to the situation. It'd be nice to be able to get rid of these monitors..
      • Quality, when talking about monitors, often refers to "image quality".
  • Optimal Tablet PC (Score:5, Interesting)

    by patdabiker ( 710704 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @02:35PM (#7640526) Homepage
    This is where tablet pc's should be heading. You get all the power of your desktop, in a thin and light form factor you can carry around anywhere within a decent range. I hope R&D continues on these things. Maybe even build a very basic laptop into it so you can use it to take notes when outside of the range, and get full power and sync all your data automatically when you get back within range.
    • This is where tablet pc's should be heading.
      that I agree but...

      I don't mean to rant, but with laptop becoming more powerful and versatile, I am a little skeptical about the future of this type of device unless there is cost benefit.

      Let's face it, even if you can carry a monitor around, you will still need keyboard and mouse (or good hand writing recognition) to input. I think the reason tablet PCs are having tough time in the market (except for package carriers) is that people are so used to using co
      • I see the TabletPC taking over for the laptop. Most of the better Tablet designs are slightly modified notebook designs. Turn the screen and close the lid and you've got your tablet.

        When prices start to fall on the tablets themselves, I hope to see the older notebooks phased out for them-- they really are an incremental upgrade.

        Now the Smart LCD-- that's a evolutionary dead end. They support a single protocol-- Microsoft's-- they require a PC to do any work, AND since most people will use it with Windows
    • I have an Acer Travelmate C100 Tablet PC (the first ones than came out).

      I'm a college student, and it's served my needs VERY well for the above reasons.

      *built-in Wifi card, so anywhere on campus or at home (with my Netgear wireless router), it's connected to the Internet.
      *Remote Desktop Logon to my main Desktop works perfectly (when the desktop is booted in WinXP)
      *I can click on "My Briefcase" and click "sync my files", and all my files I've modified or created that day at school are backed-up on my deskt
  • If i am only interested for console (bash like) use, will prevent to suck that much??? like having all the super power of a 1mb ISA vga card on WinXP??? browse with Lynx, and with mutt read your email
  • Compliments to the author for including that "15 inch" reference!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2003 @02:47PM (#7640619)
    The strength of these Smart Displays is that they can have the capability to be a detachable monitor: when docked, they can act just like a normal DVI display, with full video speed, acceleration, etc etc, but when you want to get up, you just pick it up and it automatically goes into "remote" mode. Bring it back and put it in the dock, and *poof* you're back in normal monitor mode.

    The problem is most manufacturers haven't implemented that capability. I'm pretty sure that Viewsonic hasn't, but others (such as the Philips DesXcape [philips.com]) have.

    Not that I've seen it in action, so who knows how well it actually works.
    • Viewsonic has it through the base station. It's my secondary monitor right now...
    • Viewsonic sells a dock that does exactly this. I know because I have both the airpanel 150 and the dock right in front of me. I've got the dock's VGA connected to the linux server, and when I want to move to another room, I remove the airpanel and connect to a windows machine. What sucks is that even though the airpanel is just a wireless RDC client, you can't use it to connect to other true RDC servers, just the one that has the Smart Display service installed, and it only runs on XP SP1. I've only got one
    • The v150 viewsonic does this (I wish the v110 would be capable). However the philips version does a much better job of being a mobile monitor for the sheer fact that a docked phillips display will have touchscreen functionality where the viewsonic will not.
  • by Valar ( 167606 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @02:49PM (#7640628)
    It is a neat idea and all, but i'd prefer a simple VGA->radio->VGA system over a tablet PC + wifi (which is what this looks like). Then I could use my wireless mouse and keyboard and be set. Back when I had a windows machine, I never needed to remotely administrate it (it was just a gaming machine-- it didn't matter if it crashed while i was out). Of course, then there is VNC if you want a full blown desktop anywhere solution.
    • You know that the resolution of this device (1024x768x24) corresponds to just over a gigabit of bandwidth, yes? I think we'd all "prefer" a magic way to do gigabit-level wireless networking, even without routing it... but I also think it's rather unlikely to be cheaper than established technologies.
  • by BaumSquad ( 632811 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @02:52PM (#7640665)
    They need to complete the package. These things were intended to be sort of like removable monitors. At least that was the initial intention. Picture this: Instead of buying a plain Jane 15" LCD panel, you pay $100 more and get the new version airpanel XP yada yada model. Now here's the key. You setup the monitor like any other LCD panel. DVI connected to your computer and all that jazz. You use it as normal, and it sits in a little docking station at your desk, which makes the connection to the DVI connection and power for battery charging... Nature calls! You have to go drop a deuce, but you don't want to stop reading the most recent Slashback. What do you do! Well, since you upgraded to the newfangeled peripheral, you just pull your monitor out of it's docking station, and, ideally, it would automatigically connect over wi-fi just as the current model does to the account you were just logged into. So maybe it blanks out for a few seconds as it transitions to the XP remote desktop mode and the Windows CE control. Or maybe it just switches to the login screen as soon as you unhook it. How cool would that be? You have the best of both worlds, and it doesn't cost all THAT much as you are getting a full monitor that works at full speed as well. Now how HARD could it be to make a hardware bypass for this thing? I swear, make this work, and quickly and easily, and these will actually sell! NOone will pay that kind of cash for a glorified gigantic PDA. The really missed the boat on this one. The original concept was "a monitor you can take with you" but instead they just made a weak-ass remote desktop unit. Get me in that think tank and I'd have set them straight... -BaumSquad
  • Home Hosting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @02:57PM (#7640697) Homepage Journal
    After chatting with Caesar (who also helped test the airpanel), we agreed that this device is really a "glimpse of the future". We imagine that one day we will not need to be right in front of a computer just to control our other computers. We will be able to travel anywhere in a modern city and use an independent, portable device (cell phone, PDA, tablet PC, airpanel, etc.) to access or control the PC sitting at home. Will such a day ever arrive? Who's to say? But the airpanel does seem kind of futuristic.

    Not that I necessarily agree with these comments, but if such a future were to come to pass, the likely hood of me choosing my living room to host my desktop-server would be slim to none. Ah, centrailized computing, here we come again... At least the iterations are close enough to each other now that we don't ever have to implement anything - by the time we might be thinking about actually moving towards centralizing, decentralizing will be the "next (er, current) big thing" again.
  • by Spytap ( 143526 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @02:57PM (#7640705)
    I've been hoping for something like this for a long time: a tablet that I can take somewhere like out on my porch or to school or wherever, and it mimics or uses my computer at home and all of it's programs. Basically, just a screen with USB ports that can connect (not sync, actually connect) with my home computer to enable me to have a moveable workspace.
    Keyboard, mouse, Screen, and BAM protable workstation that's EXACTLY like the one I'm used to using. I'd be willing to have some sort of trade-off of performance, i.e. for more complicated things such as video editing or Photoshop, it would have the main computer (the desktop) do the work and just send the results when done to the tablet, all I need it for is basically a fancy display that allows remote control over my main computer and a place to plug in a keyboard :)
  • by centron ( 61482 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @02:58PM (#7640711) Homepage

    I came up with the idea of a portable, wireless terminal that transmitted the KVM signals to and from your desktop PC about ten years ago for an 8th grade science project...

    I got a 'C'.

    • Typically they are grading the implementation, not the idea.
    • so did the inventor of FEDEX


    • Yes but if your science/technology teacher was also the gym teacher - what do you expect. I remember the minute I lost all faith in the (uk) school education system when I asked our electronics sceince teacher a question about the subject. His response was - I dont know - I just teach it all from this book. You should probably have done a plant pot water tester or some of the usual boring crap like that... You would probably have got an A (school teacher likes marking stuff they do not really have to th
  • by Danneskjold ( 122198 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @02:59PM (#7640716)
    I use an iBook with RDC to my WinXP desktop. I get a good-sized keyboard, very good battery life, and acceptable WiFi performance. Granted, video plays poorly via RDC, but cut-and-paste works betweent RDC (I use RDC in a window) and Mac OS X, so if I have to pull up a video URL, I don't have too many problems.

    The iBook is very reasonably priced for this purpose; at $1100-$1200 to set up, it makes working wirelessly on a desktop a lot more fun (and then you can start thinking about getting rid of your desktop monitor and keyboard, and sticking the CPU in a more unobtrusive place . . . and opening port 3389 on your firewall at home, so you can use your home fixed IP to access the machine via RDC . . . )
    • Agreed, I've been doing this very same thing for the past year. In fact, I haven't had a monitor connected to my XP machine for at least the past 6 months. Occassionally I have to swipe the 15" LCD from my wife's PC for hardware maintenance tasks and such. And with 3389 opened on my work firewall, I can RDP to home and surf with no proxy logging.
  • Is it hackable? I bet the firmware can be flashed and you can install Linux. Then you could also use it as an X terminal or do all sorts of other neat stuff with it.

    BTW Did you notice "Weight ~6 lbs"? That's pretty bad.

  • Six lbs!!?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by furiousgeorge ( 30912 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @03:25PM (#7640965)
    Only remote desktop display, and it's 6lbs???

    My new Toshiba laptop with 17" display, hard drive, DVD drive, battery, keyboard, partridge in a pear tree, etc is 9lbs! What have they put in this thing???

    Even the Apple powerbook with all it's internal goodies is 6+ lbs. For what it does, the weight and battery life of this thing is inexcusable. Fire your engineers!

  • by vurg ( 639307 )
    I find it very clunky. It's actually slightly modified dumb terminal. It has a processor and it connects to windows through some implementation of remote desktop. The whole experience is just slow. You have to use one to really feel how slow it is, not to mention its high-magnitude gravitational pull (it's heavy). We ended up plugging the AC adaptor to a 220v outlet and returning it to the store.
  • Cheaper: Laptop (Score:2, Interesting)

    I have an old Dell 233MHz Celeron-based laptop running Windows XP Pro and with a 802.11g card. For roughly half the price of the airpad (used at half.com), I still use RDP to connect to my desktop most of the time, but I get 5x the network speed (54Mbps) and a perfectly-capable (if somewhat outdated) independent machine that I travel with. Since I'm not *required* to use RDP, I can also pop open Mozilla in the living room if my wife is already on the desktop in the office (XP doesn't allow simultaneous cons
    • XP doesn't allow simultaneous console and RDP sessions

      Yeah, this is a real pain in the ass. I do know that 2000 server does support this and multiple remote connections as well. I guess if 2k server does then 2k3 server probably will to.
  • This has been done a long time ago (early 90s) by Zenith -- the Zenith Cruisepad [purdue.edu]
    That thing had a little AMD 386 chip embedded, and ran a Citrix WinFrame client, and your PC ran a WinFrame server.
    I got one recently, to play with, and tried to get it to work, but couldn't, since the Citrix SW they use only runs on windows 3.1, which I can't even find an old disk of :)
  • The review does point out that video performance is bad, but I think they missed the point there. The video is being rendered on the client side (i.e. your desktop) and only the graphics are being transmitted over the network. As such, it doesn't matter which protocol you use (VNC, RDC, remote X Windows) it's pretty difficult to get decent performance in such a setup. I'm actually suprised it can play any video at all. The bandwidth needed to transmit that kind of data is just not available.

    Anyway, the po

  • The reviewer doesn't seem to understand what RDP is and what it's used for. Obviously you cannot expect any remote desktop solution to come anywhere near the performance of a monitor plugged into your video card. It's just not possible.

    We have one of these puppies at home. It's not perfect, but it's very nice. My wife uses it to browse online shops while she watches TV. It is absolutely perfect for that kind of usage.

    This technology has a lot of room for improvement but if you have a basic understand of w
  • From the article:

    After chatting with Caesar (who also helped test the airpanel), we agreed that this device is really a "glimpse of the future". We imagine that one day we will not need to be right in front of a computer just to control our other computers. We will be able to travel anywhere in a modern city and use an independent, portable device (cell phone, PDA, tablet PC, airpanel, etc.) to access or control the PC sitting at home. Will such a day ever arrive? Who's to say? But the airpanel does seem

  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by karlandtanya ( 601084 ) on Friday December 05, 2003 @07:18PM (#7643644)

    Actual laptop computer to connect to your main box wirelessly: $800.00

    HP Omnibook 6000 $700 from Infinity Micro. 15" screen, plus other stuff that makes it an actual computer. So, it's not a badass machine. What do you want for $700.00? And you'd have to buy a wireless ethernet setup. Linksys W11S4PC11--about a hundred bucks from newegg.com.

    Just a monitor (but it has a touch screen): $900.00

    Airpanel APV150P about $880 from thenerds.net 15" screen. Oh, yeah--you still need to buy a WAP for it to talk to. Fifty bucks.

    Ummm...why would you buy an airpanel? Is a touch screen really that cool.

  • Except for the higher resolution (1024x768 on 15" or 800x600 on the 10"), this $1000 device does nothing more than a 6-year-old HP Jornada 820 (640x480) or Jornada 690 (640x240) with a wireless card plugged in.

    Both the HPs can use the TS Client, and can connect to ANY TS or RDC server.

    The ViewSonic is supported only for single-session RDC, and it does NOT have the client-side configurations available within the actual TS Client.

    The 6-year-old Jornadas can even use the CITRIX Client. The NEW ViewSonic

  • The screen was way too small, yeah I know they said it was too big, but thats ok for these midgits, but I'm built like a truck, so big is no problem, any thing < 20", even in this mode is way too small. Also I'd need choice of OS, (linux for me) why would you want to run some other OS on it, what ever you run on the main machine needs to run on the portable interface as well, so they need to look at some way for it to pull it's OS from the main box, or some other easy soln to get the OS/interface you wan
  • Okay having read the artical- its disappointing that the prices were not included in the spec table with the other stats.

    The device did nothing much that cannot be done with a proper tablet/laptop pc. As I run Linux for most serious applications(except gaming and music creation) then the lack of compatibility would put me off a great deal too. At work I regularly use X-on-SSH to interact with smaller apps(we have a very high bandwidth there and I have broadband here).

    For streaming video - it would be be

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."