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ViewSonic AirPanel v150 Review at Ars Technica

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the straight-dope dept.

Wireless Networking 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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omg first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640481)

i like it wet

Malvo is Neo!!!! Free him! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640558)

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Consumed with righting racial inequality and injustice, sniper suspect Lee Boyd Malvo became yesterday the latest young defendant to use the film The Matrix as part of an insanity defense to explain killings that seem to have no clear explanation.

The 1999 film has been used, with some success, in at least three other murder cases in which young defendants attempted to justify their crimes with allusions to the movie's philosophy that the world people live in is only a dream sequence controlled by a computer. Violence is condoned as a way to get out of the fake, oppressive world of The Matrix.

More than a hundred drawings and notes found in Malvo's jail cell, as well as the testimony yesterday of a social worker who met with the teen-age sniper suspect, indicate that the youth had an obsession with The Matrix. He told detectives and the social worker to watch the film to understand the motive behind the sniper shootings.

"Mr. Malvo wanted me to know how unjust this society was and how important it was for them to build a new and just society," said court-appointed forensic social worker Carmeta Albarus, who spent 70 hours with Malvo this year. "I recognized something was amiss with this Jamaican boy who had not been in this country three years and is speaking as if he had lived here his whole life and suffered years of social injustice."

Albarus' testimony dovetailed with the drawings introduced into evidence Wednesday. In those ink sketches on blue-lined notebook paper, Malvo creates a heroic portrait of Neo, the central character in The Matrix, and makes numerous references to the film's slogans of freeing one's mind.

"The outside force has arrived, free yourself of the Matrix 'control,'" Malvo wrote on one drawing that depicted him handcuffed with the word Bondage on his chest. "Free first your mind. Trust me!! The body will follow."

The 'Matrix' defense

This is not the first time a disenfranchised teen-ager has used the film as an explanation for violent acts.

Two notable Matrix defenses, in San Francisco and Ohio, saw judges accept insanity pleas based on a defendant's infatuation with the movie.

In the San Francisco case, a 27-year-old Swiss exchange student said he dismembered his landlady in May 2000 because she was emitting "evil vibes" and he was afraid of being "sucked into the Matrix," according to news reports. The case did not go to trial after the judge accepted the insanity plea.

Last year in Hamilton, Ohio, a 36-year-old bartender shot her landlady three times with a pistol. She said her landlady had been controlling her mind and justified the killing by telling the court: "They commit a lot of crimes in The Matrix." Her insanity plea was accepted.

Robert F. Horan Jr., lead prosecutor in the Malvo trial, faced The Matrix defense in another case he prosecuted this year - that of Joshua Cooke, a 19-year-old Oakton, Va., resident who killed his parents with a 12-gauge shotgun and blamed the movie.

Cooke's attorney said his client believed he was living in the virtual reality world of The Matrix when he shot his parents. Horan argued that the defense was nonsense, and the judge later sentenced Cooke to 40 years in prison.

"How many million people have seen this movie and how many have committed murder?" asked Horan rhetorically during a Boston Globe interview.

'A common theme'

Some legal experts say the film may be no more than a convenient framework to explain crimes committed by people who do not exhibit typical forms of insanity.

"If you cast aside the notion that the laws of the land matter, it allows us to behave in a very different way. It gives us license," said John Kennedy, director of the University of Cincinnati's Institute of Psychiatry and Law. "There's a common theme of oppression and unfairness that requires abandoning the status quo and turning to a new way, and it just so happens that this behavior and the movie express that same theme."

It was a theme that appears to have particularly appealed to Malvo. He told Albarus, the social worker, that he and Muhammad planned to take 70 boys and 70 girls to a farm to raise them to be "superchildren" who would propagate a perfect society. The $10 million demanded for an end to the sniper shootings was to be used to buy the land and equipment for the compound, Albarus said.

"They were going to be trained and sent to different parts of the world to bring about a just system, because he thought a just system was needed," Albarus said. "He felt very confident that this could be done."

Malvo as Neo

Albarus said she saw Malvo as the Neo character in The Matrix. Played by Keanu Reeves, Neo leads a small band who become aware that they are living in an alternate reality. They fight their way out of a manufactured "reality" to regain control of their lives from the malevolent forces that are controlling them and all others.

"I saw certain patterns in The Matrix regarding Lee," the social worker said. She said she saw convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad as the character Morpheus, who is Neo's mentor and plays a role in his life similar to the one Muhammad played in Malvo's - that of a father figure who leads the way to the truth.

The oppression theme from the film carries over into Malvo's drawings. In one elaborate sketch, he shows a black man hanging by his wrists and being whipped by Uncle Sam, the well-known symbol of America, holding a money bag in one hand and a whip in the other.

Elsewhere in the drawings, mostly done from January to March of this year, a black figure appears to be hanged near the caption, "We refuse to be oppressed, and when you stand in our way we will crush you, destroy you. Total destruction only solution." The words destroy and destruction were underlined twice.

The pages contain anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-white and anti-gay sentiments. One illustration shows the White House in the cross hairs of a rifle scope with the caption: "Sept. 11 we will ensure will look like a picnic to you. ... Welcome to the new war. You are not safe anywhere at anytime."

In the drawings and letters, Malvo apologizes to Muhammad for his "failure." Authorities have said Malvo was supposed to be acting as lookout the night the pair was captured in their car at a Frederick County rest stop. Instead, Malvo was sleeping when a SWAT team stormed the vehicle.


In another sketch, Malvo writes: "I'll be back and next time whatsoever my endeavor is 'I will not fail.'"

Experts say such talk may be a way for Malvo to prepare himself for his possible fate. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty - a sentence already imposed on Muhammad last week by a Virginia Beach jury. Such notions might also have been a way for Malvo to condition himself to commit the sniper killings, experts say.

Malvo's lawyers do not argue that he was not involved in the shootings. But they contend that he cannot be held responsible because of the intense indoctrination he suffered at the hands of Muhammad.

"The 9/11 terrorists spoke this way, and they had to perform a similar process of desensitization," said Kennedy. "It's not a comfortable human thing to destroy yourself. It's saying, 'I don't need to worry about this world. It's all an illusion. I'll be better off [elsewhere].'"

The drawings were submitted as evidence by the Malvo defense team, in an apparent attempt to show the jury the extent of the alleged brainwashing inflicted by Muhammad. For months after his arrest, Malvo refused to speak ill of Muhammad, and the drawings show that he considered him his father and a "brave man."

The process of breaking down that "step-by-step indoctrination" has been a slow one, defense attorneys said, but it reached a critical point in August when Albarus showed Malvo a videotape of people he knew and places he had been in Jamaica.

The memories, Albarus said, made Malvo break down in tears.

I think (3, Insightful)

Pingular (670773) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

I want to cut your throat (-1, Troll)

BlackTriangle (581416) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640502)

And I don't even know who you are.

MOD DOWN, troll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640510)

doesn't add anything to the quote, and check out his/her/its post history, it's filled with offtopic, flamebait, and troll posts.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640512)


agreed (-1, Troll)

klocwerk (48514) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640514)

Throw more resources at it!
business as usual!

As stated in the post, microsoft's RDC is abysmal as far as bandwidth usage goes. Improve the protocol and there's plenty of bandwidth available.

You deserve to have your throat cut as well. (-1, Troll)

BlackTriangle (581416) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640535)

That is all.

Re:agreed (4, Informative)

cowmix (10566) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640786)

I hate to defend MSFT but *please* point out a better protocol than RDC for the same CPU and bandwidth considerations...

I use RDC, VNC and X all day.. and RDC works as well as the rest.

Re:agreed (5, Informative)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640979)

Actually in my experience comparing RDC, PCAnywhere, and VNC, RDC blows the others away in terms of the speed and responsiveness it exhibits. It destroys VNC in other areas (copy/paste integration), and even though PCAnywhere has some file transfer capabilities, you can transfer files pretty easily with RDC in two different ways: (1) Copy a file on one end, paste it on the other, or (2) set RDC up to establish mapped drives for your remote computer so that you can copy files back and forth using normal windows networking.

I only wish there was a good client available for MacOS X, as I would love to switch to mac, but use RDC heavily and need a client with all the features available in the windows xp/2003 version.

Re:agreed (1)

blackdragon7777 (720994) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641883)

There is a fairly decent client for OSX that I've been using. I only have one windows computer so I don't know what all features the windows client has but if you tell me what all you need I can try them on my powerbook this weekend sometime.

Re:agreed (1)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641993)

I appreciate the offer, but it might be easier for me to test it myself on my mom's iMac... where can I get this program? Thanks!

Re:agreed (1)

Tombstone-f (49843) | more than 10 years ago | (#7642057)

He's probably referring to this. []

Re:agreed (2, Informative)

Firehawke (50498) | more than 10 years ago | (#7642131)

My own experiences with Remote Desktop are identical. Comparing even TightVNC and RealVNC to RDC shows a good jump in responsiveness by using RDC. It just feels a whole lot smoother and more responsive. I've played with the settings, done all sorts of tweaks, and while you can improve VNC, you can't match RDC with it just yet.

However, when cross-platform is needed, I still pull out my VNC client.

I wonder how many RDC exploits exist these days.

RDC doesnt suck, the idea does (-1)

slash-tard (689130) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640847)

I use RDC from work to home over my cable modem, which only has a 20K/sec upload rate and it works great. A network packet capture would probably show plenty of excess bandwidth.

RDC is great for checking email or web browsing, in my experience much better than anything else. I doubt any "remote desktop" type software is going to handle multimedia well.

The problem is a 1000 dollar remote monitor. Why not just buy a cheap laptop and get more functionality. You can even get a decent compaq centrino laptop with a 15.2 inch screen for 1200. It doesnt even have a weight advantage, at 6 pounds its just as much or more then most laptops.

Re:agreed (4, Insightful)

spongman (182339) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641161)

Streaming highly compressed (mpeg4) video over wireless is stretching it. The idea that you can stream uncompressed (or poorly compressed, eg lzw/jpeg) video frames over a wireless connection is just foolish. Anyone that expects such a thing to work well over a wireless connection just isn't using their brain. It has little to do with the protocol.

The only way to do this effectively would be to put hooks in the media player to divert the original compressed stream over the network and allow the decompression to occur on the screen.

As far as microsoft's implementation of RDP being abysmal, it's pretty much the most efficient of its kind out there. But I guess it's all relative to your expectations, right?

Re:agreed (1)

UU7 (103653) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641171)

And is X any better ?
I use RDC all day and I find it extremely fast.
Much nicer than X to my server at home or VNC.

Re:agreed (1)

E-Rock (84950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7642064)

I use RDP to my servers from a wireless laptop at home. It works just fine in full screen mode. I wouldn't watch a movie or anything on it, but for work it is just fine and on some of my more ancient equipment it is faster than working locally.

Re:I think (3, Insightful)

Goyuix (698012) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640570)

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 (1, Redundant)

nate1138 (325593) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640592)

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.

Re:I think (1)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640808)

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 = " etc) It cost $480. Until Tablet PCs and things like this airpanel come down in cost, I will stick to my real computer.

Yes, I can connect via X11 (XFreeCE), VNC, or Terminal Services if I want to file server tower, but almost never do. I got it all on this Sigmarion III. I do use VNC for Matlab, though.

Re:I think (1)

nate1138 (325593) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640964)

I can't find it on 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.

Re:I think (1)

stubear (130454) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640734)

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.

Spirit of America? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640493)

Spirit of America has come loose from its mooring
Gone limp -- deflated
Nosedived into a pile of crap []

Re:Spirit of America? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640663)

Uhhhhhhhh.............. god has blessed ameriac......... u must be a terrorist if u think teh spirit of maerica has lost............ we stand strong......... untied............ nothing can stop us now..............

Important (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640497)

I won't give away anything here that can single me out.

When I started at SCO in the late 90s it was a fun, vibrant place to work. The coffee was free as was lunch most Fridays. It was replete with friendly competition to write the best code we could while finding problems and fixing the code of others. It was sheer joy.

Then, in late 2001, several of the core systems people were told we had to attend a meeting (we later started calling that meeting "Salem Tuesday" after the witch hunts) in which we were told that effective immediately our job functions were to change.

One man, who I'd just seen around the office recently, announced himself as an intellectual property attorney from Washington. He said that Linux, which we all knew about of course, was infringing on SCO's IP. We couldn't ask questions during this meeting, it was strictly a one-way conversation. We were told of how the GPL was bad for business and bad for America (remember that this was just after Sept. 11 and patriotism was still on a high). Free software, we were told, was killing the 150 billion dollar software industry. In effect, by supporting Linux we were cutting our own throats.

None of use believed that, we had some great sales lined up for our server software and support contracts were bringing in loads of cash. The lawyer continued on about how Free wasn't and how we would be unemployed if we continued to give away Linux.

He sat down (interestingly, I never saw this man again), and another lawyer stood up and gave us our plans: from that moment forth we were to dissect the Linux kernel source and compare it with our own internal code. If things looked close we were to try getting our code into the Linux tree through our contacts at IBM and SGI. The funny thing is that much code that did the same stuff was replicated but with out unique comments in there it was obvious that our internal source had to be the initial source for the code.

The rest is history.

Here we are, 10 months after the rocks started flying: IBM didn't bite and buy us out, SGI is fighting back, Sun and MS bought licenses. That wasn't how it was supposed to go I guess. The atmosphere here is thick with paranoia. We're no longer systems coders in a software company, we're inventing evidence in a litigation firm.

Oh, for the record: SCO monitors outgoing connections to sites such as Groklaw and Slashdot. We've had a handful of job terminations for people saying things that may hurt SCO on various forums. A single AC posting on /. in October which supported the GPL cost one person their job. One.. bloody.. posting..

I'm ssh'd out through another machine I have access too. Keep the fight going. Hopefully the board will turf the pirates that took over and let us get back to what we love: programming.

An Anonymous Coward at SCO.

Re:Important (-1, Offtopic)

Red Rocket (473003) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640942)

He sat down (interestingly, I never saw this man again)...

Hmmm. Must've been a magic chair.

...and another lawyer stood up and gave us our plans...

Ahh. There's what happened. You didn't say whether you had ever seen this man before the first disappeared. I think it was probably a parlor trick.
Like SCO's lawsuits.

Microsoft only? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640499)

Microsoft only is it? Well, scratch that for a christmas present...

Linux user here.

LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (4, Interesting)

questamor (653018) | more than 10 years ago | (#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?

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (2, Insightful)

ViolentGreen (704134) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640552)

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.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640575)

No, I hate LCD screens as much as you do. I think people who are suckered into buying them go into deep denial and say that they "barely even notice" the blurring and throw out random numbers to "prove" that we can't see their faults.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640602)

QWell, I hate the incessant stupid flickering of CRTs. I used to get headaches after more than an hour of coding, now with my LCD monitor, I feel fine (N.B. It is VITAL to connect to the LCD monitor with a digital connection i.e. DVI, or you WILL get blurriness)

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640671)

Heh. I hate CRTs too, especially the flickering, I just hate them less. I'm holding out for the next big thing, whatever it might be. OLED or some e-ink tech maybe, when they mature.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

thanz (102222) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640579)

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.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (3, Insightful)

October_30th (531777) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640627)

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.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641044)

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 putty.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640653)

Make sure you're running it at it's native resolution. Anything else will be dithered either up or down.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

thanz (102222) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640729)

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.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

blackdragon7777 (720994) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641968)

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.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

cthrall (19889) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640607)

We all got LCD screens at work. At first, I was highly skeptical. Now, I want one for home.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640610)

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.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

JCMay (158033) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641292)

60 Hz? I bet that would hurt.

I run my work monitor at 100 Hz. Now I can't see the flicker!

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641409)

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 reason to even consider buying one. Mind you, if the prices were on par, it might be useful to have a few extra screens on my crowded desk that take up little or no room, but even then, their use would have to be limited, perhaps a clean command-line environment.

Instead, what I am seeing are displays priced starting at USD700 that seem to flicker, offer poor resolution and colour, but look kind of cool (at least with a manufacturer-optimized video running on it). In an office environment where the of a computer is less "all-purpose" and limited to running a small handful of applications, LCDs are no doubt ideal when the cost of commercial real estate is factored in. For graphics and video work (or pr0n, for that matter), they're definitely out of the question.

I spend an inordinate amount of time reading technical literature on screen. If an LCD screen offered what a growing number are claiming to be a "new and improved" display, believe me, I'd be the first in line to buy one. When I went out last week with checkbook in hand, I came home with two 17" Viewsonic CRTs. No regrets. In fact, with the money I've saved, I'm considering making a high-quality duplexing printer my next purchase which, if you think about it, says something about current state of display technology.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

cthrall (19889) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640656)

BTW, once my LCD (EIZO) was properly configured, there is zero blurring...and it's hooked up to two machines via a switch.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (2, Interesting)

bytesmythe (58644) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640658)

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.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (5, Interesting)

FueledByRamen (581784) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

questamor (653018) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640728)

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 don't see LCDs the same.

I guess it's like the flicker problem. I can get used to almost any screen from 70Hz up, except those around 79-80, which give me headaches in minutes.

As for the other weak points of LCDs like (on some) response time and being locked into just one resolution, those don't bother me. It's the extreme lack of consistent brightness across the field.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

crawling_chaos (23007) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640854)

You need to see some of the newer LCDs, I think. I'm typing this on a Dell Ultrasharp 15 and I don't see any dropoff in brightness at the corners.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640898)

Try sitting back a bit further from the monitor. It sounds like you have your nose almost pressed against the screen. LCDs have to be viewed at just the right angle to work. If you are sitting too close, the edges will be at too great of an angle. The advice I usually see is to sit at least one arm length away from the monitor.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

questamor (653018) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640926)

2ft, or about an arms length is comfortable for me.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640679)

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

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (2, Interesting)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640722)

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.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640814)

The flat screen tvs only look worse because, unless they are playing a DVD, they have to deal with the horrible digital resolution of normal TVs.

I think flat screens are still worse, but a combination of OLEDs and time will fix that. I say OlEDS because they don't have to reflect light, you you can make the pixels much smaller and closer than with LEDs (I think?)

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640888)

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?

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

radish (98371) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641127)

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 no dead pixels, no jitter, no pixel creep and amazing colour reproduction. And it's so bright! Viewable angle is also as good as a CRT.

So I'm sure to check one out if you see it in a store.

Re:LCD Quality (yes, an OT rant) (1)

loosifer (314643) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641162)

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 spending 10 minutes looking at a crt after using LCDs exclusively just hurts my eyes.

Maybe it's that your eyes aren't fucked enough. I know plenty of people who can't tell the difference between a CRT at 60Hz and one at 100Hz, but I can immediately tell if a CRT is below about 85Hz.

Of course, I don't know what you mean by "quality"? Do you mean weight? I hope not, because one of the things I love about LCDs is how light they are. Do you mean depth? Again, I hope not. Do you mean build quality? How could you even compare LCDs and CRTs in that area, considering how different they are?

LCDs on DVI shouldn't require any adjustment at all, but if you use VGA to connect an LCD, you will almost definitely have to screw with the settings. My 1900FP looked like total crap on my Ultra 5 until I spent about three minutes testing a bunch of different settings; true tweaking, as there wasn't really any method to it. I found a setting that looks just as good as DVI, though, and now it looks awesome. The 17" trinitron sitting next to it is basically burning a hole in my skull, even at 85Hz.

I very gladly pay a premium for LCDs; even though I was gifted with two eyes, I don't really think of it as having a "spare", so I try to do everything I can to preserve them.

No more CRTs here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7641227)

I bought an Apple 22" Cinema Display when they were first introduced about 3 years back, after having much experience with high-end CRT displays. So far, that first-generation Cinema Display has sold 14 others like it to people who saw mine. I don't expect to buy another CRT in my remaining lifetime.

TOASTER!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640524)

toaster,toaster toaser, do you have toast in you yet i think []
so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Im not a toaster!!!!!!!!!!And one more
thing........YOUR A TOASER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND A COOKIE WITH MILK SOAGE
MILK!!!!!!!!!!AND A BUTT WITH POOP IN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Optimal Tablet PC (5, Interesting)

patdabiker (710704) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640526)

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.

Re:Optimal Tablet PC (1)

mm0mm (687212) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641152)

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 conventional input devices. Some people prefer to have keyboard even on PDAs. On the other side, there are a lot of laptops that are smaller, more powerful and capable than the smart LCD.

I tried to come up with a senario where a wireless LCD become essential, and I couldn't think of one. It is neither as small as PDAs (and remember PDAs nowadays are powerful), nor as capable as a laptop. History tells that this kind of in-between products rarely make success in the market.

Re:Optimal Tablet PC (2, Informative)

ParadoxDruid (602583) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641216)

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 desktop.
On the other note: I don't even own a binder anymore. All my notes are on my Tablet. It's great. (Heck, some of my books are online, so my backpack is REALLY light)

I only wish My Briefcase was compatible with Linux (or a similar application was available), since my desktop is more often booted into Debian.

But I don't think I could ever go back to a Laptop that wasn't a Tablet-- once you get used to flipping your screen around and having a full size e-book reader, you never want to go back.

Re:Optimal Tablet PC (1)

starfish23 (578233) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641914)

Try using CVS instead of My Briefcase. Cross-platform, and more functionality.


One week the Slashdot editors discover (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640530)

Toms Hardware, the next week they discover ArsTechnica.

Get a clue morons. Do your fucking jobs and find some interesting and/or unique news rather than just leeching common tech sites. The part that bugs me is that you ask a question at the end like some kind of retard to spur discussion and try to make the article relevant. 'When will these things get better?' Who the hell knows? Fuck off.

Re:One week the Slashdot editors discover (-1, Offtopic)

Leroy_Brown242 (683141) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640737)

You know, the alternative is to just not read slashdot. :)

It's always microsofts fault! (0, Troll)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640532)

Because when one thinks of video driver support and lightning fast rendering, obviously they think of X11 running on a linux box.

Know what? It's ViewSonics device, it's up to ViewSonic to sink or swim. Quit making excuses, quit making everything into a "MS= teh sock!" argument.

Besides, CRAMAK GONA FIX IT!!!1!

Friend, you are so right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7642136)

The fucking Apple/Linux zealotry around here by people who have never even used XP makes me want to puke.

which needs more bandwidth (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640538)

Is more bandwidth the key to making these things more palatable?

don't know, but I SURE know that the site needs more bandwidth, it got /.ed after the second post.

BUT... (1)

k.ellsworth (692902) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640544)

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

Re:BUT... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640709)

You really shoudln't be posting to Slashdot. The third grade teacher got that Macintosh so you could play Reader Rabbit, not troll on our forums. Plus I think it's story time with crackers and apple juice. Did you wet your plastic pants AGAIN?

Bad Jokes Ahead! (2, Funny)

DaneelGiskard (222145) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640566)

Compliments to the author for including that "15 inch" reference!

Killer feature: Detachable Monitor (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#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 [] ) have.

Not that I've seen it in action, so who knows how well it actually works.

Re:Killer feature: Detachable Monitor (1)

NotClever (635709) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641245)

Viewsonic has it through the base station. It's my secondary monitor right now...

Re:Killer feature: Detachable Monitor (2, Informative)

orpheus2000 (166384) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641986)

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 of those so I'm a little limited.

All in all though, it's a really slick piece of hardware; good thing I didn't pay for it, my company is having me 'store' it for them. ;-)

Crappy Devices are Built Everyday (3, Insightful)

Valar (167606) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

At the risk of dumping karma... (-1, Offtopic)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640643)

... mod the article into /dev/null. In fact, mod this comment there, too.


To be truely useful (5, Insightful)

BaumSquad (632811) | more than 10 years ago | (#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

Re:To be truely useful (1)

npistentis (694431) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640747)

ALL THE PDA!!! THREE TIMES THE PRICE!!! 20 TIMES THE WEIGHT!!! Its almost like this thing was built in East Germany and held for 15 years...

Re:To be truely useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640831)

But a PDA generally only has a 3-5 inch screen. Personally I would just get a Tablet PC, just run a file server and connect to it for syncing files.

Re:To be truely useful (2, Insightful)

iantri (687643) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641465)

Of course, then it will need one of those beeper things on it -- I'd end up losing my monitor half the time!

Home Hosting (2, Insightful)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640697)

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.

Lord Captain Kirk, Save Us From Evil's Agents! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640699)

The very next time a fundie comes up to you and asks, "are you saved?" share with them this information: Take a letter, one by one from the word Evangelists and it forms two words: Evil's Agents.

Lucky for us we have a God who we can actually SEE. His name is Lord Captain Kirk.

The Captain Kirk Bible comes with remote controlled twitching rubber Spock ears to wear during worship. Lord Captain Kirk defeated or outwitted many Klingons and Romulans. In celebration of Lord Kirk's Godly wonder I offer the following prayer:

"Lord Captain Kirk you gave us your holy prophet Picard to introduce your sacrament of tea earl grey hot. BEHOLD! Before me I have prepared a cup of this tea become present to me in the holy sacrament of the tea earl grey hot - this I command! I do summon, invoke, and command thee O mighty Lord Captain Kirk! Amen Amen."

I hope this is a trend (3, Interesting)

Spytap (143526) | more than 10 years ago | (#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 :)

That was my idea! (5, Funny)

centron (61482) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640711)

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'.

Well we call them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640755)

WIFI enabled laptops now, so you really should have recieved a D- . Chester Gould has already thought about that crap back in the day. Dick Tracy had a wrist TV/Communicator. Make that an F for plagarism.

Re:That was my idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640923)

Ideas are a dime a dozen- make one that works then you can bitch about your mark.

Re:That was my idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7641499)

So you're working for Viewsonic now?

Seriously folks, how expensive can a wireless XTerminal be? We used NCD XTerms back in 1992 with Thinnet or RG58

Re:That was my idea! (1)

E-Rock (84950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7642160)

Typically they are grading the implementation, not the idea.

Use an iBook with RDC (5, Interesting)

Danneskjold (122198) | more than 10 years ago | (#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 . . . )

RDC (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640726)

They must be doing something wrong, because it's normally quite fast [] .

Ahhhh... but then again it's always fun to get an "M$ sux" quippy on the front page. I get it now. Of course if this was some open source software the reviewers would definitely be on crack. Not only that, they'd probably be in Microsoft's pocket and have an evil agenda.

No, that's OK. Don't thank me.

Re:RDC (3, Interesting)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640913)

What is video like on RDC? From some posts here, it sounds like RDC is very nice and fast- except for with video and perhaps flash animation.

I've never used RDC for any real work. Although a co-worker at one of my jobs uses it often. When he is working, he is just using his desktop via RDC. He'll listen to MP3s, web browse and do work in dreamweaver with no problems- I thought it looked pretty damn fast. IIRC it's only a 10 Mbps network too, going from where we work on campus (the helpdesk, woot) to his dorm room. A lot faster than TightVNC or X11 is at home for me, even on a 100 Mbps network.

What do I know about speed- I use a 400 MHz XScale machine as my primary box. I have a linux/win2k file server (can't fit all the MP3s on memory cards!) and occasionally use VNC or X11 to admin/get to some app I can't run on WinCE.

Can I do RDC/terminal services on Win2k without having to find some copy of Win2k terminal server? I know on XP you cna just turn it on, no? What about on 2k?

Re:RDC (1)

spongman (182339) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641014)

Can I do RDC/terminal services on Win2k without having to find some copy of Win2k terminal server?
No, you need either win2k server (then you can use TS in 'admin' mode for free), or XP Pro.

Not for me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7640835)

I have a 15" LCD monitor just like this, with better resolution support and a better video card that supports 3D acceleration. It is so small and light that I can carry this monitor around. It has a built in mouse and keyboard on it, so I don't have to punch LCD screen for input. Everything all in one. Runs Linux. Interested? It is called ThinkPad.

Is it hackable? (1)

enosys (705759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7640922)

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!!?? (2, Insightful)

furiousgeorge (30912) | more than 10 years ago | (#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!

Clunky (1)

vurg (639307) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641005)

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 (2, Interesting)

richardtallent (309050) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641115)

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, 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 console and RDP sessions).

Personally, I thought the review's take on RDP was a little harsh. It's light-years ahead of VNC (which I'm also a fan of but only for cross-platform situations), etc., transparently connects your local printers, USB devices, etc. to the remote machine, and is perfectly usable even over a dialup connection. There's even a freeware third-party utility to transfer small files w/o resorting to FTP, etc. Anyone expecting top-notch multimedia performance over a remote control via wireless is a friggin' moron. You either have to send uncompressed streams (BIG), aggressively recompress (as RDP does, leading to lag and quality loss), or implement fully-functional media playback at the local end (with all of the same codecs, etc.).

Anyway, I use RDP daily, and for general coding and browsing, I often forget that I'm running remotely.

The Achilles Heel for this device, IMHO, is price (I have a beautiful 19" Samsung LCD that was cheaper) and lack of VGA/DVI input (can't use it as a regular monitor). If I'm going to pay that much, I want a fully-functional tablet PC, not just a wirelessly-tethered LCD screen.

Tried, a Looong time ago (2, Informative)

conway (536486) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641325)

This has been done a long time ago (early 90s) by Zenith -- the Zenith Cruisepad []
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 :)

I think they sorta missed the point (1)

sethamin (533611) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641743)

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 point is that everything you do is being rendered/processed on the client side, which should theoretically make the display very lightweight in terms of hardware and therefore cheaper than a laptop. Unfortunately, I think Viewsonic missed the price point they were aiming for. If this thing were cheaper it would rock, as it stands now you might as well buy an inexpensive laptop.

Boneheaded review (1)

SnappleMaster (465729) | more than 10 years ago | (#7641898)

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 what it is and what the limitations are you can get a lot of use out of it. Asking for streaming video over RDP is just not reasonable today.

Glimpse of the Future? (1)

spoonboy42 (146048) | more than 10 years ago | (#7642169)

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 kind of futuristic.

Such a day came for me a long time ago, when I started running a TightVNC [] server on my desktop. I can access it on my laptop. I can access it on my PDA (a little cumbersome on my iPaq's 320x240 screen, though). And, here's the best part, I can access it anywhere, through any java-enabled web browser [] .

VNC, on my home network, is extremely zippy (as in watching DVDs is no problem zippy), and is even entirely useful for web browsing and document editing from far across the Internet. The TightVNC enhancements (integrated JPEG compression, etc.) also make a big difference in maximizing the intelligent use of available bandwidth which, judging by the article, Microsoft's RDC definitely does not. There is, however, one caveat: no integrated audio support. For that, I suppose you'll have to look at the network transparency feature in arts [] .

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