Your Universal Remote Control Center
RemoteCentral.com
Philips iPronto Forum - View Post
Previous section Next section Previous page Next page Up level
Up level
The following page was printed from RemoteCentral.com:

Login:
Pass:
 
 

Page 1 of 2
Topic:
Another competitor has anyone seen this?
This thread has 15 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Sunday December 22, 2002 at 14:14
perrin21
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
December 2002
27
Hi there, has anyone seen this controller, it seems to be around the same price as the Ipronto but is available now. check out the Web pad @ www.symfony.co.uk

looks great, the future is bright the future is touchscreen.

Mark Perrin
Post 2 made on Sunday December 22, 2002 at 16:27
Nicholas
Founding Member
Joined:
Posts:
August 2001
187
Sure looks like the iPronto. Probably is one.

Post 3 made on Sunday December 22, 2002 at 18:02
jswamy
Founding Member
Joined:
Posts:
January 2002
10
On 12/22/02 14:14, perrin21 said...
Hi there, has anyone seen this controller, it
seems to be around the same price as the Ipronto
but is available now. check out the Web pad @
www.symfony.co.uk

looks great, the future is bright the future is
touchscreen.

Mark Perrin
Post 4 made on Sunday December 22, 2002 at 18:05
jswamy
Founding Member
Joined:
Posts:
January 2002
10

Whole siteNewsAudioCamerasCommunicationsComputersGadgetsTransportVisual



















Frevo
Remote Central
Hi-Fi Choice
Home Entertainment
T3 Indonesia
T3 Czech Republic
The Eden Project


Symfony WebPAD
Reformat for printing
Email this page


Can a head start help the Symfony WebPAD see off Microsoft's Mira this Christmas?

Microsoft's Mira may well have stolen the thunder on wireless roaming monitors, but it's a small British company that got there first. While Philips and ViewSonic's models won't be available until Christmas at best, you can get your hands on a WebPAD (featured in our ultimate World Cup set-up on page 62) from Buckinghamshire-based Symfony right now. The big question is, can the WebPAL fully deliver the dream of a wireless home now rather than seven months down the line?

On first appearances, it looks like a rather industrial beast, more at home on a factory or shop floor than nestling between the cushions on your sofa. Closer inspection backs this up, the black rubberised grips on either side of the screen protecting the silky textured silver finish from grubby hands. Pick it up and switch it on, though, and the WebPAD suddenly comes into its element.

The technology that the WebPAL works on is surprisingly simple. First, hook your PC (there's no Mac compatibility as yet) up to Symfony's bundled Access Point, a wireless LAN transmitter and receiver that works
over a high-speed 2.4GHz radio band known as Wi-Fi. Next, in theory, you use Microsoft's RDP software to remotely access your PC, and your Windows desktop suddenly flashes up on the WebPAD. The WebPAD, which runs Windows CE in the background, should work happily with Windows 9x, Me, 2000 and XP. However, trying to set it up on Windows 98 proved so tricky that we gave up and eventually used XP, which worked a treat.

Once you've got a connection with your PC, you're free to up and go, playing music from your hard disk out of the WebPAD's built-in speakers, running a slide show of photos from your PC on your sofa and - best of all - browsing the Web wherever you want. The last, of course, is going to be the WebPAD's main use, as the stylus - your primary way of interacting with the unit - lends itself naturally to surfing sessions. Typing is possible, though, as there's both handwriting recognition and a soft keyboard that you can pop up via the taskbar and - very usefully - a shortcut button on the WebPAD itself. Although the keyboard works fine with the stylus, the unchangeable key size is just a crucial bit too small to use your fingers (unless you're, say, eight years old).

So far, so good. But it's when you begin to examine the WebPAD's build quality that it starts to come unstuck. Although the screen's picture quality is sharp and chirpily bright, it doesn't deal well with reflected light indoors. Expose it to natural sunlight and you'd be forgiven for thinking you're looking at a mirror rather than a LCD - there goes the vision of playing with your PC in the garden.

Even when working inside, there are still problems. The first is the WebPAD's 1.1kg weight, which, although half that of an ultra-portable laptop, is still enough to cause dead-arm syndrome after an hour's use. The second is that it heats up to an inexplicably high temperature after several hours of use - an issue that needs to be resolved if Symfony is to mass-market the WebPAD. Then there's the WebPAD's less-than-spectacular battery life, which, at around an hour and a half, is going to need topping up regularly.

These gripes aside, using the WebPAD and accessing your desktop remotely is really something of an insight into the future of home computing. Sure, the WebPAD's design could be sexier, the price tag is too high and yes, there are some technical problems, such as the fact that Wi-Fi - at a data transfer rate of 11bps - isn't fast enough to port games or DVD across the radio waves. Today. Not tomorrow or eight months down the line. At the moment, accessing your PC remotely is about all you can do with the WebPAD. In the coming year, Symfony plans to offer various software add-ons which will enable it to use its infrared port and start achieving those ambitions of becoming a universal control for the home.


Reviewed in T3
Issue Number 73


Original price: £1395
Company: Symfony
Contact: 01296 640715
Website: www.symfony.co.uk




«prev next»
2 images
Click to enlarge




8.4-inch 800 x 600 active matrix TFT with 4-wire resistive touch (10-inch also available), Windows CE 3.0 OS, 300MHz National Semiconductor Geode GX1, 64MB SDRAM, internal 32MB flash memory, built-in speaker and microphone, CompactFlash slot, dimensions: 244 x 201 x 28mm, weight: 1.1kg



It's not brilliantly built, but this is, enticingly, the only working wireless monitor available today, and not a bad one at that








HOME | NEWS | AUDIO | CAMERAS | COMMUNICATIONS | COMPUTERS | GADGETS | TRANSPORT | VISUAL |
COMPARE PRICES | BID BUY SELL | OUR STAFF |

Copyright 2002 Future Publishing Ltd.
Post 5 made on Monday December 23, 2002 at 00:08
Anthony
Ultimate Member
Joined:
Posts:
May 2001
27,006
it does not talk about an IR emitter. also

you use Microsoft's RDP software to remotely access your PC, and your Windows desktop suddenly flashes up on the WebPAD.

so it is not a remote control like the ipronto, but PC control software and a laptop. So it is only useful for HTPCs and stuff. you would still need a way to control the rest of the equipment
...
OP | Post 6 made on Monday December 23, 2002 at 17:09
perrin21
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
December 2002
27
the webpad doesn't have one, quite a major downer. Also there is no way of home customising the user interface, its all done by symfony. After a lengthy telephone conversation about this with them this put me off.

Still waiting for my ideal.

Mark
OP | Post 7 made on Tuesday December 24, 2002 at 15:57
perrin21
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
December 2002
27
the webpad is now available in a 10in guise for only £1434 not bad value compared to the Ipronto.

2003 will be the year of home automation, i can see more tablets becoming available lets hope Philips reacts accordingly with a better model.

Preferable lower price
mark
Post 8 made on Friday December 27, 2002 at 18:17
Tony H
Founding Member
Joined:
Posts:
August 2001
13
Any of the upcoming wireless Windows CE 3.0 or Windows XP Tablet machines that are released this year will be able to run Microsoft RDP, which is software that allows you to control a seprate Windows machine. ViewSonic describes it has being a "remote monitor". Just configure the desktop machine with an IR hardware device, like the Nirvis Systems Slink-e ([Link: nirvis.com]), or ([Link: smarthome.com]) SmartHome's PC to Ir Linc, and control it through the tablet device.

This gives you the option of picking which tablet you want, which IR hardware and software you want, and has the benefit of wireless networking over simple IR so your tablet can be anywhere in the network's range.

Pretty cool. Not that the iPronto won't be cool too.
Post 9 made on Monday December 30, 2002 at 16:38
Tom Luczywo
Founding Member
Joined:
Posts:
November 2001
88
You are comparing a "webtablet" to an iPronto. There is a big difference. The Symfony webtablet is more of a laptop pc device designed to run symfony software, which is part of an expandable control system. iPronto is designed to be ONLY a websurfing device, with Pronto software. The Symfony's screen is of higher resolution, and there are big differences in many other areas also. Synfony's webtablet is more money, but brings much more to the table as far as capability, and build. No real comparison there.

On 12/22/02 14:14, perrin21 said...
Hi there, has anyone seen this controller, it
seems to be around the same price as the Ipronto
but is available now. check out the Web pad @
www.symfony.co.uk

looks great, the future is bright the future is
touchscreen.

Mark Perrin
Post 10 made on Tuesday December 31, 2002 at 10:09
AJF
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
November 2002
195
That looks like a Coraccess Mobile Companion:
[Link: coraccess.com]
Post 11 made on Tuesday December 31, 2002 at 15:17
Daniel Tonks
Wrangler of Remotes
Joined:
Posts:
October 1998
27,828
Web tablets look like... web tablets. A screen with a frame.
Post 12 made on Tuesday December 31, 2002 at 15:19
Anthony
Ultimate Member
Joined:
Posts:
May 2001
27,006
:-)
...
Post 13 made on Tuesday December 31, 2002 at 19:11
AJF
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
November 2002
195
No, I mean it looks like the EXACT tablet that Symfony is using.
Post 14 made on Tuesday December 31, 2002 at 19:40
Daniel Tonks
Wrangler of Remotes
Joined:
Posts:
October 1998
27,828
Yeah, it does look pretty identical.
OP | Post 15 made on Wednesday January 1, 2003 at 11:42
perrin21
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
December 2002
27
I am unsure who will purchase the Ipronto with its current limited application. For the money its not far away from the much more compex Tablet pc's that can do so much more better. I wonder if Philips would consider releasing its fantastic pronto software for use on one of these tablets running XP tablet edition. The only main thing putting me off a tablet is the lack of instant infra red. I would be frustrated in having to wait a second or two after pressing the desired button for the action to commence. This would make channel surfing on my TV a bit slow (An Ipronto strongpoint). I want one device that does both things, a high powered computer with the sophistication of an ever upgradeable system controler, it must also be able to run microsofts RDP software as a remote screen via 802.11b. The more i look at the symfony the more i think of it as a tablet with clever software, there are much higher specced tablets available that could run the same software, this seems like the route i will have to take.

Sorry to drone on.

Very excited and money is burning the preverbial hole, but it must be the right choice.

£1699 for a remote that can only surf the web at 640X480 seems like poor value for money. My ipaq can do all this for under £200 three times the size should be three times the price.

And the pronto software for the ipaq cost me £10 the infra red plugin is only £35 for 99% of the versitality of the pronto pro and the ablilty to surf the web and take dictation aswell as play MP3's and display photo's at higher resolution.

I used to manage a hifi store and the margin on Philips Pronto's was 47.5%. More than the 10% on an Ipaq.

I think you can all understand what i am saying even if i have written it poorly.

Mark
Page 1 of 2


Jump to


Protected Feature Before you can reply to a message...
You must first register for a Remote Central user account - it's fast and free! Or, if you already have an account, please login now.

Please read the following: Unsolicited commercial advertisements are absolutely not permitted on this forum. Other private buy & sell messages should be posted to our Marketplace. For information on how to advertise your service or product click here. Remote Central reserves the right to remove or modify any post that is deemed inappropriate.

Hosting Services by ipHouse