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A Second Look, Two Months Later
Itís inevitable. No matter how perfect the product, thereís always something that could stand improvement. Below, youíll find a list of everything Iíve noted over a two month period of using the Pronto. Nothing here is of major consequence, and my recommendation of this unit stands as strongly as before.
First off, Iíd like the ability to include more buttons on each screen without resorting to a custom user interface. This could be accomplished by several means:
Conversely, two of the most used buttons are downright squinchy compared to the rest. The scroll up/down arrows are quite small and awkwardly placed at the edge of the screen, and you find half your finger hitting the plastic bezel as you press them.
- Space efficient fonts. A narrow font would allow the user to place longer descriptions on smaller buttons. Namely, Iíd like the ability to put more than an icon or two characters on the small circular buttons. The software provides the ability to select from 10, 14 (default) and 18 point fonts, but no narrow version is provided.
- Less default white space. The current button placement, while easy to use for folks who arenít used to working on small screens, begins to feel overly roomy once youíre used to the Pronto. ProntoEdit allows you to custom place buttons where ever you like, however this can take serious amounts of time since thereís no automated way to accomplish this system wide.
- Maximized screen usage. Reducing the amount of static real estate the GUI takes up would allow for more buttons, or wider spacing of additional rows.
Interface speed: No, itís not slow, but after a few months of use even a state-of-the-art computer system will begin to feel sluggish. The more you use something the more familiar you become with it -- you already know what happens next and would just prefer it to be done immediately, without the fanfare. With the Pronto Iíd like the ability to toggle the much coveted scrolling animations on and off, or at least improve speed by reducing the number of frames shown. The scrolling of component templates takes a second for each one, so scrolling from screen one to screen four can take four or five seconds to accomplish.
New user designs involving tabbed panels with page jumps are much quicker to draw, however this once again requires a completely custom interface.
Iíd like to see more hard buttons -- perhaps four along the bottom (for example: rewind, stop, play, fast forward); and it would be nice if the channel & volume up/down buttons were larger and more appropriately shaped. One of the now-popular "joystick" menu controls would also be a welcome (and space conscious) addition.
- Daniel Tonks (Remote Central)