Feeds

Datawind PocketSurfer 2 handheld web browser

Mobile internet for free - or just like the proverbial lunch?

Reducing security risks from open source software

Datawind also promises the PocketSurfer 2 delivers a "real, desktop web experience", which might sound impossible when you consider the size of the device and that it connects via GPRS. GPRS was chosen because it's cheaper and less power-hungry than 3G, and it's miniscule bandwidth is rendered - Datawind claims - irrelevant by its server technology.

Datawind PocketSurfer 2
Datawind's PocketSurfer 2: where do you want to glow today?

Essentially, any website viewed on the PocketSurfer 2 is first stored on Datawind's server then crunched to allow as little data as possible to be send over to the device. That makes it fast and keeps Datawind's data costs down, making for a cost-saving it passes on to the buyer in the form of the 'free' web access.

Of course, that makes it cheap, but it also means the device has no life beyond Datawind UK. The company will allow you to roam with it, but that costs extra and last night it wasn't saying how much roaming will cost.

So how well does the PocketSurfer 2 perform?

Ahead of a full review, coming in due course, we give the PocketSurfer 2 a quick spin. Page loading speeds depend largely on what Datawind's server has cached. Sites the company has been demo'ing, like the BBC, the Financial Times, Google and so on are indeed very fast - much quicker than we've seen on other GPRS-connected handhelds. Sites loaded for the first time, such as our own, aren't so rapid and, we found, presented highly-dithered images.

Datawind PocketSurfer 2
Datawind's PocketSurfer 2: skinny

In part, that's due to the PocketSurfer's screen-quality, which isn't the best we've seen by a very long chalk. Its brightness and contrast are adjustable, but it lacks verve - the colours are pale, the backlight weedy. But it's also the transmission process. That said, some of the images did refresh later with better quality versions, suggesting Datawind sends out better pictures once the page has loaded.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.