The page doesn't look great when it's all there. We've mentioned the dithering, but the colours are still washed out, and the passive matrix nature of the LCD reveals itself in the ghost lines that extend the edges of every box and panel. And in the way the cursor vanishes - 'submarining', it's called - when you move it more quickly than the screen can cope with.
Other browsing niggles include the way the cursor doesn't change when you move it over links, which can be hard to spot on some colour combinations, and a lack of support for media files.
It will play Flash vidoes, sort of, as a trip to YouTube proved. But the frame rate's less than one a second. The dithering makes movies unwatchable in any case.
There's no local storage, but you can access files kept in online repositories. If you think the 2R lacks gadgetry, it does have GPS on board, but by Datawind's own admission, it's not a state-of-the-art unit and it won't work indoors. But even in the back garden of our North London flat, it put us in the middle of the Thames...
It lights up!
The 2R's battery life isn't anything to shout about, either. From a full charge, we got around four hours' near continuous usage out of it, so your looking a one or two days between charges. It has a mini USB port for charging. The connector sits beneath a rubber cover that we couldn't to go back on a lay flat no matter how hard we tried.
And that's the problem, really: the hardware's so darned shoddy. Offering consumers a very low cost way to access the net on the move is a good thing, and by and large the GPRS link works. It's not for speed freaks, but it's fine for email and usable for casual browsing. Datawind gets a thumbs up for this.
And then loses it for the hardware. The build quality feels poor, and the materials don't give us confidence in the gadget's robustness. It doesn't seem fragile, just - yes - cheap.
Techies will hate the PocketSurfer 2R. It's too slow, there's no Wi-Fi, the screen's awful and the build quality leaves a lot to be desired, they'll say. But get past the early 1990s looks - and the early 1990s technology - and you have a gadget that makes accessing email easy. And very cheap.
More Mobile Internet Devices...
Sierra Compass 885
Datawind PocketSurfer 2R internet palmtop
I can Echo "Ghastly"...
I used one for a few days that came as from our IT supplier with some phones to test. Cheap tat is the best compliment I can pay it. Some may argue so are most mobile phones, but at least you GET a mobile phone too!
Severley limited even for it's limited application, and rubbish to boot.
Re: I have one
"much better than a WAP phone" WAP? Who even remembers that? It sounds like it isn't even as good as a high end phone with a decent browser. For only slightly more than that ridiculous 200 quid price tag you can get a Netbook for a fast full internet experience on a larger screen.
It attempts to fill a non existent niche between phone and SCC and is a complete fail. It looks like the sort of tat you get in one of those gift catalogues that keep falling out of magazines at this time of the year.
"I think 200 quid's cheap for a gadget"
I wish I did! It depends on the gadget, I suppose - it's not excessive for a Wii or a Netbook, but it seems an awful lot for something so crappy.
Everything about it is great but does it work?
Screen display is terrible, color limitations awesomely painful, download times make a 28.8 kbs modem look surprisingly swift.
On the other hand the case is swell, keyboard neatly functional.
Yes, I think 200 quid's cheap for a gadget - well below, after inflation, the £75 I paid for my first Walkman back in 1984.