On the back of the player is a camera lens, for the 1.3Mp camera. This may seem low-res in comparison with cameras on most mobiles, and it is, but if you're taking shots to view on the Mintpad itself, or to send to other Mintpad owners, a higher resolution wouldn't be of much benefit. The photos we took looked natural – thanks to good colour rendition in the player – and are fine for everyday snapping.
The relatively low-res 1.3Mp camera is good enough for snapshots
Wireless networking discovers WLANs within range and can handle both WPA and WEP security. Yet, alarmingly, it displays the passcode of any network it connects to on the settings screen, which is a bit of a security blunder.
The device comes in two versions, with 4GB or 20GB of memory, though the 20GB version is the 4GB one with an ‘official Mintpad MicroSD card’ fitted. There’s only around £30 between the two, so the higher-capacity model is better value.
While the much-vaunted Sapphire file transfer software appears as vapourware on the web, loading up the Mintpad with video or audio files is best achieved using the supplied USB cable, which also provides a charging connection all the time you have the Mintpad linked up. The device handles a good range of formats, including AVI, WMV and MPEG 4 on the video side and MP3, WMA, OGG, WAV, APE and FLAC for audio. There's a 12-band graphic equaliser included, as well as 12 presets for different music genres.
While there is an adequate 500mW mono speaker, no headphones are supplied with the device, which is annoying if it's your first player, but does give you the option to carry forward a favourite set or to buy something rather better than the freebie ones often supplied with players in this price range. Using a good set of Sennheiser's, we found sound playback to be lively and bright on pop and rock tracks, but still with sufficient depth to handle orchestral music and spoken word.
The Memo function features a palette for drawing as well as scribbled notes
Video playback is clean, with no noticeable artefacts and battery life, measured at 4hrs 18mins playing looping video, should be good enough for a couple of movies. There’s no conversion app provided to create 320 x 240 versions for the Mintpad, though, so you’ll need third-party software, such as AVS Video Converter, to prepare content.
Kind of cute.
I'm thinking handy for the Korean businessman who wants an interactive crib sheet to remind him who someone is and why knowing them might be useful (with an attached photo). And 4 hours video play is pretty impressive for its size (how thick is it again?)
Just a thought.
wow... CE5 is pretty old, but I guess that gives modern hardware an advantage.
would be interesting to see this with a current version of CE and the IE version from the ZuneHD... most of the touch phones have really lost the PalmPilot ease of use for quickly scribbling down a shopping list or writing some notes on the fly.
Why is showing WEP/WPA passcodes a blunder?
These things aren't like passwords at all - they're shared secrets which are mostly designed to keep people outside the building from accessing your network - if they're on your computer they probably have all the access they need. The WEP ones in particular are stupidly difficult to type if you can't see what you're typing, and if they get stored in your keychain (Ubuntu pointlessness), then you can't get online without either pointlessly typing in your password halfway through the boot process or unsecuring all the rest of your passwords.
Can it play media from networked storage?
According to tech support, "no"
"Internet Explorer, which is supplied as part of Windows CE 5"
Wonder if it would be possible to run the core shell desktop and open this little baby up to PDA apps..?