Seeking An Electronic Web Device
February 17, 2007 9:28 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for a PDA or electronic device used primarily for accessing the web through WIFI. The bigger the screen the better. If possible I would want this device to be able to read JAVA. When traveling, I find my computer is a bit bulky to use quickly as a web device. Thanks
posted by Mckoan1 to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
It's a bit small, but my PSP is an excellent device for airports and the like -- when I have a little time and I want to surf the web, check my email, or even log into a server and restart a service.
posted by thanotopsis at 9:57 AM on February 17, 2007

There will be a class of devices that is good for this "not quite a computer" tasks in the future. But the pickings are slim right now. Microsoft's UMPC platform is probably the closest to what you want. Fully a computer, but instant on, large enough screen to be useful, < 2 lbs, etc. br>
I hope to god that Apple will release a phoneless-iPhone device with a 7" screen. I would buy that in a second.
posted by zpousman at 10:00 AM on February 17, 2007

I use a Palm TX. I check my email easily, and the built-in web browser is surprisingly usable if the font sze is decreased and I turn of style sheets. If you're looking for a PDA that supports JAVA applets in webpages I don't think you'll find anything, however. Palm does support java runtime environments, but it's not the same functionality.
posted by monkeymadness at 10:10 AM on February 17, 2007

The new Nokia N800 appears to be closest to what you want right now. I have a Palm TX. It has Wifi and does work quite well as a wireless browser. However, it's screen isn't as good as the Nokia's and it can do neither flash nor java (as far as I know).
posted by bonehead at 10:18 AM on February 17, 2007

Stay away from Microsoft's attempts at mobile devices. IME, they are horrific. I LOVE my Blackberry and the connection's pretty fast, but the screen might be a bit small if you're looking for the full web experience rather than mainly email. Japanese sites might be the way to go here -- although on the pricey side, they're better at these mobile gadgets. Check out, which revamps Japanese products for American markets.
posted by walla at 10:33 AM on February 17, 2007

OQO makes some pretty badass-looking palmtop PCs.
posted by jtfowl0 at 10:39 AM on February 17, 2007

I second a vote for dynamism as a place to look. I have dealt with them in the past and they are great folks.
posted by PugAchev at 10:40 AM on February 17, 2007

Pepper Pad 3. Built-in zero administration software based on Firefox 1.5 and Java. 800x480 touchscreen, 20GB drive... tons of features. I've been a very satisfied customer for a while now.

And yes it supports Java applets too, as well as Flash.
posted by chuma at 10:44 AM on February 17, 2007

The nokia tablet appearantly doesn't support Java (at least not officially) and it sounds like the DHTML/Javascript support of the browser leaves a bit to be desired when viewing Ajaxy sites.

On the other hand, as others have noted, the web experience in this form factor is currently patchy or spendy. At least the nokia has a nice wide screen.
posted by Good Brain at 11:55 AM on February 17, 2007

If you want style and sophistication, check out Apple's iPhone. Sure, it's not cheap, but it's definitely something to at least consider. It's not coming out for another few months though.
posted by Aanidaani at 12:53 PM on February 17, 2007

I'm gonna recommend the Fujitsu Lifebook P1610. It's bigger than a PDA, but smaller than most laptops (in fact, you can fit two of them into most laptop bags), and it runs full WinXP. Also, it's a convertible tablet with a touch-screen and handwriting recognition.
posted by kindall at 1:07 PM on February 17, 2007

Also, the Fujitsu doesn't have that wimpy 800x600 resolution like the UMPC (Origami) form-factor, it's a full 1280x768.
posted by kindall at 1:10 PM on February 17, 2007

See the PDF. Linux 2.6.
posted by intermod at 7:54 PM on February 17, 2007

The Pad 3 runs a modified Fedora Core 4 based distribution, and the Pepper Keeper software as an environment.
posted by chuma at 7:23 AM on February 19, 2007

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