Internet Appliances That Use Computer Display TechnologyBy Uslan, Mark M.; Dusling, Kevin; Access World, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 40-46
Publication Date: May 2001
Product evaluation of Internet appliances that use computer display technology. Products evaluated are Netpliance's I-Opener, Compaq's iPaq, and eMachines' MSN Companion. Both I-Opener and iPAC tested as being simple to use, streamlined, attractive, portable, easy to set up. Both have small (8 x 6 inches) screens, but the contrast and resolution are good in both. The I-Opener connects online automatically within two minutes, but for the iPAC, the user must call Microsoft and set up an MSN account. Some of the downsides to both are as follows: text enlargement causes text to go offscreen; This means the user must scroll from side to side in order to view the full text; the text size for web pages and e-mail doesn't enlarge to twenty-two point font; the touch mousepad built into the keyboard is only one inch in diameter and frustrating to use; the mouse buttons are on the keyboard, which requires the use of a second hand. MSN Companion is a textbook-size box into which the user plugs the mouse and keyboard. The monitor, which must be purchased separately, is connected as well. Like iPAC, in order to get online the user must first call MSN and sign up for an account. The shortcut keys are hard to see, but they are not really necessary - the tab key can be used to navigate the screen. The instruction manual is organized and easy to understand, and there is a basic training procedure for first-time users that can be skipped by experienced web browsers. The text enlarges to twenty-two point font, and the toolbar is simple to use when navigating. E-mail is simple to use as well. MSN Companion is ultimately recommended by the authors over I-Opener and iPAC.
Published by: AFB Press (Website:http://www.afb.org/Section.asp?SectionID=46)
American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) (Web Site: http://www.afb.org )
Link to text: http://www.afb.org/aw/AW0203toc.asp