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Old 02-19-2011, 12:57 PM   #2
borisb
Edge User
 
1. The webcam works, although the quality is relatively low. The built in camera app works fine with it, but users report that it currently doesn't work well with most other apps. Users have been able to make video chat calls, though (possibly with the Fring app?).

2. You can certainly type, although you're using an on-screen keyboard. Easier than a small smartphone, and useable for a few sentences, but painful for anything more. A compact external keyboard transforms the eDGe into a useable document editor. Of course, the screen is only about 7"...

3. As a rule, the eDGes have no problems rendering PDFs. However, the PE eink screen is only 6", effectively about 1/4 the real estate of an 8.5x11" printed page. Print one of your PDF pages and then use a photo copier to copy it to 33% size, and you'll get a sense of how it will look on the PDF. Both eDGe models currently do not pan & zoom easily (i.e., they're a pain to use). If your PDF is single column text, it will probably work well in PDF Reflow mode (which basically displays the text in a single standard font which displays as much text on the 6" screen as can be displayed, much like an EPUB). If the PDF is not DRM-protected, you're correct you can open it instead on the LCD side, where you can pan & zoom much more easily, and you can also rotate the display 90 degrees to read it in landscape mode. Note that on the PE, PDF annotation is not going to be practical. As for Word/ODF files, those you can only read on the LCD side - you'd have to convert them to PDF or EPUB to read them on the eInk side.

4. No idea. enTourage hasn't whispered in the slightest regarding this nor have there been any Internet rumours/leaks that anyone has reported here. If they're going to release another model, it'll hopefully use newer hardware. They promised 3G on the eDGe last year, and rumours were the PE would have a 3G model (indeed the PE has an actual SIM card slot), but neither 3G model has seen the light of day. Are you familiar with the term "cannibalize sales"? It's a phenomenon that occurs when a company pre-announces a new product and sales of the existing product immediately drop to near zero until the new product hits the shelves. Because of this, enTourage no doubt will try to prevent any leaks until a week or so before the product launches so as to maintain a continuous level of sales. In other words, don't expect to find out about any new product until it actually launches. That being said, I think it's reasonable to expect some new model somewhere in the second half of the year given the PE was launched in November and the EE was launch a year ago in February.

5. In general, 480p video works well enough on the eDGe. Any higher quality either doesn't play at all, or doesn't play well. The rule of thumb I'd suggest is to convert files to "iPod/iPhone" format as these seem to play consistently well.

6. No. I tried.

7. Yes. I do this often. One key thing to "multitasking" on the eDGe (and perhaps any Android device), is to use the Home button to get back to the home screen to launch a second app rather than the Back button, as the Back button in apps sometimes kills the app, whereas the Home button will leave the app running.

8. For the PE with LCD on all the time and wifi, you're looking at about 6 hours battery life. If you cut wifi when you don't need it, and close the eDGe, putting it into Sleep mode, when you don't need to use it, you'll get 8-12 hours, but ultimately still only 6 hours of active use (i.e., spread over 8-12 hours of on/off usage). It charges pretty fast, though, in 1-2 hours.

Regarding EE vs PE, I use the following question: how important is reading and annotating PDFs? The more important the PDF usage, the more you have no choice but the EE.

Last edited by borisb; 02-19-2011 at 01:11 PM.