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Comments on: Acer s10 Review

It may come as a surprise to many readers that Acer makes a Palm OS handheld. The reason it is so little known is it's available only in China. However, someone who is really persistent can usually get one. In this select group is Pepper, who brings this review of the Acer s10.
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Chinese Character Readability

jjsoh @ 7/15/2002 11:24:08 AM #
Interesting review.

Though I hate to bring up the issue of low resolution vs. high resolution, how readable are the Chinese characters on a low res (160x160) screen?

I have a Palm m505 and I attempted to install a program which allowed me to view Korean fonts, and they looked horrible, IMHO. And being that Chinese has more strokes per character in general, I would think it wouldn't be very pleasing to the eye.

Now, having witnessed Japanese fonts on a CLIÉ, I can see that high resolution would definitely do Chinese, or even Korean for that matter, justice. I cannot say the same for low resolution. Would anyone like to add anything about their first hand experience with CJK on a low res Palm OS screen?


Jim

RE: Chinese Character Readability
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 12:07:57 PM #
Not too bad!
I have been using Chinese since my PalmPilot Professional. The 12x12 fonts look quite good. Even the 10x12 fonts are readable, especially for simplified Chinese. The traditional Chinese doen't look as good but still useful.

RE: Chinese Character Readability
mikeliu @ 7/15/2002 12:10:47 PM #
In my opinion\experience CJK on low-resolution is borderline unuseable. The characters are horribly pixelated, really very hard to tell what you're reading. I'm sure that this was the main reason behind Sony's development of hi-res in the first place, and accounts for a large part of the lackluster sales of all low-res devices and the Clie's domination of the Palm OS marketplace.

RE: Chinese Character Readability
mikeliu @ 7/15/2002 12:13:06 PM #
Let me amend my previous post. When I said "Clie's domination of the Palm OS marketplace" I meant "Clie's domination of the Palm OS marketplace in Japan."

RE: Chinese Character Readability
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 12:50:38 PM #
Mmmmm, I use CJKOS and 10x10 traditional Chinese on my TRGpro -- one of the worst screen in PDA world. However, Chinese character is OK for me, at least I use that configuration for more than 15 months and found that's not a problem for me.

wait for OS 5

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 11:54:58 AM #
Though this is probably one of the nicer Palm OS currently out price/feature-wise, it's probably best to wait for OS 5 at this point. I'm sure the lowest end OS 5 devices will have the same MP3 recording/playback features, plus they'll be hi-res and use SD instead of Memory Stick.

Also, I doubt there is much in the sense of keyboards or other expansions for this. BTW, I thought you could get a version of this that has and English-only ROM.

Anyhow, it's too bad a unit like this never made it to the US. It would have sold well with a nice combination of features and battery life.

RE: wait for OS 5
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 12:12:09 PM #
If it's anything like their PC's were, it will suck, big time.
RE: wait for OS 5
mikeliu @ 7/15/2002 12:15:43 PM #
"I'm sure the lowest end OS 5 devices will have the same MP3 recording/playback features, plus they'll be hi-res and use SD instead of Memory Stick."

Heh some of us like our cheaper, non-Digital Right Management impaired (read: use impaired) memory sticks better than SD.

Not to start a flame war or anything. =) Just know that you have your views, and other people have theirs too, what's a benefit to you might not necessarily be a benefit for other people....

(though off hand I'm not even quite sure why so many people here seem so rabidly pro-SD. It too is a proprietary format, just controlled by Matsushita instead of Sony. I susepct it's just because Palm endorses it and not Sony....)

RE: wait for OS 5
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 12:22:44 PM #
"If it's anything like their PC's were, it will suck, big time."

I wouldn't be so sure. I do remember reading that their tech support is horrid... but I've never had to use it. I've purchased two computers from Acer in the past: a Pentium 100MHz desktop and a Pentium MMX 133MHz laptop. Both are quite old now (obviously), but they run like a charm (bearing in mind that I use software appropriate to their resources - I'm not running WinXP or anything). And yes, I did use and abuse my systems quite a bit (my wife uses both of them now).

I know that when I would look at PC Magazine or PC World's annual reviews of computing companies, Acer always fell somewhere near the bottom of the list. For the life of me, I could never understand why - my computers always performed wonderfully.

So, who knows, perhaps an Acer handheld might work well. Hopefully any Asian PIC readers out there will chime in with their 2 cents after they've had one for a while.

RE: wait for OS 5
iain.collins @ 7/15/2002 12:25:20 PM #
I posted earlier today on why Memory Sticks are bad for consumers (I've also done this in the past).
http://www.palminfocenter.com/view_Story.asp?ID=3832&MODE=FLAT#56211

I own an NR70V and don't like the fact that it uses a memory stick (I much prefer the SD standard, as my m500 supports).

It's very simple why.

Your statment is not correct - SD is not a propriatory standard in any way comparible to Memory Stick. The standard is not contolled by any one member company (contrary to what you state), rather by the SD Association which anyone with only 4,000 USD (payable to the SDA - not Panasonic nor SanDisk nor Toshiba who pinoneed the standard) can join and vote on all the issues.

Around 17 companies are on the board to and steer it's denstiny, and over 450 member companies vote on issues surrounding the technology and it's future. The SD format has had very broad industry support and participation in it's creation.

This is very much not the case with MS which is entirely controlled and trademarked by Sony and who control the trademark and licensing personally and created the format and shape it's future without industry consultation or discussion. Sony created the Memory Stick format entirely for it's own means, as they have a history of doing. (See my post for why this is bad.)

The confusion some people seem to have around the differences between formats like SD and MS are important and should be understood if we are to avoid total subsurviance to DRM enabled products.


RE: wait for OS 5
mikeliu @ 7/15/2002 12:29:53 PM #
sorry to amend my post again. But control of the SD format is actually jointly held between Matsushita, Toshiba and Sandisk.

RE: wait for OS 5
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 12:37:17 PM #
> some of us like our cheaper, non-Digital Right Management
> impaired (read: use impaired) memory sticks better than SD.

Then buy a MultiMedia Card.

> It too is a proprietary format, just controlled by Matsushita instead
> of Sony. I susepct it's just because Palm endorses it and not Sony....

Palm is a member of the body that sets the standards for SD (along with many other companies) and played a major role in SDIO. Call SD proprietary if you want because it is owned by a small group of companies, but I think you'll find that nearly all modern formats/interfaces/etc. are proprietary then. The SD Card Association accepts and even expects industry input on its standards, Sony does not.

RE: wait for OS 5
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 12:58:46 PM #
> If it's anything like their PC's were, it will suck, big time.

I mean OS 5 devices in general, not necessarily an Acer one.

RE: wait for OS 5
Beavis @ 7/15/2002 1:04:20 PM #
..."Acer always fell somewhere near the bottom of the list. For the life of me, I could never understand why - my computers always performed wonderfully."

Yours probably slipped thru quality control without someone making sure it would break shortly after purchase.

RE: wait for OS 5
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 5:26:02 PM #
"Palm is a member of the body that sets the standards for SD (along with many other companies) and played a major role in SDIO. Call SD proprietary if you want because it is owned by a small group of companies, but I think you'll find that nearly all modern formats/interfaces/etc. are proprietary then. The SD Card Association accepts and even expects industry input on its standards, Sony does not. "

Yes Palm is a member, basically iy's like hay palm you are a member now, you could submit whatever changes to the spec you like, but hay you need to go through all the executive commitees in order to change it, and majority of those are from the 3 founding companies.

And about the industry input bull****, that's just research and development, Sony also needs to get input like what do you need from other people in order to make a product that could be used by other human beings. if sony keeps making things that ppl don't need they know better what will happen to themselves,

RE: wait for OS 5
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 6:26:06 PM #
Palm is an SD Card Association board member, on all the executive committees it wants to be. You have absolutely no clue what you are talking about.
RE: wait for OS 5
mikeliu @ 7/16/2002 2:03:02 AM #
Heh the fact remains though that when you go SD instead of Memory Stick you're paying more per megabyte for a format that doesn't let you use it in as many ways as you want to (ie DRM impaired). With regards to the comment about going MMC, MultiMediaCard is a dead standard I do believe. The biggest card is 64MB if I'm not mistaken, and substantially slower than both MS and SD.

Even for people who don't care about practicality vs. idealism, and just want to support the side that they like better, the SD cards are digital right impaired! If those catch on in a big way then things get a lot suckier for all of us. As opposed to if Sony wins, we all end up with....what?...uhh another 3.5 inch floppy drive?

I'm just not quite sure what drives most of you SD card cheerleaders, besides the belief that Palm can do no wrong and that Sony is the devil.......so yeah, to bring this back on topic, SD wouldn't be considred an advantage to a lot of people vs. MS.....

RE: wait for OS 5
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/16/2002 2:20:41 AM #
Just a quick note, I have a 128MB MultiMedia Card, and that's the current max.
RE: wait for OS 5
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/16/2002 3:02:04 AM #
LoL if you people are so concerned about proprietary stuff, you might as well switch to EPOC, because EPOC is controlled by a group of companies (so according to your definition that's a standard no proprietary OS) unlike Palm OS, palmsource has complete control over so Palm OS is proprietary.

Talk about people with double standard.

RE: wait for OS 5
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/16/2002 10:23:42 AM #
> SD cards are digital right impaired!

There is nothing impairing about SDMI support on an SD card in and of itself. If you don't want to use SDMI content, don't. If you don't like the way a device handles/requires SDMI, don't buy it. I don't plan to. The fact that SD cards support SDMI, doesn't prevent you from using the card however you want. Sony is a huge supporter of SDMI, so your point is pretty lost here. As far as I know, all of the major card formats (MMC and CF included) have plans to, if they aren't already, support SDMI content. Does Sony pay you to post their FUD here?

Not only in China, but at Pan Asia, & Europe

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 11:42:24 AM #
The selling area is not only at China, but also pan Asia & Europe,
and the OS language version is Trandictional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, English version.

The great function in Chinese version is the dictionaly (both Chinese to English and English to Chinese), you can easy to launch the dictionary under the e-book reader by tap the hot button on the Graffiti area or touch the english vocabulary in the text by stylus for more then 1 second, then the dictionary will be launched automatically, this feather can be customized by other application such as e-mail or web browser that some 3rd party software vender in Taiwan had implemented for s10.

RE: Not only in China, but at Pan Asia, & Europe
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 2:57:01 PM #
Doesn't sound like the Chinese to English dictionary works all that great.
RE: Not only in China, but at Pan Asia, & Europe
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/6/2002 7:14:45 PM #
No need to be nasty.
RE: Not only in China, but at Pan Asia, & Europe
oulan @ 10/31/2002 5:23:05 PM #
Where can I buy an Acer s10 (simplified chinese version) in the Netherlands?

how much does it cost in chinese dollars?

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 1:25:26 PM #
how much does it cost in chinese dollars?
ouch!
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 1:26:27 PM #
too expensive!
RE: how much does it cost in chinese dollars?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 2:17:18 PM #
The stree price for Traditional Chinese version in Taiwan is around NT$8000 or US$240.
RE: how much does it cost in chinese dollars?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 9:13:53 PM #
About 2900 Chinese Yuan.
RE: how much does it cost in chinese dollars?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 9:48:04 PM #
>>too expensive?

What is the ideal price in your mind?
NT.8000 is low enough to beat all the black and white
PalmOS device in the market.

RE: how much does it cost in chinese dollars?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/16/2002 9:14:51 AM #
In China there's actually a Palm OS compatible unit that doesn't come with Palm OS to save on the license fees. It comes with instructions on how to flash your own Palm OS ROM into the unit.

RE: how much does it cost in chinese dollars?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/16/2002 12:04:58 PM #
>In China there's actually a Palm OS compatible unit
>that doesn't come with Palm OS to save on the
>license fees. It comes with instructions on how to
>flash your own Palm OS ROM into the unit.

Yeah, so what?
It is illegal after all.

RE: how much does it cost in chinese dollars?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/16/2002 12:26:39 PM #
what's the topic of this? how much is what? I was wondering if ROM flashing is possible, I have a Palm with Chinese CE, but I prefer it in English, what do I do? It was given to me :(

Better Mp3 than Sony

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 1:55:36 PM #
"You can REARRANGE the tracks from the play list and exclude certain tracks."

Sounds better than player software that Sony made, what reason could they possibly have for not making the playlist rearrangeable?

RE: Better Mp3 than Sony
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/16/2002 10:46:03 AM #
Can sony clies run the audio box software?? if so... where do u get it?

Chinese input?

digilaw @ 7/15/2002 2:14:35 PM #
Ed, I assume that you are not literate in Chinese :). However, the big question is how is the Chinese input performance? Does it accept both simplified and traditional? Cursive or "grass hand"? Or does it use pinyin? Can anyone who has one of these and is literate in Chinese shed some light on this?

RE: Chinese input?
matika @ 7/15/2002 10:12:25 PM #
Here is the Chinse input that s10 series provide.

Simpledfied Chinese version-
1.Full-screen Chinese character handwriting recognition.
2.Pin-yin input

Traditional Chinese version-
1.Full-screen Chinese character handwriting recognition.
2.Phonetic input
3.chingji

Regards

Matika

RE: Chinese input?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/16/2002 8:32:10 AM #
How is the Chinese recognition? I've used a system for PalmOS before, and it could be pretty hit-or-miss. I think I would probably end up using the pinyin for most tasks.

Also, when entering text in pinyin, will it smart-revise text like the MS-Pinyin in Win2K, or do you have to pick from a set of characters and be very careful?

Thomas Wilburn

RE: Chinese input?
seadino @ 7/16/2002 11:54:34 AM #
I use the software provided by palmaster, and I think it's quite good. Recognises my writing most of the time. It came with my Palm when I purchased it in Asia. I'm not too sure how good its simplified text recognition is, but it should be just as good. I think you can check out their website http://www.palmaster.com.tw

flip cover?

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 2:15:52 PM #
A picture of the flip cover would be nice.
RE: flip cover?
matika @ 7/15/2002 10:07:05 PM #
RE: flip cover?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 10:40:42 PM #
Wow, it looks nice. Thanks for the link.

Any other PalmOS device have voice record direct to mp3?

eKennedy @ 7/15/2002 2:48:16 PM #
A friend of mine has been looking for a voice to mp3 recorder for a while. He'd take a stand-alone unit, but of course would prefer this functionality integrated into his Palm. Any rumours from Sony maybe?

Mahalo,
eKennedy

eKennedy

I know only that I know nothing...

RE: Any other PalmOS device have voice record direct to mp3?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 6:33:10 PM #
The HandEra 330 can record wav files to memory and MMC/SD/CF card. There are various Springboards for the Visor that support voice recording. I'm not aware of any other than the Acer that specifically record to card in MP3 format though.

RE: Any other PalmOS device have voice record direct to mp3?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/15/2002 10:08:16 PM #
Acer s10 series is the only device can "record"
directly into MP3 format. Without any convert
program.

good review and product

TexSkater9140 @ 7/15/2002 9:02:41 PM #
hey pepper, nice review
i wanted one of these but didnt want to go through the trouble of getting one
it looks like a good product though.

---------------------------------------
"I'm Hans" "And I'm Franz" "And we want to (clap)(clap) PUMP..you up)
RE: good review and product
matika @ 7/15/2002 10:22:10 PM #
You can contact us if you really want one.

Selling cheap here in Asia

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/16/2002 5:21:41 AM #
I live in Malaysia and initially this Acer palm (english version) was sold for about RM$1200 (about US 300. Now I can buy a new one for about RM$600 which is about US$160. In my opinion this is the best deal for a monochrome palm at the moment.
RE: Selling cheap here in Asia
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/16/2002 5:45:01 AM #
Yah .. the price is really cheap .. i got one when they first launched it .. But Acer is not selling this model anymore ... no idea why .. anyway .. is the best monochrome pda in the market ..
RE: Selling cheap here in Asia
oulan @ 10/31/2002 5:32:25 PM #
where can I buy an Acer S10 in Netherlands/Europe?

Still no wireless..Fogettaboutit.

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/16/2002 9:50:23 AM #
Cmon, start going wireless guys!

Vinnie Vincenzo

RE: Still no wireless..Fogettaboutit.
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/17/2002 10:50:09 PM #
Not everyone wants or needs, or can use wireless. There will always be room for standalone models.

Does HANDERA not have the same features and more?

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/16/2002 3:59:49 PM #
..just with .wav instead of mp3 and missing the headphone-jack. There is a syncinc software that transports your wav-files from the HE 330 to your desktop. I read a lot of articles that because of this, a lot of doctors (e.g.) go for the Handera.
RE: Does HANDERA not have the same features and more?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/16/2002 5:12:25 PM #
Well, I'm assuming the MP3 playback though the headphone output is in stereo. That would be the main difference. Otherwise yes, the 330 has quite a few more features for essentally the same price.
RE: Does HANDERA not have the same features and more?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/17/2002 6:02:00 PM #
Unfortunately, .wav format takes up about 10x the space of a comparably converted MP3 file. A pretty serious limitation to the HandEra IMHO. Not sure why they went with .wav instead of MP3, particularly given it's incredible popularity even at the time the handheld was released.
RE: Does HANDERA not have the same features and more?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/17/2002 10:51:33 PM #
WAVs, being essentially uncompressed data, don't need any processing to be played back, nor do they need any special hardware other than a good speaker (any PalmOS PDA can play WAV files). MP3s require decoding which either takes a fairly beefy all-purpose CPU or a specialized chip to accomplish.
RE: Does HANDERA not have the same features and more?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/18/2002 7:39:20 AM #
> .wav format takes up about 10x the space of a comparably converted
> MP3 file. A pretty serious limitation to the HandEra IMHO.

Yes but, with even a reasonably sized CF or SD card, you can still easily record hours of voice audio.

Acer s60 is here! OS4.x with hi-res API of OS5

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/25/2002 1:01:44 AM #

Acer build quality

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/25/2002 11:04:32 AM #
We get this Acer unit in Malaysia.

However, be warned that Acer has the reputation of having very competitive prices and great features at the cost of longevity and quality. Most products they build fall apart after within a few months of usage.

In other words, they are famous for giving a good first impression but not a lasting one.

This review is clearly only a first impression.

Steer clear.

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