So what do I think of the onHand? On a scale of 1 to 10, here are the scores:
Portability = 9
This is single true advantage of the onHand PC. Nothing beats its portability, not even the Rolodex Rex. I may forget to slip the Rex into my shirt pocket, but I never forget to wear my watch. If it is slimmer, I would have rated this a 10.
Shock Value = 10
Until someone comes up with a computer you can wear like your glasses, nothing beats the onHand for attracting curious looks. Great conversational piece.
Speed of access to information = 7
This refers to have quickly I can get information out of my watch, eg. phone numbers, calculator, appointments, calendar information. On the average, I would say that it takes around 20-30 seconds from the time I started thinking about the process. It is slightly slower than I would take with the PalmPilot or HP680 (10-20 seconds), and this is attributed solely to the lack of hotkeys and touchscreen. I believe the onHand sorely needs a touchscreen.
Battery Life = 5
I like to glance at my watch to know the time. Normal watches allow me to do that. Well, on the onHand, I can do that, but at a high cost to battery life. Based on the initial factory-installed batteries starting at 100%, I received my first low battery warning (5% remaining) after 10 days of usage with the following power consumption activities each day:
- Powered on continuously from 7am to 11pm daily
- About 1 minute of sound play
- About 15 minutes of syncing via docking station
- About 15 minutes of syncing via IR
Looks like I'm going to have to carry that key chain around more often, and start stocking up on those CR2025s.
Updated 1999 Dec 18:
I have been running on my second set of batteries for the past 20 days, with the battery meter running at 65%. This is with about the same amount of activity as the above, but I did run it on power saver mode for 5 days using the ServicePack99, turning itself on for 1 second followed by 2 seconds off. I have turned off the powersaver mode since a couple of days ago to see the effect it has on the batteries. This is quite encouraging, and the only thing I can think of to explain the 10 days battery life of the factory-installed batteries is that they were at least half empty, and Matsucom did say to replace them immediately. There is no real way of telling, because the battery replacement procedure will always reset the power meter to 100% each time it is activated. This means that even though the watch say that the factory installed batteries were at 100%, it does not mean that they were charged to maximum capacity. Hence, I have upgraded my rating for the battery life of onHand PC from 3 to 5.
Screen = 5
Nothing to crow about. Quality is about the same as my Casio E-10. Very difficult to read under dim lighting or at angles > 45 degrees from the vertical axis. Impossible to work with for times > 10 secs in complete darkness.
Input Methods = 3
Imagine entering your name as a high score on one of those arcade game machines using a joystick. Now imagine doing that with a single thumb. You get the idea. Nothing beats a touchscreen for really fast input on devices without keyboards.
Audio = 2
The buzzer on the watch truely sucks. Even my softest Casio alarm watch speaks louder than wimpy sounds that the onHand generates. The only thing that has going for it is its support for a range of frequencies.
Compatibility with Ruputer applications = 90%
Apparently, the enhanced speed and higher comm speed is not the main factor in affecting compatibility. It was actually the missing Japanese fonts in the onHand ROM, resulting in mostly corrupted menu options on most Ruputer applications.
Updated 1999 Dec 18
I am pleased to report that with the use of ServicePack99, the issue with corrupted Kanji Menus (CKM) is pretty much a thing of the past. You can turn on the Japanese font set, which will supply English characters, but also all the necessary Kanji characters. Of course, this still doesn't solve the problem of having to understand Japanese when using the applications :-). Also, it doesn't solve the problem of incompatibility due to processor speed and development toolkits.
Syncing with Outlook 2000 = 1
I have practically given up on the CompanionLink software, after trying for about 2 weeks. I even reinstalled my Win98 and Outlook. Nothing works. See the Installing and Running PC Software section for details of my escapades. CompanionLink takes my prize for the bogey software of the millenium. Congratulations.