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Summary:

You have no doubt heard by now (everywhere) that Microsoft has released the golden version of Internet Explorer 7 and many of you have probably downloaded it by now.  If you own a UMPC and you haven’t installed IE7 then you want to listen up.  I […]

You have no doubt heard by now (everywhere) that Microsoft has released the golden version of Internet Explorer 7 and many of you have probably downloaded it by now.  If you own a UMPC and you haven’t installed IE7 then you want to listen up.  I installed IE7 on Flash (Samsung Q1 SSD) yesterday and it simply rocks on this device.  I find IE7 to perform faster overall on the Q1 than the older version of IE and the way Microsoft has implemented the full screen mode is great.  The full screen mode devotes the entire screen to the web page being displayed and it shows so much more of the page than the previous version (see comparison images below) that I find myself doing most of my web browing in the native resolution of the Q1 (800 x 480) rather than the higher resolution I used in IE6.  This makes for a more enjoyable session as everything is much crisper and clearer at the native resolution.  I like how IE7 brings a toolbar back at the top of the screen when you tap at the very top edge, which makes it easy to get to menu items when in full screen mode.

Ie7_normal_screen   

Normal vs. Full screen mode (click to enlarge)

Ie7_full_screen

Ie7_tab_previewTabbed browsing works very well on the Q1 too, and the tab preview mode makes it a snap to switch from one site to another with a simple finger tap.  I am finding the entire web browsing experience to be much more enjoyable with IE7 than the previous version and I’m very glad I upgraded. To take full advantage of the full screen mode of IE7 I have configured the D-pad to facilitate browsing and toggling the full screen mode on and off.  As you can see in the following screen shot of the configuration, pressing the up key (U1) scrolls up in the web page, the down key (U3) scrolls down, left key (U4) sends me back to the previous web page, and the right key (U2) toggles full screen mode on and off.  This has made a huge difference in the browsing experience for me.  Other devices with a D-pad should have a similar utility as the Magic Keyboard on the Q1, if not I believe there are some freeware solutions to assign keys to tasks.

Magic_keyboard_setting

Magic Keyboard settings for IE7 (Samsung Q1)

I am very happy with IE7 so far and have experienced no difficulties or problems of any kind since using this official released version.  If you have any tips or tricks to using IE7 on the UMPC let’s hear them, I’m always looking for better ways to do things.

UPDATE:  I neglected to mention how useful the ZOOM function is on a UMPC.  The ZOOM is located in the lower right corner in IE7 and instantly scales the browsing pane up and down.  I use it a lot to scale a page up to view photo details and down to quickly see a whole page width.  I wish the IE team had used the cool zoom slider from Office 2007 but it still works well nonetheless.

  1. Agree with your pluses but find one big negative vs IE6 for UMPC-use of favorites panel.Perhaps I haven’t out how to use it but under IE6 the favorites panel would slide out of the way after click on the opened page and would slide back open when holding the stylus on the left edge of the screen.Can’t get the same functionality in IE7 which makes the floating toolbars nice but in the end a draw for me as a user.

    Thanks for a great site.

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  2. IE7 has greatly improved my surfing experience on WMC05! I do not have a UMPC but certainly considering a R2H. BTW how is the IE page zoom feature working out for you in portrait mode? (i.e CRTL+ and -) does it conflict with the distorted 1024*600 text resolution?

    Thank you for keeping us informed about your hands-on experience with UMPCs!

    S

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  3. Sam, On the Q1 you can only go into portrait in the native resolution of 800 x 480.

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  4. IE7 is a step backwards in several ways:

    1. Half the menus open going right, half open going left. As a result, both right and left handed people have trouble using IE7 with a pen.
    2. The two main toolbars are locked so you can’t add other material. Although you can get Microsoft’s search box to use Google, if you want the ability of the Google toolbar to search for individual words on a Web page you need to use an entire extra toolbar line. Similar functionality is available in Microsoft’s search tool, but it is several menus deep and always searches for the entire string instead of individual words as one can do with the Google toolbar).
    3. The Favorites display does not go to the bottom of the IE7 window. On a computer with a small screen height this restriction is particularly problematic.

    Firefox does not suffer from any of these problems, and Firefox has useful Tablet utilities such as Grab & Drag (http://grabanddrag.mozdev.org/ ; be sure to drag the hand-shaped toggle control onto the toolbar to be able to highlight text as needed).

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  5. Firefox (1.x/2) have the jaw-dropping overview? My jaw is still sore after seeing it on a “vistagamied” Q1.

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  6. Mike, I don’t use Firefox. Why don’t you write one since you’ve seen it? :)

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  7. Mickey, all valid points but even at a 800×480 resolution I don’t find them to be a problem.

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  8. I’ve used IE7 on a screen only as small as 800 x 600, and find it annoying to have menu items going left or right with little predictability. As a workaround I’ve arranged the left-going items on the left and the right going items on the right to reduce this problem, but I need to hold the pen very carefully to see the menu items on half the menus. The right versus left going nature of menu items varies on different machines, apparently due to different length of text in menu items, which can vary depending on installed software and font settings. One should be able to customize this menu behavior – it is no big deal for mouse users, but this is an issue for pen users because your hand can obscure menu items.

    The only workaround I’ve found to get full Google on-page searching without having a third toolbar row is to use Firefox instead of of IE7.

    I have lots of folders of Favorites, and it is irritating to have to scroll to reach the lower items despite their being plenty of room on the screen to show the full set. One could show the full set in IE6 and one still can in Firefox.

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  9. Text isn’t transfering from the floating tip into the comment box wiyh IE7. I’m having to use the onscreen keyboard! What gives?

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