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.
Normal vs. Full screen mode (click to enlarge)
Tabbed 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 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.