This Post Brought To You By The Camangi Webstation


The new Camangi Webstation software is much, much better than it used to be. It is faster and definitely more stable (though it does have some issues with coma-mode if left unused for a long period.)

Anyhow, I couldn’t let Judie, Dan, Larry and the other Gear Diary members with iPads have ALL the fun…so I decided to write this post entirely on the Camangi Webstation. I downloaded the WordPress app for Android, and I’m banging away nicely on a full size USB keyboard. It looks a bit silly, admittedly, but it’s working remarkably well. There is no lag between typing the words and their appearance on the Webstation, and surprisingly the WordPress app is very responsive.

With the increased internet browsing speed after the update, it was easy to upload the test draft, and even opening posts on the web-based WordPress management site is do-able. A bit slower than on my Droid, but the flip side is that there’s far less zooming and panning needed.

As far as navigation, the arrow keys and the enter button work well as a pretend D-Pad, and theoretically I could use this setup without ever touching the Webstation’s screen. It would be an exercise in frustration for an extended period, but the fact that it could be done at all is pretty incredible.

In the interests of not “cheating”, I used my Droid to snap a shot of this setup in action, so even the one non-Webstation aspect of this post was still done with Android.

As of now this doesn’t really change my view of the Webstation as an ebook reader first, good fallback web browser second, but the next time my netbook takes a bath it’s good to know I can whip up a temporary replacement!

Now, does anyone have a good suggestion on a compact USB keyboard? I’d feel pretty silly lugging a full size one around to control a 7 inch screen…

Categories: Reviews


5 replies

  1. Apple has one :-) They apparently use scissor membrane switches, but people seem to like them despite that.

    Some good compact keyboards:

    PFU Systems (a division of Fujitsu) Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2 ( use topre capacitive keyswitches for good feel and low noise.

    The Happy Hacking Keyboard Lite 2 ( uses much cheaper membrane switches so they’ll be your typical membrane mushy feel but with a similar layout to their Pro 2.

    Filco Majestouch Tenkeyless Tactile Touch (,majestouch_87key&pid=fkbn87meb) and Tactile Click (,majestouch_87key&pid=fkbn87mceb) use Cherry MX brown and blue switches for excellent feel.

    Realforce 87U Tenkeyless (,rftenkeyless) use topre keyswitches. One model has ergonomically weighted keys which reduce the force required for your weaker fingers.

  2. Bluetooth or wired, Carly?

  3. Great article. Amazing what adding a usb port can do. You are making it difficult for me to wait for the Archos 7. The iPad is a great device but I have learned that a 7 inch device is perfect for me. I have had an Nokia n800, a hp tc1100, and a samsung q1 1st gen. And I gotta say I love the samsung the most. Just wish it was lighter and had better battery life. I am hoping the camangi or the archos will solve that issue.

  4. Can the camangi read a thumb drive?

  5. @SamP: Wow, that is an awesome and exhaustive list! Thanks!
    @Doug: Wired. No bt in the camangi.
    @alslayer: No, the camangi cannot read thumbdrives. I tried on the old firmware, and I tried it again with the new one. No dice. As far as the Archos vs the Camangi, I think they’re going to be fairly equal in terms of power. Neither is built with screamer processors, and (I think) both have resistive rather than capacitive screens. The biggest difference, honestly, is that the Archos is far more likely to have a big hacking community behind it. The Archos 5 tablet has a Google Marketplace hack and some other similar goodies that the Camangi doesn’t, and I assume the same hacking community would pull something similar for the Archos 7.

    However, I think Camangi stands behind their product, and they seem very committed to improving the product.