Review: W1060 7-inch MID from WireLession

Updated on 01 December 2009 by

Audio

Music on this device is a real treat. The sound that emits from the speaker is nothing to brag about, but putting a good set of headphones on it will really make you happy. It has a rich sound, much like your Zune or iPod, with good bass and treble. The two players I use most are Nitrogen and GSPlayer. Nitrogen even supports resume, which can be very handy when listening to audio books. The great battery life and clear music make this a very enjoyable device for reading or browsing while listening to music.

W1060 Audio
Nitrogen Audio Player screenshot captured directly from W1060

Video

The device arrived with Windows Media Player and an application called “WMPlayer inch by WitsTech. I’ve tested AVI, MPEG4, and WMV files to good effect. It seems the best framerate came from the AVI file. The MKV file I tested did not function, and I was told that MKV support would be coming soon. Still, this device is great for watching video, and the power of the Cortex A8 shines through here. We finally have a MID that can read, watch movies, and listen to music. Unfortunately, the internet isn’t perfect. Read-on!

W1060 Video Example W1060 Video Example 2
Video of Crash TV Show playing on the W1060

Reading Comics

Using MangaMeeyaCE English to view comics on this device is pretty much just like the SmartQ7 or the JE-100, with one noticeable difference. It is very fast to change pages. The bright and clear screen makes it easy to see the small text you usually find with a comic book. I’ve found the best way to view comics is in full screen portrait mode.

W1060 Comic Reading
MangaMeeyaCE Comic Viewer Direct Screenshot from W1060

Web Browsing

This is where I spent most of my time with this device. Unfortunately, it was because this is where I had problems. I expected this device to perform very well for web browsing, as that is one of the claims of the Cortex A8 (hence Archos 5 Android being one of the fastest there is right now) is known for. It was to my great surprise that IE ran sluggishly on the device. It is slower than my SmartQ7, and closer to my old Nokia N770 Internet Tablet. The W1010 4.3 Slider also runs considerably faster! Not only do the pages load slower than they should, but the interface doesn’t respond well even after the page is loaded. Tapping the scrollbar up or down causes the scroll to jog too far or lag behind taps. Clicking the address bar to show history reacts slowly.

To solve this I looked into many things. I adjusted the amount of RAM available vs. Storage. I loaded a memory resource watcher into the try to watch what would happen when I did certain things. Another test I did was open several browser windows all the the MobileRead website open. I was able to do this more times than were necessary on the SmartQ7. On the W1060, after two browser windows I was up to 80% memory being used. After the 4th window the device froze up. When I loaded a Youtube page with a single video on it the memory would go up over 90% used. I managed to get a youtube video to play once, but it was pixilated and the framerate was pretty bad. I had the same mixed results with flash. It seems to me there is a firmware issue with Internet Explorer, some type of memory leak or memory problem. Until this is fixed, it seems a little frustrating to use the web browser. If you are spending more time trying to get the device working with your current page by changing memory or closing tasks than you are actually browsing the web, then you might feel a little challenged with this device.

W1060 IE on YouTube Home W1060 Web
W1060 Web Screenshot – Left: Look at the resources in the tray, Right: Notice the resource jump when a YouTube video page is loaded

The Device’s Future

Now that I have reached this part of the review I can say that I’m still excited about the device. First of all, I’ve been told Android would be available by the end of the year. Next, they are working on fixing screen rotation right away. Since the device is firmware based, and it is very new, you can expect to see many improvements to the firmware. If they can fix the memory problems I encountered with Internet Explorer, bring MKV to the device, and adjust a few other things, this will be a very nice device in the future.

Conclusion

There are many great things about this device. For everything except web browsing, it is extremely fast and a pleasure to use. The form factor is just about perfect. Not too heavy and not too light. It feels good in your hands. The build quality is fantastic. On the other side, the lack of true screen rotation is a real problem. The issues with Internet Explorer and memory are frustrating. It doesn’t have USB Host mode, which many folks have come to expect in their multi-function devices these days.

I’ve heard that WitsTech are going to release a version of this device with a multi-touch capacitive screen in a few months. With that in mind, and considering some of the issues we are having right now, only the die-hard device enthusiasts should pick this device up before the firmware is updated or the capacitive version is released. I’ve been asked to hold on to this device and keep the community updated as the bugs are worked out. I’m happy to do so, and I hope they can fix these things soon, because it really is a beautiful machine.

Supplemental Links

WireLession
Electio-Divina
W1060 Device Video
W1060 Running ColdSun Creations WinCE UI Video
ColdSun Creations UI Download
WitsTech

Review Unit Information

The Review unit was supplied by E-lectio-divina, a United States distributor of several MID and PDA devices. They also specialize in some of the best Bible Software on eBook and multifunction devices. If you are interested in purchasing one of his devices, just contact him and tell him ColdSun (Heath Brown) sent you. He also asked that I include a link to his free bible reading software.

E-LectioReader Bible Reader

This review was also published at MobileRead. A great place to find out about Ereader-focused hardware and software.

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23 Comments For This Post

  1. turn.self.off says:

    now for a 5″ version or something…

  2. BSU_Withers says:

    Thanks for the review! I’ve been following this device (and several others) in the hope of finding a suitable data collection device for our field research. We’ve been using the Alphasmart Dana (Palm OS) up to this point and it’s not going to cut it for much longer. It looks like the Wirelession MIGHT be the device if the Android build looks good.

  3. Zeuxidamas says:

    Amazing that it can not host even a USB mouse. I was able to use external mouse even on an old NEC MobilePro 770 and 880 nearly ten years ago. Pls keep us posted on the updates.

    Also, any chance that you could try out the Barnes and Noble eReader app on the device? If it supported the B&N app and eBook format (whatever it is), I would certainly pay for this instead of a Nook. I know it is low probability, but it does not hurt to ask and see how it pans out?
    – Vr/Z..>>

  4. Zeuxidamas says:

    Also, does the WinCE install include pocket versions of any Office Apps? Back in the day, they came with versions of PocketWord, PocketExcel, and PocketPowerPoint…oh, and some version of Outlook Express? I am wondering if it will allow the same degree of interaction with MS Office documents that my Windows Mobile 6.1 Smartphone does, at a minimum. Thanks.
    – Vr/Z..>>

  5. Coldsun says:

    It included all the MS Office viewers, but I don’t think they are anything but viewers. I have a free pop3 mail app that works with it.

    I’ll check into the Barnes and Noble app. :)

  6. HoboJ says:

    Nice review. I was going to order this device but I suppose I should wait now that I’ve read your review. At least until the new year to see how things pan out with it.

  7. BSU_Withers says:

    Did you have to call Wirelession to order it? It doesn’t look like they have an online store…

  8. Coldsun says:

    I think if you just email them they can set it up for you that way. They are usually very responsive.

  9. wsquared says:

    Do you think Wirelession is a legit business with a sustainable business model? I ask because my organization intends to replace an old stockpile of Alphasmart Danas (Palm OS 4.1) with a newer device for our data collection purposes. We need a device with an open OS, decent screen & keyboard, long battery life, and sub $400 price. The Archos 5IT and Wirelession W1060 are our top prospects right now. I’m just not too sure about Wirelession because they seem to have come from nowhere and they mostly rebrand devices. Your thoughts?

  10. Arioch says:

    > open OS, decent screen & keyboard, long battery life, and sub $400 price
    Does W1060 has decent keybord ? Does it have long batterylife ? does it, as of now, has open OS ?

    Perhaps you’d really look into SmartDevices SmartQ series.
    Or perhaps into OpenPandora project.

  11. Arioch says:

    1) i wonder if Opera Mobile could be used instead of the pitiful Internet Explorer ?

    2) SmartQ 7 was told to run up to 20 hours in music-player mode, with screnn off, wi-fi off, etc. If W1060 can only run 8 hours such, it is a failure!

    3) Linux ? (Android might be good for cell phone, but what good it has for PMP ?.. )

    4) Pity it does not have buttons and HDMI, as SmartQ V7 does. With Cortex CPU it should be able of HD-Video and then HDMI comes quite handly!
    4.1) USB on-the-go is also a loss!
    4.2) and for video-player it would be better to sport SDHC 32GB cardtreader like SmartQ or evewn couple of those, than 16GB tiny slot for-phones. C’mon, this device is larger than phone anyway, put a full-sized SDHC!

    Overall it seems SmartQ 7 & V7 sucks in video playback and this tablet sucks ion everything else. Bad situation,. with two very close devices – nothgin to choose from!

    5) RAM is 256 MB, okay – but what kind of ram, what the speed is ? and the disk inside? is it 1 GB, 2GB, 4GB… ?

    If it was possible to combine features of SmartQ V7 and W1060 it could be a great thing.
    Currently they both look as very close but yet failed attempts at it :-(

    Can anyone say, does SmartQ plan to make Cortex-based PDA with all the sweet features of 7/V7 and same $200-$250 price spot ?

  12. Craig says:

    Have you tried xvid videos? What about mp4 videos?

  13. johnkzin says:

    make a 9″ version, with more RAM (.75GB or more), built-in storage (2GB+), 1GHz CPU, and Android … and I might be interested :-}

  14. Reed Colaianni says:

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  15. pphilipp says:

    I’ve had the W1060 for about ten days and now have an opinion based on some hands-on experience. It’s a good device with more strengths than weaknesses. It has issues, ((but look how many years Archos has been in business selling potentially good devices that are famous for their problems and limitations.))

    Here’s a sporadic list of good and bad aspects based on my device.

    Some good points…
    1. Extremely quick wifi connection (are there any other devices that are connected to the internet 30 seconds after you push the start button?)
    2. Cortex processor (about as good as they get)
    3. Responsive resistive touchscreen (sharp and bright too)
    4. Decent 3000mah battery
    5. Easy file explorer / browsing makes navigating all files quick and easy
    6. As small as a 7″ device can functionally get
    7. Metal support stand
    8. Iris web browser gives fast, accurate web browsing
    9. I’ve found around 100 working apps… and currently tweaking more to run too
    10. Very fast 15 to 20 second bootup time
    11. Everything functions well enough that on my trips to Starbucks, Panerra, airport, etc…
    I really can leave the laptop at home!!!

    Some bad points…
    1. Wince apps are iffy… some work perfect, others have nonworking features, some don’t work at all.
    2. Standby doesn’t normally wake-up (goes to white or black screen with no image)
    3. Drains battery even when fully off (red and green lights are always barely shimmering)
    4. Keyboard doesn’t fit in portrait mode and often pops-up when least expected
    5. Bezel around screen has too much ‘play’.
    6. Coreplayer video app still doesn’t work on youtube and is not implemented well
    7. Touchscreen needs a ‘palm rest’ function so cursor doesn’t jump to palm location
    8. On/off button doesn’t always appear to be working… then it suddenly surprises me and works
    9. Accessories??? I’m having a hard time locating leather cases, holders, etc, which fit
    10. Smooth, rounded, slippery back make this an accident waiting to happen… Oops!!

    Would I trade or sell it right away? Maybe for an iPad… but not for an Archos Home Tablet, SmartQ, Apad, or other similar Android or Wince device. For the current 7″ tablet offerings, the W1060 is about as good as they get.

  16. Madie Malichi says:

    Intriguing insight, stunned I never considered that by myself

  17. mortgage home vegas says:

    Is it touch screen because I cannot see some keyboards or something that I’ll use to type.

  18. mcson says:

    I have found your review while I was searhing an epad/apad/irobot or else on google. I thought this devise is an answer to my needs but having read your excellent review, I realise that it is not. Thank you for such a great job my friend!

    Meanwhile, could you possibly suggest me an android tabled which has a built in GPS, bluetooth and 3G usb modem connection availability? I have checked many china made ipad alikes but have not found such a device.

    I would really appreciate your help

    Best Regards

  19. UK SEO Company says:

    Does WireLession W1060 have any upcoming upgrades? I wanted to have this one but it don’t meet much of my specs.

  20. France Dayne says:

    Is this not only a cellphone but also a computer gadget? This is one of the important gadget I wish I could have.

  21. Bimber.info Directory says:

    I was looking for Xmas, to buy a new mobile device for that special.

    I wonder if you can tell me whether any of the new MIDs you’re reviewing or are aware of coming up might fit my needs?

    I have been actively considering the Archos 5 Internet tablet (Android) but I’m still unsure about it because of
    – Need to pay extra for some codecs / GPS functionality
    – AC3 audio doesn’t work
    – Not full android market access
    – Unsure whether non-Archos GPS s/w will work.
    – No hardware buttons (well 3: power, vol up and vol down but can’t be mapped)
    – Some reports it corrupts memory cards when they’re removed

    I’ve also being thinking about the Nationite Midnite Xpress (English ver. of Chuwi W3000) but that has
    – No bluetooth
    – no kickstand

    Alternatively, there are some relatively cheap Benq S6 Mids turning up on ebay but I reckon they have poor battery life.

    I’d propably go for a Pandora but there’s no sign of those being available anytime soon.
    Possibly a smartq v5 but they are also not avail yet.

    Here’s what I’m looking for
    1. MUST-HAVES
    – No bigger than n800/vx545HD (i.e. pocketable), so 5″ max screen
    – WVGA (800 * 480)
    – Smooth video playback at above resolution (at least Xvid)
    – Touchscreen
    – D-pad or mappable Hardware buttons
    – Wifi
    – Bluetooth ADCP (because I like to listen on BT stereo headphone. Hate wired headphones)
    – Removable storage
    – Browser (faster than n800)
    – Ebook reader supporting txt / html
    – PDF reader
    – Image viewer
    – RSS Reader
    – File Browser with cut and paste
    – kickstand (or clamshell design). This is a dealbreaker for me as I like to prop a device on table to read/browse
    – Some availability of 3rd party apps.

    2. NICE-TO-HAVES
    – MKV playback
    – Flash playback, either in-browser or launched app
    – Big storage
    – USB Host
    – Speakers

    3. NOT NECESSARY (but would not say no)
    – GPS
    – Accelerometer
    – 3G
    – Hardware Keyboard

    I was interested in the W1010 you are shortly going to review but like the Midnite Xpress this doesn’t appear to have either Bluetooth or a kickstand.

  22. Curtain Panels · says:

    lithium batteries are nice to use because they are very light and have high power density ;;

  23. Curtain Panels · says:

    lithium batteries are nice to use because they are very light and have high power density ;;

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