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Nintendo DS Lite Internet Browser

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      26.08.2010 17:30
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      likely to gather a lot of dust

      The Nintendo DS internet browser provides access to the internet on the DS using the Opera Browser. You are required in insert a DS cartridge and GBA cartridge into the DS into get the wireless and access to the internet.

      Before you start you need to set up a connection this is easy enough to do, the DS can automatically search for available wireless networks, you can then selection the correct one and it will then ask for the correct key code / password which you type in if you have one. It will then test the connection and if it is successful then you will all set up.

      Searching is also easy. A selection of buttons on the bottom of the touch screen allow to access different feature such as zooming the whole page or certain areas. This is also where you can find the URL button where when accessed you can type the desired address using the touch screen. The touch screen makes it very easy to search as it can be done quickly, unlike the PSP browser where you have to use the d pad searching through for each letter and is very time consuming.
      When you have typed in the address just tap the enter button and it will start loading. You can also save any web address to your favourites which can be access from the star button from the bottom of the screen, and will also be displayed on the home page when you load up the browser.

      The Text and pictures are clearly displayed and easy on the eyes. When zoomed in it doesn't become too blurry that you can't make out what the text says.
      However video is not available on the DS browser, so you can't go on youtube or anything like that or play music either so definitely would recommend it for that sort of entertainment as you won't get it.

      The main problem with the browser is that it's slow. Some simple pages that don't have much on them aren't so bad, still slow, but acceptable enough. But when loading more complicated pages you can be sat their waiting for ages for the page to load, and sometimes it can't handle it and stops loading the page altogether.

      Another problem is that with the screen being small as it can't display the page very well. It has overcome this problem quite well however. You can have the page loaded so everything is bigger but this means that there is a lot of scrolling. For example if you were to load goggle images, each image would appear below each other, rather than also next to each other.
      You can however have the page displayed properly on the touch screen, using the zoom the displayed the area selected larger on the top screen, and is more aesthetically pleasing this way.

      With a price of £23.32 (DS lite version) and £28.98 (DS version) it is quite expensive for a new one but can be brought second hand for a little under £10, so is a little more worth it. However I don't think it would be used to get its money worth, if you're like me.

      Overall however I feel that it is just too slow to be enjoyed properly as a browser. I think that if is only really useful for checking email and maybe if you need to look something up with no other way of doing it. It is only really good for simple tasks. It is easy to navigate and looks are nice and clear, but the speed really is a big issue and the screen being small as well means it is not very convenient for most browsing requirements.

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        09.08.2010 14:13
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        I was tempted to write this review using the DS Web Browser but I'm not that much of a masochist.

        So, you've just got your shiny new DS Lite. You go play all the games you bought for it and eventually you go through the hassle of working through the Nintendo DS' terrible wi-fi settings. Your device is now internet capable, allowing you to play games with players across the globe. The only catch is the distinct lack of a web browser built in to the otherwise pretty nifty DS. The Nintendo DS browser was released to plug that gap and bring web browsing to your handheld, a thrill for all us gadget nerds and handy for everyone else.

        I'm instinctively dubious about web browsing on portable devices. Surfing on most mobile phones is awkward and only really pulled off on the iPhone/iPod touch. However, the Nintendo DS is a nippy little gaming handheld with two screens and a touch interface - I think it's safe to say that normal rules don't necessarily apply.

        The most obvious limitation a web browser on the DS would have to overcome is memory. The original DS and DS Lite come equipped with a whopping 4MB of RAM, that was just about enough to run Windows 95 (barely) back in the day but the internet has moved on a fair bit since then. The DS web browser overcomes this in a unique way by including a memory expansion for the DS. This "memory pak" (spelling theirs, not mine) is in the form of a Game Boy Advance cartridge that slots into the back of the console. This isn't new territory to Nintendo, the N64 also featured an expansion slot with a memory pak but I must admit to being impressed at the ingenuity of using the Game Boy Advance slot in this way. This gives the DS a big enough boost in memory needed to run a full colour, text and image browser. For other things however, the expansion pack is useless. Only the DS browser has made any use of it and it won't affect the running of other games in any way.

        The software itself is Opera based. Opera has gained a reputation as the browser of choice for bending and bashing into different shapes for different systems. It also has a reasonable reputation for being compatible and usable and helped convince me to buy this. I really wish I hadn't. Despite the memory bump and a good, usable interface, the software just doesn't work on the DS at all. Websites take a long time to load, a really long time. Loading times are so impractical that it seems to defeat the object of having a handy little browser on the DS. This is the kind of application that really needs to have been built into the console from the start, as it is it's just too much hassle to plug in the cartridge and the memory pak, go through the lengthy loading up process that requires a password protected login (for some reason) and then wait several minutes for any websites to load. I found it bordered on the intolerable and with such perfect mobile devices around now as the iPod touch, this product has totally lost its place in the market.

        Credit where it's due, it does some things right. When pages have finally loaded up it offers some quite intuitive reading options including one that allows you to read full size on the top screen while using the touch screen as a view finder, scanning along paragraphs. Features such as these mean that the small size of the screens is never the limitation you expect it to be but unfortunately nice moments of just sitting and enjoying the page you're on are just rare interludes between periods of excessive loading and glitching.

        Even with the memory pak, we're still only looking at about 12MBs of memory so some other features you might be expecting aren't going to be found here. Flash compatibility is obviously impossible and it even stumbles with more complex php sites requiring log in details or remembering threads of information. This makes it only really useful for checking out simple, mostly text orientated sites. It seems friendly enough to wikipedia but what isn't?

        The Web Browser is available in a DS or DS Lite version, the only difference being that the DS Lite version takes the opportunity to make the Memory Pak more compact so it doesn't stick out of the back like most Game Boy Advance games. This means that the original DS version will fit perfectly into the DS Lite but not vice versa and owners of the original DS must make sure they're picking up the right one. Owners of the DSi or DSi XL are not going to be able to make use of this as Nintendo has removed the Game Boy Advance slot from these versions, however they have also increased the pre-existing memory and have released a free downloadable version of the DS web browser as DSi Ware, I hear it's also much better but I haven't had the patience to try it out yet so don't quote me.

        You can still find this in a lot of different places, unfortunately the price hasn't come tumbling down though so I wouldn't really recommend looking for it. If you feel as though your life won't be complete until your DS has browsing capabilities then have a look but if you just think "Ds Web Browser" sounds like a nifty way of cutting down on your gadgets, don't bother. It's all more hassle than it's worth.

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        01.09.2009 14:55
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        don't bother

        I ordered this for my DS because I thought it would be an easy way of just looking at the net when I couldn't be bothered putting the PC on, and I thought it would be good to take on hols with me (I don't have a laptop).
        I have to say overall I am disappointed with it, although I do still use it occassionally. My email account was not compatible with the security settings so I couldn't retrieve any messages (one of the things I wanted it for especially when on holiday). Sometimes it can be very slow, although if the images are disabled this does speed things up. It does crash rather too often aswell. Also I'm a bit of an ebayer and although this will let you browse and buy, because of the security settings can't actually pay for stuff so end up having to go on the PC anyway. My final moan about it is where I can actually use it. I've been to a number of wi-fi hotspots but it just says there's an error after I've input all the data to set it up - I don't know maybe I'm doing something wrong? So the only place I get to use it is at my house and my mates who has wireless broadband.
        However after all my moaning I paid about £24 and have used it quite a bit, and since I've had it haven't been on the internet on my mobile, which is what I used to do when I couldn't be bothered switching the PC on so I guess for what I paid its OK but don't think I'd recommend it.

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          31.10.2008 17:10
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          A good internet browser which is ok for basic use but takes awhile to load.

          I brought this game for my DS when I was going on holiday so I didn't have to take my laptop with me. This would save me alot of space of hassle.

          The game has some good points and some negative ones. This is because it cannot except WPA security. It only uses WEP, most use this so it is ok for most people. However, where I went they mainly used WPA meaning I couldn't use the internet. My hotel luckily used WEP meaning I could surf the web.

          When I finally got to use it, some websites didn't display properly. This meant I couldn't use them as the links and text didn't show up. Most websites still worked. The pages that worked also took along time to load up. I also found it very hard to see the webpages with no zoom available. I found my iPod Touch to work alot better.

          On the other hand, the game does have some good point. Most webpages were ok and displayed better than on my phone. Next time, I will take my laptop as there will be no problems as all pages will work fine. It is a good buy for simple pages but most will not display making it a waste of money.

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          22.01.2008 18:57
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          Recommended but only for those who need to access the net away from home

          Recently for purposes of accessing the net while on vacation, I purchased the Nintendo DS web browser.

          First thing to note, this browser can only connect via the standard WEP security wifi network. It is not compatible with WPA. Most wifi hot spots are WEP and my Wifi router is set to WEP so this has not been a problem for me anyway.

          For a web browser that runs on a games console the performance of the DS browser is impressive. However this does not mean it can replace a PC for accessing the internet. It is simply useful for checking your mail whilst at a hot spot. I used the DS web broswer for this while waiting for my flight when traveling last year. In this sense the DS for basic internet functionality is no worse than the equivalent of using a mobile phone for SMS for example.

          However anything beyond basic use, the DS does not handle very well. Still considering the size of the DS and what the web browser can offer it is very impressive and therefore recommended who wants to easy internet access while traveling.

          Due to the restricted amount of ram, some web pages can be very slow. For example I have found the browsing web forums doesn't work very well

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        • Product Details

          Surf the internet via any Nintendo Wi-Fi connection enabled hotspots. Dual screen functionality allows for easy use.