Hardware Review | Opera Nintendo DS Browser (C3-2-1)

By Jorge Ba-oh 01.09.2006 20

Opera DS Browser (C3-2-1)
Jorge Ba-oh :: Friday 1st September 2006


With the Internet being an ever growing source of fun and information, many people rely on the technology for just about anything, from a quick check for local weather, to gaming, forum ranting to keeping up to date with the news.

Portable devices in the modern age have expanded to include multimedia support, send messages and view the Internet. With the DS having basic Wi-Fi capability, Internet was inevitable at some stage, and software developer Opera doesn't disappoint in their official browser for DS. How does the DS compare to other handhelds, and its computer bigger brother?

We take the software for a second spin in our C3-2-1, Cubed3, 2 Reviewers, 1 top game!


With the Internet being an ever growing source of fun and information, many people rely on the technology for just about anything, from a quick check for local weather, to gaming, forum ranting to keeping up to date with the news.

Portable devices in the modern age have expanded to include multimedia support, send messages and view the Internet. With the DS having basic Wi-Fi capability, Internet was inevitable at some stage, and software developer Opera doesn't disappoint in their official browser for DS. How does the DS compare to other handhelds, and its computer bigger brother? We take the software for a second spin in our C3-2-1.

Opera DS is presented in two parts: the game card containing the software, components and users settings, and an expansion pack that slots nicely into the GameBoy Advance slot in the rear, nice. This is essential for caching images and pages to speed up loading the base structure of a website when navigating deeper, and can temporarily hold approximately 10MB of volatile data - meaning content has to be reloaded when the DS is reset. There are two versions of the expansion pak for either DS, each sized specifically for its hardware; Nintendo sure know how to do style.

The software lives up to the concept and the developer's reputation: a simple interface to view the Internet. The base functionality of Opera mirrors any Wi-Fi enabled DS game, with the same connection method and occasionally poor connection rate the technology has. Connecting the DS to the Internet is as simple and straightforward as other online software - available Wi-Fi enabled hotspots and access points are located, and the journey to the Internet begins! Again up to three different settings can be stored for quick access in different locations. The difference with Opera, however, is that error messages are far more helpful to solving the various problems that could occur, although the interface being pure Japanese does have its setbacks.

Regardless of that setback for the import version, Opera have done a fine job in presenting a very easy and effective way of using the software. The top screen houses the page title and incredibly cute animated logo, in the same vein as traditional browsers. A useful image loading status provides the number and total images loaded for those surfing the more picture heavy websites, a great addition as users can decide whether to display images or not for that page.

The touch screen provides a single toolbar with traditional symbols to reduce the learning curve for both new and experienced Internet users. These are all colour coded to group the functions together for easy selection, giving the interface a little touch of class. These can be easily accessed using the stylus, each providing feedback through animation and sound for a stylistic and helpful approach to using the software.

  • Navigation: Forward, Back, Refresh
  • Browsing: History, url input, favourites, search
  • Tools: Help, settings
  • View: Mode select, picture mode, zoom, change screen.

    Loading a webpage is simple and intuitive. All text input is done using the touch screen for speedy insertion (ooh-er), through an on-screen keyboard or the very handy text recognition system. Fortunately in the Japanese release, both styles of input are compatible with English letters allowing for just about anything to be typed

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    Comments

    I still think Adam should die for coming up with the C3-2-1 name.

    But a good review! Smilie

    Geez I know! It's so freaking clever!!

    My connection speed for my router is really good, so maybe that'll help my DS load pages faster too?

    So, a couple of minutes for loads of images... geez that is a long time for a page to load, all pages on my PC load in about 1-5 seconds Smilie

    I wonder if Nintendo will release a speed booster in a GBA cart stylie? Smilie

    A few quick answer questions.

    -Do images load well?
    -Does Java work at all?
    -Will it use an instant messaging system or will it work with things like MSN?

    Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

    There is a ram cart included, dosn't seem to help much unfortunatly. Smilie
    Well it probably helps make it unusable to usable but kinda crap.

    ( Edited on 01.09.2006 22:22 by Blade2t3 )

    XBL Gamertag: James2t3

    Good read JB.
    I Was wondering if mobile specific pages might speed pages like google up a bit.
    can you give www.google.com/xhtml a test for speed?


    MKWii FC 4081-5636-6351 <<-- add me SSBB FC 2707-3062-7319 <<-- add me

    Ive got one question. Is it coming
    out in the USA?



    Think You Can Beat Me?

    Sylux Master said:
    Ive got one question. Is it comingout in the USA?

    Yup! I'm sure it'll sell well the world over! Smilie

    Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

    -Do images load well?
    -Does Java work at all?
    -Will it use an instant messaging system or will it work with things like MSN?

    Answered in the review.

    + Images load okay, doesn't take too long for single images. Look brilliant on the DS screens too.
    + Java doesn't work.
    + MSN scripts don't work either, I'm guessing, haven't tried yet.

    So, a couple of minutes for loads of images... geez that is a long time for a page to load, all pages on my PC load in about 1-5 seconds

    It is, yep.
    DS browser is a mobile platform, and is far quicker than most other mobile browsers.

    I Was wondering if mobile specific pages might speed pages like google up a bit.
    can you give www.google.com/xhtml a test for speed?

    Certainly faster, as I said in zee review mobile specific pages like Yahoo load really quickly. Some sites automatically detect mobile code and display accordingly.

    ( Edited on 01.09.2006 23:08 by jb )

    Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

    GOOGLE takes 30 secounds to load?!!

    Anyother site on the web...sure...but google? freck.
    Thats counted me out.

    Google only has its logo as a picture :-/
    The rest is white-processed pixals (made from pigeon droppings apperently).

    ~sigh~

    oh well, im still hopeing speed will improve once local versions come out.
    I half-suspect it goes ver Nintendo japanease severs still.

    http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
    Last update; Mice,Plumbers,Animatronics and Airbenders. We also have the socials; Facebook & G+

    ps. Imageless Cubed3 is great idea...good for homebrew solutions too.

    http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
    Last update; Mice,Plumbers,Animatronics and Airbenders. We also have the socials; Facebook & G+

    Darkflame said:
    GOOGLE takes 30 secounds to load?!!Anyother site on the web...sure...but google? freck.Thats counted me out.Google only has its logo as a picture :-/The rest is white-processed pixals (made from pigeon droppings apperently).~sigh~oh well, im still hopeing speed will improve once local versions come out.I half-suspect it goes ver Nintendo japanease severs still.

    It's getting data from the net, direct to the DS through data packets. The need to go through Nintendo's servers would be pretty costly.

    30 seconds, perhaps I'm exhagerrating it a little - but it does take around 20-30 seconds, sometimes faster, but the connection rate is quite bad. I tested it in two different places, so it's not just here.

    Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

    hmmm... i'll still be buying it, it will be great for when i come home drunk, and i cant be arsed to turn on my pc, when ican use turn my DS on. and do what i have to...

    heyyy i wonder if i can wacth porn on my DS...that would be something new!!

    ---------------------
    Wiitendo | Wii Reviews, Cheats, news and forums!!!
    ^Please join the forums, i could do with some staff too^

    Parasyte said:
    hmmm... ill still be buying it, it will be great for when i come home drunk, and i cant be arsed to turn on my pc, when ican use turn my DS on. and do what i have to...heyyy i wonder if i can wacth porn on my DS...that would be something new!!

    Lol, nope. No video/audio supported (except animated gifs, but they're still classes as images).

    Just pictures of women/men/what-ever-floats-your-boat cut in half (DS screens).

    Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

    "It's getting data from the net, direct to the DS through data packets. The need to go through Nintendo's servers would be pretty costly.
    "

    You would think so.
    But mobile phone browsers sometimes go ver the phone companys severs.

    Its a stange practice, but its sometimes done.
    Nintendo might also want to make doubly sure no laptop users are leaching off their free wi-fi hotspots.


    "heyyy i wonder if i can wacth porn on my DS...that would be something new!!"

    You want either
    a) Get yourself some homebrew and moonshell, then get down and dirty with some dmg file.
    or
    b) Load up a commadore emulator and get some dirty roms at "girls of 64" site.

    http://www.fanficmaker.com <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
    Last update; Mice,Plumbers,Animatronics and Airbenders. We also have the socials; Facebook & G+

    I'm looking forward to the UK release of this in October, when hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on a copy. Looks very interesting for use in McDonalds around the country!

    Phil :: CSF said:
    I still think Adam should die for coming up with the C3-2-1 name.

    *Cowers* Smilie

    Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
    Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

    You would think so.
    But mobile phone browsers sometimes go ver the phone companys severs.

    That's because phones don't directly connect to wireless hotspots (unless they have Wi-Fi capability). Most phone browsers use GPRS/WAP to send/receive data, which is different.

    Essentially Opera DS is being treated like a laptop's browser - connects to a wireless spot and receives/sends data.

    I really don't think it would be connecting to Nintendo of Japan, instead, direct to the Internet. But who knows, we shall see when it hits the west, but I'm positive it'll be the same.


    ( Edited on 02.09.2006 12:23 by jb )

    Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

    I assume though, the Connection &/or loading speeds will differ depending on the Wireless connection you're using, since I have a good connection at home with my router, it might take a little faster, but I'm not gonna hope for anything.

    Also, since DSOpera uses a mobile style format thingy, does that mean it'll be able to use the MSN Mobile thing? Smilie

    Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

    Sought The Poltercow said:
    geez that is a long time for a page to load, all pages on my PC load in about 1-5 seconds Smilie

    You can't seriously expect desktop PC performance from a system that hardly has a fraction of the power a desktop PC does...

    Noggin said:
    You cant seriously expect desktop PC performance from a system that hardly has a fraction of the power a desktop PC does...

    True, but the Cart & the expansion were INVENTED for browsing the Internet. & PCs weren't Smilie

    Anyway, did you sign up to C3 to post that? Smilie Enjoy the site.

    Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

    You can't seriously expect desktop PC performance from a system that hardly has a fraction of the power a desktop PC does...

    Thank you!

    Whatever people say, the DS is a mobile/portable device. Compared to a lot of other devices that have attempted to/and connected to the internet, it's good. It's never going to be good as a desktop because it's not designed to be - it's designed to be a good mobile device.

    Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

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