DataWind PocketSurfer2R: better screen, GPS and new trackpad

With a frustrating keyboard, lack of media functionality and dull, washed-out screen, DataWind's PocketSurfer2 never especially caught on.  The promise was good: a portable internet device with full QWERTY, sizable display and low-cost surfing, based on a cellular connection (sadly GPRS) but with all of the technical details hidden out of sight of the user.  DataWind obviously think it's promising enough to rework, and so we have the new PocketSurfer2R with, among other things, better connectivity and an improved screen.

The WWAN connection is now courtesy of Vodafone, and the device itself has a new touchpad rather than the frustrating arrow-key navigation.  An embedded GPS receiver will likely do a far better job than the previous model's GSM triangulation system.  No word on how exactly the display has been improved, but I'm hoping for better contrast and color reproduction.

The PocketSurfer2R launched in the UK on September 30th; priced at around £200 ($353), it includes 20hrs monthly surfing for the first year.  Unlimited surfing is priced at £6 a month; after the first year there's a choice of a £40 annual fee or what looks to be a £60 plan for unlimited use for the life of the device.  There's no sign of the US version being updated as of yet, though it has been reduced to $200.

[via Pocketables]