Cannon Multimedia PC: Design Over Usability


From the press release, this device contains features such as “a 28-in-1 media card reader, front IO, USB and fire wire connections, dual NTSC and HDTV tuners (with CableCARD shipping soon), 8 channel HD audio”, etc.etc.etc…

Sounds neat enough. Especially with the six terabytes of potential storage. Put some decent multimedia control software on it and… well.. not bad!

Except who the hell designed it? Clearly not someone who actually thought through how to use it!

Anything that sticks out at all from any of those “front IO” ports is going to obscure the screen! Can you imagine trying to download photos or video with your video camera balanced somewhere — because, most likely, this behemoth will be inside a big old media center cabinet — while trying to deal with a touchy/feely UI with cables constantly flopping on the screen?

And, of course, you’ll probably want to plug in a keyboard and/or mouse to be abel to properly annotate and edit whatever media you capture into said unit. That’ll be convenient.

I wonder if it is even smart enough to know not to open the DVD drawer when the screen is in the retracted position (assuming, of course, the screen retracts).

7 Responses to “Cannon Multimedia PC: Design Over Usability”

  1. michael says:

    “Anything that sticks out at all from any of those “front IO” ports is going to obscure the screen!”

    The screen is clearly not attached in that picture; it is merely leaning against the unit. That the unit is rack mountable should make this pretty obvious.

  2. Jeffrey J Hoover says:

    It does look like the screen folds up. I think it’s just the touch screen and that you’d hook the whole thing up to a larger display/TV. BTW- for scale, it says that the touch screen is 12″ and the whole thing can be rack mounted.

    The port placement is pretty dumb. I *hope* that there are other USB ports on the rear.

    More picts (including the shell with no guts!) at

  3. bbum says:

    The screen quite clearly slides into the unit and folds into it. You can see the tracks along which it slides near the top of the little bay.

    Even if the screen is removable, it is still wired to the unit unless they also came up with wireless screen casting technology that is both HD resolution and can do touch communication. Looking at the inside pictures, it is pretty clear they didn’t do that. So… you have a wire between the screen and the unit? That would totally suck. I bet that screen is not removable.

    That it is rack mountable is irrelevant. Or, not so much, it means that any cabling out the front is likely to be that much more permanent and/or it’ll be that much less likely that you’ll have a convenient spot to set a camera / keyboard / mouse while using said peripherals.

  4. Jeffrey J Hoover says:


    I think that more permanent peripherals would be plugged into the back and the front would be for temporary camera cards, usb drives, FW drives, etc.

    See the close up (not sure why it’s silver) ex-zoom3 shows the case back with holes for other usb and fw ports.

    The headphone/mic jacks are still above the touchscreen, but I don’t think those ports are meant for long term use.

  5. bbum says:

    I agree about permanent connections… and I don’t think a keyboard/mouse/camera/external drive would be permanent. 🙂

  6. Jay Tuley says:

    “Except who the hell designed it?”

    They thawed out the same designers that put oven knobs OVER the oven burners.

  7. Houman says:

    28 in 1 media reader and the fact it runs Windows, makes it clear winner in my book… I’m putting my Apple TV and Wii up for sale on eBay. Especially since
    neither Apple nor Nintendo has any clue on how to design things properly.

Leave a Reply

Line and paragraph breaks automatic.
XHTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>