Splashtop Remote Desktop Review
iPad App
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Splashtop Remote Desktop Review

Our Review by Carter Dotson on August 27th, 2010
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: A SMALL SPLASH
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Splashtop Remote Desktop offers a higher performance remote computing experience than the competition, but it is hindered by its interface flaws.

Developer: DeviceVM
Price: $6.99
Version Reviewed:
Device Reviewed On: iPad

iPadIntegration Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
Re-use Value Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Splashtop Remote Desktop allows you remote access to your Windows PC through a proprietary protocol, much like a VNC or RDP client does. Where Splashtop Remote attempts to differentiate itself by offering you a more native iPad experience of contorlling your computer, by running at the native iPad 1024x768 resolution, and allowing you to view your entire desktop on the iPad screen at once. You can use a variety of gestures to simulate mouse control, and can call up the keyboard as well. Splashtop Remote Desktop is much faster than most VNC clients, providing relatively smoother refresh rates than most VNC clients I've used. As well, the way that your resolution is changed to 1024x768 to make your whole screen fit on the iPad at once (with reversion to your original resolution upon exit) makes the experience feel closer to the iPad experience than other VNC apps.

The problem with Splashtop is that while it offers better realtime video performance than VNC clients, it still isn't suitable for watching videos or playing real-time games, at least on the computers I tested the server software on. More powerful computers may be able to run the server at a level of performance closer to real computer usage. A lot of keyboard commands are not available, as you only have a few special commands offered by the in-app keyboard. You cannot back out to the menu to change settings on a connection or to switch computers unless you quit the app entirely. You also cannot call up the help screen to see which gestures do what unless you back out and start up again. As well, it is very easy to mix up some of the gestures like wanting to adjust video quality and accidentally scrolling, since both use a similar 2 finger gesture that can be easily activated.

Splashtop Remote does a serviceable job at providing remote PC access, but with other VNC clients available on the iPad for similar prices, and the limitations that the app provides, this is not the best option for remote PC usage, and it needs a lot of tweaks to its interface to make it more productive for the average user.

iPad Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Splashtop Personal - Remote Desktop screenshot 1 Splashtop Personal - Remote Desktop screenshot 2 Splashtop Personal - Remote Desktop screenshot 3 Splashtop Personal - Remote Desktop screenshot 4 Splashtop Personal - Remote Desktop screenshot 5
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