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 Nimble V5 Digital Media Mini PC - Page 6 of 6

Posted:  December 18, 2003
Author:  Jason Kohrs
Manufacturer:  Nimble
Source:  Logic Supply

Video Conferencing with the Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000:

Click Image For Larger ViewNimble offers the Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000 as an option, bundled with the V5. Many references to the Nimble V5, such as the ones found at Logic Supply, list it as a “Personal Video Conferencing Player”, which means you’re going to need a camera.  The QuickCam 4000 is a an attractive USB device that is capable of recording video at 640x480, as well as taking still image photos at 1.3 megapixels.  In addition, it coordinates nicely with the V5, as seen to the left...

The three images below show greater detail of the camera by itself.  The USB cable is quite long, and should allow the user to find a location to suit their needs.  In addition to providing the V5 with the video signal, it provides power to the camera via the USB bus. The small eye-ball style camera sits on a pivot above the three-point base, which allows it to be rotated and inclined as needed.  The image on the right shows the lens cover in place, which not only protects the lens, but should let everyone know when they aren’t ‘live’.

Click Image For Larger ViewClick Image For Larger ViewClick Image For Larger View

Click Image For Larger ViewThe camera was instantly identified and installed by Windows, and with no further software provided, it should be good to go.  I found it worked well with Yahoo messenger, providing sharp video for use online at 320x240. Clicking the image to the right will provide a full sized sample of what the camera is capable of, set to what I found to be the maximum still resolution of 640x480. Perhaps it was the software, but I found no way to make the image quality better, or to get it up to the advertised 1.3 megapixels.

Nimble promotes the system for use with MSN Messenger, which I do not use, but I assume it would work as well, or better, as it did with Yahoo. With the onboard microphone and speaker providing full duplex, echo-free audio, the Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000 completes the video conferencing aspect of the device quite nicely.


The Nimble V5 is a very interesting device... 

Viewed as a consumer electronics device with some computer-like qualities it is unique.  It combines basic features of a computer with video conferencing ability and flexible networking possibilities.  The integrated microphone and speaker, coupled with a webcam make for a simple and stylish video conferencing device. The built in KVM switch, dual network connections, and PCMCIA slot (just waiting for a wireless network card), make it possible to use as an internet connection sharing device or firewall. The Nimble V5 draws a minimal amount of electricity, produces almost no noise, and generates very little heat, making all of the above tasks convenient and comfortable for the user, and possible in a 24/7 setting.

Viewed as a computer with some unique features, it is less appealing.  A complete Nimble V5 presently sells for $699 (US) at Logic Supply, which isn’t cheap if you just want to have a unique mini computer. With custom configured Mini-ITX systems possible for less money and with more flexibility, one would be paying for the convenience of it all being pre-configured, installed in a stylish housing, and ready to go as a video conferencing device. If size isn’t an issue, deals from Dell make sub $400 systems possible (complete with 17” monitor, 2+ GHz processor, optical drive, mouse, and keyboard), and a relatively small amount of additional money gets features added to make such a computer video conferencing ready.

If you are in the market for an unobtrusive consumer electronics device ready for 24/7 use as a video conferencing device and basic personal computer, the Nimble V5 may be one of the few off-the-shelf solutions for you. I wonder how big such a market could possibly be, though?  It is a solid performing device, packed with quality features, but I am not convinced that there are enough practical applications for it in the “Post-PC era”.


• Sleek and stylish
• Miniature size makes any location a practical location for use
• Handles basic computing tasks with ease, as 733 MHz is stronger than one would think
• Low heat, low noise, low power consumption make V5 ready for 24/7 operation
• Simple setup, with software pre-installed, and all necessary cables included
• Built in KVM allows sharing of existing peripherals with another computer
• Dual network connections allow for use as internet sharing device or firewall
• Logitech QuickCam Pro 4000 makes for a sharp webcam


• High price, when viewed as a small form factor PC, and not a unique consumer electronics device
• Hard to justify device as a stand alone “Personal Video Conferencing Player”
• Lacking some features to make it truly multimedia, like: tv output, firewire, or surround sound
• Limited to PCMCIA or USB for expansion possibilities, including addition of an optical drive

Final Rating (out of 5 stars):

Special thanks to Logic Supply for providing the Nimble V5 to BigBruin.Com for review!

Please drop by the BigBruin.Com Forum and feel free to discuss this review.

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