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> Pandora, details of a genuine Z killer!
danboid
post Dec 22 2007, 01:24 AM
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For the last year or two it seems that one of the main topics of discussion on this board has been the arrival of new PDA's and UMPC's that might be a worthy Z replacement. Although some of these units have offered some superior specs, they'd always fall short somehow ie no clamshell, no Linux support, inferior screen or something.

Well, thankfully it would seem our calls for a REAL Z replacement have finally been answered with PANDORA (is this the first female computer since the Amiga??) which is due to be released Spring 2008 for around 199 (they hope!). Check out these specs!

~800Mhz ARM CORTEX cpu
Clamshell design!
128MB RAM
On-board wifi
Linux/X11 as standard!
800x480 screen
USB2 host
7M poly/s 3D accel
A/V output
2 x SDHC slots
keyboard AND joypad

There you go! Pretty much everything we were hoping for in a new Zaurus but from a relatively unknown British company. Why has it took so long for someone to put something like this together when there have been so many suitable dev boards to base such a design upon for years? I'm just hoping the build quality of these things can match the Z, if they manage that at 199 I'm sure it'll be a HUGE success and could well be the device to break Linux open to much wider, more mainstream audience?

http://pandora.bluwiki.org/
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xjqian
post Dec 22 2007, 03:38 AM
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keyboard looks horrible. Build quality (plastic?) and battery life are my concerns.
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Dromede
post Dec 22 2007, 06:36 AM
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Oh my god, that thing looks horrible. The specs are nice but i don't want to be seen even touching that thing. ohmy.gif
And yes, the keyboard looks awful too.
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Snappy
post Dec 22 2007, 09:24 AM
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Could be promising, but the color combo is killing ... literally! ... except for maybe the full black model. The other color combo looks too kiddie. ohmy.gif

No info on size and weight though, so it's hard to tell. How does it stack against the eeepc, nanobook etc. Or even the kohjinsha? With its 4.3" LCD, size wise, it should be smaller, maybe a little larger than the Z and a little smaller than the eeepcs. But gosh, do I find the THICK bezel distracting ... sad.gif

Overall, too toyish for its own good. smile.gif
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Dromede
post Dec 22 2007, 09:47 AM
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dammit, those specs are awesome. But i hope they change the design, the units on the images are rendered so i hope that it's just a mockup design. maybe we should point them to our community, i bet that a lot of people would buy their unit if they can redesign the thing into a more general handheld computer not just a gaming console.
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jfv
post Dec 22 2007, 10:41 AM
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Is it by the same people who makes the GP2X? It looks like it's aimed at gamers.
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Capn_Fish
post Dec 22 2007, 11:52 AM
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http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/20/gp2x-co...dubbed-pandora/

Looks like it, but its keyboard looks horrible! Hopefully the final version will be much better.
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danboid
post Dec 22 2007, 12:51 PM
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Oh dear!

OESF is NOT impressed with the Pandora so far it would seem! I really expected a much more positive reaction from what is unquestionably the greatest hope we have of getting a proper Z successor any time soon.

Opinions on it have been mixed from the GP2X community but thankfully that isn't the FINAL design, but I don't think its going to change to drastically from what it is at the mo- which I think is a good thing as I really like it (apart from the missing keys..)

Everybody interested in using it as a PDA / micro-laptop device has demanded they correct the sinful omission of dedicated TAB, CTRL and ALT keys, and those who want it more for games want an extra pair of shoulder buttons for perfect PSX emulation so I should imagine they'll at least put these right.

There's heated discussion on this device going on over at the GP2X forums so you guys should join in!

http://www.gp32x.com/board/index.php?showforum=61
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tg
post Dec 22 2007, 03:26 PM
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There are some really ugly designs out there (to me I especially hate the split keyboard models).
But this one is honestly giving all of them run for their money (as far as looks are concerned for sure).
If this is our best hope for new Z then we are a very sad bunch of losers (this even makes a Vaio UX look attractive and I never though I'd see a device that would make me say that).
Personally I think our current best hope is something like OQO3 - whenever that comes out. I know it will be >$2000 with windows and sliding keyboard instead of clam - but at least it will be x86 and support regular linux (and I honestly don't see anything more promising on the horizon regardless of price - at least nothing in pocket size).
I would love to be wrong or get a huge surprise by Apple - some type of 5" OSX tablet would be a dream (but of course it would have to have keyboard and we all know chances of that happening are probably less than even seeing Apple mouse with 2 real buttons).
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nilch
post Dec 22 2007, 05:15 PM
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Oh no, not another hope of a Zaurus replacement and another dissapointment ?
Oh yes, it is, another hope dashed again. unsure.gif


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Capn_Fish
post Dec 22 2007, 05:29 PM
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Perhaps v2.0 will be better (or the non-mock-up).
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adf
post Dec 22 2007, 06:50 PM
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I LIKE it. I spent a few hours today trying to get my wifi (atheros 5007EG) working on a laptop (x86--or really AMD64) in Gutsy (everything just works, right?) with no success. Seein someone that is trying to release ANYHING that is intended to run Linux natively is kind of a relief. If this iteration of this device doesn't quite suit--n o sweat, we can't buy 'em yet anyway. Since Shrp doesn't seem to want to continue with Zaurus evolution, that leaves only Nokia with a similar device that can actually be purchased-- and these guys, and openmoko with some plans and som dev releases (I realize opnmoko is furhter along). Good for the pandora team--I hope they get rich and their devices become as ubiquitous as ipods, and I hope it runs real debian, or ubuntu.
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danboid
post Dec 23 2007, 12:50 AM
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So, apart from me and ADF, nobody likes it because it's UGLY!?!

Now I'm not pretending it's a landmark piece of computer hardware design but come on! You'd think this was an Apple forum for girls! Is the Zaurus really that much better looking than this? Not in my eyes. In fact, I have never given two pings about what my computers look like, just as long as they do what I want and do it reliably I'm happy.

OQO has a real bad track record - just ask Meanie about 'em! No x86 based solution can compare to ARM for Mhz/mA so its still the best for portable devices like this.

I reckon pretty much every one of you who's been dissing this because it looks ugly will actually end up buying one and loving it to bits- there is nothing else this good on the horizon. Openmoko is cool but thats a FOSS alternative to the iPhone, not the Zaurus, and it's not as powerful or feature-packed as Pandora. I don't want to sound like I'm knocking openmoko though, I wish it the best and I may even buy an openmoko phone myself (after I've got myself a Pandora!)
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tg
post Dec 23 2007, 04:39 AM
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QUOTE(danboid @ Dec 23 2007, 03:50 AM) *
So, apart from me and ADF, nobody likes it because it's UGLY!?!

Is the Zaurus really that much better looking than this?

OQO has a real bad track record - just ask Meanie about 'em! No x86 based solution can compare to ARM for Mhz/mA so its still the best for portable devices like this.


I totally disagree and think Zaurus is absolutely beautiful - still the best looking pocked computer I have ever seen.
By the way, I do agree that OQO has a bad track record and it is why I did not buy one so far - but it is a true micro pc and does not look bad - so to me is the only thing out
there right now I would currently consider instead of Zaurus.
If they get the heat under control (and replace the noisy fan) next model could be something special (also with 64GB SSD instead of current 32GB).
One thing that gives me hope about OQO is that their new CEO is very active on the oqotalk forum and seems to be listening and really taking customer
input - we'll see what happens but there is some reason for optimism...

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fpp
post Dec 23 2007, 07:53 AM
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Personally I don't give a damn if it's ugly or not - just as long as it's functional, practical and usable.

The hardware specs look OK to me (provided they get the keyboard right of course), but that's the easy part.

The real problem, as always in the mobile Linux space, will be the OS and software.

As someone said, this has its roots in gaming machines. If it doesn't support something versatile and mature enough out of the box (like the Nokia tablets' Maemo environment), it will be Zaurus-land all over again : an official, vendor-supported OS that doesn't quite fit the bill for PDA users (in this case, a shell to launch emulators and games), and a dozen community projects launched to fill in the gaps, none of them with a hope of reaching end-user readiness some day...
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