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zaurusrex
The Psion 5 computer returns as Gemini




Meet Psion Gemini
Psion Gemini up close

Dual boot for Android and Linux too, neat stuff!
Varti
What a surprise! ohmy.gif

A quick sizes comparison:
GPD Win: 155 x 97 mm
GPD Pocket: 173 mm x 104 mm
Gemini: 171 mm x 80 mm

The Gemini is a bit wider than the Win but narrower than the Pocket, and less deep than both. It has some clear advantages over the Win, too:
- it looks more polished and cleaner than the Win
- it has a more powerful, 10 core CPU
- it seems to be fanless
- a higher resolution screen, stereo speakers, 4G option, front camera
- it supports Linux from start

It has half of the memory and internal storage capability of the Pocket, however.

BTW, it was a surprise to me to read that mr. Janko Mršić-Flogel is behind the venture backing it. I remember him from the days when he was a C64 first, and later an Atari ST and Amiga games developer: http://retrospec.sgn.net/users/tomcat/yu/m...p;all=MMS_85_10

All in all, an interesting device; the GPD devices have finally some competition, which can be only a good thing.

Welcome back, Psion!

Varti
Varti
Some interesting background tidbits from the Gemini's designer, therefore:

https://medium.com/@thereforedesign/gemini-...ee4e#.ln8gaychd

Varti
TheWalt
I was just going to post about this. Form factor seems nicer than the GPD pocket, little less too. Not sure about giving up intel CPU though, my GPD WIN performs so well compared to any ARM device I've owned.
Varti
QUOTE(TheWalt @ Feb 28 2017, 04:17 PM) *
I was just going to post about this. Form factor seems nicer than the GPD pocket, little less too. Not sure about giving up intel CPU though, my GPD WIN performs so well compared to any ARM device I've owned.

I guess we'll have to wait for benchmarks once the device will be out. It will be anyway difficult to compare them (4 core vs. 10 core CPU), so IMHO the only meaningful comparison will be using real-world applications that exist for both Android and Windows. A per-core benchmark won't help, too, since the Gemini has 3 types of cores, running at different speeds.

Varti
koan
I think it looks very good. I don't usually care about radio for mobile networks but if you could use this as a phone under Linux then I can see it as being very desirable.

In the IndieGoGo video they say that "PDAs bizarrely disappeared" but I think the reality was that PDAs didn't sell well enough to make enough profit and that the companies making PDAs switched to making phones as that was a much more active market with better profitability. I hope they understand that, otherwise they will lose out to competitors who have a better grasp of the situation and better control over the numbers. For example, Blackberry might be considered a strong competitor after this years MWC.
HoloVector
This isn't a Psion. What was left of Psion was consumed by Motorola solutions. Sir David Potter isn't even involved. Psion means Potter Scientific Instruments Or Nothing. What they have is the industrial designer that Psion used to use. He is infamous for creative hinges that can't stand the test of time or wear out the display cable as one my Psion series 3as can attest to and great keyboards in tight spots. I was Psioneer before I went Zaurus.

It does look like a hybrid of Psion inspired design with Zaurus OS versatility. I wonder if they will go with Ubuntu or SailFish?

By the way, I'm back! Took the 3200, 1000 and 860 out of storage. The 860 is rocking a Star Wars theme on Cacko and I have Picsel Browser running on. The 3200 is e17 on pdaxii13 5.49 with with socket Bluetooth card to tether of my iPhone and the 1000 is loaded is cacko and kernel tweaks.
Varti
Welcome back HoloVector, glad to see Zaurusers from the old days back here smile.gif

QUOTE(HoloVector @ Mar 10 2017, 06:09 AM) *
This isn't a Psion. What was left of Psion was consumed by Motorola solutions. Sir David Potter isn't even involved. Psion means Potter Scientific Instruments Or Nothing. What they have is the industrial designer that Psion used to use. He is infamous for creative hinges that can't stand the test of time or wear out the display cable as one my Psion series 3as can attest to and great keyboards in tight spots. I was Psioneer before I went Zaurus.

Hinges are the holy grail of any clamshell it seems. I have read somewhere that the guys designing the Pyra have studied the hinge of a broken Zaurus, so that they might eventually implement it on their product. They abandoned the idea since the hinge was too difficult to copy.

QUOTE
It does look like a hybrid of Psion inspired design with Zaurus OS versatility. I wonder if they will go with Ubuntu or SailFish?

AFAIR in their kickstarter page they mentioned SailFish as a possibility.

QUOTE
By the way, I'm back! Took the 3200, 1000 and 860 out of storage. The 860 is rocking a Star Wars theme on Cacko and I have Picsel Browser running on. The 3200 is e17 on pdaxii13 5.49 with with socket Bluetooth card to tether of my iPhone and the 1000 is loaded is cacko and kernel tweaks.

You have a nice setup there. Is Picsel still able to render all the current web pages, or it only works on selected sites?
I have only an SL-C1000, I'm testing the latest kexecboot on it, currently it is refusing to boot so I'm trying to find out why. After that I'll give Arch Linux a go, have you tried it yet?

Varti
Varti
Some interesting info I found on the Pyra's forum regarding the difficulty of designing a sturdy and durable hinge:

https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/threads/py...9/#post-1363017

QUOTE
The problem is that we can't do many experiments here.
Even the simple Pandora nubs did cost over 100,000 EUR in development and still the first 800 failed completely and we still had a 30% failure rate of the ones after. If I did that, then there won't be a Pyra, as I don't have 100,000 EUR lying around somewhere...

If you have enough fundings and time, you can design your own parts - but doing that without having a REAL good knowledge in that area is suicide. Especially when it comes to mechanical parts which need to be durable and mass produced. There's a huge difference tweaking ONE of them manually for a prototype and having them reliably produced with mass production. I tried with multiple companies specialized on fraction hinges to get a better hinge. They couldn't offer one with the size we need.

So the only thing we can do is use off-the-shelf ones - if you find one that fits, let me know and I'll gladly use it.


Varti
koan
Well at least the guy has experience in designing and testing hinges so hopefully might make a better design this time.

Welcome back HoloVector. Thanks for the insights.
Varti
In the meantime, Planet Computers have reached and surpassed by a long shot their goal ($451,867 of the required $200,000), one month before the end of the campaign.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gemini-p...-device-phone#/

Varti
ArchiMark
GPD Pocket Specs:

CPU:Atom Z8750
OS:Windows 10 home edition or Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
RAM:8GB
ROM:128GB
Screen: 7inch 1920*1080IPS,One glass solution, gorilla glass 3, support multi-touch
Battery:7000mAH
Network:Wireless 802.11 A/Ac/ B/G/N WLAN, Bluetooth 4.1
Port: USB Type-C, USB- A (USB3.0), mini HDMI, microSD card slot,audio jack.
Weight: 480g
Size: 180mm*106mm*18.5mm
Shell material: aviation aluminum
Cooling: air cooling


- Similar size to Gemini, but larger 7" display

- 128GB storage instead of 64GB on Gemini

- Win 10 or Linux......Instead of Android or Linux
TheWalt
QUOTE(ArchiMark @ Mar 13 2017, 03:57 PM) *
GPD Pocket Specs:

RAM:8GB



They upped the ram to 8GB also FYI
ArchiMark
QUOTE(TheWalt @ Mar 13 2017, 02:32 PM) *
QUOTE(ArchiMark @ Mar 13 2017, 03:57 PM) *
GPD Pocket Specs:

RAM:8GB



They upped the ram to 8GB also FYI


Thanks for the updated info.

Edited my post to be accurate.
Varti
Compared to the Pocket, the Gemini has LTE support and a front camera which are missing in the Pocket. Too bad none of them have a rear camera though, so you basically can't take photos with them.

Varti
ArchiMark
And since we're comparing to other handhelds....let's include the Pyra in the comparison....

OS: Debian

Technical Specs:

Texas Instruments OMAP 5 SoC
2x ARM Cortex-A15 @ 1.5Ghz with NEON SIMD
2x ARM Cortex-M4
PowerVR™ SGX544-MP2
Vivante GC320 2D Accelerator

2GB or 4GB RAM, 32GB internal eMMC

720p 5" LCD with resistive touchscreen

High-Quality speakers, analog volume wheel

Headset-Port, Built-in-Mic, HDMI Video Out

Various sensors (accelerometer, gyro-sensor, etc.)
Vibration motor


Ultra-portable: approx. 139 x 87 x 32 mm

Huge battery for a long battery life (6000mAh)

Gaming controls (DPad, 4 shoulder buttons, 6 face buttons)

Two accurate analog controls with push-button

QWERTY keyboard with backlight

Integrated Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n (2,4 and 5GHz) and Bluetooth 4.1

Dual SDXC card slots, one internal MicroSDXC card slot (can be used for the OS instead of the eMMC)

2x Full-size USB 2.0 Host (one can be used as eSATA-with a small adaptor), 1x Micro USB 3.0, 1x Micro USB (Debug and Charging)
Fully configurable RGB-LEDs for notifications

Optional 3G/4G/UMTS and GPS module


The Pyra is built to be modular.

It consists of not one, but three circuit boards.

* The CPU-Board (CPU, RAM and storage)
* The Mainboard (all ports, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth)
* The Display-Board (for the screen)

You get the full schematics. No secrets.

And that screwdriver you own, use it to open hack and fix your device.

Engineering, design and craftsmanship manufacture done in Germany.

Buy a new board for updates, not a whole new device.

Long time support. The Pandora, which appeared in 2008, still gets updates 8 years later, and will continue to do so.

Replacement parts are still available for the Pandora. The same will be true for the Pyra.

https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/pages/pyra/

https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/pages/pyratech/
HoloVector
QUOTE(Varti @ Mar 10 2017, 04:25 AM) *
Welcome back HoloVector, glad to see Zaurusers from the old days back here smile.gif

QUOTE(HoloVector @ Mar 10 2017, 06:09 AM) *


By the way, I'm back! Took the 3200, 1000 and 860 out of storage. The 860 is rocking a Star Wars theme on Cacko and I have Picsel Browser running on. The 3200 is e17 on pdaxii13 5.49 with with socket Bluetooth card to tether of my iPhone and the 1000 is loaded is cacko and kernel tweaks.

You have a nice setup there. Is Picsel still able to render all the current web pages, or it only works on selected sites?
I have only an SL-C1000, I'm testing the latest kexecboot on it, currently it is refusing to boot so I'm trying to find out why. After that I'll give Arch Linux a go, have you tried it yet?

Varti

Thanks Varti. Sorry got sidetracked with other issues. My wireless has been upgraded to WPA2 since I put them in storage and I can't find my wired Ethernet card. I'll try the Bluetooth using my phone to see if that works .

The last time I played with kexecboot was almost 10 years ago. I remember it was a bit of a bear to get working and needed Antikx and Grog's help to get it up running with pdaXROM r191.

I don't think I will be trying ArchLinux; I spent years tweeking these 3 Zaurii and with the loss of so many resources including my journal I don't think I could back them back to the state that they are currently in.
Varti
QUOTE(HoloVector @ Mar 21 2017, 04:43 AM) *
Thanks Varti. Sorry got sidetracked with other issues. My wireless has been upgraded to WPA2 since I put them in storage and I can't find my wired Ethernet card. I'll try the Bluetooth using my phone to see if that works .

You might want to try to tether via wifi rather than bluetooth, I have read that the latter might be slow, although it probably depends on what bluetooth specification is implemented by the card: http://www.oesf.org/forum/index.php?s=&...st&p=142996

QUOTE
The last time I played with kexecboot was almost 10 years ago. I remember it was a bit of a bear to get working and needed Antikx and Grog's help to get it up running with pdaXROM r191.

I have finally managed to boot it. Luckily I'm in touch with the developer (ant) so I can ask him for help.

QUOTE
I don't think I will be trying ArchLinux; I spent years tweeking these 3 Zaurii and with the loss of so many resources including my journal I don't think I could back them back to the state that they are currently in.

Sorry to hear about your journal, what has happened to it? Regarding other resources, I'm working on putting back the Wiki online, I have checked the database and all the pages are still there. I'm trying to get access to the Elsix account too, and I'm planning to host here a mirror of all the still available feeds. In general, it would like to find and host here any other resource that has been put offline and that might be still useful.

Varti
Varti
Moved this topic to "New products and alternatives", I was every time forgetting to do this rolleyes.gif

Varti
HoloVector
QUOTE(Varti @ Mar 20 2017, 11:18 PM) *
QUOTE(HoloVector @ Mar 21 2017, 04:43 AM) *
I don't think I will be trying ArchLinux; I spent years tweeking these 3 Zaurii and with the loss of so many resources including my journal I don't think I could back them back to the state that they are currently in.

Sorry to hear about your journal, what has happened to it? Regarding other resources, I'm working on putting back the Wiki online, I have checked the database and all the pages are still there. I'm trying to get access to the Elsix account too, and I'm planning to host here a mirror of all the still available feeds. In general, it would like to find and host here any other resource that has been put offline and that might be still useful.

Varti

I think I lost my journal in a move along with my other my other wifi card and my Ethernet card.
speculatrix
did anyone sign up for the Gemini?

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gemini-p...-phone#/updates

"The following timeline has been proposed and is in line with our original pledge to deliver the first units in November 2017.

As you can see from the timeline, we should have first samples of the Gemini hardware in August 2017. "

At $400 it's not a crazy price compared with something like a Moto Z and the Moto Mod keyboard.
ArchiMark
I've debated about whether to back the Gemini......

Like the form factor and size, but not interested in Android......but like that it will run linux. Although they have not given any specifics about that part yet.

Also, up until their most recent update, their product development plan has been quite sketchy.

So, interested in some ways, and might end up getting one, but for now I have taken more of a wait and see approach about it, especially, want to understand the linux support more....

This is in comparison to the more concrete development of the GPD Pocket, which I felt comfortable backing about a month ago. It may also make some difference that having the GPD WIN, I can literally see and feel what I GPD product is like, and all in all it's very good. And Pocket should even be much better, at least for my needs.

Just my 2˘.......


smile.gif


Mark
HoloVector
I didn't back it either. I'm concerned with the hinge. All of my prior PSION machines had hinge related issues. The Psion hinges were always intriguing designs and were the point of failure on all my PSIONs. What I really want is slimmer and up to date Zaurus that is easy to hack and highly expandable. Sharp hinges are better hinges design and have yet to fail on me.
ArchiMark
Understand your concerns......

And wish it would be true that Sharp would release an up to date Zaurus........

Unfortunately, don't think it will happen.....but then weirder things have happened.....

smile.gif
HoloVector
I can't see Sharp keeping the Zaurus name buried for much longer it was just too popular in Japan. Just like Acura couldn't keep the NSX buried or Mazda can't keep a Wankel rotary engine RX out of it's line up. These are all iconic marquee lines that guarantee sales by branding recognition alone. Hopefully, when they bring it back they will launch it worldwide.

I'm such an optimist.
ArchiMark
QUOTE(HoloVector @ May 8 2017, 07:57 PM) *
I can't see Sharp keeping the Zaurus name buried for much longer it was just too popular in Japan. Just like Acura couldn't keep the NSX buried or Mazda can't keep a Wankel rotary engine RX out of it's line up. These are all iconic marquee lines that guarantee sales by branding recognition alone. Hopefully, when they bring it back they will launch it worldwide.


Don't know that the Zaurus was that popular.....have a feeling it was a niche market product. If it was so popular, Sharp would have kept releasing more Zauruses or an updated Netwalker.....

Wish it was different story.........

Have a feeling the sale price is high enough on the NSX to make up for a low volume product.

QUOTE
I'm such an optimist.


Yes indeed........

smile.gif
Varti
I'm thinking of getting a Gemini myself, but I'll not back it. I'll rather follow speculatrix' advice: I'll wait until a new, more mature revision of the unit eventually comes out with the (inevitable) issues of the first revision being sorted out, and hoping that in the meanwhile the price of the unit will be lowered and reach the prices of the crowdfunding campaign. This is afterall their first product, and they probably don't have any prior experience with any of the suppliers and manufacturing partners they'll use.

Some of the reasons for my choice are the keyboard (seems to be much better tha GDP Win's one) and the unit's size (wider than the Win, but still smaller than the Pocket). Another reason is that I'd like to try to use it as a smartphone. The Gemini doesn't have a phone speaker, so the only way to make calls will be via a wired/bluetooth headset. It will not be confortable to sync the headset via BT, or to plug it everytime I'll receive a call. It seems though as it will be possible to use the speaker, with a suitable low audio volume, as an ear speaker:
QUOTE
There will be four ways one can talk on Gemini. 1) Unit open with speaker phone; 2) Unit closed; 3) Wired headset and 4) Bluetooth headset. There will not be an external/secondary LCD screen.

From the other side, I realized that I rarely receive/make calls (1/2 times per week), I'd finally have a proper keyboard to type all the messages via SMS or Whatsapp, I'd have to carry and recharge only one unit, and it would be also an upgrade to my current phone (3G only with Android 2.3). What worries me is that I'll probably have to switch between the two OSes quite often, unless it will be possible to run Android in a VM under Linux.

What I really hope is that a model with a rear camera will be available. I prefer not having to make photos with the front one, without seeing what I'm shooting. According to this post, they are evaluating to add a rear camera as an add-on cover:

QUOTE
There has also been a lot of discussion on the pros and cons of having a rear-facing camera. There seems to be a lot of demand for this feature, but also some backers do not want to ruin the beautiful design of Gemini. The main issue with having the rear-camera is that the camera module is too thick for the top half of the Gemini as the camera module usually sticks out of the phone shape. So we are now considering having two different designs for the top cover: one as shown in the crowdfunding images and video and a new add-on cover that will have a camera module situated in the middle of the top cover - so that we can support both wishes. We have asked our design team to look into this. More details to follow on this.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gemini-p...-phone#/updates

QUOTE(HoloVector @ May 9 2017, 04:57 AM) *
I can't see Sharp keeping the Zaurus name buried for much longer it was just too popular in Japan.

+1. But please Sharp, either announce a new Zaurus in the next few months, or wait until my Gemini will become old and obsolete biggrin.gif

Varti
Varti
Planet Computers has recently announced that the Gemini has received a CES 2018 innovation award:

https://pressreleases.responsesource.com/ne...novation-award/

http://www.ces.tech/Events-Programs/Innova...m-Honorees.aspx

"Gemini received the award – in the Wireless Handsets and Accessories category - at an event for Honorees today (26th October) in Amsterdam. The CES Innovation Awards are judged by a pre-eminent panel of independent industrial designers, independent engineers and members of the trade media to honour outstanding design and engineering in cutting edge consumer electronics products across 28 product categories."

Varti
Varti
New update released:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gemini-p...one#/updates/36

"(...) the mass production cycle is now scheduled for 1st January - 7th January 2018. We therefore expect that those backers expecting their Gemini devices in November, will now receive their units in mid-January and that those backers expecting their units in December will now receive their units also in mid-January (a few days after the November backers)."

They'll anyway probably manage to release it at the forthcoming CES show.

Varti
Varti
A preview of the Gemini on the ZDNet portal:

http://www.zdnet.com/product/gemini-pda/

Varti
ArchiMark
Thanks for link, Varti...

More I see how Gemini is shaping up, the more I'm intrigued by it.
Even though I'm still enjoying my Pocket a lot.

Mark
speculatrix
I really like the Gemini, although I'd prefer a modern Zaurus with the rotating screen and tablet mode!

I think if the Gemini was your only phone, you'd want a smartwatch and bluetooth headset, then you could listen to music and make calls with the G staying in your pocket. I have an Android Wear smartwatch (LG Urbane, will upgrade to a Huawei W1 if I can get a bargain) and an LG collar-style headset, and that combination is very effective. It's also very useful as my workplace has very poor signal coverage away from the windows, so I can leave phone on my desk and see notifications and/or make calls without touching it!
speculatrix
Question: Gemini or GPD-Win2?
ArchiMark
QUOTE(speculatrix @ Nov 29 2017, 07:56 AM) *
Question: Gemini or GPD-Win2?


Hmmmm..........that's a good question....

Having had the original WIN prior to the Pocket, I can relate to the WIN 2 even though I haven't seen it in person.

From photo, it's clear the keyboard and keys are much better size-wise than original WIN. However, don't know how the keypress on the keys will feel. Looks similar style (though larger...) to the ol' Nokia N900 I had...so, probably clicky type keypress.

I have no need for the WIN gaming controls, so, not a plus for me.

For me, think Gemini keyboard would be the better choice.

Other key question in decision to me is OS choices. Do you need/want Win10? If yes, then WIN 2 is your choice. If not, then tougher choice again as both can run Linux.

If you need/want Android, then you'd probably go with Gemini. I don't like Android for various reasons, but Gemini can run Linux, so, that's good.

Both are quite pocketable, with WIN 2 slightly smaller, but also bit smaller display. Found the WIN display very good and sharp though.

As you can see, there are some advantages for each...just depends in the end what's most important features for you....

Just my 2 cents...

smile.gif

Mark



speculatrix
with GPD Win2, in theory, you could multi-boot ChromeOS, Android and Windows.

And since it's got non-Atom CPU, you could do virtualisation quite effectively.
Varti
The Gemini can be used as a smartphone too, unlike the Win2, it has a front camera and an optional rear one. I probably wouldn't bother with a bluetooth headset, if voice quality will be decent enough I would just use the internal speaker and microphone. When I'm at phone I'm usually either in a separate room, in my car or outdoors, so I wouldn't be bothered to check that others don't hear my conversation.

A bigger weak point of both devices is that both are/will be crowdfunded, so there's no guarantee that they will eventually ship. In case the projects will fail, there's even no guarantee that the backers will receive a full refund:

https://support.indiegogo.com/hc/en-us/arti...campaign-fails-

I have read some comments around about problems with a previous campaign (the Vega+) the Planet Computers' CEO was involved with, which might affect this campaign as well, though it is not clear if this is true or just FUD.

Varti
speculatrix
the Gemini appears to be very close to completion. Also, you can buy a wifi only version.

the GPD Win2 seems some way off a release.
ArchiMark
GPD has a good track record regarding shipping devices....

Among others...

WIN

Pocket


As for Planet...one could say there's a risk, but from everything I'm reading, seeing in videos, etc, I would say risk is quite low.

Just my 2 cents...

Of course, YMMV....

smile.gif

Varti
QUOTE(speculatrix @ Nov 29 2017, 05:08 PM) *
the GPD Win2 seems some way off a release.

According to a post on Reddit, it still needs from 3 to 6 months of development. This was a month ago, so from 2 to 5 months now. After the product will be ready, they'll open an Indiegogo crowfunding project:

https://www.reddit.com/r/gpdwin/comments/78...funding_timing/

Varti

EDIT: two admins and one member online now, yay! tongue.gif
Varti
The packaging of the Gemini has been unveiled... I like it!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gemini-p...one#/updates/40

Click to view attachment

Right now there's an ongoing certification of the device on the AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile networks.

Varti
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