Poll

Would you buy the Linux PDA described below within the next year?

Total Members Voted: 16

Author Topic: New Linux PDA hardware  (Read 1419 times)

dhns

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New Linux PDA hardware
« on: September 19, 2004, 03:28:27 pm »
This is not a product you can buy.

I have got contact to an Asian company that is developing PDA and Smartphone reference platforms and they have developed and are able to produce a low-end Linux PDA device with the following (rough) specs (resembling a modernized Sharp SL-A300 or what Royal had announced as the LineaLX):

* integrated Bluetooth (optional)
* IrDA (115 kbit/s)
* integrated VGA camera (optional)
* SDIO & CF slots
* Linux (kernel version not yet specified, probably not compatible to Zaurus)
* Qt (or OPIE?)
* Motorola i.MXL 200 MHz (ARM compatible)
* 64 MB RAM
* up to 256 MB Flash
* 3.5" reflective TFT, 64K colors, 240x320
* Touch pad but no Keypad (!)
* Li battery approx. 1Ah
* USB 1.1 client
* RS232
* 2 LEDs (alarm & charging)
* Run, Idle and Sleep mode

This is a poll where you can - and please should - give your honest answer so that I can better estimate if it is reasonable to talk to them more deeply about how to get such a product to us users. You are also invited to comment on the product spec (yes I already know that 200 MHz is not really fast :-)

Many thanks,
hns
« Last Edit: September 20, 2004, 06:01:51 am by dhns »
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lardman

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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2004, 04:12:45 pm »
Sorry, but I don't think it's got much going for it that my C750 doesn't:

Quote
* integrated Bluetooth (optional)

Not a deal maker, but would be nice.

Quote
* integrated VGA camera (optional)

Might be nice, but again just a gimmick for me.

Quote
* Linux (kernel version not yet specified, probably not compatible to Zaurus)

Pessimism ;-)

Quote
* Motorola i.MXL 200 MHz (ARM compatible)

Never heard of it; is it quicker than a PXA400?

Quote
* 64 MB RAM

Old hat now; more more more!

Quote
* up to 256 MB Flash

This is good, but SD/CF is cheap so again not a deal maker.

Quote
* 3.5" reflective TFT, 64K colors, 240x320

Too small in terms of resolution.

Quote
* Touch pad but no Keypad (!)

No way.

Quote
* Li battery approx. 1Ah

Par for the course now.

Quote
* USB 1.1 client

Should have a host!!

Quote
* RS232

I should hope so too ;-)



Si
« Last Edit: September 19, 2004, 04:13:29 pm by lardman »
C750 OZ3.5.4 (GPE, 2.6.x kernel)
SL5500 OZ3.5.4 (Opie)
Nokia 770
Serial GPS, WCF-12, Socket Ethernet & BT, Ratoc USB
WinXP, Mandriva

iamasmith

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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2004, 04:23:33 pm »
If you want a good response from this community I would suggest a totally OPEN hardware specification including the information required to program the SD card stuff.

If you could convince people that it would be feasible to source patch the stock Linux Kernels to run on this device then you would have a lot of support from the Linux Handheld community.

I believe  my SL-C860 is better than this offering but I would be tempted in the future by open hardware specs. - In fact the to purchase another PDA the hardware of a new system would really have to trounce my 860 (and I would have to feel the need for that power) to sway me away from waiting on an open HW Spec handheld.

BTW: If the SD digital rights license got in the way the hardware could include CF bridge (presenting SD) that you could document.

Reasoning behind all this....

It would be good for users to be able to decide when to upgrade and to remove the factor that vendor support has dried up.

Do it !, open hardware that can be maintained by open source developers developing drivers for later kernels etc.

People will upgrade to your next model as and when they need more power and you may actually start a bit of a cult following for your device.

- Andy
« Last Edit: September 19, 2004, 04:40:20 pm by iamasmith »
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dhns

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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2004, 08:38:42 am »
Quote
a totally OPEN hardware specification including the information required to program the SD card stuff.
Unfortunately, I can't influence that right away. But they are also selling their device as a "reference platform" so they might be willing to provide the spec. The question is of course if they are capable of maintaining it resp. giving support in case of trouble.
Quote
If you could convince people that it would be feasible to source patch the stock Linux Kernels to run on this device then you would have a lot of support from the Linux Handheld community.
Let's see - I can talk to them about the OS issue only if I am backed by enough interested potential buyers of the hardware...
Quote
I believe  my SL-C860 is better than this offering but I would be tempted in the future by open hardware specs. - In fact the to purchase another PDA the hardware of a new system would really have to trounce my 860 (and I would have to feel the need for that power) to sway me away from waiting on an open HW Spec handheld.
Okay - it seems you are a "Power User" who has already paid about twice the $$ than this device would probably cost. It addresses a lower-tier market (like the original A300 Zaurus or what Royal was rumoured) which was up to recently filled by the SL5500.

Quote
Do it !, open hardware that can be maintained by open source developers developing drivers for later kernels etc.
Personally, I completely agree with that model (I have recently thrown in the idea of the Open Hardware Spec Foundation into the discussions) - but in this case it will (not) yet work that way.
Quote
People will upgrade to your next model as and when they need more power and you may actually start a bit of a cult following for your device.
Hm, that depends. I think the success of the Palm Zire is not necessarily the option to upgrade but the very good performance for its low price. And my idea behind such a project is to fill the low-tier demand below the SL-C and SL-6000 models from Sharp.

-- hns
SL5500G, C860, C3100, WLAN, RTM8000, Powerbook G4, and others...
http://www.handheld-linux.com
http://www.quantum-step.com

dhns

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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2004, 08:45:58 am »
Quote
Sorry, but I don't think it's got much going for it that my C750 doesn't:
I agree but I assume you have paid much more for your more powerful device. So this device is not thought as a replacement for a C series or SL-6000 but more the A300 or SL5500 category.
Quote
Quote
* Motorola i.MXL 200 MHz (ARM compatible)

Never heard of it; is it quicker than a PXA400?
I have only seen the device running Qt but was not able to do any real speed comparisons.
Quote
Quote
* 3.5" reflective TFT, 64K colors, 240x320

Too small in terms of resolution.
depending on how much are you willing to pay...

Well, I should have focussed the poll on owners of the SL5500 series devices :-) Or even non-owners. But how to get their fair answers?
SL5500G, C860, C3100, WLAN, RTM8000, Powerbook G4, and others...
http://www.handheld-linux.com
http://www.quantum-step.com

lardman

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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2004, 09:00:46 am »
Fair enough, it's just that your poll title was asking me if I'd buy one.

You'd probably be better off asking people who have Zs now if they'd have bought one before they bought what they currently have.


Si
C750 OZ3.5.4 (GPE, 2.6.x kernel)
SL5500 OZ3.5.4 (Opie)
Nokia 770
Serial GPS, WCF-12, Socket Ethernet & BT, Ratoc USB
WinXP, Mandriva

dhns

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« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2004, 10:52:26 am »
Quote
Fair enough, it's just that your poll title was asking me if I'd buy one.

You'd probably be better off asking people who have Zs now if they'd have bought one before they bought what they currently have.
You are right. And I have expected that there are more clear No than Yes answers. And that is the great thing with the forum that you can vote AND discuss...

What I have not found is an option to edit the poll question - which should not be done of course without resetting the vote counter...

What I should have done is to add an additional No option: No, because I already have a high-end Zaurus and don't need a low-end.

Next poll will be better...

-- hns
SL5500G, C860, C3100, WLAN, RTM8000, Powerbook G4, and others...
http://www.handheld-linux.com
http://www.quantum-step.com

sigmaX

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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2004, 11:00:23 am »
It sounds like even U$S 300 is too expensive for something like that ... I would say lower than u$S 180 or similar. I mean, there are ipaqs and axims and toshibas on sale, on discount, with similar processors for that money or even (much) less...
Enrique

sl-c860 / 1gigCF 40X / 256mbSD / Ambicom WIFI / TRENDnet 10/100 ethernet / SL-5500 CF 40X 32MB

dhns

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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2004, 12:41:41 pm »
Quote
It sounds like even U$S 300 is too expensive for something like that ... I would say lower than u$S 180 or similar. I mean, there are ipaqs and axims and toshibas on sale, on discount, with similar processors for that money or even (much) less...
How much is it worth to have a dedicated Linux device that is supported by the manufacturer (if we can get the hardware specs as discussed prevoiusly)? The iPAQ distributions are not officially supported and it seems to be a major barrier for the handhelds.org project to get all hardware running.

And a differen topic for discussion: is it fair to compare regular price with discount? If this is our reference, we all should expect that the Zaurus was the last and only important Linux PDA because there are many other much cheaper models out there.

BTW: I think the SL5600 is still offered here and there at >400 US$

- hns
SL5500G, C860, C3100, WLAN, RTM8000, Powerbook G4, and others...
http://www.handheld-linux.com
http://www.quantum-step.com