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SkydivinGirl
9th October 2009, 21:36
Well, I bit the bullet and coughed up $330 for the new OpenPandora Handheld (http://www.openpandora.org/) that is currently in development. According to a recent newsletter from them, they are going to start populating the boards this month and ship in November or December. The first run is going to be 4,000 units.

http://openpandora.org/storetop.jpg

I've wanted a versatile portable gaming system for quite a while and was teetering on the edge of getting a GP2X Wiz (http://www.gp2xwiz.com/) for quite some time but I really wanted a physical keyboard for retro computer emulation.

I know it seems like an extremely expensive device but, when you think about it, an 16GB iPod Touch is almost as much but has less capability.

Once I get the device, I'll do a full review for everyone. :)

Super excited,

Heather

Justin
9th October 2009, 21:41
cool toy!!

what are the dimentions/capabilities/specs?

thanks, JuvUK

playgeneration
9th October 2009, 21:44
Looks very cool - like what the Sony PSP should have been.

SkydivinGirl
9th October 2009, 22:14
@JuvUK

From the web site:

* ARM® Cortex™-A8 600Mhz+ CPU running Linux
* 430-MHz TMS320C64x+™ DSP Core
* PowerVR SGX OpenGL 2.0 ES compliant 3D hardware
* 800x480 4.3" 16.7 million colours touchscreen LCD
* Wifi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth & High Speed USB 2.0 Host
* Dual SDHC card slots & SVideo TV output
* Dual Analogue and Digital gaming controls
* 43 button QWERTY and numeric keypad
* Around 10+ Hours battery life

Heather

cv643d
9th October 2009, 23:21
This is such a nische product IMHO :coffee:

As I have understood it, it is 1 year late on the market? However I am slightly tempted by one if it can deliver quality emulators and no Dingoo 65% speed rubbish :laugh:

Also, a cool UAE environment running Picasso96 in 800x480 would be awesome, but I guess we wont get WinUAE quality Amiga-emu on it?

Right?
:grouphug:

SkydivinGirl
10th October 2009, 00:19
Actually, this is a full Linux environment so UAE should work great! :wink:

Heather

Zetr0
10th October 2009, 03:02
Good luck on this one SdG, its a tasty little toy, I hope they pull this off..

I remember last year they re-embursed everyone whom had pre-paid, cannot remember why, I believe it was adesign fault with the memory architecture, (not sure its was last year lol)

Although I love my hacked PSP Slim&Lite the Pandora gets my envy because of DOS Box and the Keyboard *hardly seems fair if you ask me*

looking forward to the review!

T_Hairy_Bootson
10th October 2009, 10:11
People got refunded due to paypal cracking down on people using their service for pre-ordering items. Then the banks questioning how they had built up this amount of other peoples money without shipping anything... then the GFC hit and the company they had paid in full for the analogue nubs went out of business.. and the inexperience and naivity of the team in pulling something like this off really didnt help with all the other little delays. :shrug:

I am also on the pre-order list since October last year. One day soon... my precious... :drool:

arnljot
10th October 2009, 12:33
The OpenPandora is besides Android and Memo the other sexy project. A keyboard, two SD slots... Only the CPU is becoming dated on the design. With the delays they've had the CPU isn't cutting edge. But when they finally ship, they can divert their resources to update the hardware design. Ohhh my it'll be sweet.

It took a while between rev1 and rev2 of the GP2X.

I'm x-fingers for Pandora. And like all good techs, she has a girls name too.

Harrison
10th October 2009, 12:53
The interesting thing about this project is that it is using an ARM processor.

Everyone talks about the Intel vs AMD CPU competition, but in reality Intel shouldn't be worrying about AMD, and should be worrying about ARM. ARM is now a large UK based CPU developer who have their CPUs in a lot of devices. Most phones and pda's are using ARM chips these days, including the iPhone.

The reason Intel should be worried is because ARM have been developing a netbook CPU that will go head to head with the Atom CPU. However manufacturers going with the ARM processor won't have the restrictions Intel place on their Atom range. Currently anyone wanting to make a netbook system using an Atom CPU have to limit the spec to a maximum of 10" screen, 160GB HDD, 2GB ram and Win XP. ARM are not restricting anything, and their CPU manufacturing model is quite different with them licensing CPU specs to customers so they can fabricate the chips themselves.

What does this have to do with Pandora?

Well think about it. Once these new ARM netbook chips are available the people behind Pandora would then have a much more powerful CPU they could use for the next version.

M$ should also be a bit worried about ARM. They currently don't have a version of Windows that runs on ARM processors, however Google OS does. Therefore locking M$ out of their whole hardware/software base. If it takes off this could be interesting to watch.

keropi
10th October 2009, 13:26
Nah, I don't think Intel and MS need to worry about ARM... even if ARM makes a way better netbook-cpu , and even if they have no restrictions at all, it will lack a VERY important thing: Windows OS.
Normal and typical users don't care about linus/xyz OSes, they want windows because they know it and because of their vast software and user base...

r0jaws
10th October 2009, 14:34
Tell that to everyone with Blackberry or iphone! :jester:

Windows OS may be the king of the hill for desktops and laptops, but they're way behind the drag curve for every other electronic device.

Anyhoo, I'm looking forward to your review SDG should make for an interesting read. :D

Zetr0
10th October 2009, 19:19
If i do get a Pandora.... I will be re-housing it straigt away into somethingless looking that a DSlite

cann't stand that crass clam-shell design...

hmmmm thinking about it now...

perhaps somthing like PSPgo like... push up and it pops up at a gentle angle revealing a keyboard and gaming pads....

rkauer
11th October 2009, 06:23
My good friend: the appeal of Pandora resides in its/her resemblance with the long gone Timex Sinclair (remember the ZX81 & 82 ?).

That little device give me a firm memory of that range of lovely computer with its (in)famous keyboard... Ahh... Memories...

:whistle: Midnight, not a sound from the pavement. Has the moon lost her memory? She is smiling alone..." :whistle:

Kin Hell
11th October 2009, 15:52
That's one review I look forward to seeing Heather. Looks really cool, even if a bit blocky.

Charlie

SkydivinGirl
11th October 2009, 20:38
I am also on the pre-order list since October last year.
I almost got on the pre-order list earlier in the year but I'm glad I waited until it was closer to actual production. A year is a long time to be without your money. :) On a side note, it appears they decided to have the Pandora manufactured in the USA (Texas). They said this they decided the production quality would be better by doing it there.

I'll definitely let everyone know when it comes in. :)

Take care,

Heather

SkydivinGirl
16th February 2010, 17:02
The OpenPandora project is almost ready to ship (http://www.open-pandora.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=2&Itemid=2&lang=en)! They expect to get the cases for the units after the Chinese New Year. After that, it's just a matter of assembly and shipping. :D

Here's a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM2Z-N0_1_A) of one of these devices running an unoptimized version UAE. I can't wait to get mine!

Heather

Shoonay
16th February 2010, 17:15
Here's a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM2Z-N0_1_A) of one of these devices running an unoptimized version UAE.If that's "the slowest Amiga emulation possible on the Pandora" I can't wait for the optimized version. :thumbsup:

r0jaws
16th February 2010, 18:25
That looked pretty smooth, If only I could get my PSP to run as effectively.

Zetr0
16th February 2010, 18:45
That looked pretty smooth, If only I could get my PSP to run as effectively.


The wont for a PPC ASM Core.... I do beleive FOL is working hard at integrating one... as its just him its hard to find help to turn too.

I have to admit the Pandora is showing off reall nice, even with the screen tearing on the left... impressive stuff... although frame-skip 2... tisk ;)

PhilipMcD
16th February 2010, 23:57
Looking at the spec of this Pandora thing, not really sure why one would pick this over say the iPhone/iPod Touch for instance.

Well except the open vs closed nature of the devices.


M$ should also be a bit worried about ARM. They currently don't have a version of Windows that runs on ARM processors, however Google OS does. Therefore locking M$ out of their whole hardware/software base. If it takes off this could be interesting to watch.

Interestingly, I've heard that ReactOS has been made to run on ARM.

SkydivinGirl
17th February 2010, 01:06
Looking at the spec of this Pandora thing, not really sure why one would pick this over say the iPhone/iPod Touch for instance.

Well except the open vs closed nature of the devices.
There are actually many reasons. First and foremost on my list is the open nature of the device. Apple banned a C64 emulator because you could get to basic!

Other reasons:


Dual Analog Joysticks
A Real Directional Pad and Buttons, including Bumper Buttons
Expandable Memory through SD Cards
QWERTY Keyboard

There's really no comparison. :)

Heather

r0jaws
17th February 2010, 01:07
Maybe because its a dedicated emulation platform and an ipod touch/ iphone is not. You could also ask why someone would choose an ipod touch and not a nintendo DS or a PSP.

Zetr0
17th February 2010, 01:09
There are actually many reasons. First and foremost on my list is the open nature of the device. Apple banned a C64 emulator because you could get to basic!


So if I wrote an IPoo'd app - say a C64 emulator that could run games from memory card - Flapple would either NOT allow it on the STORE / or Remove it if they found out?!?

SkydivinGirl
17th February 2010, 01:12
So if I wrote an IPoo'd app - say a C64 emulator that could run games from memory card - Flapple would either NOT allow it on the STORE / or Remove it if they found out?!?
LOL! Seems that way. :wink:

Heather

PhilipMcD
17th February 2010, 01:18
Maybe because its a dedicated emulation platform and an ipod touch/ iphone is not. You could also ask why someone would choose an ipod touch and not a nintendo DS or a PSP.

Dedicated emulation platform?

Well I just got that impression from Wikipedia. I originally thought it is supposed to be its own gaming platform, with Linux general use computing features to go along with it.

Which is why I suggested the iPhone, having similar/slightly better spec, a host of games/apps written for it plus web browser and other PDA like features.

If it is for emulation, then I guess SDG's reasons also make a lot of sense though.

How long would the battery last with emulation? Wikipedia says 10+ hours gaming, but not sure if that means emulation.

r0jaws
17th February 2010, 02:01
Of course, I'd never suggest that an iphone or ipod touch is anything other than the only platform you would ever need. :lol:

My impression from the website and forum is that this was designed with gaming and emulation very much in mind as it's primary function.

Any other functions appear to be a secondary priority.

moijk
17th February 2010, 07:56
The reason Intel should be worried is because ARM have been developing a netbook CPU that will go head to head with the Atom CPU. However manufacturers going with the ARM processor won't have the restrictions Intel place on their Atom range.

You got Windows CE on ARM, doesn't you? I seem to recall ARM-netbooks running that.

But I like the fact no regular windows runs on it, giving whomever buys it no choice in going for the "well known".

---------- Post added at 07:56 ---------- Previous post was at 07:45 ----------



Looking at the spec of this Pandora thing, not really sure why one would pick this over say the iPhone/iPod Touch for instance.

Well except the open vs closed nature of the devices. Apple banned a C64 emulator because you could get to basic!


You can get that c64 emulator on iphone now.

chiark
17th February 2010, 10:36
Yes, but the c64 emulator doesnt let you run anything other than stuff you've downloaded from the app store, and there's no way to get to basic with it either.

regarding the openpandora: I put my money down the day the orderign started expecting maybe something in 2008.. After the debacle around refunds, it became obvious that they were not going to be delivered in the promised 2 months, and I couldn't see when they would ever be delivered so I got my money back.

Fair play to them, it looks like they may well actually deliver the units, but my guess would be "2 months more". As it has been since October 2008 ;)

SkydivinGirl
17th February 2010, 15:39
If it is for emulation, then I guess SDG's reasons also make a lot of sense though.
This is where I think the strength of the Pandora is and that is my reason for buying it. It's also a fully enabled web device that I can use to get online when I'm out and about. I don't really see the original games for the Pandora as the primary focus for the device. It's pretty much a pocket size Linux computer.

@Chiark

I ordered around November, knowing that they had missed delivery dates on multiple occasions. If I had ordered when the project was first announced then I definitely would have gotten my money back. :) The bad thing about the project taking so long is the fact the technology is a couple years old before it even launches. Fortunately, I'm mostly going to use it to emulate old systems so the hardware should be good enough. :)

Heather