Planet Computers : Gemini - Psion Returns


vcoleiro1

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Those specs and design look incredible for the price. $349 early bird ( still 500 available - $399 later) gets you a Gemini with

Pretty much everything included , 4G LTE, uSD slot, GPS , removable 8000mAh battery , front camera, high res 2880x1440 5.7" multitouch screen, dual boot linux and ANDROID, NFC, mechanical keyboard, Accelerometer, compass, light sensor, gyro, magneto-sensor, WiFi, Blutooth, dual USB C ports. stereo speakers, metal casing, 4GB RAM, 64GB emmc etc etc

It also uses the pretty decent Mdiatek Helio X25 Deca core SOC which has:

2x Cortex A72 @2.5GHz
4x Cortex A53 @2.0GHz
4x Cortex A53 @1.55GHz
 
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Haraldur

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Is there really a trend to (in my opinion) truly worthwhile/usable mobile computing, or have I only been paying attention recently?

It seems that the Pandora may have been too early and that the Pyra may be just late enough be lost in the crowd rather than "ahead of the curve". That is life, I suppose.
 

sm0kew0n

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Seems like the GPD Pocket campaign may have spurred them on a bit, what with it being at concept stage only. Looks nice though, good specs but I agree with comradekingu about needing a mouse for use with Linux.
 

vcoleiro1

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I can't believe this thing is being sold for that price, it's incredible really.

Also, I did notice that some of the keys have secondary labels on the front edges. I'm guessing the labelling is still in the air

EDIT:

In the comments section the project creators made this comment

"Yes - We will be releasing Gemini with a number of keyboard layouts including Swedish."
 
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AnimatedFreak

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I'm interested in it as a phone replacement. Would like to see how it performs first. I love how UMPC/Palmtops are seeing a little comeback, First the Pyra, then GPD Win, Pocket and now this. I'm still more excited over the Pyra still, but I would take this over the GPD Pocket.
 
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sulu

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It has the same problem as the GPD Pocket:
It's missing 2 USB ports. One of the two that are available will be occupied by the charger, the other one by a mouse. In that situation, how do I copy data from one USB drive to another?
Without a trackpoint/touchpad/resistive(!) stylus you'll be forced to use an external mouse, so this thing can't be used without a halfway decent workplace, which kind of undermines the point of having a compact device in the first place.

As it has an ARM SoC and an optional LTE modem I see it more as a competitor for the Pyra than for the GPD Pocket. But quite frankly, it doesn't seem to put up much of a competition. It may only cost half the price and be only half as thick, but it also only is half as useful.
It's also not clear what they mean with "Linux". Will it be a standard distribution? Will it use its own kernel or will it run on top of the Android kernel? What about the hardware-specific kernel modules? Are they open or closed source? If they are open source, are they or will they be mainlined?
 

tsh

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This looks like validation of the Pyra (to some extent), and has a slightly different niche. Will be interesting to see if it takes off as a phone+keyboard alternative. Presumably it has serious backing, otherwise the whole thing looks rather speculative to me.
 

Ian J

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Very nice specs and an interesting idea but flawed for me.

What I want in a portable device is a true desktop experience, this just sounds like a mobile phone with a keyboard.

I'll be watching the questions and answers on the campaign though, it's always interesting to see which questions the campaigners choose to ignore.
 

ekianjo

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As it has an ARM SoC and an optional LTE modem I see it more as a competitor for the Pyra than for the GPD Pocket. But quite frankly, it doesn't seem to put up much of a competition.
Unless you care for an actual keyboard I guess ?
Psion keyboards beat the Pandora and Pyra hand down. It's not thumb typing, it's touch typing. Clearly better for the keyboard. As for USB/mouse, etc, comments are valid, but if you care about typing, the Gemini is going to be very hard to beat.
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Very nice specs and an interesting idea but flawed for me.

What I want in a portable device is a true desktop experience, this just sounds like a mobile phone with a keyboard.

I'll be watching the questions and answers on the campaign though, it's always interesting to see which questions the campaigners choose to ignore.
They said you can boot Linux. How is that not a desktop experience?
 
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sulu

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Unless you care for an actual keyboard I guess ?
Psion keyboards beat the Pandora and Pyra hand down. It's not thumb typing, it's touch typing. Clearly better for the keyboard. As for USB/mouse, etc, comments are valid, but if you care about typing, the Gemini is going to be very hard to beat.
True, the keyboard sure looks like a clear advantage of this device over the Pyra.
But as much as I'd like that, as long as there are not enough USB ports to copy data in a real-world scenario and no onboard methods for precise(!) mouse input, this is just not enough.

They said you can boot Linux. How is that not a desktop experience?
Up to now it's not clear what "Linux" means in this context.
Worst case is, they just implement some sort of chroot that allows to start a regular GNU/Linux desktop on top of the underlying Android kernel (there are existing Android apps for this). This solution is easy to implement but it is doomed to not being future-proof because at some point the GNU userland will no longer be compatible with the Android kernel. This solution is also not independent of the Android system. At least you need the kernel. So if you don't trust Android, you don't gain anything by using the GNU chroot.
Best case is a fully independent dual boot system, with a GNU/Linux system with its own kernel, that has fully open kernel sources which are 100% mainlined.

The actual system will be somewhere between these two extremes. Whatever that will be, it's in the eye of the beholder whether that deserves the name "Linux" (which actually usually means "GNU" or "POSIX").
 

vcoleiro1

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@sulu

Why not use a blutooth mouse (or a stylus), that would free both usb ports for data transfer. With it's massive 8000mAh removable battery, you should have a lot of time for the transfer without having to do so while it's charging
 
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sulu

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Why not use a blutooth mouse
Because it's an additional device that needs charging, and according to Murphy's law it will always be empty in the most awkward situations. I hate that.

With it's massive 8000mAh removable battery, you should have a lot of time for the transfer without having to do so while it's charging
You're assuming I'm starting with a (reasonably) full battery for the transfer or that I have the time to first charge the device and then make the transfer. That's often not the case.

The Pyra's 3 USB ports + charging is a real killer feature in my book.
 
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sulu

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Why do you need a fully charged battery before transfers
I didn't say I would. I only said that you assume the remaining battery time would suffice for the transfer.

How much data transferring are you planning to do in one session?
The amount of data is not the point. The point is, how much time these sessions will take. In my case such a session might take a whole night.

Edit:
Oh, and by the end of that night, I'd like to have a fully charged mobile computer for my daily business instead of a drained one.
And I prefer a good long night sleep over a short restless one because I'm worrying all the time whether the battery will survive until the next morning.
 
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kuru

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I don't get how they fail to include a pointing device when even GPD got that much right.

And what is it with those crazy ass resolutions in handheld devices?

Big +1 for the removable battery.

Now include an active digitizer and make it a convertible FFS.

Edit: THe hinge design is smart.
 
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vcoleiro1

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A couple of interesting quotes

"We also wondered whether BlackBerry might license the touchpad QWERTY it used in Passport, Priv and new KEYone phones, but it’s early days. BlackBerry isn’t in the hardware business any longer, so it’s not as unlikely as it might appear. That’s one to explore, Mrsic-Flogel thought."

This I guess explains the lack of a IBM type mouse pointer, ie they seem to be looking to get some king of touch pad happening on the keyboard. I wonder if they will resort to the pointer if the touchpad doesn't come about

"The final retail price for the Wi-Fi and 4G device is expected to be about $600, and the first shipments are due to start in November this year"

So a lot more than the Indiegogo price
 
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