What the P1 got right, what it got wrong


thatgui

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I'm not sure why people dog on the Pandora's keyboard.  Frankly, I don't expect an IBM tactile click experience from a handheld computer.  No, it isn't 'spectacular'.  It IS, however, very durable and dependable and cheap to replace if it ever wears out.

Keys not bouncing back up anymore?  Slap in a new $15 keymat and done.
Looking at similar designs from the past (like the keyboard from a HP 200LX) I think there is much to improve. Looking at the fact that the P2 has to differntiate itself from the ever growing rest of the market more than the P1 had to, I say go for it.
I agree in the shoulder button matter, they are unnecessary big - I would vote for 4 instead of 2 (horizontally alligned) buttons though.
 
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3_bit

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We should go with no internal storage because it is expensive. Look at the Steve Jobs's Apple. His Macintosh had no HDD, so ours should have no internal memory either.
 
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Binky

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The things that are really good in the P1 are battery life, DAC performance and the d-pad.

If the P2/Dragonfly could get another three things (totalling six) practically perfect, what should they be?
 

Null

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^


WiFi


Outdoor screen readability


Shoulder buttons
 

Neelix

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We should go with no internal storage because it is expensive. Look at the Steve Jobs's Apple. His Macintosh had no HDD, so ours should have no internal memory either.
I disagree with that. I prefer to be able to change both SD cards, without having to power off.

- Neelix
 

ekianjo

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I hope you don't mind I used your forum topic for Pandoralive :)

http://www.pandoralive.info/?p=352

 

Alpha2

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While I don't mind the volume wheel, one of the biggest problems with it, and likely the reason so many hardware designers have switched to button coontrols, is that volume wheels inevitably degrade over time. I've never had a casset player with a volume wheel that didnt eventually start to cause the audio to play awkwardly though one side of my headphones. It was a fear of mine when it was first announced as a feature of the Pandora. When I got mine I figured maybe I'll just be able to avoid using it to extend the life of the wheel and just use the OS volulme control but when it's in your pocket sometimes it's just simpler to use the wheel. Mind you as of this writting it still "works", but it's definately showing signs of that problem when you have to tap and fiddle with the wheel occasionaly to get audio to play equally in both ears.

Just food for thought.

As for the case design, c'mon the thing is called pandora, the design is just fine "design is ugly and utilitarian" is a harsh descriptor for something that's named after a box. It's supposed to slip into your pocket, if you put too much fancy stuff on the exterior it would get hung up, and I dont see too many people complaining about the interiors of other clamshell style game systems.
 

Mr_Loon

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A few more for the what Pandora got wrong category :

  • Case ergonomics, the corners by the comma & function keys tend to dig into your hands during periods of extended use. Additional rounding here would alleviate this issue.
  • The hinge is a bit of a shocker in all honesty, probably the worst I've used on a clamshell device. It would be good to be able to lock it in more than 1 position and for it to be a lot less floppy in general use.
  • Nand is too small to allow things like package management / installation of software direct to Nand.
 

Binky

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First two are valid, but I don't think there was an option to put more NAND in the SOC.

They could have included a separate memory chip on board but chose SD slots instead. Isn't that good?
 

3_bit

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We should go with no internal storage because it is expensive. Look at the Steve Jobs's Apple. His Macintosh had no HDD, so ours should have no internal memory either.
I disagree with that. I prefer to be able to change both SD cards, without having to power off.


- Neelix
You do realize I was joking, and citing the Apple Macintosh from the 80's. 
 

jorlinn

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Right:

  • Size
  • Audio
  • battery life
  • PND, except the problems that ekianjo already mentioned.
  • Open source hardware (mostly) and software.
  • SD-Cards for storage
  • DPAD
  • Construction without those pesky plastic clips.
  • weight distribution in the unit
  • full-sized USB-port (sadly lacking USB 1.1 compat.)
  • Allow mini-USB for charging.
Wrong:

  • Screen readability (this makes Atari2600 and some darker PS1 games almost impossible to play)
  • touch-screen sensitivity (it's more like a scratch screen than a touch screen right now)
  • Keyboard (Not enough keys and impractical for most programming/ scripting  languages+ poor key press)
  • Analog nubs are not suitable to assign key presses to (but that's mainly a software issue)
  • Poor Wifi
  • non-standard expansion port
  • only one set of shoulder buttons instead of two.
  • stylus (point too scratchy), i use a silicone-tipped stylus for a DSi right now and that makes a big difference
  • Battery lid
  • no true SDXC-compatibility.
  • Making good contracts with hardware partners that are legally binding and making them accountable for any damages they have caused.
  • Forcing the unit to be on while charging.
Ouch, lots of wrongs, but I still love my pandy. A friend of mine with wizardly soldering skills makes both a TV-out cable and a protected GPIO experiment board so I'm golden on that aspect (Thanks to Wizardstan who took the initiative to buy the necessary connectors).
 
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TrashyMG

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Forcing the unit to be on while charging.
Did you know every single cell phone/pad device does the exact same thing.

It's just the Pandora doesn't have a minimal boot up mode just for charging like those devices. It can be done, but not a priority when there is a ton of other things to do..
 

LuSimon

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One of the things that make pandora so good is that almost everything that is avaiable for it is free with no drm bulshit, wich makes pandora a good investment.
 
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lingenfr

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I agree with keeping the NAND. SD is a great capability but should not be a dependancy. I also agree with boot from USB. No one mentioned it, but I would like to see GPS as more and more applications are at least GPS enhanced. It sounds like wifi criticism is a bit too kind. I expect if there were a poll that asked if the Pandora was the slowest, most finicky wifi device you own of similar age, most folks would say yes based on a thorough review of the forums. Maybe not. P2 should include 802.11n/i. One thing right about the P1 is that it exists. The founders pulled off an internationally crowd sourced device. Obviously lots of potholes in the road, but a pretty amazing feat nonetheless.
 
C

CocoCreekFisherman

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I think one thing the P1 got wrong and still has is the marketing aspect. Although I realize the OP company is comprised of very few it is a pity that more aggressive marketing couldn't be done on a worldwide basis.
 
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levi

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Hmm, I really don't get the criticism of the keyboard.  As I wrote in the article that went up on PandoraLive, my only real complaint is the number keys squished up there next to the hinge, and the thickness of the device at the bottom edge which makes typing a little more fatiguing than it should be.  But I'm impressed how reliable the action is - press a key on my Pandora and it'll definitely respond, and how unlike previous rubber keyboards I've used it is.

I'd say my own criticisms of the Pandora hardware would be:

- the hinge could be a bit stiffer, and could lie a bit more evenly when closed (though that's something you don't tend to notice after a while)

- the touchscreen could be more responsive (although the screen protector I've added really doesn't help, I reckon)

- the nubs recalibrating themselves in the middle of a game of super geo wars killed that game for me

- took me a long time to figure out the optimal number and placement of little wedges of paper in the battery compartment to make the thing stay in contact if I ever took it anywhere.

- that the bluetooth LED isn't blue :(

- and how easy it is to scratch the silver paint (having just knocked mine off the arm of this chair into the pit where my laptop PSU lurks and getting a fresh scratch on the lid)

Positives are:

- Having shift on left trigger

- Audio quality (although sadly this has shown up the flaws in some of the cheaper headphones I was happy using on other devices)

- Battery life

- Keyboard layout - it may be limited in terms of the number of keys, but all the symbols you're ever likely to need are there, and the layout of most of them isn't too bonkers.

- USB2 host is surprisingly useful when the wifi conks out!

Of course, there's a lot of other stuff which is simply as excellent as I'd expect from a device in this day and age including the screen brightness which has worked fine for playing Yars' Revenge for me.
 

GoldenSun3DS

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The small 800x480 resolution was a big wrong, not a right.

right:I agree with most of what others have said before. wrong: -small nand memory size.(yes I know we can install the OS on a sd card) -No 720p video. -Not so good internal wifi.
You can't get NANDs of larger size, based on what ED told me. 

And 720p video was never a target for a screen that can only display 800*4x0 resolution. In 2008 (when the Pandora was out) there was no portable device capable for 720p playback so this can hardly be called a "wrong". 
Except the Pandora wasn't out in 2008. It didn't start shipping until 2010. I'm sure by 2010 there were plenty of 720P handheld screens.

Just because it was developed a long time ago, a "right" in 2008 is not necessarily a "right" in 2013. You should be judging it by 2013 (current) standards, not 2008 (old) standards.

By that logic, the NES's less than 1MB of RAM is a right and anything that has more than that is a supercomputer.
 

GoldenSun3DS

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Forcing the unit to be on while charging.
Did you know every single cell phone/pad device does the exact same thing.


It's just the Pandora doesn't have a minimal boot up mode just for charging like those devices. It can be done, but not a priority when there is a ton of other things to do..
3DS and DS both charge while they're off...
 
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