In 2008 I ordered a device that would have been the first hand held with OpenGL 2.0 ES compliant 3D hardware. It was supposed to arrive for Christmas that year. It did not, I kinda figured that it wouldent, but it’s nice to think it would. So I hoped for 2009, but no. Then in 2010 I figured that the Pandora’s me and Linus orderd (and payed) back in 08 would arrive, but no.
Today it arrived.
The unboxing was pretty uninteresting, wrapped in bubble plastic, with a charger and thin manual. The first thing that strikes me is that it’s a lot bigger then i thought it would be, and a lot more plastic. It was half charged so I could start to use it directly.
So for build quality, I’m not impressed. The plastic is skewed and misscolored on a great many places. the nubs even though they feel great don’t align to center when you release them. There are LED’s on both sides but the ones on the right are not inserted correctly. I have to use pliers and brute-force to get the stylus out. Seriously, I asked a few colleagues and I was the only one that had enough force in my fingers to pry it the stylus out. The hinge for the screen makes a nasty scratching sound. The hinge have two hard positions, closed or full open everything in between is unstable. If you use the stylus on the screen you have to hold on the back of the screen or it will flip over. Speaking of using the stylus on the screen, you can feel uneven things behind the screen, there are hills and holes behind it, makes for a very bad experience. The ABXY buttons have a tendencies to stay pressed down, my a-button have been stuck that a few times. The keypad buttons feel like buttons on a remote-control from the early 80ies. The bottom of it is round. but on the “good” way so that it does not wobble, I’m however never happy when batteries are mis-shaped.
The Ångström distribution seems to work ok, but the WLAN dies after a while, and then you have to reboot, and then you have to enable the usage of WLAN, and then you’re probably up again.
It does play mp3’s pretty well, little thin on the bass, but that is understandable.
So why did I not cancel my order? well, I want to build a multilayerd sampler/effect machine and the beagle-board that is inside the pandora is exactly what I wanted. I’m also thinking about retiring the old xbox xbmc mediacenter that I’m using now BUT the extension-cable we order are not being manufactured yet. And anyway XBMC crashed on me, and the wlan is to unstable and I would never gig with an app built on software that is so prone to crash even after applying hotfix 5.
I hope that my initial disappointment will wear of and I will find some great use for it, but for now I’m not impressed.