Pandora Homebrew Portable Offers Gaming on the Go
Portable gaming does not have to be Sony, Apple or Nintendo’s market. With the explosion of micro-PCs out there, it’s nice to see that someone recognizes the power of Netbook-like hardware to play games and deliver desktop PC functionality on the go. To that end, a group of developers in the UK recently announced their new mobile gaming system the Pandora.
The initial production run of 6,000 units is expected to be ready to ship to customers in October with a $349 (without VAT) or approx. 330 EUR (including VAT) cost. You can read more or order one directly from the Pandora website.
The Pandora is a mobile computer built off of Linux that aims to bring powerful emulation gaming as well as portable desktop and Internet functionality to the average user. the device is smaller than a conventional netbook, includes dual analog controls and purports over 10 hours of battery life on a full charge. Since it’s built on Open Source software and standard hardware the Pandora appears to offer good flexibility.
The unit’s full specifications include:
- Texas Instruments OMAP3530 processor at 600MHz (officially)
- 256MB DDR-333 SDRAM
- 512MB NAND FLASH memory
- IVA2+ audio and video processor using TI’s DaVinciâ„¢ technology (430MHz C64x DSP)
- ARM® Cortexâ„¢-A8 superscalar microprocessor core
- PowerVR SGX530 (110MHz officially) OpenGL ES 2.0 compliant 3D hardware
- integrated Wifi 802.11b/g (up to 18dBm output)
- integrated Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR (3Mbps) (Class 2, + 4dBm)
- 800×480 resolution LTPS LCD with resistive touch screen, 4.3″ widescreen, 16.7 million colors (300 cd/m2 brightness, 450:1 contrast ratio)
- Dual analog controllers
- Full gamepad controls plus shoulder buttons
- Dual SDHC card slots (up to 64GB of storage currently)
- headphone output up to 150mW/channel into 16 ohms, 99dB SNR (up to 24 bit/48KHz)
- TV output (composite and S-Video)
- Internal microphone plus ability to connect external microphone through headset
- Stereo line level inputs and outputs
- 43 button QWERTY and numeric keypad
- USB 2.0 OTG port (1.5/12/480Mbps) with capability to charge device
- USB 2.0 HOST port (480Mbps) capable of providing the full 500mA to attached devices (examples include USB memory, keyboard, mouse, 3G modem, GPS)
- up to two externally accessible UARTs and/or four PWM signals for hardware hacking, robot control, debugging, etc.
- un-brickable design with integrated boot loader for safe code experimentation
- Power and hold switch useful for “instant on” and key lockout to aid in media player applications on the go
- Runs on the Linux operating system (2.6.x)
- Dimensions: 140×83.4×27.5mm
- Weight: 335g (with 4000mAh battery)
Because of the Linux OS and the wide availability of emulators at face value the gaming possibilities of the unit far outstrip your average netbook.