Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 10th Jan 2018 00:39 UTC
Android

The Gemini is a clamshell Android device with an 18:9 ultrawide 1080p screen and a compact but more-or-less full physical keyboard. It runs on a 10-core MediaTek Helio X27 processor and has 4GB of RAM, a 4,220mAh battery, and two USB-C ports. It’s 15.1mm thick when closed and weighs 308g. There are both Wi-Fi-only and LTE-capable models. The software is pretty much stock Android with a useful customized dock that can be brought up anywhere, and you can also dual-boot into Linux for more customization.

This is exactly what I've always wanted. A tiny Psion Series 5-like computer running a modern operating system. This machine can run Android and regular Linux, and seems quite similar in concept to the GPD Pocket 7, which sadly seems to be hard to come by here in The Netherlands (I'd want to run Haiku on the GPD Pocket 7). To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what's I'd use such a tiny laptop for, but they're tiny enough they're not really taking up space.

Order by: Score:
Useless today but still cool
by Morgan on Wed 10th Jan 2018 00:57 UTC
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what's I'd use such a tiny laptop for, but they're tiny enough they're not really taking up space.


I'm in the same boat. I finally got my hands on a Toshiba Libretto about 10 years ago, long after the tiny laptops were rendered obsolete by the Palm Treo 650 I carried back then, but despite its limitations it was just plain fun to play with. BeOS and Slackware ran on it with some fiddling and I felt "Hackers-movie-cool" carrying it around and futzing with it in coffee shops.

As for the above mentioned modern palmtops, I'd rather have the GPD unit, and of course I'd run Haiku on it as well, but it's just too expensive for what amounts to an unnecessary toy.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Useless today but still cool
by JLF65 on Wed 10th Jan 2018 19:26 UTC in reply to "Useless today but still cool"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

One of the best things to do with an ultra-small PC is emulations. It's a perfect pocket arcade machine. The performance is good enough to play anything up to PS1 level games. You could also go for Amiga or Mac emulation for those old-school computer games that were so great through the 80's and into the early 90's.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Useless today but still cool
by Morgan on Wed 10th Jan 2018 23:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Useless today but still cool"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Good point, and it's why the Pyra is on my "I don't need it but I WANT it" list.

That GPD unit looks just like a mini MacBook; imagine getting it to work as a Hackintosh and fooling hipsters in coffee shops all day.

Better yet, install a PPC emulator and throw OS 9 on it; you get access to some great old Mac games and a head-turner as well.

Reply Score: 4

It """runs""" Linux
by tidux on Wed 10th Jan 2018 01:03 UTC
tidux
Member since:
2011-08-13

Thanks once again to ARM's spectacular idiocy in refusing to open source the Mali driver when a good 95%+ of the market for Mali GPUs is Linux based, you'll need to stick to a very limited subset of kernels, whether you're running Android or GNU on top of Linux.

Reply Score: 5

conflicted
by Kishe on Wed 10th Jan 2018 06:20 UTC
Kishe
Member since:
2006-02-16

the irrational part of me would like to buy one just for the novelty of it but the rational part of me just keeps saying what the heck could i do with it that my current mobile devices cant do.

Reply Score: 4

RE: conflicted
by Lobotomik on Wed 10th Jan 2018 08:52 UTC in reply to "conflicted"
Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

Yes, it is very attractive, but in the end, for the same effort of whipping it out of your bag you could whip out a 20€ bluetooth keyboard.

Reply Score: 5

RE: conflicted
by teco.sb on Wed 10th Jan 2018 14:21 UTC in reply to "conflicted"
teco.sb Member since:
2014-05-08

Agreed! I really wish I could spend a week with one to test it.

However, I bought a Samsung 11" Chromebook on Black Friday for $120 (similar specs to this... 2-Core Atom, 4GB RAM, 10 hr battery life). But even at full price, which is $180, I think it is a better bang for my buck. At the end, you will still need another device (be it a larger laptop or a desktop), and, since this thing comes with Android, you're just as limited.

On top of all that, even though I'm only 35, I cannot imagine having to do any remotely serious work on a tiny 7" screen. In my opinion, the jump from 5.5" phone screen, to a 7" device is not enough. The nice thing about the chromebook is that it is 11" so when I need to check a picture/photograph, write a longer email, or browse the internet in more detail, I can do it comfortably. As someone else mentioned, a bluetooth keyboard will only cost you $20.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: conflicted
by Kochise on Wed 10th Jan 2018 16:27 UTC in reply to "RE: conflicted"
Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Well, I bought one of these cheap toys :

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Netbook-Android-Latest-Software-build/dp/B0...

It would have been under Android 4 it would have been better, yet, quite frankly, the form factor is more usable as you might think. A micro usb mouse and you're gone.

Should have tried these instead, but came later :

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Soledpower%C2%AE-Android-Netbook-La...

With a better battery, power and screen size, that should do it.

Reply Score: 1

Ugly
by nicubunu on Wed 10th Jan 2018 07:54 UTC
nicubunu
Member since:
2014-01-08

I fully understand and support the idea of keeping the price low, but this device is ugly (mainly the keyboard is ugly, the display looks like a common low priced phone).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ugly
by boudewijn on Wed 10th Jan 2018 19:45 UTC in reply to "Ugly"
boudewijn Member since:
2006-03-05

The keyboard doesn't look the way it does because it's cheap... It looks the way it does because that's what the Psion 5 keyboard looked like, and because that's very usable.

More usable than my Psion 3's keyboard, though that was a fine device as well. I've written reams of text on that thing! Pity there's no way to move text from it onto a PC anymore.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Ugly
by phoenix on Wed 10th Jan 2018 21:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Ugly"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

The keyboard doesn't look the way it does because it's cheap... It looks the way it does because that's what the Psion 5 keyboard looked like, and because that's very usable.


They keys look overly large for the size of the device, or maybe it's just the way the picture is lined up. It looks like it would be impossible to use for thumb-typing while holding it in two hands (keys too large). It looks like it would be usable for one-handed typing while holding it in your other hand, but that seems awkward.

I'm still hoping someone releases a modern take on the Sony Xperia pro. A 5" screen with modern phone innards, and a keyboard that's usable with your thumbs, with all the keys, numbers, symbols (including tab, ctrl, alt, esc, and so on) available.

Edited 2018-01-10 21:24 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Ugly
by boudewijn on Wed 10th Jan 2018 21:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ugly"
boudewijn Member since:
2006-03-05

They do look large, but that's just because these days we're not used to good keyboards anymore. I know how envious I was of the guy with a Psion 5 when I only had a 3 with a chicklet keyboard. Those keys look like a dream to type on. Just like my Compaq Contura Aero was great to type on, and the Powerbook Pismo and my other devices with keyboards before the great flatness craze started.

I'm still kinda torn. I just got a new phone... Nokia 8. I've backed Purism. I've got a new thinkpad. I don't need, probably, this device. But on the old Psion, with its great keyboard and great portability, gosh, I did type reams of text. I carried it with me everywhere, and also, juicessh on my phone, the keyboard obscures the text area way too much. Way too much. So maybe, I should just get it...

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Ugly
by darknexus on Fri 12th Jan 2018 15:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ugly"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

It looks like it would be usable for one-handed typing while holding it in your other hand, but that seems awkward.

Heh, I've always thought the opposite. Thumb typing feels awkward to me, so I usually end up holding my phone in one hand and typing with the fingers of the other anyway. Feels more natural to me, and I don't accidentally hit multiple letters.

Reply Score: 0

Comment by The123king
by The123king on Wed 10th Jan 2018 08:25 UTC
The123king
Member since:
2009-05-28

My EeePC 901 dual boots XP and Haiku quite well. I'd recommend grabbing one of them whilst theyu're still fairly plentiful

Reply Score: 1

N810
by henderson101 on Wed 10th Jan 2018 14:49 UTC
henderson101
Member since:
2006-05-30

The prompted me to look at resurrecting my old dead N810. I think it just needs a new battery... fingers crossed!!

Reply Score: 2

RE: N810
by boudewijn on Wed 10th Jan 2018 19:47 UTC in reply to "N810"
boudewijn Member since:
2006-03-05

I've got one of those as well... But the keyboard never was in the Psion 5 league!

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: N810
by boudewijn on Wed 10th Jan 2018 20:13 UTC in reply to "RE: N810"
boudewijn Member since:
2006-03-05

Just found my old Psion 3. Popped in two batteries and it booted. Whined about the backup battery being bad, but... The keyboard was still lovely, the software to the point and the device not only didn't natter at me all the time, it even included a programming environment. Pity the screen has degraded a bit in the past 25 years. Not that it was ever very great, of course.

Reply Score: 3

For me...
by fretinator on Wed 10th Jan 2018 14:54 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

I have one on order. For me it's the true convergence device. I don't need phone, tablet, Chromebook, or laptop. This will serve 95% of my needs, especially on the go. I hate phones, and really don't like on-screen keyboards, though swiping helps. For the times I need more productivity, I also have on order the Sentio laptop dock for Android phones - it should take care of the other 5%.

Reply Score: 3

RE: For me...
by rklrkl on Wed 10th Jan 2018 22:23 UTC in reply to "For me..."
rklrkl Member since:
2005-07-06

Funnily enough, I was just looking at the Superbook by Sentio today (I was reminded of it because of the probably expensive and proprietary Project Linda that Razer just demo'ed at CES).

Two things put me off the Superbook:

1) The clumsy attachment of the phone to the dock (via a cable!): the Razer solution has it slotting into a touchpad slot in the laptop dock and then it uses the Razer phone's touchscreen as a touchpad - neat solution!).

2) Like Project Linda, the Superbook's laptop dock's screen is inexplicably *not* a touchscreen. That leaves you only running Android apps that can properly use the keyboard and mouse...

Still I like the idea of a laptop dock where you replace the phone to upgrade the whole experience - but the dock itself has to be pretty good to start with. Why they are offering anything sub-1080p with the Superbook is beyond me - most mid/high-end phones you'd use with it are at least 1080p. Heck, my latest 134 pounds Android phone is 1920x1080 and that's cheaper than the 1080p Superbook is!

As for the Gemini, I can't work out how this is better than a phone or tablet with a keyboard case attached (at least you can replace the phone/tablet or keyboard as you like in that setup).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: For me...
by fretinator on Wed 10th Jan 2018 22:34 UTC in reply to "RE: For me..."
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

FYI - I ordered the 1080p version with a backlit keyboard. I plan to also use it with other devices.

Reply Score: 2

Tiny Screen & Keyboard vs Old Eyes
by KenWD0ELQ on Wed 10th Jan 2018 18:36 UTC
KenWD0ELQ
Member since:
2017-09-05

At some point, the advantages of a tiny device are overridden by the problem of being able to see the text.

Reply Score: 3

Back to the future
by Iapx432 on Thu 11th Jan 2018 15:32 UTC
Iapx432
Member since:
2017-09-30

I had (have) the Psion 3c, Revo and 5Mx. Favourite was the Revo because it had most of the functionality in a a super slim package and crisp screen, but unfortunately the battery circuit was faulty and you would lose data regularly.The 5Mx keyboard was amazing and looked just like the Gemini, so no fault there. Only concern is if 20 years on (from the Psion) I would be able to see the thing???? They should make the CPU board on these devices swappable. The hardware / I/O will be good for a decade, but the CPUs go out of capability (OS conspiracy theory anybody?) way faster. A tiny expansion bay (like a USB stick that resides internally) would be useful as well to add SDRadio, FPGA or embedded Neural Nets for future tinkering. Also differentiates it further from a phone.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Back to the future
by fretinator on Thu 11th Jan 2018 18:03 UTC in reply to "Back to the future"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Don't forget the shaver/trimmer attachment and portable defibrillator functionality!

Reply Score: 3

Not good enough until Palm Pilot battery life
by slobu on Sat 13th Jan 2018 15:10 UTC
slobu
Member since:
2008-01-07

I can slap together a cheap android tablet and keyboard case with similar specs and battery life.

Give me something that takes AA batteries and/or Palm Pilot battery life and we can talk.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by kurkosdr
by kurkosdr on Sun 14th Jan 2018 13:29 UTC
kurkosdr
Member since:
2011-04-11

The Gemini sells for $399 through Indiegogo


This phrase in the linked article makes me cringe.

Someone should tattoo on the foreheads of those writers "Kickstarter and Indiegogo: not e-shops"

Edited 2018-01-14 13:30 UTC

Reply Score: 2