IntroductionI've just got my new Pandora console today and now I want to give you some impressions about this new device.
The Pandora is a handheld device designed by a few people from the GP2X community, built with money collected through pre-orders which started about one and a half year ago. Its release was delayed many times, but now the first units have been shipped to the customers. I was among the first to receive their Pandora console.
The Pandora came without any fancy package. Instead it came in bubble wrapping only. This was not a problem though. It arrived in good condition.
The console came with only three accessories: A power adapter, a quick start guide and a pen for the touchscreen.
The power supply is rated 5 V=/2 A.
When connecting the Pandora to the power supply adapter, it starts up immediately. It then boots into a first time configuration wizzard. At the same time it starts charging the battery.
When the wizzard is completed, the XFCE desktop loads. While launching larger applications takes a few seconds, using the XFCE desktop on the Pandora is pretty responsive.
Browsing the web.
top running in the XFCE terminal.
A very strange thing which I noticed when the desktop appeared was the battery's charging level. It was 0 %, which means the battery was completely empty. This is strange because it is a very bad idea to store Li batteries in a completely discharged state. So I hope it did not do too much damage to the battery yet. Also it has been said that when the battery is inserted, the Pandora always runs off the battery. While this is obviously the case when using the battery only, this also means when it is connected to the power supply adapter the battery is being charged and discharged at the same time. Although this reduces the cost of the charging circuit, it has a negative impact on the lifetime of the battery.
HardwareThe overall build quality of the case is okay. There are a few flaws, but it still looks pretty good. Unfortunately the shoulder buttons and the analog sticks are rather disappointing.
Both the display and the keyboard on the other hand are very nice. The display has a very good image quality with a very sharp image due to its high resolution. The keyboard needs some getting used to, but works really nicely, too. On my device the right analog stick (nub) does not work as good as the left one, but it seems the more it is being used, the better it works. So I'll just give it a little more time. The D-pad and the ABXY buttons work pretty good too, but I still need to test them with some more games.
One rather annoying thing is the Pandora's display hinge. Unfortunately the hinge has only one fixed position. While one can open the display in any angle from closed up to 180 degrees, the only position where it really does not move when touching it or when shaking the device is when it is fully opened (180 °). This is pretty useless as it is much more comfortable to use the Pandora when opening the display at about 135°. Also, all official advertisement pictures of the Pandora show the Pandora with the display at about 120 to 150 ° rather than 180 °. Probably because it looks really stupid when it is opened that far. Also, you cannot put the Pandora on a table and have it fully opened to use its touchscreen, because the display itself does not lie on the table, even when fully opened. I consider this a design flaw. It is not as serious as some videos might suggest, but I still would have preferred a hinge with either more fixed positions or a hinge which does not let the display move that easily.