With the aging, open-source GP2X platform quickly slaloming into obsolescence, the Pandora portable gaming system is trying to step forward to take its place in the hearts and minds of the emulator aficionado.
On the surface, the specs look pretty good. Crammed into a decidedly DS-Lite-style case is an 800x480 4.3 inch 16.7 million color touchscreen LCD driven by OpenGL 2.0 compliant 3D hardware, dual SDHC card slots, TV output, an ARM Cortex A8 CPU running Linux and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g capabilitiy.
But its the way that QWERTY keypad is crammed into the dual-analog joysticks, the four face buttons and the D-pad that bugs me. Really, how is text entry for a game system worth that much (decidedly non-ergonomic) real estate?
At $330USD, the Pandora is going to need a hell of a blow-out showing from the homebrew scene to get me to drop my money on it. I already have a hacked PSP, thanks: I don't think I really need another emulated vintage gaming handheld.
OpenPandora [Official Site]