The Gemini PDA is a tiny laptop with a 6 inch screen, a MediaTek deca-core processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a QWERTY keyboard. It’s designed to dual boot Google Android and Linux.

Planet Computer launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for the Gemini earlier this year. Originally the company had planned to ship the first units to backers in November and December, but now Planet Computer says that date has slipped to mid-January.

By crowdfunding standards that’s actually not bad (if it’s accurate).

The company recently asked backers to confirm their preferred keyboard layout and plug options for units being shipped to different parts of the world.

Mass production should begin in early January with Gemini PDAs shipping to backers of the campaign before the end of the month.

It looks like some of the specs for the Gemini have changed since the campaign was originally unveiled. On the bright side, Planet Computer has opted for a MediaTek Helio X27 processor rather than a Helio X10 chip.

On the down side, the final specs include a 4,220 mAh battery (down from 8,000 mAh), and Planet Computer has dropped plans for NFC and a fingerprint sensor. The company has also chosen to use a 5.99 inch 2160 x 1080 pixel screen instead of a 5.7 inch, 2880 x 1440 pixel display.

While the Gemini is about the size of a large smartphone, it’s designed to be usable as a laptop, thanks to a slide-out keyboard. And if that keyboard design looks familiar, that’s probably because you’ve been paying attention to tiny computers for a very long time.

Planet Computer hired Martin Riddiford to help design the Gemini PDA. He worked on the Psion Revo and Psion Series 5 handheld computing devices in the 1990s.

 

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21 replies on “Crowdfunded Gemini PDA mini-laptop ship date pushed back to January, 2018”

  1. 1) why not use the new ultra accurate (30 cm or better w/L1 and L5) GPS/Glonass/Gallileo chips? 2) where is the wired Ethernet connector? 3) is there a compatible wireless mouse? 4) is there a SD card slot [512 GB now being advertised] and 2 unlocked SIM card slots? 5) want to be able to use a standard USB memory stick! 6) why have you decreased battery capacity 50%? 7) think it needs more Ram and more Storage! 8) a stored stylus would be welcombed as my fingers have problems with touch screens!

    1. 1. They upgraded from teh X10 to teh X27. They couldn’t go X30 due to cost. 2. Two USB-C ports that also support HDMI over USB and charging, get yourself a dock or adapter. 3. I dont get this question, you ask some technical questions and then want to know if there’s a bluetooth mouse that will work with the bluetooth radio included? lol 4. Yes Microsd under the metal lid next to the sim card slot. 5. Fine, usb-c to A adapter. 7 not an option on the helio X27, controller maxes out at 4gigs of ram. . 8. All of us former Psion 5 owners wish for that too. Gonna have to make due with something like this:

      https://www.amazon.com/Precision-Gosin-Capacitive-Smartphones-Adjustable/dp/B017SRYUUS

  2. Thx for the update Brad. Having used a Psion s5 as my main device for ~3 years and smartphones, tablet with a couple external keyboards for years, I’m totally definitively enthousiastic about getting a modern equivalent of the Epoc32 powered micro laptop. If we had some insight about these two points:

    > On the down side, the final specs include a 4,220 mAh battery (down from 8,000 mAh)

    1. Battery life?

    Gemini 8000 mAh announced a *battery life* of « Two weeks of stand-by time / 12 hours of talk time (TBC) » [1] and still is with the 4,220 mAh battery !? My bet is that it hasn’t yet any reliable testing (as in “wishes”).
    About how much battery life do you think the device should provide when used as a netbook (e.g. light surf etc)?

    – Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 with a MediaTeK X20, stands for 5-9 hours in Anandtech poweruser automated benchs [2]
    – UMI Z (same SoC as the Gemini PDA) is given for 15 days stand-by [3]
    – and GED Pocket stands ~14 hours max (1.1 Wh) for basic surf on WiFi [1] but it’s a x86.

    2. Quoting @Haas:

    > Are there decent Linux graphics drivers for the MediaTek X27/ MALI-T880 SoC?

    I.e. like « Allwinner SoCs with Mali GPU Get Mainline Linux OpenGL ES Support » [5] Otherwise it seems we’ll be glued in Android for everything a bit video incentive :/

    Links
    [1]: as can be read thanks to Wayback machine and from original articles (such as https://www.minimachines.net/actu/gemini-pda-48875 )
    [2]: https://www.anandtech.com/show/11137/performance-battery-life-report-xiaomi-redmi-note-4-mediatek-helio-x20/4
    [3]: https://www.devicespecifications.com/en/model-battery/a36c4032
    [4]: https://www.reddit.com/r/GPDPocket/comments/73v7oc/battery_life_under_linux_hint_its_great/
    [5]:https://plus.google.com/+Liliputing/posts/dcFYAJiA1or

    1. Both. Two different use cases for me, I backed this, and will buy a win 2 after the first production run results are in.

  3. Needs a built-in mouse. Are there decent Linux graphics drivers for the SoC?

    Not interested in the Android stuff.

    1. Mali has good linux support, the Helio X27..does not in mainline. But it doesnt’ matter if they worked with mediatek. Hope they release kernel source and blobs.

  4. I am a backer of this project. I opted for the WiFi only version since I was looking for a PDA to supplement my smartphone. The makers of the Gemini PDA are running a great campaign. We have been getting regular updates and any delays or changes have been been accompanied by a reasonable explanation. I fully expect to have my Gemini in hand by the end of January.

  5. Interesting…I wonder how well this works for using as an actual phone.
    It doesn’t look like it has a Speaker / mic / screen on the outside.
    Continuing on this train of thought, if it was usable as a phone, would you still be reachable when booted in Linux mode?

    Personally I would find this interesting as a light travel all in one device of sorts, but only if it can be used well as a phone.

    1. I has dual speakers on both sides that double as mics. Depending on the orientation, when closed you can speak into either half and hear through the speaker on either half. Not sure hwo it works in practice, but if you want a little more detail watch michael fishers extended review on the MrMobile Youtube channel.

  6. If the Linux desktop side of things works out well, I’d be in for one when it goes retail.

    Although, I’d prefer a slide out thumbable keyboard. A nub/optical mouse would have been great too.

    1. What if it was just a Slab phone, like a OnePlus?
      And the keyboard was a detachable component, and could be replaced also with a gamepad, an external battery pack, a camera module, and a speaker accessory.

        1. ….maybe (lol).
          Nah, I couldn’t pull something off like what the guys did with the Smach Z/PGS scam.

          Besides, I’m not based in continental USA or Mainland China… which is pretty much a requirement today to be able to manufacture prototypes. I mean, anyone remember the OpenPandora adventure? It was near impossible to organise all the way from Germany.

    2. Same. If there’s an option t remove Android and reclaim some storage space, I’d opt for that.

      Also, I agree that this really needs some sort of built-in mouse. The video shows the person having a terrible time tapping on things. A stowable active stylus would be the next best thing for me (I’d still prefer an actual mouse pointer though).

      1. Hi, there’s two USB ports for receiving at least one mouse ;). It’d be enough from my point of view.

  7. If only it was a slider or had a 360 hinge.
    I only say that because this will be a pain to use as a phone or as a satnav. My beloved Touch Pro 2 managed both while being great as a pocket sized laptop

    1. The Touch Pro line is still, in my head, the prime example of slider keyboards done right. Everything about it just felt great.

    1. You’re completely RIGHT Zdanee…..
      We hope for YEARS a modern Jornada with his fabulous keyboard.
      Perhaps the success of the Gemini will give birth to a new and modern Jornada….

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