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The DragonBox Pyra Moves Closer As OpenPandora Successor

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  • #21
    The name of the project lead is Michael Mrozek (not Mozrek).

    As to the target audience of the Pyra, I believe I am it, and there is not as much overlap as you might think.

    I have a Pandora, so I will compare it to other devices as well.

    Laptop vs. Pyra and Pandora
    I have a number of laptops (being a 'Linux geek,' older laptop write-offs from my company are easy to set up for use, and still work well). My current best laptop for using unplugged, though, is probably my purchased HP Chromebook, which I have installed Linux on (after upgrading the emmc to 128GB). It has nice battery life (more than 7 hours), but it won't fit in my pocket, and trying to hold it while using it to play a game is rather impractical. It is nice for browsing the Internet. There is not a lot of overlap here.

    Tablet vs. Pyra and Pandora
    I have two tablets, a seven inch (w/ a Rockchip 3188 SoC) and a 9 inch (with some kind of TI OMAP 4 processor). Not having gaming controls makes either one not sufficient for playing old games. Touch screens are not good for this, and they get worse all the while between thorough cleanings. They can be sufficient for the right types of games. They are nice for viewing YouTube, DailyMotion, or Netflix, etc. on the go. They are good for reading books. They are decent for music. These tablets are not as portable as a Pandora, and don't tend to run as long, particularly with constant offline use (though suspend probably works a bit better at least on the nine inch tablet). The Pandora is great for playing old emulated games, of course. The Pandora is OK for YouTube, and w/ an external WiFi dongle or by running Android 2.3 can be OK for DailyMotion, and by running Android can run Netflix sufficiently (not really well). The Pyra will almost certainly be much better for these things. The Pandora is also good for reading books (and surprisingly, I do a lot of my fiction reading on the Pandora). It's not so great for PDF based comics, though, thanks to the small screen size. The sound quality of the Pandora is fantastic for music, and the Pyra will have the same audio architecture, but will have a greater range of music management software (since memory and CPU power will be greater).

    As far as old games go, I wanted to add that thanks to the overhead of running Android, some emulation actually runs better on the Pandora than on Android devices with much more powerful SoC's. Playstation emulation on the Pandora is amazingly good, and better than on most Android devices. On the other hand, Nintendo 64 emulation is more of a stumbling block for the Pandora, and works well on moderately powerful Android devices (except for the poor controls). The Pyra's extra power should remedy this.

    Phone vs. Pyra and Pandora
    Well, at least a phone fits in your pocket. However, most other advantages of a phone (other than the ability to make calls) are the same as the advantages of a tablet other than screen size, and will be eliminated by the power of the Pyra. On the other hand, I like the Pandora better for reading (though a phone is decent for this), much better for word processing or any other office productivity type application, much better for games (of course), and music. I almost certainly will much prefer a Pyra for Internet browsing over a phone, since at the moment the only lack here for the Pandora is processing power. Of course the Pandora is better for coding, accessing USB sticks or full sized SD cards (or USB devices in general), or any kind of hacking.

    Shield vs. Pyra and Pandora
    I can't comment too much on this because I don't have a shield. I will say that a Shield won't fit in nearly as many pockets. Other than this I suspect that the greatest advantages of a Shield over the Pandora are Nintendo 64 emulation and native Android game support (including titles particularly for the Shield). Perhaps the Shield even has Playstation emulation that measures up to the Pandora thanks to its raw power. Of course the Pandora or Pyra has most of the same advantages other than gaming over a Shield as it has over a phone.

    Of course a nice open phone like the Neo900 is expected to be will be similar to a Pandora/Pyra except for the gaming controls.