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GP2X - the handheld open source alternative

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Graham
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« on: March 19, 2006, 06:59:44 PM »



With all this talk of Sony PSP's, Origami's and UMPC's there at the back of the class is a quiet little revolution brewing in the form of a handheld device called the GP2X.

It look's good; it's small, light, portable, has a 3.5" screen, run's for up to 10 hours on a couple of AA batteries, plays video / mp3's, has dual ARM processors, reads e-Books, features USB 2 and has a completely open source programming environment and operating system, i.e. Linux, so anyone can make software for it.

It's also available now and it costs just 124.99



Features:

Quote

Powerful Dual core CPU
Dual core 'ARM920T, ARM940T' is embedded in GP2X.
Enjoy cutting edge music, movies and games with powerful dual CPU.


Entertainment follows you
Plays MPEG 4, XviD, DivX format digital contents up to 720*480 pixels and supports caption.
Watch vivid motion pictures on the high resolution 3.5" 260,000 colors TFT LCD.


Enjoy Games with GP2X now!
CPU which has 2D accelerator enables you enjoy games anytime anywhere. Meet the exclusive GP2X games along with abundant home-brew games and retro games.


Plays a powerful digital sound, and supports various audio codec
Replays music in MP3, OGG format on the multi-codec MP3 player.
Listen to 100mw of high Fidelity sound.


Electronic Album-JPG BMP Support
You can download and view photos taken on a digital camera through your PC. Enlargement, abridgment is available from 320*240 up to 1024*768 and you can rotate Images up to 0, 90, 180, 270, Supports JPG, BMP, PCX, GIF, PNG files.


Read a text file with GP2X now!
You can read electronic novels and any other text files through the text viewer. Besides you can use enlargement and abridgment function when you read a text file.


Simply upgrade firmware on GP2X website
Enhance your product feature continuously by downloading on the GP2X website.


USB 2.0 high speed
You can get a file of 480Mbps by connecting USB 2.0 to PC.


2AA Batteries
you can watch 320*240(30frame) of video file for approximately 4 hours(play games for approximately 5 hours) and listen to mp3 file for approximately 6 hours (LCD off ) continuously with 2AA (2500mAh) batteries.


PC Programming
Basic Programmingt: Linux
Windows: Programmable by installing Cygwin

Open SDK and SDL
Supports software development library : SDL(Simple Direct Library)
Basic Library
Graphic library (Sound library)
Hardware I/O library
[/size]



It doesn't feature camera, wifi or Bluetooth out of the box but with USB and the fact it runs Linux means this would be an absolute doddle to fix.

Normally I'd say that this product would suffer the same fate as the Tapwave or Gizmondo against the mighty Sony and Nintendo but rather than the manufacturer attempt to be as foolish as attack those Goliath's head-on they've firmly embraced the Open Source ethos and community to establish a device that is inexpensive and will, they no doubt hope, foster a vibrant development community.

As the UK's distributor says on their site:

Quote

The GP2X is totally open to development from anyone, commercial or amateur. Yes really. We're heading back to the classic Amiga days of development.

With a free GCC/Linux/Windows based compiler and SDK you really can begin to make software and games for nothing, not only that - we will offer source code and guides to getting started.
[/size]

More info at: http://www.gp2x.com/
UK distributor: http://gp2x.co.uk/indexgp2x.html
GP2X Wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gp2x
« Last Edit: March 19, 2006, 07:06:37 PM by Graham » Logged
jont
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2006, 12:28:21 PM »

Hooray, something that takes AA batteries again and more interesting than Origami :-)))

Almost tempted to get one.....

But what real chance do they have against PSP etc
I had high hopes for Sharps Linux based machines a few years ago but they didnt take off in a really big way. 

The market seems to be closing down to the two main platforms (in that classic way industries seem to) so whether this platform can make in-roads will be interesting....and  will Apple will ever get round to  iPDAs...

So many aspects of the mobile world remind me of betamax/vhs battles, but then I am an old cynic :-))

 
Jon
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