Review: Open Pandora Review (Hardware)

Reviewed by UltraBagelMan, posted Oct 9, 2013
I have had this device for around 2 years now, and I have done very few reviews of other things so don't expect much.
Oct 9, 2013
The Open Pandora, an open source Linux PC about the size of a DS. With the ability to emulate PSP, DS, N64, and many other before that. Also having a full qwerty keyboard, as well as d-pad, buttons, and nubs (similar to analog sticks, just flat) It sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?
The system is actually pretty cheap with it's materials. The casing is just made of plastic, but the plus side is that fingers don't smudge the crap out of it like the 3DS. The d-pad is one of the best for a handheld and feels great to use. The R and L buttons aren't as good sadly, but the front 4 buttons are nice. The nubs are pretty nice too, and work actually pretty well with FPS games. The cpu is "600+ MHz OMAP3530 ARM Cortex-A8 (32-bit) and 430 MHzTMS320C64x+ DSP Core, NEON & TRADE SIMD coprocessor". (yes I did take that from Wikipedia) If you don't know what any of that means, you don't need to, all you do need to know is that it can run 3D graphics pretty damn well for a small device. On the front there are 2 SD card ports and that is where you will put all of the games, apps, and emulators on. On the back there is a full USB port and also a port for TV-Out. THE BATTERY LIFE IS 10 HOURS!!! Yes, I'm serious 10 hours, 20 in low power mode, and over a week while in sleep mode. In short the device is packing heat in terms of hardware.
It is pretty expensive at around $300 for one, but it is cheaper than most computers and in my mind I think it is a worthwhile investment. You can run text editors and pretty much anything that a desktop can provide. The text editor is good and works well with the decent keyboard, that sadly they couldn't make the buttons any bigger other wise the console would be bigger. The screen and speakers are good and about on par with a 3DS or PSP.
Since it is an open source device you can run plenty of emulators. The DS one is very nice and the N64 one runs great. Out of all the roms I have tested only a few have been slow, but that was because of the rom not because of the emulator. (I know because I tested different roms of the same game and they ran fine) All the older systems like the Playstation, Genesis, SNES and earlier run great with almost no slowdown. It even has an emulator for the Sega CD! The only emulator I had issues with was a Saturn one, but I think it was due to it being a quick port of one for the PC. Despite it having a small community it still is being supported at It has apps other than emulators and has a nice homebrew scene with some gems, some great games like Streets of Rage Remake have been ported to it. You can also watch videos and play music on some of the many multimedia apps for it.
Oh, I almost forget IT IS A FULL LINUX LAPTOP, it can run a full desktop environment where you can access your internet browsers of which there are many. You can make your own UI and put it on there too, so you can modify it to your hearts extent. This is why I thought it would be good for you guys :D
There are multiple versions of it with the 1gz being $500 I believe, it is still powerful enough with the cheaper one though.

It is a great system with the only downfalls being the price and some cheapness with the casing and buttons, but I have no problems with that when everything else is so good!
+ Great Emulation
+ Open Source
+ Compact Linux Laptop
+ Dedicated Community
- Expensive
- Cheap feel
out of 10

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