Back in December we reported that the open-source, Linux-based Pandora pocket computer was close to completion, facing a final testing with the FCC by the end of the year. Now the device has entered mass-production, with the Pandora team currently building the first batch of 4,000 units. Private pre-orders have even begun to ship.
Pandora appears unchanged since December, sporting a small, Nintendo DS XL-like clam-shell appearance while retaining the usefulness of a netbook. It still uses the ARM Cortex-A8 600 Mhz+ CPU and a 430 MHz TMS320C64x+ DSP Core. Additional hardware includes the 110 MHz PowerVR SGX GPU, 256 MB of RAM, and 512 MB of flash memory. The device's 4.3-inch resistive touchscreen provides a native 800 x 480 resolution and 16.7 million colors.
Although Pandora is promoted as "the most powerful gaming handheld," the specs lean more towards an ultra-portable, pocket-sized PC. This portable rig can surf the Internet thanks to a built-in Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g wireless adapter, allow users to compose email using its 43-button QWERTY keyboard, and perhaps even export high-quality video to a TV thanks to its S-Video output jack. The Pandora sports a battery with a 10+ hour duration.
On the gaming front, Pandora supposedly runs Quake 3 Arena rather well, however it's promoted as a device capable of running older games and console ROMS via emulators--heck, the Motorola Droid can do those equally as well. Currently pricing is unknown, and general consumers are unable to pre-order as of this writing.
Is this just a glorified smartphone?