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lestat1uk
22-06-10, 06:54
Oh boy!, you are going to have to bear with me on this one, i am not to good at writting reviews, saying that i would have done a you tube video review, but i have an annoying voice.

Ok i got my Pandora last week after 1.9 years of waiting. I got the basic stuff, the charger, the battery case, the battery, but when i got the Pandora out of the multiple layers of bubble wrap, it was WOW!!!!!, it looks and feels amazing, the Pandora has a nice matt finish to it. The keyboard is kind of spongey, but it is more than adequate for typing (in fact i used the keyboard a fair bit today playing the Hobbit on the sinclair spectrum). The nub joysticks. This could just be me, but i worry about breaking them, they feel very delicate, especially the left one. I had no trouble connecting the Pandora to the wifi. The LCD screen looks gorgeous, and the speakers are excellent, the sound quality is superb. There is no stand by mode on the Pandora, and you have to leave the screen up when you charge your Pandora other wise it switches itself back on. Oh one other minor problem, when you charge your Pandora and it is switched off, it will switch itself back on and restart.

Right the emulation(all these emulators were tested without overclocking unless said otherwise). Ok most(not all)of what of tried out has some small sound issues, i first tried out the N64 emulator with Super Mario 64, the stuttering of the music just drove me made and i had to switch it off. Thus switching off the music the games got faster, Mario Kart 64 ran really well (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ytcrs0i68uI) better than what i expected, had i have overclocked it i assume it would have gone a lot faster. There are a handful of games that work with no sound and no graphical problems, and i could sit there and play them (Mario 64, mario Kart 64 legend of zelda ocarina of time (needed overclocking), but to name a few, there will be updates to Mupen64 in the future and i am really looking forward to them.

Next up was the Playstation emulator, Ok the sound was pretty bad on this one, again i had to switch the sound off, some games like Silent Hill the graphics were all screwed up. I put my arcade greatest hits: Williams, on there and it worked really well, the odd thing is i had to underclock it as robotron was going to fast, but it sounded and looked really good, and yes, both nubs were used :) Also i put Atari anniversary across, and the only two games that were to slow to play were asteroids, and asteroids deluxe, i could have overclocked it, but it would have put the other games out of sync. I would have liked to have played missle command on the nubs, but i was stuck with the D-pad(probably my fault) which made the game not so good. Ok you are probably wondering why i am playing Robotron on the Psx emulator.

Mame 106 is the pc port, so i expected it to be good, and i was let down, i don't feel this is a good port at all, it doesn't support samples or artwork. then there is no frontend i tried space invaders no sound was implemeted so i changed the game, to robotron, nope, didn't work, ok lets try donkey kong, nope don't work, so i decided to wait untill Mame4all comes out on the pandora and try then (oh i had the correct romset).

On to one i have played a lot of, Atari St, using the Hatari emulator, it was a bit of pain to get started, but in the end i got it running and it ran so smoothly, the first game i tried was Hunter, it was superb no lagging, no sound problems it was sweet, in fact it was so i good i spent five hours playing Hunter(if you wondering how i got to spend five hours on Hunter i had booked leave this week :D). I tried Great Giana sisters next, it was great to play this oldie but a goodie game, what can i say i really liked this emulator.

Picodrive (with mega/sega cd support) this worked well, i was trying to see if there was any screen tears whilst playing sonic, but i could not find any. (again it may just be me). Next up i tried some Mega cd games, Snatchers, WOW!! it was awesome, other than a couple of small stutters, it ran really well, i cannot wait to get back to that game. I also tried out sewer shark, and Star Wars Rebel Assaullt (yeah an assault to my pocket when i bought that crap game), both had small stutters during the movie sections, i didn't try to overclock it, the games played well (if you can call it well in rebel assaults case)enough.

Overall

I am very impressed with both the Pandora's exterior and it's speed, despite it's small faults(most are software issues that i guess will be fixed over time), it has a lot of potential and this next year is going to be very interesting for updates on current software, and what new games come out for it. Also i took the battery out of the back and it says "Manufactured in Britain" you don't see that much anymore i cannot think of anything Britain exports other then the Beckhams!. I also took my Pandora into work and before i could switch it on, people were impressed(i was asked if i wanted to swap my Pandora for a PSP Go, boy! did i laugh). If there is any emulator or game anyone would like me to check out, just let me know and i will see what i can do. :D (thanks for your patience.)

Can i just quickly mention there customer support is really good to :D
Thank you bye!!

Leathco
22-06-10, 08:02
Shame that mame is shoddy. Here's hopin...

I'm curious as to quake 3 performance, and console nes and snes, as well as 32x.

Also I understand this thing can run ubuntu, but the last version I saw on it was 7.10. Can it handle 10.04?

lestat1uk
22-06-10, 08:44
Shame that mame is shoddy. Here's hopin...

I'm curious as to quake 3 performance, and console nes and snes, as well as 32x.

Also I understand this thing can run ubuntu, but the last version I saw on it was 7.10. Can it handle 10.04?

I did play quake 3, but i am not a fan of quake 3 so i deleted it, it run ok, it was a bit stuttery, i had not tried to overclock it at that time. I played nes today and i was playing super mario bros on it, and there was this god awful noise coming from the emulator, i changed the sound from 22050hz to 44100hz and that seem to sort it out most of the problems but small amout of that noise still came through. The snes emulator run very well, i played both Super star wars and Super empire strikes back (for the excellent sound) i also tried stunt race fx and that didn't work i also tried secret of mana and that didn't work, but donkey kong country worked well, another i guess it is a problem with most of these emulator is that they are ported from the gp2x and there is no full screen implemented on most of them. As far as the 32x (http://www.gp32x.com/board/index.php?/topic/53899-picodrive-released/page__hl__picodrive%2032x) These are things i hope that will be fixed in the future.

I am not sure about your Ubuntu question i have mainly been concentrating on the games. If you go over to the pandora forums i am sure they could answer your questions.

bill_loguidice
22-06-10, 09:09
Wow, more disappointing than I thought on the software front in this early stage. I'm hoping that improves a bit whenever mine arrives. Even two or three rock solid emulator implementations would satisfy me in the short- to mid-term over a dozen buggy ones.

Thanks for the review.

lestat1uk
22-06-10, 09:20
The Atari st emulator runs really well and in full screen with sound no stuttering, i tried briefly the amiga emulator, with cannon fodder, and it ran well in full screen with sound no stuttering. I have not tried the c64 emulator yet. Hopefully they will have a good version of mame out by the time you get yours Bill.

Chris
22-06-10, 11:49
Ugh, sounds like just another emulation device with a nightmarish amount of tweaking required to get games running the way they should. It's a shame, I was hoping the Pandora would have fared much better than this.

alyinsanfran
23-06-10, 12:26
Bloody hell folks, it's only a few weeks old! Give it some time!

miner2049er
23-06-10, 08:33
I really hope they get the kinks worked out because this could really be a game changer in many respects. A lot of what you mention could be patched in firmware but I would worry about the build quality.

lestat1uk
23-06-10, 12:04
Chris
Ugh, sounds like just another emulation device with a nightmarish amount of tweaking required to get games running the way they should. It's a shame, I was hoping the Pandora would have fared much better than this.

It will happen i have no doubts in my mind things will get a lot better as time goes on, i do not know if my review gave the impression that it was naff or something, but from what i have seen from the Pandora i am really impressed and as time goes on things are just going to get better.


miner2049er
I really hope they get the kinks worked out because this could really be a game changer in many respects. A lot of what you mention could be patched in firmware but I would worry about the build quality.

Well the build quality on my Pandora is excellent, it feels very solid, the only real complaint is the nubs they worry me, they seem not that strong so no daley thompsons decathlon on them for me :). Not sure if you have taken a look at the youtube video i did for mario kart 64 (in the review) but you can see how good the Pandora looks against the Dsi XL


alyinsanfran

Bloody hell folks, it's only a few weeks old! Give it some time!


It has only been a few weeks, i thought i would try and give an honest review at this point in time. As i said in my review i am looking forward to the next year in the Pandora's life because things are going to get so much better. There are a lot of devs supporting the Pandora, hell Craig Rothwell(of the open pandora team) has just put out a developers bounty and are asking the forum what they want to be created/improved/repaired. Considering that so many people thought the Pandora was going to be Vapourware, it has done remarkably well (i made 20 from two people who said it was going to be Vapourware i asked them to put up or shut up i wished i bet more now ;))

Edit: I have just run vice on the Pandora, what can i say...excellent :) the sound really comes out clear and loud from the speakers, the games are in full screen and (once i figured out the joystick settings) the controls were responsive on the d-pad. I tried out Bruce Lee, Back to the future(yeah yeah i know it is rubbish but i wanted to hear johnny b good :)) and Airwolf, i will be putting more on to my SD card at some point if there is any game that anyone wants to see let me know and i will make a small youtube video of it running. Now to turn off that damn Airwolf theme.

Leathco
23-06-10, 06:26
Its early on, I'm sure all the emulators will improve, especially once more devs have a unit in their hands. Thats why I'm waiting to order mine til late in the year, so I get good quality software instead of constant updating for the first 3 months.

Thanks for the info on the emus so far man.

alyinsanfran
23-06-10, 07:05
Yes a very good review and much appreciated. I'll likely get one next year. I agree with UKMike - it's a game changer.

lestat1uk
23-06-10, 10:17
alyinsanfran

Yes a very good review and much appreciated. I'll likely get one next year. I agree with UKMike - it's a game changer.



I don't always agree with uk Mike on things (a commodore 64 better then a zx spectrum come on. And what can i say about Dizzy) but on what he said about a game changer, i am a totally with him on that. Today i downloaded a beta of sonic robo blast 3d and tried it out on the Pandora, it is 3d sonic it is looking really good :

http://dl.openhandhelds.org/cgi-bin/pandora.cgi?0,0,0,0,35,97

shows off a bit of what the Pandora can do an online dragonball z game on it's way and it is looking really good. There is already an online strategy game out for the pandora called the Battle for Wesnoth, i have not played it properly yet, but from what i have seen of it, i really like what i see.

http://dl.openhandhelds.org/cgi-bin/pandora.cgi?0,0,0,0,29,25