Unication was showing off a Linux OS PDA at Computex Taipei that had some very interesting features. Built-in VoIP phone capabilities (via 802.11b), an FM radio transmitter (for broadcasting your favorite MP3s to the nearest radio), rotating screen with Tablet style input and of course all the typical PIM applications you’d expect in a PDA.
Unication Magpie PDA in regular “notebook” style mode (view larger image)
Unication “Magpie” Linux PDA Specs
- Processor: Samsung S3C2410X 32-Bit RISC Microprocessor (203MHz)
- System Memory: Nand flash (64MB), SDRAM(64M)
- Linux Based Embedded Operating System
- TFT LCD Display with EL. Convertible screen rotates to convert from notebook to tablet mode Auto detect and switch between 320*240 Horizon mode or 240*320 vertical mode.
- 240×320 Resolution
- Built-in Touch Panel
- Built-in Microphone and Speaker
- Built in VoIP capabilities with speaker Echo Rejection (VOIP Algorithm), Noise-Suppression
- AC Adapter: Input : 90~240V AC 47~64Hz Output: 5V DC 2mA
- Li-Battery: 1100mAhr, Output: 3.7~4.2V DC
- Cigar-lighter:Input: 10V~26V DC, Output: 5V DC 2mA
- WLAN Communication Function Using the Expanded
- Integrated Standard USB Host Connect and USB Host/Slave Connect
- SD slot (Support SD memory cards)
- FM transmitter (to broadcast your music out of a nearby radio)
I was impressed by the features this device had coming from a company that isn’t exactly a recognized brand. A QWERTY keyboard, very nice 180-degree rotating screen, VoIP capabilities, digital voice recorder, and an FM transmitter aren’t your everyday typical features even from the high-end PDAs from big name manufacturers. Furthermore, this device appeared to have a robust set of PIM applications, Opera web browser, nice UI and media player running on top of a Linux OS. Some future competition for the Sharp Zaurus maybe? Well, Unication would need to improve the build a bit because it did feel like there was a little too much plastic being used (which, granted made it feel light) but the person I was speaking to said if they could get somebody to pick this device up and sell it in other places (such as the U.S. or Europe) then they would do things such as improve the case structure. It felt and looked little like the Nintendo DS gaming handheld in terms of build to be honest.
The keyboard was very nice, and the screen was very easy to rotate and switching from landscape to portrait screen mode was automatic. I wish I had more time to play with this device, and it’d sure be nice to see it available outside of Taiwan, but for now that’s not the case. View the company website for much more on the features and specs of this device:
In Tablet mode (view larger image)
Unication PDA left side profile view (view larger image)
Unication PDA right side profile (view larger image)
Unication PDA features overview