Planet Computers, a UK-based startup, is looking to bring tiny computing to the masses with their Gemini PDA. The crowdfunding campaign for the concept touts Gemini as a “ultra-thin clamshell mobile device with fully integrated tactile QWERTY keyboard.” Truthfully, it looks like it would be described better as a micro-laptop that has Android under its skin – with the added option of being able to boot into Linux. The Indiegogo campaign associated with Gemini has currently raised $123,382 of its $200,000 “fixed” goal – or roughly 62 percent – with just one month remaining to reach the goal.
Gemini’s expected specs for the device are nothing to be scoffed at, either. For starters, it would feature a 5.7-inch QHD screen with full touch capabilities. Attached to that screen, there would be a fully tactile keyboard with a dedicated voice control button on one edge. The company has planned to put MediaTek’s Helio X25 SoC underneath that, as of this writing. The Helio X25 features a CPU with a maximum clock of 2.5GHz paired with the Mali-T880 MP4 GPU clocking at up to 850MHz. That SoC is set to be backed by 4GB of RAM, backed by storage set at 64GB and microSD support. Continuing on the hardware side of things, Gemini would also feature a 5-megapixel camera. Additional sensors would include an accelerometer, compass, light sensor, gyro, and magneto-sensor. All of that is set to be powered by a removable 8000mAh battery, with two associated USB Type-C ports. Although none of the specs are set in stone – as is often the case with crowd-funded startups in the concept phase – it is claimed that there will also be two versions available. One version will come with LTE radios in tow, while the other will be Wi-Fi only. Both versions are set to also include Bluetooth functionality. The company also does have a working concept of the device and the funds being raised are said to be going directly into “final design phases, manufacturing of the units ordered through the crowd fund, and development of the full software stack.”
For those who may want to donate, there are a wide variety of return-on-investment options if you make a donation in excess of $25.00 (plus shipping). Rewards range from apparel all the way up to a six-pack of custom laser-engraved Gemini devices. Despite massive improvements to software-based keyboards over the last several years, dedicated hardware keyboards never really went away and even appear to be on the verge of a full-blown comeback. If you’re one of those users who just loves to have a keyboard you can actually touch, this may be the campaign you want to become a backer for. If brought to life, Planet Computers’ Gemini devices are expected to cost $499 and more. That figure is, of course, subject to change and almost entirely dependent on final hardware and which version is being purchased.