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Tiny clamshell PDA runs Linux

Oct 20, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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A startup called Imovio has announced a WiFi- and Bluetooth-enabled clamshell PDA that runs the Linux-based Qt Extended stack. Very similar to the Sharp Zaurus, the iKit is based on a Marvell PXA270 processor, with 128MB RAM, 64MB flash, and a 2.8 inch QVGA display.

(Click for larger view of the Imovio iKit )

Aimed at a teen audience, the iKit device is intended primarily for email, IM, web browsing, and personal information management (PIM). It can connect to the Internet via built-in WiFi, or via a Bluetooth connection to an Internet-enabled mobile phone. In addition, it offers a photo album, VoIP video chat, and music and video playback, says Imovio.


The iKit

Something of a throwback in a mobile device world fixated on larger mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and PMDs (portable media devices) and smaller smartphones, the iKit hews to a petite version of the classic PDA clamshell form factor. Although at 3.7 x 2.6 x 0.6 inches, it is somewhat smaller than the Zaurus SL-C1000, the iKit offers the same PXA270 processor, clocked to 312MHz, and it offers similar memory specs.

The iKit also shares with the Zaurus its 2.4-series Linux kernel, and Qt Extended mobile Linux stack and GUI from Nokia's Qt Software (formerly Trolltech). Other similar Linux-based devices that come to mind when looking at the iKit include the Zipit Wireless Messenger (also PXA270-based), and the Sony Mylo, which shares the same Qt foundation.

Hardware features include 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 2.0, a 0.3-megapixel camera, a mini-USB port, a QWERTY/AZERTY keyboard, and a 1050 mAh, Li-ion battery, says the company. On the software side, the iKit runs a Linux 2.4.19 kernel. Its application environment is based on Nokia/Qt Software's Qt/E 2.3.8.


iKit application screens
(Click on either to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the Imovio iKit include:

  • Processor — Marvell PXA270 312MHz
  • Memory 128MB RAM; 64MB SDRAM; includes 12MB for user data and 23MB for user media files
  • Flash expansion– MicroSD slot supporting up to 8GB
  • Display — 2.8 inch QVGA (240 x 320), TFT, 260K colors, landscape
  • Keypad — QWERTY/AZERTY plus numeric keys; two soft keys; five quick-access keys
  • Audio — 16mm monophonic speaker; headset connector
  • Camera — 0.3-megapizel fixed-focus; 15fps viewfinder, 16-bit color depth; up to 3X digital zoom with seven steps
  • USB — Mini-USB 1.1 port used for charging and PC data exchange
  • WiFi — 802.11 b/g
  • Bluetooth — Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR
  • Status and alerts - LEDs; vibrator alerts
  • Audio formats — MIDI, WAV, MP3
  • Image formats — JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG
  • Video formats — 3GP, MP4, and AVI format; 25fps playback for QVGA-size video
  • Web software — Opera Mini 4.1 browser; Java (JTWI/JSR75 compliant)
  • Email and IM — POP3, IMAP, SMTP; MSN messaging
  • PC sync - syncs with Outlook 2000/2003 and Outlook Express v6
  • PIM features
    • 2,000-record contact list
    • 1,000-event calendar
    • Calculator
    • Media folder
    • Notepad
    • World/alarm clocks
    • Stop Watch/timer
  • Battery — 1050 mAh, Li-ion; 3 to 4 hours battery life with typical usage; 250 hours standby time
  • Dimensions — 3.7 x 2.6 x 0.6 inches (95 x 65 x 15.5mm)
  • Weight — 4 oz (113g) with battery

Availability

The iKit will sample in the fourth quarter and then ship commercially in 1Q 2009 for $175 (130 Euros), says Imovio. The company plans to ship a touchscreen version in 3Q 2009, followed by a “TV Pro” model in early 2010.

Imovio says that Android and Windows Mobile versions can be made available as special orders. Imovio is owned by Los Angeles-based Comsciences, which is said to offer consumer electronics consulting services for companies including Nintendo, Mitsubishi, Sanyo, Sony, Hitachi, and Microsoft.


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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