Well, after a few minor hiccups with delivery (basically I wasn’t home when the first delivery was made, the second delivery — apparently the driver knocks on the door with a very delicate touch), I have at last gotten hold of one of these devices.
Out of the box, they run Debian Linux/MIPS, with just about every app you could think of that would be useful on a desktop. They feature nicely integrated power management… and… looking at the defconfig for these devices, there seems to be the hint of suspend-to-disk capability, although I’m not sure how well developed it is. Lemote have pulled off a lot of voodoo at the kernel level to get this going. There are not a lot of MIPS systems that have power management to worry about.
Performance, well subjectively, it seems about on par with my old laptop, a Toshiba TE2100 (Pentium 4M 1.7GHz) for responsiveness. It runs a 64-bit kernel out-of-the-box, although runs a 32-bit userland (O32).
Ergonomics, for the size of the machine, it is not bad to use. I think I found my old PDA more painful… this thing once you get used to the positions of keys, is quite usable. I’m still getting used to the right-hand shift key being small, the backtick being above the 1 key (consequently, those numbers being one position to the left of where I expect), and for a while, I kept hitting S instead of A. I find myself constantly hitting the up-arrow when typing capital letters, hitting Fn instead of Ctrl, and sometimes bumping the touch pad… but this will of course settle down as I get used to the machine. Given the space available, Lemote have done well with the design of the machine.
Video capability seems quite good for 2D, there seems to be little evidence of 3D acceleration, but I guess that will come before long. It did struggle to play a DVD earlier, however this is not conclusive, since there are a number of factors at play needed to play video smoothly. I shall know more as I experiment.
What about Gentoo? Well, I’m preparing new stages… I’ve had a few hiccups there, mainly glibc being difficult. In the short term, I’ll stick with Debian on this box while I find out what makes the device tick (Gentoo will lurk in a chroot), then I may move to a dual-boot or pure Gentoo environment.
Anyway, I’m off to play with my new toy. 🙂