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Gemini PDA, First Take: Return of the Psion Series 5, in Android/Linux form Review

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The Gemini PDA[1] is intriguing -- part blast from the past in its clear homage to the Psion Series 5[2] that launched 21 years ago in 1997[3], and part harbinger of a future that sees smartphones as true productivity devices.

After all, when Android (and iOS), can be used to access all manner of cloud-based productivity systems, and when it's simple to attach an external keyboard to a phone, why not simply build one in?

The trick is to marry all the productivity features with the ability to make and take voice calls -- and here, sadly, things could be better. Still, voice calls comprise only small a part of the smartphone use case these days. And laptops can incorporate SIM cards, so why not extend the metaphor to keyboard-equipped handsets? A few years ago there were plenty of personal digital assistant (PDA) or handheld PC devices around, but they've disappeared. Gemini brings the concept back -- with a bang.

When I first examined the Gemini PDA late last year, it was a pre-production device. Having received one of the first production units, I've now had the chance to use it for a short period. It's an impressive device that deserves to succeed.

The price is £599 (inc. VAT). Yes, you can get a fully fledged laptop for that money, but it's price-competitive with many high-end mobile phones, which lack the benefit of a keyboard and the combination of Android plus dual-boot Linux. My review unit was one of the first thousand off the production line and did not have the dual boot system installed. If the system is present, it's a simple matter of holding down the right side button when switching on to select either Android (version

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