I have recently attended a talk by Richard Stallman and used the opportunity to sign my Ben Nanonote. It’s a clamshell handheld with free hardware designs. It runs free software (OpenWrt operating system).
More information on Ben NanoNote and free hardware designs
This manual is intended to help user to configure the Gentoo distribution of GNU/Linux operating system for GPD MicroPC handheld.
Read the manaual.
SSD in GPD MicroPC is replaceable. So MicroPC owners can replace the default SSD (Biwin G6327) with a higher capacity SSD or with something more reliable. I decided to upgrade to Transcend 400S.
The upgrade is quite easy to perform: remove 5 screws from the back of the device, unclip the bottom panel and you are ready to replace the SSD.
Here is a detailed instruction in case you need it.
Transcend 400S is a bit faster than the default SSD, you can see the benchmark screenshots below. The temperature of Transcend 400S is usually around 40 °C when the fan is enabled and 45 °C when the fan is disabled.
If you would decide to use the official Windows 10 recovery firmware from GPD (GPD Micro PC WINDOWS 10 Pro Factory 20190320.rar), please note, that there is an error in this archive. MicroPC won’t boot from this image. In order to make it bootable, you need to rename
What you can see on this photo is the very first startup of the most advanced OQO computer ever.
OQO model 02 is a very interesting high-tech device and a valuable item for handheld collectors. According to the spec sheet, there were three modifications of OQO model 02: good, better and best.
Any modification of the device is quite rare. It’s hard to find one in good working condition, with full package content. And the high-end model with 1.6Ghz CPU, 64Gb SSD and Sunlight Optimized display is especially rare. Not just because of the insane original price of $3000, but also because the 1.6Ghz models are prone to failure due to the well-known CPU overheating problem.
I was recently very lucky to acquire a new old stock version of the "best" modification (also known as OQO model e2) with full set of accessories. According to the item description, this device has never been booted to Windows. And it does look brand new. I was dared to make a power-on test. Now it’s one of the most valuable items in my collection.
MicroPC looks very robust. The build quality is quite impressive. Chinese companies definitely improve their skills. The keyboard is one of the most comfortable handheld keyboards I’ve ever used. The size of the device is significantly smaller than size of similar devices from UMPC era (see comparison photos below).
In general I really like the device. I can’t mention any disadvantages so far.
I did’t like the original GPD case, because it’s designed to fit much larger devices (GPD Pocket, probably). So I ended up using the FlipStart bag instead, because I have an extra one and the MicroPC fits perfectly.
The performance of MicroPC is significantly higher than the performance of Microsoft Surface 3.
DOOM 3 benchmark (1280×720, graphic quality set to high, timedemo demo1)
||FPS (1st run)
||FPS (2nd run)
||FPS (3rd run)
|GPD MicroPC 10W
|Microsoft Surface 3
It’s also worth mentioning that Surface 3 is unable to sustain this perofrmance during long period of time. Without active cooling Surface 3 starts throttling and the performance decreases to 23-24 FPS.
I was surprised how easy it is to recover the operating system on Sony VAIO Type P. You just need to power on the device using the ASSIST key and follow insturction on the screen. That’s it!
The case of OQO Model 01 is made of metal, it’s quite sturdy. However, the antenna covers are made of transparent plastic, which is prone to cracking.
In order to recover the cracked antenna covers I made a 3D model of the original antenna cover (antenna_cover.stl) and printed it on a photopolymer printer. I didn’t like the result, because the wall covering the antenna was too thin and fragile. So I decided to thicken the wall and sightly modified the original model. You can download the final model for 3D printing here: antenna_cover_fat.stl.
Classic city-building computer game SimCity was also released for EPOC32 operating system. I recently opened a new box and tried to run it the game a Psion 5MX. 20+ year old floppy was successfully read by Libretto 70CT floppy drive. The game runs flawlessly. And the save files are compatible with the DOS version of the game.