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Published July 14, 2018

Since the Gemini PDA was first announced there have been countless articles and reviews about the device, and there’s very commonly two threads that run through them.  Firstly that the device is retro and harks back to the days of mobile computing; pre-smartphones, and that it’s niche and will only appeal to a very small number of people.

Both of these opinions are wrong (if you don’t mind me being so bold!) and sadly come from people who are either unwilling, or unable to see the bigger picture.  This is a common thread with people in the 21st Century, especially with tech.  There’s so much choice when it comes to computing devices these days, far more than ever before, that people tend not to realise that every single person on the planet is different.  We all think differently, have different desires, work differently to one another, play differently, and we don’t all fit into small easy to categorise boxes.

But is there really the choice we think there is?  Technology manufacturers have been trying to force us into believing we’re in categories they cater for.  Smartphones are cheap to produce, far cheaper than devices with physical keyboards because all of the regionality takes place in software.  This makes the profit margins higher, and acts as a disincentive to offer actual choice to consumers, and because all the big tech companies have jumped on the same money-making bandwagon, the public at large are led to believe that touch screen tech is what we all actually want.

Clearly this isn’t the case, and the huge following the Gemini has garnered proves it.  Bloggers can’t understand why people would want such as device.  Actually this surprises me, as it’s exactly the sort of form-factor that they could benefit from in their work.  It demonstrates this innate inability many people have though to look past the end of their own nose, and see the world as other people see it.

If you asked Gemini owners what they were using their devices for, they’d respond in everything from writing, reports, and email, to programming, server management, and even one owner who took his Gemini on an expedition to the arctic circle.  If you ask the same question of smartphones I very much doubt you’d elicit anywhere near as broad a range of responses.

So to the bloggers I say this.  You might be surprised but there is a world beyond the end of your nose.  Everybody in that world is completely different from everybody else (which is a good thing).  You need to broaden your mind and your experiences, and perhaps even talk to a few Gemini owners.  Mostly though it’s that you’ve completely swallowed the line the chief finance officers have fed you, and now genuinely believe that the products that create the biggest profit margin for corporations also, quite by chance, happen to be the very same ones that you want and need the most.

The Gemini PDA offers the first genuine choice in a stagnant technology market since the heyday of Blackberry.  Choice drives competition, choice drive innovation, and choice makes everybody happier.  My Gemini makes me happy, my smartphones did not.


  1. minitux minitux

    I really try to like my Gemini. What it makes difficult for me is the fact, that I always need a surface, where I can put it on – it is not thumb typing friendly. And if you know german language with ä and ü and so on… I’m always doing finger contortions(? my english…) to press ctrl and fn and shift and a or u simultanously.
    I had a Zaurus Akita before. There was an opportunity to edit magical xml-files to switch some keys to sticky or change some other keys for my needs. I used that gadget for everything until it died. Its form factor was better in my opinion.
    We will see in which direction the Gemini will develop. My personal use is writing without table or desk.

    • I also mainly write in German. For typing without a surface, I use a technique to type with the Gemini using my left thumb and my right index finger while holding the device in my left hand. Sounds a little bit strange but I already developed this habit when using my Psion S5 in free-hand style. For me, it works very well. After the Psion, I also had a Zaurus Akita. It is still alive, by the way. While the Zaurus was also a nice device, I always found it a little bit too small. Coming from the Psion, the keyboard was a step back. If you prefer pure free-hand typing, a Blackberry Key2 might be the best choice. I still use a four years old Blackberry Basic as my main smartphone and the Gemini as the second device. It’s a little bit like in the old Psion days when I carried the Psion in my briefcase and a cell phone in my jacket’s pocket.

  2. Max Max

    @minitux Zaurus were great devices indeed. I sold mine (sl-c3100) in 2009 thinking that we were about to have plenty of choice regarding true pocket computers. I was so wrong ; because I’m still waiting. We’re in 2018 and only the pandora were able to fill the void until then. But now things begin to get exciting again, look at that gemini, nice device ! I just don’t know how well debian is running on it yet.

    If you want a device to thumb type with, just wait for the pyra (successor of pandora) coming something late 2018/ early 2019.

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