Friday, December 02, 2005

Early thoughts on my GP2X

So, I've had it a week or so, what do I think of it so far?

Well, let's start with the top four dislikes:

  1. There are horrible rubber covers over the EXT port, power socket, USB port, and headphone socket. They're flimsy, hard to put back into place, and generally horrible. They look nice & neat, but they're horrible to actually use. The headphone one is already breaking, and only the fact that I have very little use for the others keeps me from just ripping them out. Any solution would have been better than this rubbery nonsense, even the "no cover at all" option.
  2. The firmware is buggy. Now, this isn't something I have a problem with: I knew it would be, the GP2X doesn't get officially released until next year and the firmware will need upgrading. However, it's been an annoyance, so I'm listing it here anyway. Specifically, the SD card reader is rubbish (Had to use my Palm to format it because nothing else worked), and writing to the SD card over USB is rubbish. This means I've only gained full use of my GP2X thanks to Craigx, who kindly supplied a free SD writer! Obviously, this will be fixed when the firmware gets upgraded.
  3. Socket placement: The headphone socket & power socket should be swapped around. Realistically, if I'm listening to music on headphones, the GP2X will be in a pocket, where the side will be topmost. And if I'm playing a game or movie that's long enough to need a power supply instead of batteries, having it plugged in at the side will get in the way, while the top (or bottom) wouldn't.
  4. The manual is useless. That's all there is to it. I gather there's a user-made one out, I'll check it when I get a minute.

Now then: Top four likes:

  1. Movies. I've been really impressed with movies. Using DVD::Rip, it's been easy to get movies ripped from DVD to .avi. Sadly, Xvid doesn't seem to work too well yet, but Divx5 works great. Set the screen size to 320x240, bitrate to 300, sound to quality 2, and you get superb quality at about 3MB per minute of movie. I daresay some movies would benefit from higher quality, but so far 300 is good enough for some music videos and Wallace & Gromit :o)
  2. Music is pretty good just using the built-in speakers, to my surprise. And the screen's easy to turn off to save power.
  3. New games are coming out literally faster than I can keep track of them. And I got Quake 1 working flawlessly first try (although it is a bit slow at the moment) - making it finally worthwhile owning the Quake 1 CD :o)
  4. It looks cool :o)

All things considered, when the firmware is all debugged and the homebrew scene has had a bit more time, I reckon the GP2X will be truly superb.

In the meantime, I'll just have to make do with dozens of movies, hundreds of songs, and the vast number of games already available ;o)


myGP2X said...

Hi, the user-written user manual can be found here as a PDF (I think) and I'm writing one at the moment for my site. Richard.

5:23 PM  

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