The "when" Of Buying A Pandora


thej1mb0

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Okay, I just learned about this Pandora thing a couple days ago. I've since done some pretty heavy research and, as a techie and retrogamer, it seems to be my perfect dream-device. But I first need to know about the "when" of buying a Pandora. Let me start you off with a bit of background. Alternatively if you're impatient jump to the bottom list to get the TL;DR of it.

I work retail 10-20 hours a week for just above minimum wage and attend college full-time. I'm 19, I still live with my parents, because I obviously can't damn well afford to move out, and for now I enjoy a comfortable lifestyle because my dad's one of those retired union workers who made like 55 grand a year by pushing a button. By necessity my money goes into paying for food, gas, cell phone, and as much of my car insurance as I can. There isn't much left over for rec spending or Pandoras.

However - a couple times a year - late Nov. (my birthday) and Xmas - my parents and grandparents will chip money in to get me something awesome that I couldn't otherwise afford (inb4 spoiled white boy). Now this WOULD be the perfect time to have 'em hook me up with a Pandora, but the whole lack of supply thing poses some obvious complications.

I'm thinking I'll just ask for the money for it and pre-order it myself, but - going full circle to the first paragraph or this thread - I have some questions about the "when" of it all. Very rough estimates are totally okay.

  • Let's say I ordered it late Nov. / early Dec. Is there any chance things will have gone meltdown with the distributors/manufacturers/developers by then?
  • How long should I expect to wait for my device to be shipped?
  • I've noticed frequent complaints about 'minor' hardware problems that would frankly bug the hell out of me - would I be better off waiting for these issues to be addressed?
  • I've noticed many emulators aren't very well-optimized for this thing yet. Would I be better off waiting for the software to be improved?
  • Is there any chance the pre-order only thing will be dropped and I'll be able to just buy one with no probs sometime in the future?

Thanks in advance for your answers. Meanwhile I'll be envying those of you who already have this awesome piece of hardware. :D
 

Prometheus

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Hi and welcome!

Let me see if I can help out at all. :p

Rogue Employee said:
Let's say I ordered it late Nov. / early Dec. Is there any chance things will have gone meltdown with the distributors/manufacturers/developers by then?
I would imagine that this would be doubtful as the members of the team have been in business for many, many years here. Anything in life is possible, though, so I'd rather not attempt to give an answer to this one way or another for fear of jinxing things! :lol:

How long should I expect to wait for my device to be shipped?
This one is probably the hardest to answer. The team hopes to get batch two shipping sometime in October.

However, the original batch one orders initially took place on September 30th 2008, but then some disasters of all sorts happened (everything from collapsing banks to volcanic eruptions spreading ash clouds across Europe) and not all of them are out there yet. That said, I doubt that you would be waiting close to two years like many of us did. :p

I've noticed frequent complaints about 'minor' hardware problems that would frankly bug the hell out of me - would I be better off waiting for these issues to be addressed?
If they would bug you, I would suggest waiting. However, bear in mind that this is a device produced in limited numbers - a possibility exists that there may always be things such as teeny casing niggles or whatever.

Which issues are you referring to, specifically? If you could list them, I'm sure we could give you a better answer on this one. :p

I've noticed many emulators aren't very well-optimized for this thing yet. Would I be better off waiting for the software to be improved?
If this would bother you, yes, it may be better for you to wait. I quite enjoy getting to try new stuff all the time, myself, and actively see how things are improving - however, I know that this isn't for everyone.

Is there any chance the pre-order only thing will be dropped and I'll be able to just buy one with no probs sometime in the future?
I believe that the team hopes to be able to do this. When, I don't know, though (it's probably been mentioned, but I can't remember off the top of my head what was said, right now).

I hope this helps!
 
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Dunny

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Prometheus said:
How long should I expect to wait for my device to be shipped?
This one is probably the hardest to answer. The team hopes to get batch two shipping sometime in October.

However, the original batch one orders initially took place on September 30th 2008, but then some disasters of all sorts happened (everything from collapsing banks to volcanic eruptions spreading ash clouds across Europe) and not all of them are out there yet. That said, I doubt that you would be waiting close to two years like many of us did. :p

That makes things sound better than they actually are. "not all of them are out there yet" is looking a tad on the bright side - in actual fact, very few of them are out there yet. We're almost certainly not on track for October to be the end of the first 4,000 - and the more RMAs they have, the slower things will go. Sometime next year is probably being optimistic for batch 2 starting to ship.

You personally may be having a great time now that your personal waiting period is over, but the rest of us - about 3,500 of us - will still be waiting long past the current October deadline.

D.
 
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Prometheus

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Dunny said:
That makes things sound better than they actually are. "not all of them are out there yet" is looking a tad on the bright side - in actual fact, very few of them are out there yet. We're almost certainly not on track for October to be the end of the first 4,000 - and the more RMAs they have, the slower things will go. Sometime next year is probably being optimistic for batch 2 starting to ship.

You personally may be having a great time now that your personal waiting period is over, but the rest of us - about 3,500 of us - will still be waiting long past the current October deadline.

D.
So sorry for being naturally cheerful and for already having my unit, Dunny. There is nothing inaccurate about saying not all of them are out there yet, as this is a fact.

I will be more specific: By the time the currently-being-worked-on 200 are finished, it is believed that approximately 900 of batch one's 4000 units will be out in the wild.
 
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naples39

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I wouldn't recommend waiting. If you order anytime soon, it will almost surely be a few months before you get it. Hopefully production quality will be improving all the time. Just keep in mind that if you want to wait a few more months to order, that means no pandora for you for maybe 6+ months.

If you are really trying to wait for a 'perfect' build, that could be years, if ever. I have a very early edition, and I'm fine with it--no real problems. This isn't a Sony or Nintendo product with years and millions of dollars in development. It's fan made basically, which is a blessing and a curse. I think you'll be satisfied despite being a little wary.
 

Dunny

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Prometheus said:
So sorry for being naturally cheerful and for already having my unit, Dunny. There is nothing inaccurate about saying not all of them are out there yet, as this is a fact.

I'm not disputing the fact - it's your wording that makes it sound like they're pretty much almost all done, and they're a good 6 months or so away from that, going on past performance. And yes, I'm grumpy - I have no pandora, with none in sight.

I will be more specific: By the time the currently-being-worked-on 200 are finished, it is believed that approximately 900 of batch one's 4000 units will be out in the wild.

That's better - though I doubt it's actually 900, no matter what craig has said. You yourself are on what, your third unit now?

D.
 
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Prometheus

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Dunny said:
I'm not disputing the fact - it's your wording that makes it sound like they're pretty much almost all done, and they're a good 6 months or so away from that, going on past performance. And yes, I'm grumpy - I have no pandora, with none in sight.
I'm afraid this may be a case of my having been misunderstood, as that wasn't the intent of my wording at all. :p

I'd share some of my cheerfulness, but alas I've not found a way to bottle it at this time.

That's better - though I doubt it's actually 900, no matter what craig has said. You yourself are on what, your third unit now?
I am, yes. Almost three weeks in, though, and all seems well (the previous ones developed the problem in that space of time or less - god, I hope I don't jinx myself by saying this :lol: ) - hopefully the nub issue is dead for good and nobody else will be hassled with it, now.
 
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Lorkile

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I think the only real remaining hardware issue, and one the team has basically decided not to address, is the screen bezel issue. After applying pressure a few times mine has shrunk and if I had used some glue (still tempted to) it would vanish entirely.

Software wise, there has been a lot of progress made with so few units in the wild. So I wouldn't stress about them and just assume by the time you could get a Pandora (assuming you don't eBay one) they will generally be worked out. Not to mention Ginge has added a lot of things, like freaking Cave Story!!!
 

thej1mb0

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When I say hardware issues I'm mainly talking about some complaints of sticky/unresponsive buttons. The "minor casing niggles" (I saw a video with the case not clipping down all the way) probably wouldn't bother me; it's purely aesthetic. I haven't heard about the nubs or this screen complaint though. Care to elaborate?

I believe that the team hopes to be able to do this. When, I don't know, though (it's probably been mentioned, but I can't remember off the top of my head what was said, right now).
I shall scour the forums for more on this when I get the chance. Or if somebody saved me the trouble and told me...I wouldn't complain.

Oh, another thing. Are there any similar, more widely available devices? If so, what features are they lacking in comparison to the Pandora? Linux support is a must.
 

belthos

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I'd try and order it around christmas. I doubt you can get it sooner. Odds are it'll take you two months to get even then.

It's worth waiting for but make no mistake, odds are you will have some waiting at least on the order of two or three months best case I can imagine.

If patience isn't your thing, just keep tabs on the site and you'll know when the production can meet the orders and place one then.

Belthos.
 

WizardStan

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Rogue Employee said:
I saw a video with the case not clipping down all the way
There is a half millimeter gap, but I think Evil Dragon said it was a result of the extra shielding they had to put on the LCD cable through the hinge adding a little extra pressure on one side: in other words, not going to go away without tweaks that aren't likely to come. If it helps, it's only noticeable if you are looking for flaws, and after you're actually aware of it. Same goes for the screen bezel, the bottom part of which bows out a little due to the paint adding extra thickness to the case: just a little bowing is obvious if you look at it, but you rarely do so. No one that I've shown it to has pointed out either of these things without being shown them first.

Rogue Employee said:
I haven't heard about the nubs or this screen complaint though. Care to elaborate?
The first hundred or two screens had flaws with the soldering, causing a large number to fail after only a few weeks. The nubs also have some issues which causes them to fail prematurely. Both of these have now been solved, the screen problem fixed a long time ago, and the nubs were improved for the last couple hundred but should get even better with the next batch.

Rogue Employee said:
Oh, another thing. Are there any similar, more widely available devices? If so, what features are they lacking in comparison to the Pandora? Linux support is a must.
The Nokia N900[url] is probably the closest thing to a Pandora, including Linux support and physical keyboard, but it's a phone so expect to pay a premium.
On the cheaper, gaming side, there's the Wiz/Caanoo, but it lacks an actual keyboard and wifi, and has a different (arguably inferior) processor.
 
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WizardStan

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Prometheus said:
I may be mistaken, but aren't they discontinuing it soon?
They may be. That makes me sad. Nokia is going the way of the Apple, I guess. :(
 
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thej1mb0

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You've all been really helpful. Couple more questions. How are they about repair and/or replacement? As in, are there any warranties on these things. All I could find on the main website was "for technical problems contact your distributor." And if something went horribly, horribly wrong (ie. project collapsed) while waiting for my Pandora to arrive, would I be guaranteed a refund? Or is that money kaput?
 

Prometheus

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I can only comment on repair and replacement, as I had spectacularly bad luck and encountered two problems with nubs. :p It was sorted out promptly in my case, and I received updates every step of the way (sometimes even at 3am UK time, which is of course the same time-zone that the team at Craig's shop is in). I absolutely cannot fault this. :)
 

MonkeyChops

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there is a 1 year warranty for repair or replacement of your pandora. That wouldn't cover your money if Open Pandora LTD went bankrupt, even if it did, the company giving you the warranty would have no money to give you. :D

You'd need some kind of insurance for that and I don't think it exists. I know OP doesn't provide it and if they did it wouldn't work for the same reason. Don't worry though, gbax has been around for a long time and I'm pretty sure they already have paid for most of the parts. Of course anything is possible, if you can't afford to loose the money maybe you should wait till you can.
 

mysticmaus

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To answer the "when" question in this topic >

The time to order is NOW :rolleyes:

The sooner you order ,the sooner you get it! , and then still "sooner" means a year at this rate of production.... <_<

But it's worth it considering what this device can do ^_^
 

thej1mb0

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MonkeyChops said:
there is a 1 year warranty for repair or replacement of your pandora. That wouldn't cover your money if Open Pandora LTD went bankrupt, even if it did, the company giving you the warranty would have no money to give you. :D

You'd need some kind of insurance for that and I don't think it exists. I know OP doesn't provide it and if they did it wouldn't work for the same reason. Don't worry though, gbax has been around for a long time and I'm pretty sure they already have paid for most of the parts. Of course anything is possible, if you can't afford to loose the money maybe you should wait till you can.

So they could just jet off with everyone's money before delivering the units? That's kind of unsettling.
 
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