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The Astro Slide! (sliding keyboard phone competition from planetcom)


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MediaTek doesn't release any open source code. So custom roms like Lineage etc. are very difficult to make. So you are stuck with stock. And further, given that it's all closed source Chinese code, I'

On the other hand, I'm happy someone finally made a keyboard slider for someone with big hands and thumbs like me.  I hated my work issued BBs-- I could never type on them, I also remember rejecting t

I couldn't agree more, I want a mini version of the Pro1 or the Cosmo (or both). I often see people bashing vertical keyboards on this forum but with some training you can type reaaaaally fast on t

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20 minutes ago, EskeRahn said:

Note also the substantially increased length and thickness - while decreasing the display

Maybe that is the difference between an initial design and a real product...
(They may were a bit behind than what they showed initially.)

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3 hours ago, VaZso said:

Maybe that is the difference between an initial design and a real product...

With a little luck the extra thickness is used to improve and strengthen the slider mechanism from the initial ones we saw, that was rather unimpressive.

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11 minutes ago, EskeRahn said:

With a little luck the extra thickness is used to improve and strengthen the slider mechanism from the initial ones we saw, that was rather unimpressive.

Yeah would hope so.  As I can't see a reason otherwise for it.  I suspect the battery size is due to the slider mechanism not leaving room for something bigger.

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By the way, note that they have removed the change matrix and revised their "story" to reflect the current specs with no notation of there being a change.  I understand, but some transparency would have been nice. (This was pointed out by someone else of Discord before I saw it, so I am just echoing my agreement here  😉 )

Be interesting to see what they reveal in their "first look" event Tuesday.

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1 hour ago, Hook said:

By the way, note that they have removed the change matrix and revised their "story" to reflect the current specs with no notation of there being a change.  I understand, but some transparency would have been nice. (This was pointed out by someone else of Discord before I saw it, so I am just echoing my agreement here  😉 )

Be interesting to see what they reveal in their "first look" event Tuesday.

See what you mean!  "Astro Slide (Initial Specification)" now lists the 800 not 1000 😄

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2 hours ago, Hook said:

note that they have removed the change matrix and revised their "story"

In all fairness, it is available in the updates stamped "Jan 11, 2021 • 2:58PM"

 

....So if we should be kind, we could say they just forgot to adjust the column header from "initial" to "preliminary"... 😇

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18 minutes ago, EskeRahn said:

In all fairness, it is available in the updates stamped "Jan 11, 2021 • 2:58PM"

 

....So if we should be kind, we could say they just forgot to adjust the column header from "initial" to "preliminary"... 😇

I guess.... lol

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I was invested in the Astro but after their recent updates I pulled out, got a refund, and ordered a Pro1.  I watched their 2 hours worth of video updates and Q&A and really didn't like their attitude.  I love the openness of Fxtec.  Ubuntu Touch?  Ok!  Lineage?  Ok! Do what you want!  Planet Computers offers one flavor of Linux or Android.  FU to the rest.  They wouldn't commit to Sailfish or anything.  They were so wrapped up that they upped the RAM 2GB.  There were so many other downgrades though.  I couldn't stomach it.

Can't wait to get a Pro1 and load Ubuntu Touch on it.  I have a usb-c hub, monitor and micro sdcard at the ready!

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5 hours ago, IH8SpeedBumps said:

I was invested in the Astro but after their recent updates I pulled out, got a refund, and ordered a Pro1.  I watched their 2 hours worth of video updates and Q&A and really didn't like their attitude.  I love the openness of Fxtec.  Ubuntu Touch?  Ok!  Lineage?  Ok! Do what you want!  Planet Computers offers one flavor of Linux or Android.  FU to the rest.  They wouldn't commit to Sailfish or anything.  They were so wrapped up that they upped the RAM 2GB.  There were so many other downgrades though.  I couldn't stomach it.

Can't wait to get a Pro1 and load Ubuntu Touch on it.  I have a usb-c hub, monitor and micro sdcard at the ready!

I tried to jump out before the campaign ended. They refused. Even though I thought I had that long to decide

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6 hours ago, IH8SpeedBumps said:

Can't wait to get a Pro1 and load Ubuntu Touch on it.  I have a usb-c hub, monitor and micro sdcard at the ready!

Try and get a ProX instead. Either see if any promotional Indiegogo links are available or wait a few months and check in the buy and sell thread on this site.

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5 hours ago, Rud said:

Try and get a ProX instead. Either see if any promotional Indiegogo links are available or wait a few months and check in the buy and sell thread on this site.

The 8gb/256gb version wasn't available so I went ahead and ordered up an original 6gb pro1.  I didn't realize it would take so long 

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3 hours ago, IH8SpeedBumps said:

The 8gb/256gb version wasn't available so I went ahead and ordered up an original 6gb pro1.  I didn't realize it would take so long 

The 8/256 is still again available on IGG, but not at as good a price as earlier. Currently it is at $719

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11 minutes ago, EskeRahn said:

The 8/256 is still available on IGG, but not at as good a price as earlier. Currently it is at $719

Actually, that disappeared for a few days.  It's back now.  Interesting.

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1 minute ago, Hook said:

Actually, that disappeared for a few days.  It's back now.  Interesting.

I was unaware.
Looking at the very round number reached, I guess they just bumped the 100 to 150
image.png.cc1141c0449d889e4a270fd544650dbb.png

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had the gemini pda and the cosmo communicator before I got the pro1. 

I considered pre-ordering the astro slide, but decided against it for 3 reasons.

1. The keyboard is too big for thumb typing and yet too small to be able to touch type in a way that's comfortable for long periods of time.

If I'm actually going to sit down at a table and touch type, I'd rather use a full sized keyboard.

2. The astro slide keyboard doesn't have as many keys as the pro1 and the layout isn't ideal either.

I want to run emacs+vim and they use a lot of specialized keybindings, so I want to have as access to many modifier keys as possible, and I want the layout to be as similar as I can get to my desktop mechanical keyboard

3. No support for lineageos on gemini or cosmo and I suspect there won't be any for astro either.

 

A bigger screen would be nice, but I think the keyboard layout is as good as it gets.

 

My desktop keyboard:

 

08.04.2020_TEX_Shinobi_teaser_10Euro.jpg

Pro1 keyboard: 

bfuptg6hxomow8jjsjyv.jpg

Astro slide keyboard: (modifiers are missing or placed differently)

srj8jsa4irmsbnyp5hma.jpg
 

Edited by lawliett
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6 hours ago, lawliett said:

My desktop keyboard:

TEX Shinobi, respect. I should get one of those at some point. Though my older Thinkpad keyboards are still going strong. How is it like? I would not know what kind of switches I should get either.

 

IMG_20210207_093008_compress32.jpg

Edited by Slion
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15 hours ago, lawliett said:

I want to run emacs+vim and they use a lot of specialized keybindings

I can confirm that using emacs with the Pro1's keyboard is quite pleasant thanks to its two Ctrl-keys.

I was an emacs user once, but the N900 made me switch to vi for CLI-editing. The reason was that the N900's single Ctrl-key is at the left, so that the most popular emacs key presses (think C-x C-s ...) required to move both thumbs to the extreme left of the keyboard, which was uncomfortable in the long term (even though the N900 had a very small form-factor).

PlanetComputers made the same choice of having only a single Ctrl at the left. In table-top use, this may be less relevant, but should you ever try to thumb-type in emacs while holding the AstroSlide in hands, this will probably feel quite awkward given the huge size of the device.

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9 hours ago, Slion said:

TEX Shinobi, respect. I should get one of those at some point. Though my older Thinkpad keyboards are still going strong. How is it like? I would not know what kind of switches I should get either.

 

I originally got the compact bluetooth trackpoint keyboard from lenovo, but it was awful. The chiclet keys were terrible, and the layout was so cramped I could barely type properly. I would love a 55Y903 with bluetooth; I don't know why lenovo doesn't release one like that. Btw does that keyboard you have use chiclet keys or rubber dome? Does it have any tactile response when you press a key?

The tex shinobi feels great, but it's pretty heavy; I'd like something a little lighter, so it's easier to carry in my bag. I had blue mx switches for typing, but switched to silent red since it's a little too loud in public.

Edited by lawliett
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3 hours ago, claude0001 said:

I was an emacs user once, but the N900 made me switch to vi for CLI-editing. The reason was that the N900's single Ctrl-key is at the left, so that the most popular emacs key presses (think C-x C-s ...) required to move both thumbs to the extreme left of the keyboard, which was uncomfortable in the long term (even though the N900 had a very small form-factor).

 

I still use emacs, but I switched to vim keybindings inside emacs because modal editing is just a lot easier than using chord keybindings.

But even in vim every single key can be used in a binding, even symbol keys like ,.;'/. So having first layer access to those keys makes things a lot easier. Whereas in astro slide keyboard, I would have to hold down a fn key just to access ;/-=, etc.

Even if I remapped all of astro slide's keys, there wouldn't be enough keys available; only two keys between M key and right shift, no keys available between p and enter. So the pro1 keyboard is a lot more convenient for both emacs and vim.

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3 hours ago, lawliett said:

Btw does that keyboard you have use chiclet keys or rubber dome? Does it have any tactile response when you press a key?

I'm not sure to be honest, most likely the later. It's basically the keyboard the Shinobi is designed after. I think it's a great sweet spot between silent and tactile. 

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4 hours ago, lawliett said:

Btw does that keyboard you have use chiclet keys or rubber dome? Does it have any tactile response when you press a key?

I have a fairly recent (2-3 year old) Thinkpad T570.  The keyboard is splendid despite having a more chicklet appearance. They have a very nice, subtly scooped surface and a good amount of key travel (one review said it was 2.41 mm) with a soft click and good feedback.  I've used Thinkpads for 25 years and the T570 seems pretty good to me. I can't find anything that confirms it is rubber dome, but I suspect it is.

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