UMPC

Qi Hardware’s Ben NanoNote about as small as they come

Nanonote I've never heard of this thing before, but the Ben NanoNote from Qi Hardware looks like it could possibly hide out in the tiny coin pocket on a pair of Levi's, let alone be a fully-hackable Linux handheld device. Available now for only $99, the NanoNote is pretty basic with a 3-inch 320×240 display and a 336MHz XBurst Jz4720 processor. No, that's not a misprint; we're talking about a MIPS (not ARM-based) CPU, along with 32MB RAM, 2GB Flash storage, and the obligatory microSD slot.

While I'm struggling to think of a use for this, I'm sure there are plenty of our readers out there who would be able to mold this device into a variety of things, like say an electronic dictionary or basic eBook reader. In fact, someone has actually already created a 3D game on the NanoNote. With that XBurst processor, I'm sure the battery life is phenomenal, and the price puts it in that "impulse buy" category.

Check out the NanoNote's product page for a variety of links and if the UMID BZ and Fujitsu UH900 are a bit too large for you, then at least now there is an alternative, as long as no-frills computing suits you.

[Engadget]
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Chris King

Chris King is a former contributing editor at Pocketables.

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10 thoughts on “Qi Hardware’s Ben NanoNote about as small as they come

  • I have been following the Qi Hardware project right from the beginning, and the missing connectivity has been an issue for me all the time. The only way to get WiFi into the Ben NanoNote is via microSDIO – no USB OTG. But maybe this lack of connectivity can make this device valuable as it won’ t distract you with incomming mail or new tweets ;-) And openess is always great for those who can use it.

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  • Avatar of turn.self.off

    best i can tell, they are trying to do reboot the ideals of openmoko. But this time they are starting much less ambitious, getting products out there that allows devs to get familiar with the basic hardware without putting a lot of money on the table.

    if the basic chipset can handle usb host, i am sure someone finds a way to make it work, even if the port is not of the kind it should be in the specs.

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  • Avatar of teh.sean

    This has been out for a while, and honestly, if you want the wifi, go looking for a Zipit 2. They have hacked the crap out of the zipit 2, and have it doing all the stuff you’d probably want with a device that size. And the Zipits can be acquired for about $50 a pop.

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  • The lack of a USB host is really quite puzzling. The development board had both USB host and USB device connections.

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  • Are the drivers already installed for a microSDIO card, or do they need to be written for each device?

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  • Avatar of turn.self.off

    i think the generic drivers for microSDIO is in there, but thats pretty much on the same level as USB. One still need drivers for the specific wifi chip used in the IO Card (tho i think there is one listed in the wiki thats basically the same chip as was was used in the openmoko freerunner, so those drivers are already available).

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  • Avatar of turn.self.off

    probably a case design issue. I guess if one is really interested, one can dig up something about it in the mailing list or something.

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