View Full Version : Any Tapwave Zodiac users out there?
Out of sheer, idle curiousity, I'm interested if any of you are using a Zodiac, and in how it performs for gaming as well as productivity.
Gamers, is there a decent amount of retail games available, or are you mainly using it as a really sleek SCUMM or MAME or older console emu?
(I thought this would make an interesting thread for this forum, as the Zodiac seemed like an almost perfect gaming PDA at launch, though I haven't heard much of it since.)
i don't own a zodiac, but i have played with one, and i was pretty impressed at the time. it's got graphics on par with the psone from what i remember (it's been a while), and the screen is a nice size. overall, if i was in the market for a new pda (and i am, actualy) i would seriously consider the device if i hadn't heard rumblings of newer, beefier devices (using MBX, for example) coming down the pipe. i'm not a big fan of the palm OS either, but that's another story.
overall i like the newer gaming handhelds (DS, PSP) for gaming, and i'm a sucker for windows powered PDA's because i'm more familiar with it.
I got a Zodiac recently, and have spent a whle playing around with it.
Zodiac specific games are pretty few and far between, at best it seems to get optimised ports of other mobile device games. Some of these are okay, but when you're looking at £20 to £30, they suck in value compared to PSP and DS games. You get the normal Palm of 5 range of games too, of course.
The usual range of emulators for the device seem to be okay, if in various states of Beta testing, though not really using it for that myself. With a little frameskipping you can get them at full speed with pretty playable frame rates.
As a media player, the device is pretty cack with the default software - mp3 playback only (with no playlist support) and some terrible video decoder software in crippleware "limited functionality mode" (unlocking it will cost you). Fortunately, there are a number of open source programs rapidly moving through development, which look excellent. I've had two Zodiacs - the one I have now (the first had problems) unfortunately has a fair amount of noise in the headphones - you notice it between tracks or when listing to quiet music in a very quiet place. Just a tiny bit disappointing, that's all. Oh, and the default picture viewer is shite.
Ergonomics - well, considering it's a PDA they're really good. It is a little cramped though, and the layout of the (small) buttons isn't ideal for people with the Big Hands. And the analog stick is a bit fiddly for digital input games.
In terms of power, it's some way below the PS1 and Saturn - at least going by the games available for it. I suspect there's nothing that really shows off the machine's aging Imageon chip. Any MBX based device will absolutely slaughter it. The screen is excellent though - big, clear, high resolution and excellent colour reproduction.
Overall, it's a nice device. But if you're primarily after a games device, you could do better (though not by getting a Gizmondo!).
Excellent freeware port of Doom though!
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