Yopy 3700 Product Review
Why is the Yopy faster than a C700 even though it has a slower CPU? The answer lies in the software. Unlike the Zauruses and the Simpad, which are based on Qtopia/OPIE, the Yopy uses the X Window System and the mobile GNOME environment. Keeping in mind the X-only iPAQ distribution, Yopy is the third PDA environment to use the Linux kernel. The drawback is the GNOME mobile environment is GTK-based, making the whole collection of Zaurus software incompatible with Yopy.
The Yopy interface is not very different from OPIE or Microsoft Windows. It offers a start menu, a list of opened windows, icons for active peripherals and a clock. An on-screen keyboard and a graffiti zone make it possible to enter characters if one does not like the 49-key keyboard.
The PIM is one of the most important pieces of software in a PDA, and, as with the Zaurus, the Yopy PIM was not well thought-out or designed. A nice PIM add-on is the possibility of using the Yopy 3700 embedded Web server to update or enter PIM information from the desktop computer. Yet it would be nice to be able to keep a local copy of the PIM data.
For Windows desktops, MyPIMS is provided on the software CD-ROM. Although it is a good application, there is no possibility to synchronize the device with Outlook; the former Yopy 3000 could. The only options are third-party, non-free software or iCalendar formatted imports.
The default applications included in the 3700 mostly are the standard one. The control center has good icons and is easy to use. And the ability to run X applications is a big plus.
On the Internet side, there is no Web browser but Dillo. Dillo is not as good as Opera or Netfront or even KHTML, but the e-mail application is powerful.
Some applications stand above the others: the GQMpeg MP3 player, VLC client and Grecord make it possible to use the Yopy as an MP3 player, a portable video device (if you have a Wi-Fi stream or a big memory card) and a dictaphone. gpaint is fast and responsive. It may be a result of both the touchscreen and the GNOME mobile environment, but this paint application is intuitive and easy to use for taking small notes.
Yopy Office, on the other hand, is not very good. QPresent is the worst; QCell is better. Hancom Mobile Word here performs exactly as it does in the Zaurus version.
Overall, there are far fewer free and non-free applications available for the Yopy than there are for the Zaurus, mainly due to the distribution choice. It also is not easy to connect the Yopy to a Linux machine, and there is no Java environment. I would have preferred a Qtopia/OPIE-based distribution, if only for the amount of software available.
The boot process of Linuxpy, the Yopy default distribution, is far more verbose than that of Zaurus, and the Web server available by default are convenient options. The ability to export, display and recompile X11 applications also makes the Yopy an attractive choice. But the Yopy does not perform as good as the Zaurus on the PDA side, mostly due to the lack of application and the PIM problems.
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- Thanks for clearing that up.
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- Nice coding on the cake. I
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