Yopy 3700 Product Review

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It looks great, but choosing not to use a Qtopia/OPIE based distribution limits Yopy's usefulness.
Software

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.

Applications

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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Comments

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Having re-read this review, i

Francis's picture

Having re-read this review, it's facts are obsolete.

I've just noticed too that yopypda.co.uk deliver worldwide FREE!!

Unfortunately, the Yopy is no

Anonymous's picture

Unfortunately, the Yopy is no longer manufactured and new units aren't available for purchase.

Yes it would seem this review

Francis's picture

Yes it would seem this review is way off, the Yopy is a fantastic Linux handheld, if you want a PDA - buy a Palm or PocketPC.

The Zaurus is a severely crippled platform using a restrictive GUI which is not very interesting or inspiring, hence the number of projects trying to replace/reflash the ROM.

The Yopy has a full X environment, mine has GNU compilers, mplayer and lots more. I've also got Qtopia as well and I can use all the Zaurus apps including commercial ones.

This is a badly informed, badly researched, limited review which fails to grasp the sheer scope of the Yopy over anything else in the same price range.

199 UK pounds is great value, it's available worldwide NOW at yopypda.co.uk where I got mine from, there is also a new yopy.lug.co.uk support group.

Re: Yopy 3700 Product Review

Anonymous's picture

This review is DRIVEL.

It's lacking FACTS. Just an ignorant review all round, the Yopy is a great device - I have SWITCHED from a Zaurus C860! to a Yopy 3700, it's faster despite having half the clock speed of the Zaurus, it DOES run Qtopia, just install it, it runs MOST ZAURUS APPS! It runs X FASTER than pdaXrom on the Zaurus, I TESTED IT - it loads and runs gPaint an order of magnitude faster than the 860. It has a fantastic sound system, with good headphones and correct treble/bass settings, the sound can blow you away, it looks fantastic, there is a cylon-esque light which is a great alarm feature.

The PIM features are great, the web interface is inspired and is one hell of a machine.

All round, it's sturdier, faster, longer lasting (in terms of power) than my previous TWO Zaurii, plus is compatible with most ARM debian, iPaq Familiar and Zaurus apps.

This reviewer is speaking from the posterior and not the mouth. Ignore his comments, try it - BUY IT.

Re: Yopy 3700 Product Review

Anonymous's picture

The YOPY is also available in the US from SDG Systems (http://sdgsystems.com), as well as other accessories to make the Yopy even more useful (like a GPRS modem). You can also find a more comprehensive review here: http://www.bargainpda.com/default.asp?newsID=1688&showComments=true

Re: Yopy 3700 Product Review

Anonymous's picture

I think this is a very nice review but there is one little thing I would like to comment on:

You are saying that becouse Gmate does not use Opie they are missing out on a lot of programmes.

I do not agree with you on this one becouse you should pick your operating system based on performance not applications.
The only way to get more applications is to get more users.
If we all would choose the OS with the most applications then we would all be running windows ;)

Re: Yopy 3700 Product Review

Anonymous's picture

I have to say you did not really talk about the battery life or how this device can be customized . . .

Licensing?

Anonymous's picture

What are the licenses for Yopy's platform and developer software?

I know that the Zaurus uses Qtopia, with its GPL-plus-proprietary licensing. I also know that the Zaurus's primary applications, Hancom Office and the Opera Browser, are proprietary (non-GPL'd), so for most people, the Zaurus Qtopia platform is proprietary.

How does Yopy's licensing compare?

Re: Licensing?

Anonymous's picture

GPL

Re: Yopy 3700 Product Review

Anonymous's picture

It's not exactly difficult to connect to a Linux machine; plug in the USB, make sure the yopy is turned on (ie. open the screen) and run:

/sbin/ifconfig usb0 192.168.1.1 up

Now you can access it with a browser (to its webserver), log in via telnet, and transfer stuff to and from it with ftp. Oh, and if you're database-literate, you can make a small change to the MySQL config on it and access the database (including all PIM data) remotely as well.

As for the software, I got the Yopy precisely because the QTopia environment is pretty bad for a PDA, and in addition makes moving software over difficult due to the lack of X. That said, it is possible to parallel-install QTopia (or rather Opie) on it if you would want to. I also believe that a lot of the software written and ported to Familiar (the Ipaq distro) will work out of the box as well, though I have never tried it.

Re: Yopy 3700 Product Review

Anonymous's picture

That's not easy for a pda ! I'm sorry but QTopia is much more mature. Yes it lacks it but that's a PDA we are talking about.

Guylhem

Re: Yopy 3700 Product Review

Anonymous's picture

Hmmm. If Linux Journal doesn't support more than we could read on this article for a beautiful little piece of hardware that represent these yopys... Who will ???
X-Window on these yopys, you could connect easyly with usb network to any linux or BSD.
There's a **ing good PIMS there, mysql/boa based, so you could connect
with any OS that have an HTML brower.

You don't have java out of the box with many linux distos too. There is JAVA ports for the yopy as there is QTOPIA available and a small community of developper that need your help !

Go, buy one, really!

Re: Yopy 3700 Product Review

Anonymous's picture

That's a bit of a problem as I see it; there seems to be several small groups of developers working on the Yopy in one form or another. The problem is, they seem to be somewhat disorganized and fractured - I have not found any one place that is authoritative for the Yopy and collects the efforts of different people. When you start to dig, there is a good deal of fine software for the machine, but it's not all that easy to find. There is also a dearth of beginner-level info of the type "what is the canonical collection of software you will want to install right from the start?" and "how, exactly, do I upgrade the system in practice, and add changes to the filesystem from the start?"

It is all out there, but not really collected.

Re: Yopy 3700 Product Review

Anonymous's picture

Long on opinion, short facts, this review is. When will SSC start publishing real reviews? With real insights, instead of subjective horse manure like this.

Re: Yopy 3700 Product Review

Anonymous's picture

I think it's my negative opinion you didn't like. Sorry but I'm much more happy with a Zaurus or with a Simpad than with a Yopy. It really feels uncomplete.

Re: Yopy 3700 Product Review

Anonymous's picture

Well, seeing as the Yopy can now run Qtopia and many Zaurus apps under it, this review is obsoleted.

Re: Yopy 3700 Product Review

Anonymous's picture

"Long on opinion, short facts, this comment is. When will readers start making real comments? With real insights, instead of subjective horse manure like this."

Personally, I found it informative. Other companies are going for the Qtopia stuff quite substantially, so it is interesting to see if running X11 is really likely to pay off, especially since one of the things that Zaurus power-users seem to miss is X11 and the ability to run applications which require it (or which haven't been ported to Qt/Embedded). I think this review sheds light on that debate.

Or did you get upset because the reviewer didn't try to overclock the machine?

Yes but the point is irreleva

Francis's picture

Yes but the point is irrelevant because the Yopy can run BOTH Qtopia and X11 simultaneosly, I can even run individual Qtopia apps from X11 without the Qtopia GUI.

The Yopy has moved on, so all this about Qtopia or X is pointless, you can have both without penalty.

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