The Astro Slide is a smartphone that you can also use like a tiny laptop thanks to a QWERTY keyboard that slides out from behind the display. Designed for touch-typing and inspired by the Psion line of handheld devices, the keyboard is quite different from the thumb keyboards found on BlackBerry-style devices or even modern devices like the F(x)tec Pro-1. The closest comparison I can think of is the PinePhone Keyboard, but that’s an optional accessory rather than a built-in part of the phone.
Planet Computers first unveiled the Astro Slide nearly two years ago and followed up with a crowdfunding campaign that closed in May, 2020. Now company has begun shipping the first units to backers and it’s taking pre-orders for the phone through its website, with an estimated ship date of March 2022 for new orders. But does the Astro Slide deliver on its promise?
According to one of the first real-world reviews of the phone… kind of. It’s a decent phone with mid-range specs and a chunky design (at 18mm or 0.7 inches thick, it’s kind of like holding two phones stuck together). And the cameras are apparently really underwhelming. But the Astro Slide delivers decent performance and has some custom software that makes Android a little more keyboard-friendly.
One remaining question? How well does this thing run operating systems other than Android? Planet Computers has promised users will be able to install Ubuntu Touch and other mobile GNU/Linux distributions. But that’s not covered in the review.
Astro Slide review: does this device deliver on the Psion Series 5 phone promise? [ Big Tech Question]
The Astro Slide smartphone from Planet Computers has a slide-out keyboard that lets you use the 6.4 inch Android phone as a tiny Android laptop. It began shipping to crowdfunding backers at the end of January, and real-world reviews are starting to arrive.
Android 11 introduced smart home controls in the power menu… and they disappeared when Android 12 launched. But apparently Google considered making the Android 11 lock screen & always-on display way more powerful. Here’s a look at the cancelled plans.
Microsoft has reportedly cancelled the Hololens 3 and it’s unclear whether there will ever be a first-party follow-up to the company’s first two mixed reality headsets, but Microsoft may have signed a deal with Samsung to developer a new device.
Microsoft will get more experimental with Windows 11 Insider Preview builds for the Dev Channel in 2022. Some features rolled out to testers will eventually go stable. Some will never ship. Beta Channel will be for features that are closer to shipping.
Windows Terminal Preview 1.13 Release [Microsoft]
The latest Windows Terminal preview brings an updated user interface, support for Win11 snap layouts, automatically launching a profile as Administrator or restoring recently closed tabs & panes plus a new text rendering engine and customizable bell sounds.