Planet Gemini hands-on: The dream of the 90s is alive in Vegas

The Planet Gemini feels like a device from some alternate universe where the Personal Digital Assistant never died. Its eyeglass-case chassis evokes the old Sony Tablet P, while its miniature QWERTY keyboard suggests a laptop that stumbled into a shrinking machine. But its closest relative is probably the Psion PDA from the 1990s — a device beloved as much for its powerful scheduling software as for its robust physical keyboard.

The Planet Gemini is no mere throwback. It's available in Wi-Fi and 4G versions (for both GSM and CDMA networks), it dual-boots Android and Linux, and you can even make phone calls on it. Planet says the Gemini is meant for bloggers, longform writers and other creators who live and die by a physical keyboard, and it's easy to see why it'd be a tempting purchase for such folks. Still, it's hard to envision many people ponying up for a device that slots in somewhere between the smartphone and laptop, yet professes to replace neither.

Of course, you don't need to imagine it; you can just head on over to Planet's Indiegogo page to see how many customers have already devoted their dollars to picking up a Gemini of their own. If you're keen to join them, the device is available for $299 or $399 in Wi-Fi and 4G versions, respectively, with units already in production. The Planet Gemini ships to early backers later this month; deliveries will continue into the spring, at which point I'll hopefully follow up with a full review.

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