Author Topic: The Letcool N350JP -- An Overview (and pre-review!)  (Read 32771 times)

omgmog (OP)

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The Letcool N350JP -- An Overview (and pre-review!)
« on: June 01, 2010, 07:55:46 pm »
Okay so my Letcool arrived today -- I'll gradually add to this topic as I play with the Letcool. For the sake of noise-control this topic is going to be locked until I've finished reviewing and taking photos, but you can continue Letcool-related discussion here.

Introduction

After some buzz was stirred around the Letcool on the boards and #dingoonity IRC channel, I decided to order one. I ordered mine from hopebuy, and they shipped it to me with DHL tracked shipping.

Specification

  • External Dimensions - 137mm x 73mm x 14mm
  • Weight - About 152g
  • LCD - 3.5" TFT
  • Transmission Rate - Read: >5Mbps, Write: >2Mbps
  • USB Interface - USB2.0
  • Power Supply - Removable 1050mAh Lithium Cell (3.5hrs continuous play, 5.5hrs if listening to music)
  • Memory - Internal Storage 4G, Micro SD (TF) Upto 32G
  • Camera - 3MP (interpolated), 30fps, 24-bit colour

Supported Formats

  • Video - RMVB, DAT, RM, MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, FLV, H.263, WMV, AVI, ASF, 3GP, VOB
  • Audio - MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, APE, FLAC -- also features lyrics display/eq/etc. Voice recorder records as AAC
  • Games - "10,000 Games (8bit, 16bit, 32bit)"... I will confirm the systems later. Also has its own games in .BIN format
  • Other Media - Photos, TXT ebooks, Radio, TV-out

Initial thoughts...

Well, it's about the same size as a DSi -- as you'll see when I take some comparison photos. Feels quite light, even with the battery inserted, but it doesn't feel too tacky. The screen is quite dim as noted in the other topic, and the viewing angles aren't amazing, but it works well for video.

The shoulder buttons feel just like those on the DSi and are positioned/labelled in exactly the same way. The device has a nice spring-loaded microSD slot on the top, audio/tv-out/usb/controller/mic/reset on the bottom, and a wrist-strap loop too.

The dpad and abxy buttons feel very nice, very squishy and not at all "sticky" or "stiff". I can confirm a problem noted by other members that the L/R shoulder buttons seem to function as volume keys from within emulators -- but this must be a software problem, as they function as camera buttons on the camera software. There are two physical volume -/+ buttons on the front of the device too.

The external controllers have a nice rubbery/matte finish to them, and the buttons feel nice and soft to press. The shoulder buttons on these controllers are rubber. The cable connecting them to the Letcool is very long, so you could easily sit far from the television when playing multiplayer via tv-out.

TV-out/USB cables are grey, and pretty standard. The earphones are clearly cheap iPod-style earphones.

The interface of the menu is like a mixture between PSP and iPhone -- the actual menu icons are in PSP xmb style, but when you go into menus for things it is clearly inspired by the iPhone interface.

The camera quality isn't amazing -- but that might be in part due to the bad lighting I've briefly tested it in; but it's more likely because it's a cheap Chinese camera. There are options for 320x240, 640x480 and 1280x960 resolutions on the camera, but I guess this is more likely scaled resolutions with heavy use interpolation... (meaning really blurry photos!)

Anyway, that's my initial thoughts down for now, I'll go take some comparison photos now :D

omgmog (OP)

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Re: The Letcool N350JP -- An Overview (and pre-review!)
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2010, 08:58:04 pm »
Photos

Here are some photos of the Letcool, and the Letcool alongside other similar devices such as the A320, GP2X Wiz, DSi



















Guts shots to follow by the end of the week!
« Last Edit: June 01, 2010, 09:00:28 pm by omgmog »

omgmog (OP)

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Re: The Letcool N350JP -- An Overview (and pre-review!)
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2010, 09:55:56 pm »
Homebrew...

The Letcool is in its infancy, so naturally you'd expect there to be very little homebrew available... I've been looking around and it turns out the Letcool is running a SPMP8000 (arm-elf) CPU, and this CPU is used in a number of other *cheap Chinese PMP* devices, so from a thread over at mp4nation I grabbed this DOOM port to see if it would work...

Success! It works fine, even the button mapping is pretty sane. The framerate is excellent, but it actually goes too fast when you're facing a low-poly surface. Check out the spectacular one-hand-cam video I shot of DOOM in action on the Letcool:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNTWnfKoTo4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNTWnfKoTo4</a>

Currently looking around at SPMP8000-related tools (for dumping the nand), and also trying out some "special chip" SNES roms to test compatability on the SNES emu.

edit:
Found a couple more games -- turns out the games made for the JXD1000/2000 work just fine on this Letcool.

http://mp4nation.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=16063

The Letcool actually had nearly all of the following games, but newer versions of them, but it didn't have the following three:

Crazy Car - A racing game - http://www.4shared.com/file/164404240/82a55dec/CrazyCar-134_P_new.html
MahJong - As it says on the tin. Not English - http://www.4shared.com/file/164410958/2b32b599/MahJong-117_P_new.html
Space Battle Ball - Typical "Breakout" game - http://www.4shared.com/file/164412163/33d7a6e1/SpaceBattleBall-103_P_new.html
« Last Edit: June 01, 2010, 11:31:35 pm by omgmog »

omgmog (OP)

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Re: The Letcool N350JP -- An Overview (and pre-review!)
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2010, 11:27:32 pm »
Snes special chip compatability

At the request of SiENcE I tested the following games on the built in snes emulator, they are grouped by chip type

Quote
_highres\rudra no hihou -- runs, laggy
_highres\secret of mana -- runs, laggy
_highres\seiken densetsu 3 -- runs, laggy

c4\mega man x2 -- "file not supported"
c4\mega man x3 -- "file not supported"

dsp1\armored police metal jack -- runs, playable
dsp1\final stretch -- "file not supported"
dsp1\hashiriya tamashii - riders spirits -- "file not supported"
dsp1\lock on -- "file not supported"
dsp1\micheal andretti's indy car challenge -- "file not supported"
dsp1\pilotwings -- "file not supported"
dsp1\super mario kart -- "file not supported"
dsp1a\ace wo nerae -- "file not supported"
dsp1b\ballz 3d -- "file not supported"
dsp2\dungeon master -- "file not supported"
dsp3\sd gundam gx -- "file not supported"
dsp4\planet's champ -- "file not supported"
dsp4\top gear 3000 -- "file not supported"
fx1\dirt trax  -- "file not supported"
fx1\star fox  -- "file not supported"
fx1\stunt race fx  -- "file not supported"
fx1\vortex  -- "file not supported"
fx2\dirt racer -- "file not supported"
fx2\doom  -- "file not supported"
fx2\star fox 2  -- "file not supported"
fx2\super mario world 2 yoshi's island -- "file not supported"
fx2\winter gold  -- "file not supported"
obc1\metal combat - falcon's revenge -- "file not supported"
sa1\daisenryaku expert ww2 -- "file not supported"
sa1\dbz - hyper dimension -- "file not supported"
sa1\jikkyou -- "file not supported"
sa1\kakinoki shougi -- "file not supported"
sa1\kirby super star -- "file not supported"
sa1\kirby's dream land 3  -- "file not supported"
sa1\marvelous -- "file not supported"
sa1\pga european tour  -- "file not supported"
sa1\sd f1 grand prix -- "file not supported"
sa1\super bomberman  -- "file not supported"
sa1\super mario rpg -- "file not supported"
sa1\super robot taisen  -- "file not supported"
sdd1\star ocean -- ... black screen/crash
sdd1\sfa2  -- "file not supported"
« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 03:10:54 pm by omgmog »

omgmog (OP)

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Re: The Letcool N350JP -- An Overview (and pre-review!)
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2010, 10:29:25 pm »
Guts!

Okay more photos then.. click to view them huge :D

Some overviews of the back and front side of the board









The FM module -- this is an 'Airoha AR1010' FM module - http://www.airoha.com.tw/AR1000.htm



updated
The RAM - this is a Samsung K4H561638H-UCB3 chip - Spec sheet from Samsung (pdf)
The NAND - this is a Samsung K9LBG08U0M-PCB0 chip - http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/productInfo.do?fmly_id=672&partnum=K9LBG08U0M#component01




The SOC (System-On-Chip) - Hard to ascertain details from the markings that you can see, but it's an arm926-based - ARM926 at arm.com

Based on the markings '0000003.--200 0941' I'm going to assume it's the 180nm arm926 core, clocking at 200mhz



The LCD screen is a bit of a mystery... I've googled all sorts of combinations of the serial numbers and found nothing. We do know that it's 3.5", 320x240



« Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 08:50:53 pm by omgmog »

omgmog (OP)

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Re: The Letcool N350JP -- An Overview (and pre-review!)
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2010, 11:20:07 pm »
The controllers connector

Talking a bit with the folks in #Dingoonity on freenode, turns out the controller connection on the Letcool is micro-USB

if it's implemented correctly (and isn't just a cheap connection that looks like micro-USB) this *could* mean the Letcool has USB host.

I haven't really talked much about the controllers yet, beyond the previous photos of them.

When the controllers are connected (it's two controllers on one connection) the OS reports that they're connected by showing a little icon at the top/left of the screen.

The controls on the device are still responsive (in the menu), and both controllers can control the device.

When in an emulator with the controllers connected the controls on the device seem to be disabled, but now instead you can use the controllers.

Player 1 can bring up the usual app menu (for pause/exit/save/load/volume) by pressing start+select (on the device this is usually just the power button)

the controllers are really responsive, and even given their small size are very comfortable to hold.

 

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