For those that have (or had) both, which do you prefer? Which one do you reach for or do you have a specific use case for each one?
I really do like my uConsole but honestly I still find myself reaching for my DevTerm first. The uConsole’s d-pad is better, the mouse buttons are much handier and the metal body feels great but there is just something I like more about my DevTerm still. The weird but useful supermegawide screen ratio, the more “traditional” (so far as you can call it that) keyboard might be more prone to errors but I find it far easier to type on for any length of time than the uConsole. Core swaps are just easier and faster on the DevTerm and not to mention battery swaps.
I still think the uConsole is the better made and higher quality bit of kit but I do miss the plastic sprue assembly process and the fact that you can in theory just 3D print a whole new body with no real fuss.
I think my uConsole is mostly going to become the “physical fantasy console” device it is advertised as for playing around with things like pico-8 or tic-80. Its a step above the GameShell for that by virtue of having a keyboard if nothing else. My DevTerm I think will stay my weird and quirky dev machine toy thing and gets to keep my A06 core.
I do like the DevTerm (CM3) and I like the buttons on it better than the uConsole. I like the layout of the uConsole better. The difficult part of the DevTerm is the display aspect ratio. I like the uConsole for that much better. I did modify the keys to reduce the pressure needed on the uC and that helped a bunch. My other issue is the uC was ordered with a R-01 processor. I planned on putting the CM3 from the DevTerm in that, but the image doesn’t exist (yet) and I don’t have the time to figure out how to make it work. I did manage to snag a CM4S module and that fits in the uC without an adapter. It has the problem of no WiFi or BT. I am sure it could be fixed in software, but again I don’t have that much time right now. I have an adapter on order and that hit Chicago yesterday, but the CM4 module (maxed out) is still on back order and have no idea when it will come in. I did stick a USB-WiFi adapter in the uC and that works for now, but I do want the BT to work also.
Wide screen is useful, and a fan, and batteries easy replacement.
Keyboard backlight, 4G module inside, silent keyboard.
I hope both can have more batteries, like 4x 18650, 2 18650 can only lasts for 3 hours.
I do like the DevTerm’s wide screen and keyboard. It reminds me of some of the old palm tops I used to use (Psion Revo / Diamond Mako). I also have a Tandy WP-3 which is like a TRS-80 Model 100 with dumber firmware. Also wide screen but bigger with a full size keyboard. Model 100 and WP-2/WP-3 don’t actually have that nice of a keyboard, but lightweight and very usable. My EeePC 701 also had a reduced size keyboard, not as small as the DevTerm, but I used an EeePC as my main traveling computer for about 3 years. Writing code and stories on it. While EeePC 701’s trackpad was pretty terrible, it’s not as bad as the DevTerm’s trackball. I’ve upgraded mine and tweaked the firmware a bit. It’s still not my preferred input method.
My initial experience with uConsole was superior in every way. The assembly went smoother, and it fits together more confidently. The metal case makes it feel like a quality device. The setup and installation of the software also went a little better, but to be fair I got my DevTerm very early on.
That said both my uConsole and DevTerm had problems. My uConsole was shipped with a 4G module and won’t boot with it installed, something was wrong with the HW and I need to get that services (but life gets in the way). My DevTerm makes a whistling sound when I have batteries installed. I don’t like running it without a battery because it’s very easy to accidentally unplug. These are probably just quirks with my two particular units, and not necessarily a common unboxing experience.