Oh, this picture says it all, no? We stopped at the Pepper booth and got 15 minutes of hands on time with the Linux-based handheld. This was the first time I’d actually held a Pepper Pad 3 and my first stop was the split thumb-board. From other reviews it sounded very usable, but I had to see for myself. Even though the buttons are small, the design and placement worked surprisingly well for me. Since it’s a split QWERTY keyboard, you don’t need to learn a new layout but it might take some time to adjust for being "all thumbs".
The Pepper Pad 3 was very responsive and when we saw a video segment of "The Incredibles" playback was seamless and smooth. I’d say it was at least as good at video on my Q1, if not better. I loved the integrated stand; then again, I think every handheld computer at this size should have that. The feel was almost rubberized, so it’s easy to grip and you don’t have to worry about fingerprints, alhough I’m sure those CSI folks could get what they needed from the surface.
One surprise in my mind was the width of the device. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s about 1.5 to 1.75 times as wide as my Q1, making it less than ideal for mobility to me. Hopefully we can get a review unit in the upcoming weeks and we can carry it around to test that theory.