The development team behind the Pandora open-source handheld has finally announced a release date and price for the console.

The ARM Cortex A80-powered portable gaming device/PDA, developed by an off-shoot team of the people behind the GP2X, has been set down for a September 30 release, costing £199 (including VAT) in the UK.

Described by the developer's website as being "by far the most powerful handheld in the world both in terms of raw CPU power and 3D graphics capability", the blurb even goes on to state that the machine should "be able to handle things such as Firefox3 or Quake3 with ease."

Those specs in full

So what exactly sits inside to handle all this crazy stuff? Aside from the aforementioned ARM Cortex A80, which runs at a rather mighty 600mhz (next to the PSP's 333mhz and even the GP2X's close-but-not-quite 533mhz), with a 430-MHz TMS320C4x+ DSP Core.

The graphics are handled by PowerVR SGX OpenGL 2.0 hardware, and display on an 800x480 4.3in 16.7 million colour LCD touchscreen.

Comms are pretty well covered by 802.11b/g Wifi, Bluetooth and High Speed USB 2.0, and there's dual SDHC card slots and even S-Video TV-out.

While there are still no actual photos in existence, released rendered mock-ups of the machine suggest a DS-like clamshell design, with D-pad and four face buttons as well as dual analogue controllers and a full QWERTY keyboard. Spec-tastic.

If Team Pandora sticks to its promises, this could certainly be one to look out for.