Nvidia impresssed us at CES with the Tegra2 processor and touted over 50 designs already built around the chip. But now, sources mention some issues with Tegra2 that could push products back into later this year.
Wondering where the Amazon Kindle for Android app is? You’re not the only one. New promotional documents for Dell’s Mini 5 Android device show a big clue that an Amazon Kindle for Android app is on the way.
The definition of a smartbook varies depending on who you ask, but ABI Research is sure about one thing — most of the smartbook devices sold in 2015 won’t have Intel inside. Here’s why the perfect storm of mobile ARM computing is coming to a head.
Laptop Magazine tries to define the varied categories of MID, media tablet and smartbook and rate the chances for success of each. But those definitions vary depending on who you ask. Which have the best chance at success and which are niche?
If you thought UMPCs were extinct, Fujitsu urges you to reconsider. Their new UH900 is nearly pocketable, weighs about a pound and run Windows 7 Home Premium. Speaking of premiums, this isn’t a cheap little laptop at $849 after rebate.
While our reader polls mainly indicated disappointed in Apple’s latest creation, there’s a big-picture question worth answering. Did Cupertino just pull a fast one and corner the smartbook market before anyone else could get that market off the ground?
The specs are here! The specs are here! ARCHOS is super-sizing its 5″ Internet Tablet and allegedly making a 7″ slate. Wait — what tablet did you think I was talking about? Is there some other one expected today that I don’t know about? 😉
jkkmobile received a tip on the latest ARCHOS creation and shares all of the anticipated technical specs. Like its smaller brother, this tabby will run Google Android (s goog), but not offer the full Android experience, which is one of the challenges ARCHOS must overcome for mainstream sales. Without key functions like the Android Market out of the box, everyday people are going to be disappointed. I realize that the challenge is that Google has certain hardware requirements for inclusion of the full Android experiences, but in the end, ARCHOS has to sell it. And yes, there are hacks and mods to get some apps, but again, those activities are geared toward a niche audience.
Aside from the larger display, this features looks much like the current model, although there is a web-cam in the bezel. No word on the processor, so perhaps it will see a bump. But I’m wishing ARCHOS would use the extra screen space to increase the resolution — sticking with 800 x 480 is a missed opportunity for a 7″ device, although it’s good enough. jkkmobile says we’ll see an 8 GB model in March for around $245.
While I’ve done my own share of mobile device battery testing, Steve Paine has easily done more. From smartphones to MIDs and UMPCs to netbooks, Steve has tested down to the milliwatt over the past few years. Today he observed that on the CPU side of the house, the power difference between ARM and x86 is drastically reduced over what it was. If you’ve been following the progress of Intel’s Atom platform, that’s no surprise. And it doesn’t take an engineering degree to know that larger backlit displays can consume more power that most other device components. So what’s the “sweet spot” for a device display to effectively cancel out the power efficiency of ARM over x86? Here’s what Steve says:
“When you get to screen sizes of 4” and above, something happens that levels the playing field for Intel somewhat. Their CPU platforms (*1) don’t idle down very well but in a typical ‘internet-connected’ scenario on one of these ‘smart’ devices, that becomes almost insignificant as the screen backlight adds such a huge load to the platform that when combined with Wifi, 3G, BT, GPS and audio, the CPU is just 10% of the total load. Swapping Intel out for ARM would save you just 5-10% battery life in an ‘active’ scenario.”
Steve’s point is rather timely, considering all of the ARM-powered devices we peeped at the Consumer Electronics Show. Many of them offered displays well over 4″, with some in the netbook-like 10″ range. It makes you wonder if pairing a low-power Atom (s intc) chip with Moblin or other form of Linux might make for a better experience than an ARM device running Android or a custom Linux distro. Put another way: if you could get potentially more processing power but not pay a power premium, would you?
Of course, display technologies are bound to mature. In fact, our video demo of the Pixel Qi display on a Notion Ink prototype tells me that this whole situation of power hungry displays is due for a refresh in the near future. But until then, Steve may have a pretty good point. Thoughts?
In case the Nvidia press event didn’t impress you enough, we decided to get a little one-on-one time with next generation Tegra-powered devices. Bill Henry, the Director of Tegra Product Management, shows off the graphical prowess of the ICD slate in this video. If that wasn’t enough, I finagled a demo of the Unreal Engine running on a Tegra (s nvda) developer box.
Say goodbye to the cheap CrunchPad — it’s now known as the JooJoo, says FusionGarage CEO Chandra Rathakrishnan. Although TechCrunch’s CrunchPad company cried “foul!” last month, FusionGarage is moving forward on its own with this product. Why? According to the web conference I just watched, FusionGarage alone owns the IP and did all the work. FusionGarage “is the only doer in this story” while CrunchPad “didn’t contribute a line of code.”