12.85″ Pixel Qi Chrome OS Android 5.0 Laptop/Tablet Hybrid by Google for Q1 2013?

Posted by Charbax – November 27, 2012
Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Chromebook on Android

Here are my expectations for Google's rumored upcoming Chrome OS laptop/tablet hybrid:

- 12.85" Pixel Qi LCD, Google sponsored, to be available to all other Android hardware makers as a new component. (Plastics based flexible unbreakable LCD for thinner lighter waterproof dustproof unbreakable build)

- Optical lamination allows for outdoor readable capacitive Pixel Qi LCD. Otherwise IR based Neonode touch can work.

- 20 million initial production batch, enough to make a significant mark on the market, next batch can be 100 million units.

- Android 5.0 to support Chrome OS on top of Android. Same for Ubuntu on top of Android. Multi-booting becomes standard feature of Android. It's not really multi-booting, it's enabling to run alternative Linux OSes on top of the base Linux OS of Android.

- $200, available worldwide on day 1. Second batch can be sold for $150 or $100. Schools can get rebates if they order one for every child. Google can subsidize a few of those millions to be used by Children in developing countries through the One Laptop Per Child project.

- 16GB Flash with SD slots and potentially a 2.5" HDD slot.

- 25 hours battery life. 200 grams flat battery dock doubles battery life to 50 hours.

- Swivel screen. Super slim keyboard can hide behind screen for tablet mode.

- ARM Cortex-A15, either OMAP5 with SGX544 or Exynos5 with Mali-T604. Maybe another comparable ARM Processor.

- Modem slot, all types modems available as options, 3G+, LTE, White Spaces, easily user swapable. There is space for an internal usb modem too.

Let me know what you think of this rumored Google hybrid here or at my Google+ thread.

  • Jesse Lee

    ARM Cortex A15 Uses too much power to have 25 hours of battery life. Check anandtech’s review on the Google Chromebook. Sure its GPU is many times faster than the previous chromebook and its CPU is faster however 12 watts for an ARM notebook is way too much. Big-little was created because ARM A15 uses 2x more power than Quad-core A9 and ARM wanted to make lots of money putting ARM A15 into smartphone even thought it uses too much power and would suck down power and lower battery life like candy if they didn’t put Cortex A7 into smartphones.

  • I believe the Samsung Chromebook battery life can be improved as software updates optimize hardware acceleration for it. And I believe that the LCD backlight uses the most power. Pixel Qi LCD can use 10x less power for the backlight, Pixel Qi can even turn off the backlight completely. Combine big.LITTLE with Pixel Qi, and you can easily get above 20 hours battery life on an ultra-thin laptop. The OMAP5 kind of has a type of big.LITTLE implemented as far as I understand, Texas Instruments has included 2 ARM Cortex-M4 cores to handle the small tasks while thus turning off the Cortex-A15 most of the time automatically.

  • Jesse Lee

    ARM Cortex-M4 uses little power but most little tasks need a lot more than 2 of those cores can provide. OMAP5 is not very impressive because the GPU is pathetic in comparison to the competition. Apple’s A6X’s GPU is a lot faster and so is ARM Mali-T604 they both smoke any OMAP5 to date.

  • warcaster

    If it uses Cortex A7 alongside, it can use much less during a charge.

  • warcaster

    The $200 price and 25h battery life is completely out of the realm of possibility. They can’t even get 10h with a 4,000 mAh battery, and the latest ARM Chromebook still costs $250. They would need a 4x larger battery. Batteries are very expensive – about $50 for every extra 2,000 mAh. To make it run for 25h, the battery would cost more than the device itself.

    But this is if we’re talking about the “claimed” battery life, like tablets claim 9-10h now. Obviously with light-to-moderate use tablets can even last days. But with heavy use they last 8-10h. And I assume you were referring to heavy use and the official battery life when you were talking about 25h, and not how long it can last together with the idle time.

    I like your “any Linux OS on top of Android kernel” suggestion, but it seems pretty unlikely. In fact I’m not even sure they’ll finally do it for Android 5.0, which won’t be announced until Google I/O anyway, not Q1 this year.

  • Jesse Lee

    No he was referring to light use like surfing the web and even YouTube not anything that uses a lot of power.

  • OMAP5 has an excellent GPU, SGX544 at a high clock speed, performs probably about similar to the lower clock speed GPU in the Apple A6X, and probably not far from the initial Mali-T604 neither. ARM Cortex-A15, even without proper big.LITTLE ARM Cortex-A7 implementation does not need to run at peak power consumption all the time. It can down-clock for most of the time. Smooth usage of performance and down-clocking for most of the time is about implementing optimal hardware acceleration, overtaking more tasks on the GPU while switching off more of the CPU. The Samsung Chromebook is going to have 10 hours battery life within one or two 6-week Chrome OS on ARM automatic updates. And this Google Chrome OS Android 5 Hybrid LAptop/Tablet can easily run over 20 hours on a similar sized battery as long as they use the Pixel Qi LCD, the LCD backlight is still over 80% of the power consumption of an ARM Cortex-A15 device, thus make a device that does not need the backlight, or that just needs a fraction of the backlight, and you automatically significantly increases the battery life, even before big.LITTLE being fully integrated.

  • Upwards 90% of the power consumption of an ARM Powered Laptop or Tablet is the LCD backlight. Use Pixel Qi LCD to eliminate the backlight and you’ve increased the battery life by nearly 10x overnight. Of course, you’d still want some little backlight behind the Pixel Qi if you want to use the full saturated bright colors indoors, so consider it more like Pixel Qi allows for a doubling of the battery life in average use with an ambient light sensor automatically adjusting the backlight intensity depending on which usage you are needing indoors or outdoors, with or without ambient light where you are. The rest of the battery life increase to upwards 25 hours on same battery as Samsung Chromebook is by optimizing the hardware acceleration, fully using the GPU where it can be used, down-clocking the CPU as often as possible, and using the first step towards big.LITTLE if they use the Texas Instruments OMAP5 which uses two ARM Cortex-M4 cores to run all the small tasks where the main CPU is not needed, for example keeping an image on the screen, or even for some scrolling, some basic UI stuff on the screen etc. The full Cortex-A15 performance is only needed 1% of the time whjen you use a device, especially if you like doing a lot of reading on it. The 25 hour battery life that I am talking about is with 0 backlight, in full reflective Pixel Qi mode, outdoors, when you are reading ebooks, with little to no connectivity needed. The next Pixel Qi screens can even down-rate the refresh rate of the LCD down to 1hz when you are just displaying static text on the screen, further lowering the power consumption of the device.

    I buy 2000mAh batteries for $5 in China. I’m not sure why you think 2000mAh must cost $50.

    I don’t see why Google should wait for the next Google I/O to launch Android 5, I think Google is going to launch Android 5 by CES early January as they launch this hybrid device there, why wouldn’t they. This is not just about launching one Google branded device, this is about accelerating the domination of Chrome OS for ARM Powered Chrome OS to totally dominate more than 50% of all Laptop/Desktop sales in 2013, this is about accelerating the total domination for Google TV over the whole Smart TV market, this is about rapidly expanding the usage of Android throughout a whole range of Computers and more types of devices, including also accelerating the domination of open source for e-readers, this is about creating new innovation for the open Android market by sponsoring the new Pixel Qi type display and providing that to the whole Android market. Google can do this now, why should they wait?

  • 25h for reading static text offline with no backlight in reflected mode. For example using this for e-reading outdoors in the park. Using it with your reading light. This can be the ultimate A4 sized enterprise and study e-reading machine to accelerate the productivity on reading, analyzing of texts, a stylus can even be used for annotating.

  • Jesse Lee

    You’re Wrong on that on Charbax. The Apple A6X is almost twice as powerful GPU wise compared to the OMAP5 and uses less power to boot. 34GFLOPS vs around 70GFLOPS the CPU has about the same performance. The ARM Mali-T604 also Trounces the SGX544MP2.

  • The OMAP5 runs upwards 2Ghz, can even run above 2Ghz, likely 1.7Ghz to start and its SGX544MP2 runs at 532Mhz is not far from Apple’s A6X with SGX554MP4 running at only 300Mhz. Most importantly, the ARM Cortex-A15 with ARM Cortex-M4 co-processor on 28nm design of OMAP5 overall is superior to Apple’s custom ARM architecture done on Samsung’s 32nm process node. Apple basically has done an ARM Cortex-A9 +, while the OMAP5 is a whole grade above in terms of overall performance. Now I’m not sure which among OMAP5 and Exynos5 is superior, I’d say about the same, although for sure I do prefer the possibilities with the Mali-T604, the OMAP5 has a pre-big.LITTLE today using Cortex-M4, no need to wait another bunch of months for that to be added and thus significantly potentially improve battery life.

  • Jesse Lee

    Apple SGX554MP4 running at 300mhz gets 76 GFLOPS OMAP5 SGX544MP2 Running at 532mhz gets 34 GFLOPS. Apple did the Cortex A9+ because Arm A15 uses too much power for mobile devices which why ARM Created big.LITTLE in order to preserve battery life so people wouldn’t complain.

  • That’s just not true. Do not believe any of the benchmarks that run on Apple hardware/software. They are fake. OMAP5 GPU is about similar in performance to A6X GPU. And OMAP5 overall performance is a lot higher than A6X. Quite simply because ARM Cortex-A15 is superior to Apple’s design and simply because OMAP5 runs at overall much higher clockspeeds, memory bandwidth and on a smaller more optimized process node. Apple did their A6/X because they could, the performance is not much higher than Exynos4412 anyways, they use Samsung’s same HKMG 32nm process node. Sure A15 is not ready for smartphones yet, but that does not make A6X superior to the fastest A9 implementations for smartphones on the market, nor Qualcomm’s S4 Pro.

  • Jesse Lee

    No Apple A6X and Qualcomm’s S4 have about the same IPC. Apple’s SoC uses less power and produces far less heat. ARM Cortex A15 dual almost equals a quad just like Apple’s A6X. Exynox4412 IS A QUAD CORE the A6X is only a dual core so is Qualcomm’s S4 Pro and both them come near Quad core Cortex A9 performance and ARM A15 performance. Plain 28nm is not Superior to HKMG 32nm I think their about the same. Apple A6X is superior to everything in IPC but the ARM Cortex A15. TI makes mediocre SoC’s Benchmarks don’t mean everything however it the only easy way for reviews to compare devices.

  • Benchmarks are not the only way to compare devices, blogs are just too lazy to setup real comparable usage test scenarios and measure performance on them. Apple always has a lower performance because Apple cares less about performance, Apple limits the features of their proprietary software to not show slow-downs when using slower hardware, Apple cares more about profit margins and arguably a good thing is Apple cares more about having a longer battery life than advertising a higher performance than a competitor. Benchmarks on Qualcomm are unreliable, Qualcomm is known to be making their own benchmarks to advantage their own processor only. Sure well made dual-cores like OMAP4460 and OMAP4470 have always been at least as good if not better for Android than early quad-cores like Tegra3. Though the advantage of Exynos4412 is mostly in the 32nm process node, improved memory bandwidth, excellent Mali-400 integration etc. So Exynos4412 definitely is better than Tegra3, and arguably better than OMAP4470 also. TI has always been making the best in class SoCs, they have been the leader for nearly 2 decades. It only makes sense that Google use OMAP5 and at the same time announce that Google is acquiring TI’s OMAP division, thus Google can finance the further advances in high-end ARM Processors coming up. As R&D required for each new generation below 28nm is going to cost Billions of dollars, Google can afford it and provide it to the rest of the Android ecosystem, provide their advances to the other Android SoC makers, thus help fund and advance the ARM Android ecosystem. Google should not just sit back and let Samsung, Qualcomm, Nvidia, Apple and smaller ones run the show. Google should buy TI OMAP now, and perhaps consider buying Nvidia, Freescale, Marvell, GlobalFoundries, AMD later. All depending on which of those may or may not be available on the market later.

  • Jesse Lee

    What are you some kind of Google Fanboi? I only say that you want Google to buyout every major embedded company. TI OMAP is no longer in the Smartphone/Tablet SoC business. Google would never buy all of those Companies anyway. AMD is gonzo read Vr-Zone’s newest Article on AMD. ARM Mali series is mediocre at best and the worst part their the only ones who won’t go open source. PowerVR probably going to Nvidia is likely to as well Intel already has.

  • Google does the right thing and does what’s best for the consumer worldwide. They could do much more, but then they’d need to be the Government and Government would need to work differently. TI OMAP is for sale. It’s not out of business. Google is the best candidate to buy TI OMAP in my opinion. Surely others are also interested such as Intel, Amazon and others, but those companies buying TI OMAP would not be good for the consumer, so that’s not what I am hoping for. My guess is that employees have their thing to say about where they’d prefer to work after being acquired, and I think that’s obviously has got to be Google. So it’s not just about who wants to pay the most at an auction, it’s about which buyer provides the best prospects for growth and positive development after being acquired. TI OMAP being up for sale has got nothing to do with the sales performance of OMAP4, it’s been the top selling SoC around and after last Christmas season and no reason OMAP5 isn’t going to be a best seller as soon as it starts shipping. The issue now is that designing and making each new generation of ARM Processor costs exponentially more and more money now, because the process node designs are constantly shrinking. TI OMAP cannot possibly have a big enough revenue and profit all by itself to sponsor the development and release of OMAP6 and future generations. But Google can easily afford that, and Google does not need to sell OMAP processors to subsidize that cost, Google profits by providing the R&D open for everyone else in the ARM Android industry to benefit from. All that R&D Google can invest for OMAP6 ARM Cortex-A57 on 20nm process node with Mali-T678 GPU, all that R&D Google can provide it for free for all other SoC makers to benefit from for free, they can not just make sure well priced SoCs with such new future high performance are to continue to be available for an open marketplace, by buying TI OMAP, Google can make sure that the technological ARM foundation for all of Google’s future products, Android, Chromebooks, Google TV, Google’s future Cloud Server Infrastructure, ergo Google can make sure to control, manage, develop all that research and development that is required to make it all work as soon as possible. Freescale, Nvidia, Marvell, AMD, GlobalFoundries can continue to be independent American ARM SoC designers and makers if they can afford it. But if any of them is up for sale, then Google can buy them too. It’s all about making sure that the worlds best engineers work on Google’s overall goal to make the best open source software and hardware ecosystem the leading ecosystem in the world, and not let these engineers get dispersed into working on closed anti-competitive solutions of Intel, Microsoft and Apple.

  • Jesse Lee

    Google is the best company to buy TI OMAP that’s true. Android is a closed system as well lets not forget its just as closed as Windows and IOS. Linux is open-source and you do lots with it unlike Android and Chrome OS where there is NO TERMINAL No way to compile Source Code for games and emulators. Intel maybe anti-competitive but their GPU’s are open-source which is A LOT MORE THAN WHAT CAN BE SAID about PowerVR, Qualcomm and last and by far the most irritating Arm Mail.

  • Android source code is 100% open source and 100% free for anyone to use at http://android.com

    Chrome is 100% open source and 100% free for anyone to use at http://chromium.org

    For competitive reasons, Android source code is released only as a big dump at each release, though device makers can get early access to the source code if Google trusts them. This may change with Android 5 since now Android pretty much has a 90% device market share, though they may wait for Android 6, just so they can also use Android 5 to totally dominate with Chrome OS on Android for Laptop/Desktop/Set-top-box/Console/E-reader type devices first.

    Chrome development is fully open in real-time, anyone can follow every day what the Chrome developers are doing.

    Now if GPU makers decide to make their drivers available only as proprietary binary blobs, that is how they decide to do it. It has to be because ARM does not want Imagination to see what they are developing, and vice-versa. Same with them not wanting to show Qualcomm, Vivante and whoever in Asia who wants to enter the GPU market. Hopefully that’ll soon change though. ARM Mali was nearly nowhere just 2 years ago, and today it dominates the smartphones and tablet markets, not just Samsung, most of the Chinese SoC makers decide to use Mali graphics too, Android is awesomely optimized for it.

  • Jesse Lee

    I wasn’t talking about source core which your 100% right on. I wouldn’t care so much if they JUST released X11 linux drivers but most don’t especially ARM Mali which I have a real problem with for that reason. There is no terminal in Chrome OS or Android and no easy way to compile source code for old games and oss games.

  • Well, HardKernel are telling me full hardware acceleration for Exynos4412 of Ubuntu thus fully using Mali-400 is imminent, if they haven’t integrated that yet. I need to post my video of the HardKernel Odroid-X. And I expect full Mali-T604 graphics acceleration for Chrome OS to be available imminently too. So still binary blobs, but the hardware acceleration provided based on popular demand.

    Nicolas Charbonnier

  • Jesse Lee

    It’ll be almost another month before they have hardware acceleration. I thought they had full HW accel for Chrome OS already I saw some benchmarks on anandtech that showed the GPU working.

  • Yup they do use the GPU, they just haven’t yet upgraded the web to use the GPU enough yet. Chrome on x86 has had about 5 years of constant tweaking and hardware acceleration added to it, that has improved for example Javascript performance by some crazy amount like 50x compared to Internet Explorer on x86 of 2006. So maybe we can’t expect 50x improvement compared with the latest stable Chrome OS on ARM, but I think we can expect quite a bit of improvements to be added in the next few weeks and months. And improvements on this ARM Chromebook automatically can mean improved battery life. As I think they crank up the ARM Cortex-A15 to maximum clock-speed, to maximum performance all the time right now, they do that to try to prevent too many crashes, try to prevent slow-downs, so that the initial journalist and user reviews remain as positive as possible. And as they get more confident with their skills in optimizing the power consumption, they can start enabling more and more optimizations that lower the clock-speed of the Cortex-A15, lets the GPU take over for things like page scrolling, zooming, text rendering, let the GPU do more and more of those parts, optimize how the memory bandwidth is being used to keep all page data in tabs as long and as smoothly as possible. There are lots of improvements coming I think. I really should post my video review of this awesome device.

  • Jesse Lee

    The Google Chromebook I don’t think is an Awesome device unless all you do is web surfing because that’s ALL YOU can do with. The Darn uses 12 watts of power at full load which is much higher that Cortex A9 QUAD The Screen Accounts for 3 watts. Samsung just make plain SoC’s which pretty much mediocre. A power increase of double is not good for smartphones I don’t think they can maintain 8 watts full load for even a few minutes in a smartphone without overheating. The Ghz will have to be cut down to about 1.0ghz in order to fit inside a smartphone.

  • It is not 20 million. The China Times wrote “20 wàn” which is 20 * 10^4. Google Translate team is working on this bug.

  • warcaster

    Cortex M4 I believe is used only for 2D acceleration stuff. It can’t be used for all low-end tasks like Cortex A7. It’s not an application processor. It’s an accelerator, at least as far as I remember reading about it a while ago.

    Large batteries are also heavy and slow to charge. Again, I doubt they will put a large battery in it. I’ll be happy if they even make Chromebook last 10h. I don’t think anyone really cares about having a laptop work for more than that. Most people only care about it last a working day.

    So even if they manage to make it last 25h, it might not matter from a marketing point of view. Remember how the Adam tablet marketed itself to last 140h with PixelQi? Also, PixelQi sucks quality wise. Google will not use that, unless it’s for African or Indian countries or something. At that point they’ll probably rather make it a $100 device anyway with much cheaper components, if that was really their market. But it’s not.

  • The Cortex-M4 can handle many of the tasks where the main CPU is not needed. Sure A7 in big.LITTLE is better, but a dual Cortex-M4 for taking care of some of the basic tasks is better than none. OMAP5 has other hardware acceleration parts, IVA 3 HD, Multi-core imaging and vision processing unit, all to run using SMP’s scalable performance activates only the cores that are needed for that particular process. It’s BS to say consumers don’t need ultra low power consumption. 50 hours battery life in an ultra thin laptop means you can literally run your laptop on solar power when you’re outdoors, no charging needed. You can have solar panels embedded on the bezel, on the base of the laptop on each side of the touchpad, on the back of the laptop screen, even solar panels may get integrated in the screen somehow. Ultra low power means this becomes by far the ultimate mobile productivity device. It means you can charge a full day’s usage in about 15-20 minutes of charging only. It means this laptop is usable in 60% of the world where power is rare or very expensive compared to average revenue. It’s bogus to design hardware like the ipad3 to only work in rich countries and to take something like 6-8 hours to fully charge. Pixel Qi is not any worse quality than any iPad3 or other screen, neither in resolution, color saturation, brightness or anything else. Of course to get all those features tuned right, you need access to the screen factory for days before mass manufacturing can start, that can only be worthwhile if you mass manufacture millions of screen in a batch. Google is making a $100 Chromebook eventually, simply because Google’s goal is to destroy Microsoft and Apple. 95% of all new laptops that anyone in the world wants to buy by next year is going to be a Chromebook. That is Google’s goal today. This cheap ARM powered chromebook is for the whole world, it’s not western world vs third world countries, that’s just ridiculous. Everyone in the world can and want to use the same device. There are no crappy components for one and better components for the other. Everyone can use the same components. ARM Processors can be cheap enough, screens can be cheap enough. Everyone can use the same cheap plastics that can make up the rest of the design and casing of the device.

  • Sounds good, but I hope even Android Apps use The Cloud Allowing them to be more complex without using to much memory.

  • Sergio

    Too much high expectations, I’m afraid…

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  • james braselton

    hi there pixel has 2 versions a 32 gb or 64 gb flash storage

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