Category: Rockchip

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Thinkbook RK2818 Capacitive Froyo $100 tablets

Posted by Charbax – April 10, 2011

Thinkbook T-718 uses Rockchip 2818 with a 7" capacitive touch screen, Froyo, for about $100 ordered in bulk. They also make it in 8" and 10" sizes, all capacitive.

MID Joyplus shows new Wondermedia, Rockchip, Telechips and Samsung Tablets

Posted by Charbax – April 10, 2011

MID Joyplus is showing new Wondermedia WM8652 based 9.7" tablet, a Rockchip Rk2818 10.1" design and a 8" 4:3 capacitive Telechips tablet. They still also have the Samsung Hummingbird 7" for around $150.

Archos at the Shenzhen Electronics Fair

Posted by Charbax – April 8, 2011

Archos Technology (Shenzhen) Co Ltd has a big booth in the middle of the Shenzhen Electronics Fair, there is a lot of interest for Archos and Arnova products in the Chinese market and developing countries. They have of course invited me to their Shenzhen offices tomorrow where I will try to film some awesome behind the scenes videos for you showing how Archos makes things happen here in Shenzhen, I'll try to film at their factories if possible.

Bresser MID-7, 7″ 3G Android Tablet

Posted by Charbax – March 1, 2011

This one is a Rockchip RK2818 based, resistive Android tablet, sold about 299€ with 3G built-in.

Yifang M707, Android Tablet with infrared pen input

Posted by Charbax – February 28, 2011

Yifang is a Chinese manufacturer of Android tablets, after having acquired Israelli pen input company pegasus, they now have integrated that technology into the side of one of their Android tablets, when combined with a nice leather case, it makes a very interesting Android powered tool if you can think of being productive scanning your handwritten notes onto Android and use that in real-time somehow. For example, the notes could be broadcast onto a digital whiteboard in real time, notes could be shared online. The price of the whole bundle could be below $199 at retail, as said in the video, the infrared pen input components adds about $40 to the price. This device has the Rockchip RK2818 Android 2.1 for now and will be upgraded to Rockchip Rk2918 Gingerbread/Honeycomb when that one is available within a couple of months.

Arnova 10, $199 10.1” Android Tablet

Posted by Charbax – February 25, 2011

Here is a world exclusive video unveiling of the new Arnova 10 entry-level 10.1” Android tablet:

This may become the world’s cheapest ARM Cortex-A8 1Ghz RK2918, 10.1” capacitive Android tablet on the market (I filmed an early pre-production prototype of it with capacitive/rk29 combo at CES here). Until about April, Arnova 10 is released now as a 10.1” resistive ARM9 600Mhz RK2818 tablet. The price remains $199 in the USA, 199€ in Europe (consider all European prices always include ~20% VAT). Look for a slightly different model number once the capacitive/rk29 version starts shipping. They will shift to it as soon as 10.1” capacitive and rk29 components are ready/stable and mass manufactured, the Chinese suppliers are working as fast as they can, this should be in a couple months.

Archos is the second largest tablet maker in France according to GfK sales numbers, having 22% market share, far in front of Samsung with 4%, 67% for iPad. Arnova is a new brand from Archos based in Hong Kong, that uses the design, manufacturing and distribution strengths of Archos but will remain a separate brand for the cheaper $100-$200 Rockchip based devices (see the press release here). The idea here is to get these excellent valued Rockchip based designs to more people in Europe and the USA. But Arnova is also more extensively going to be promoted for developing countries as people there enjoy cheaper stuff. But people enjoy cheaper stuff everywhere.

Rockchip is doing excellent work optimizing cost in their entry level SoC designs, and are doing stable hardware optimizations with the latest versions of Android that can be adapted for the given ARM architectures that they use. Archos has probably been the top selling Rockchip maker thus far with the Archos 7 Home Tablet massively sold in every major electronics store in the USA and Europe these past 12 months (go check your local Staples, Best Buy, etc.. it’s probably there), and they plan to further extend that kind of reach with their new Arnova branding.

As it stands right now with Rockchip, Eclair is the furthest they can go for ARM9 RK2818 based devices (Donut for their older ARM9 RK2808 without graphics acceleration), and Gingerbread is the furthest they can go with ARM Cortex-A8 RK2918 based devices. But who knows, Google may announce tomorrow Honeycomb support for every popular ARM architecture used in any previously certified or not certified Android tablets out there, even including the cheapest Rockchip designs. I asked some Google people at MWC, including in my interview with Honeycomb designer Matias Duarte, they told me Honeycomb has no minimum hardware requirements, which hopefully also means other than opening Honeycomb source code for all to use, that Google will also allow for Google Marketplace on all devices without requiring stuff like compass/gps/3g, and hopefully Google also plans to dedicate resources to help all SoC platform makers and device maker with getting great and fully hardware optimized new firmwares with Honeycomb and Marketplaces onto all these cheaper devices as well (evt with Holographic UI effects disabled on low hardware specs).

$800 for a Honeycomb tablet is a lot of money for some people. Sure enough, the Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 Tegra2 Honeycomb experience is awesome, but a lot of people prefer paying 4x less if they can get a decent ARM Cortex-A8 Honeycomb experience, if Google and companies like Arnova just allow consumers to have that choice.

Specs:
Price: $199 in USA, 199€ in Europe (consider all European prices always include ~20% VAT)
Capacity: 4GB (or 8GB) with MicroSD slot
OS: Android 2.1 Eclair (on RK2818), Gingerbread (on RK2918 version available ~April), Honeycomb? (depends on Google/Rockchip)
Display: 10.1" 1024x600 touch screen (resistive now, capacitive version available ~April) , 16 million colors
Video playback (on current RK2818 model): H264 up to 720p 30fps 5mbitps, Mpeg4 30fps 2.5mbitps, RMVB up to 720p 30fps 2.5mbitps, in these extensions: .avi, .mp4, .mkv, .mov, .flv (RK2918 version available ~April may add 1080p and higher bitrates support)
Audio playback: mp3, wav, ape, ogg, flac
Photo: jpeg, bmp, gif, png
Interfaces: USB 2.0 Slave MSC, USB 2.0 Host MSC, MicroSD slot
Wireless: WiFi b/g
Other: built-in speaker, microphone, G-sensor, front-facing VGA camera
Battery runtime: TBC music, up to 6h video
Size: 272x152.3x13.5mm (10.7"x6"x0.5")
Weight: 570gr (20.1oz)

Arnova 8, $149 8″ Android Tablet

Posted by Charbax – February 25, 2011

As with the Arnova 10, this one also starts resistive/rk2818 for now, and becomes capacitive/rk2918 during the next couple of months, staying at $149 MSRP.

Read much more on the rk2818/resistive platform of this device (released now) and the rk2918/capacitive version (to be releasing around April) in my Arnova 10 post.

Specs:
Price: $149 in USA, 149€ in Europe (consider all European prices always include ~20% VAT)
Capacity: 4GB with MicroSD slot
OS: Android 2.1 Eclair (on RK2818), Gingerbread (on RK2918 version available ~April), Honeycomb? (depends on Google/Rockchip)
Display: 8" 800x600 touch screen (resistive now, capacitive version available ~April) , 16 million colors
Video playback (on current RK2818 model): H264 up to 720p 30fps 5mbitps, Mpeg4 30fps 2.5mbitps, RMVB up to 720p 30fps 2.5mbitps, in these extensions: .avi, .mp4, .mkv, .mov, .flv (RK2918 version available ~April may add 1080p and higher bitrates support)
Audio playback: mp3, wav, ape, ogg, flac
Photo: jpeg, bmp, gif
Interfaces: USB 2.0 Slave MSC, USB 2.0 Host MSC, MicroSD slot
Wireless: WiFi b/g
Other: 2 built-in speakers, microphone, G-sensor
Battery runtime: 22.5h music, 6h video
Size: 205x153x12mm (8"x4.2"x0.5")
Weight: 500gr (17.6oz)

Hott MD980 7″ Android Tablet

Posted by Charbax – January 27, 2011

This type of ARM9 Rockchip RK2818 based 7" capacitive tablet presented by Hott can now be manufactured for below $140, possibly sold around or below $199 at US retail stores. It supports USB host, 3G USB dongle or a built-in 3G modem can be included for about $50 more.

Yifang M1002, 9.7″ Capacitive Android Tablet

Posted by Charbax – January 18, 2011

This one runs Rockchip RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 at 1Ghz, 1080p video support, Android 2.2/2.3, HDMI output, USB host and more.

Yifang M9C, 8.4″ Capacitive Android Tablet

Posted by Charbax – January 18, 2011

They show an 8.4" capacitive (M9C) and resistive (M901) Android tablet (resistive is about $30-$40 cheaper) running the Rockchip RK2818 ARM9 processor.