Category: Laptops

$149 Hisense RK3288 Chromebook Hands-on Multi-Tab Web Browsing Test

Posted by – April 15, 2015

Here's some Web browsing and keyboard typing speed/accuracy test, I load a few random websites on the press room wifi featuring some smooth two-finger scrolling and clicking (consider trade show's thousands of people creating a bit of interference affecting the speed maybe a bit). The Hisense RK3288 Chromebook is one of the world's best value laptops at $149 I think, with I think the best mousepad among the $149 RK3288 Chromebooks (requires least/best pressure to click it seems) and the exterior design of the Hisense with some kind of granular texture I think is the nicest to handle and hold. But the Haier has a preferable matte display compared to the glossy display that I have seen on all the other RK3288 Chromebooks. While the idea of 4GB RAM may sound appealing, even if that increases the price by something like $20 (if they make such 4GB options available), maybe one can also consider that RAM usage on this RK3288 Chromebook, and RAM usage on Chrome OS in general, may be something that Google and Rockchip have been tweaking and optimizing alot, and it's something that is always improving with the automatic and regular software updates that we can expect to be sent out by Google to these. Please understand that I do not believe in running certain browser benchmarks to measure the usability/speed and performance of real user web browsing. To do an optimal benchmark, someone with high-speed cameras should measure how long it takes certain novice and advanced users to do a whole range of things on the web. To me the performance seems extremely good and satisfactory. But of course I would like to have one of these and to be able to use them as my main laptop, to see if it feels like the 32bit RK3288 ARM Cortex-A17 quad-core can power all my web browsing needs! Imagine a smooth enough performance already achieve, how extra smooth the performance may be when Rockchip releases perhaps a next generation Chromebook optimized 64bit processor! Using the newly announced ARM Cortex-A72 perhaps! Check back also for my tests of the RK3288 Chromebooks by Asus and Haier.

Rockchip RK3288 Chromebooks $149 Hisense, Haier and $169 Asus

Posted by – April 15, 2015

Rockchip shows their super cool new $149 Chrome OS Chromebooks on their RK3288 quad-core ARM Cortex-A17 with ARM Mali-T764 GPU. The performance seems very smooth (see my other separate Hands-on Multi-Tab Web Browsing Test videos with each of the Chromebooks). Rockchip has been working for more than the past year with Google's Chrome OS team to optimize and deliver an experience for Chrome OS on their RK3288 platform, stable enough for now launching massive mass productions with Hisense, Haier and Asus through big Laptop factories in Taiwan and China. They would like to see big volumes shipped, possibly more than 10 million units shipped, now available for pre-order the Haier RK3288 Chromebook for $149 at Amazon and the Hisense RK3288 Chromebook for $149 at Walmart

ARM64 Open Laptop Project by Vero Apparatus

Posted by – March 26, 2015

Vero Apparatus is trying to design the worlds most powerful ARM Powered Laptop, powerful enough for software developers at Linaro to use ARM Laptops for their ARM related software development. The open source hardware and software will address the concerns that many people have about proprietary products, and provide the most transparent assurances about absence of security vulnerabilities.

The ARM64 Open Laptop concept was announced in an ad hoc session at DebConf 2014 in Portland, Oregon, where over a dozen interested developers gathered at fairly short notice. They approved the concept and decided on some of the things to do next. See the slides of the presentation

The idea is to produce a small quantity (say 100) of replacement motherboards physically compatible with a laptop model that is already popular with developers. Lenovo or HP might have suitable chassis models. The Lenovo X220 is a good candidate but Vero Apparatus is open to alternative proposals. The design will re-use an existing case, SATA drive, display, battery, keyboard, touchpad, webcam, speaker and microphone to reduce development cost.

The main processor will probably be an AMD Opteron A1100 system-on-chip code named "Seattle". In short, this has four or eight 64-bit Cortex-A57 cores, supports up to 128GB RAM, SATA and LAN. Being a server chip it lacks video, audio and USB, so either those must be added to the motherboard or another, more versatile chip must come along soon. Hardware choices will opt for longer battery life rather than 3D graphics performance.

Debian GNU/Linux is the default OS and distribution choice but Open Source implies freedom for the user. UEFI is the preferred firmware architecture, realistically in the form of Tianocore EDK2.

ARM Cortex-A72

Posted by – March 3, 2015

ARM Cortex-A72 is ARM’s highest-performance and most advanced processor. Based on the ARMv8-A 64bit Architecture, the Cortex-A72 CPU builds on the wide success of the Cortex-A57 processor across mobile and enterprise markets, ARM has done a number of micro-architectural changes and made some engineering improvements in the design, to deliver three and a half times the performance of ARM Cortex-A15 based devices in the smartphone power budget, as well as significant reductions in overall power consumption also optimizing the design for upcoming 16nm FinFET and smaller process technology.

Samsung Booth Tour with my 12-year old cousin

Posted by – January 28, 2015

Samsung Gear VR 360-degree panoramic video with Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, 4K TVs, curved, straight, Samsung washing machines and more.

superMHL 8K 120fps, USB Type-C, 40W, more bandwidth

Posted by – January 20, 2015

The MHL Consortium has outdone itself with their latest technology mega specification, now perhaps setting the spec at a very future proof level (shall we say at least until 2020?), supporting up to 8K at 120fps, with up to 40W for power charge, delivering higher resolution, faster frame rates, support for the upcoming USB Type-C (dual side reversible) connector for up to 8K 60fps output from a phone (wow wow!). For the first time, MHL also introduces a new superMHL connector for 8K TVs (as in the first 8K TV from Samsung shown at CES). The SuperMHL spec is for mobile devices, set-top boxes (STBs), Blu-ray players, Audio/video recorders, HDMI sticks and other source devices to TVs and monitors, as SuperMHL should be included in most future FHD/4K/8K TVs, PC Monitors, MHL has shipped in over 750 Million devices thus far. The new SuperMHL spec is also offering wider color gamut, deeper colors (to reduce color banding), high dynamic range (HDR) supported through signaling and through higher bandwidth.

ADSC 10″ Rockchip Android Laptop

Posted by – December 17, 2014

ADSC makes a 10" reference tablet with either Rockchip or Intel Baytrail CPUS with either Windows or Android. The reference tablet/laptop convertible features a detachable keyboard.

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Rockchip RK3288

Posted by – November 17, 2014

As Rockchip is ramping up the output of their new RK3288 processor, this is the official presentation video for the Rockchip RK3288 processor. Some of the advantages highlighted are 10-second boot time, Fast app loading, Multi-window UI, Fast Web browsing, up to 2560x1600 display, H265 4K playback, 4K HDMI2.0 at 60fps, Turstzone PlayReady HDCP Widevine DRM, Dolby audio, 13 Megapixel back camera and some of the Mali-T764 GPU features such as Transaction Elimination, Adaptive Scalable Texture Compression, ARM Frame Buffer Compression, Stereoscopic 3D Game Driver and the POP-Star Searching Entertainment Engine. You can read more about it at http://www.rock-chips.com/a/en/products/RK32_Series/2014/0504/484.html and you can watch all the RK3288 videos that I posted thus far at http://armdevices.net/?s=RK3288

$149 RK3288 Chromebooks from Lenovo and Asus coming soon according to Digitimes

Posted by – November 14, 2014

Potentially released as soon as next month by Lenovo, Digitimes reports that Lenovo and Asus are preparing to release $149 Chromebooks based on the Rockchip RK3288 Quad-core ARM Cortex-A17 with Mali-T764. The rumored screen size is 11.6" according to Digitimes.

To be seen if those include 2GB or 4GB RAM. I think 4GB RAM would be nice, even if that adds a few $ to BOM cost. Perhaps they can just let consumers choose to double RAM to 4GB if they just pay $10 or $20 more. I think it would also be nice if they also provide a larger $169 13.3" skew. Both with 1366x768 matte displays would be good I think. At least one, or multiple SD card slots for storage, HDMI output, at least 2 USB3 would be nice.

It was here on ARMdevices.net on June 5th that I was the first post a video about the RK3288 Chromebook and back on April 13th about Chrome OS for RK3288 on the development board.

I think if the performance is smooth, if the keyboard/mousepad/display qualities are great, if the designs by Lenovo and Asus are classy "like a Macbook Air" and not purposefully cheap looking, the RK3288 Chromebooks may become more popular than RK3288 in Android Tablets, and Chrome OS on RK3288 Set-top-boxes may also be more popular than RK3288 Android Set-top-boxes. If priced right, and if mass produced at absolute maximum capacity by brands like Lenovo and Asus, I think this could potentially become one of the most popular laptops in the world, potentially overtaking Wintel laptops faster than anyone can imagine.

$240 Macbook Air clones run Windows 8 by ENZ

Posted by – October 19, 2014

Running Intel Celeron with Windows 8, the price is about $250 for 500 units. They can also use the Intel Core-i3/5/7 processors starting at $390. Weight is 1.4Kg, battery life is about 4-5 hours, they also have 10.1" and 11.6" Windows Tablets starting at $310. They sell about 10K laptops per month.

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