Allwinner launches their convertible-optimized Octa-core ARM Cortex-A7, similar to the Allwinner A83T Octa-core but at a higher clock speed for both the CPU and the PowerVR GPU. The roadmap for Allwinner's productivity processors and solutions includes multi-window Android support in Q3 2015 and also a 64bit Allwinner R88 processor with Windows 10 support by the end of the year.
Remix Android presented on this Jide 11.6” tablet that was launched on Kickstarter. Remix presents a multi-window UI and they say firmware-level changes to Android for combining tablet apps with productivity features for the Android convertible. Jide Remix is being made by a large software team in Beijing headed by 3 ex-Googlers and it is being manufactured by Foxconn. For now it's Nvidia Tegra4 based, and they are designing a next generation with a faster ARM processor and with a design that doesn't look as similar to a Microsoft Surface tablet.
MediaTek are showing their first Chromebook, with a dual ARM Cortex-A72 with dual ARM Cortex-A53 big.LITTLE of their "world's fastest" MT8173 SoC with SGX6250 GPU. MediaTek are optimizing the Chrome OS performance in partnership with Google to get this launched as soon as possible, though probably not before the beginning of next year they say. It has dual USB Type-C, one of which can output to a secondary display. For the final product, the built-in Chromebook display can be up to 2K resolution, now showing off 1366x768 on this prototype. Fast charge through the USB Type-C will work. The displays could be 11.6" or 13", the displays will probably be 1366x768 or 1920x1080. The target is affordable pricing. MediaTek together with Imagination and Google are the first to optimize the PowerVR6 GPU for Chrome OS, trying to take advantage of all its heterogeneous multiprocessing speecs to try to optimize the performance. MediaTek is revisiting their optimization approach to upstream all of their work, soon enough people will be able to get all of the source code that they are developing to get this ready.
Gordon Zheng, Founder and Lead Developer, presents Andromium OS, described as a guest OS that run on top of Android, leveraging existing Android API's as well as a new UI library to bring a productivity keyboard/mouse desktop style user experience similar to Windows and OSX. Currently Android does not support a true multi-window experience, however some manufactures like LG and Samsung have made some modification to android (ROM) to bring the side by side apps and windows app experience for their devices. Andromium takes a similar approach, while Samsung and LG's approaches are exclusive to their devices, Andromium OS runs on any Android device as long as their device support Android version 4.4 and above. The next step for Andromium will be to release a Developer SDK and Andromium app store to the developer community, to grow the OS ecosystem.
The Andromium SDK, designed as an additional library that developers can import into their existing Android projects, allowing their android apps to inherit the Andromium OS multi-windows functionality, as well as have the correct UI elements for a keyboard and mouse interface. The Android developers can continue to use their favorite Developer environment: ADT or Eclipse, they just have to import Andromium's library into their project.
Currently Andromium OS in on the Google playstore as a public beta, it is currently around 5mb download. Long term the OS/App will stay relatively small. Andromium can support most devices on Android 4.4 and above (including Lollipop). The Andromium OS/UI is hardware accelerated, so that users should experience 30fps or above according to the performance of the ARM Processor. For example on a Samsung Note 4, Andromium OS can play a 4k video, surf in the browser and still have close to 30fps ui rendering when moving or resizing the application windows.
LY is a new brand for Smartphones and IoT/Wearables devices to be distributed around the world. LY wants to distribute through small to medium sized distributors around the world, supporting small orders, partnering with small businesses, LY aims to become a top-20 Smartphone brand within the next 2-3 years capturing a share of the still rapidly growing smartphones market, where most of the remaining 5 Billion people who currently are still disconnected, will be able to get smartphones within the next 5 years around the world. In this video you can meet the new team behind the brand, you can get a feeling from them for how it is for them to launch a new brand in the Smartphones market. I will be publishing more LY videos on my channel in the coming weeks as more details about their devices and distribution strategy will be unveiled.
Haier is launching their ARM Powered Haier Chromebook 11 to be shipping any day now at http://amzn.to/1yrxBY2 for shipping all over the USA with availability probably in all Chrome OS countries also imminently. The Haier RK3288 Chromebook 11 has a nice matte type of display, which may make it preferable for me over the Hisense and Asus one. But if matte or not is to be exclusive to this model or not, is to be confirmed. Again I would prefer a 13.3" matte RK3288 Chromebook with 4GB RAM and with at least 13 hours of battery life. To challenge my $199 Acer Chromebook 13!
Asus C201 is their new Rockchip RK3288 based ARM Chromebook to be sold at $169. With a nice keyboard and mousepad. The Asus Rockchip Chromebook is to be available imminently.
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 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
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.