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
Tyler Baker discusses and demos http://kernelci.org, where development boards all over the world are being booted with the bleeding edge upstream kernel to provide validation results to the kernel community.
With the first being the Hislicon Kirin620 Octa Core ARM Cortex-A53 based $129 HiKey development board, http://96Boards.org is a new open hardware specification for ARM 32bit and 64bit development boards, and a Community Program for software delivery to developers, makers and OEMs. In this video, Linaro CEO George Grey describes the standardized expansion buses for peripheral I/O, display and cameras allowing the hardware ecosystem to develop a range of compatible add-on products that will work on any 96Boards product over the lifetime of the platform.The 96Boards initiative is designed to offer a single software and hardware community across multiple vendor boards supporting a range of different features. A fixed set of minimum functions including USB, SD, HDMI and standardized low speed and high speed peripheral connectors are provided. Vendors may add customized hardware and feature sets provided the minimum functions are available. Linaro expects this to extend the platform life, increase the market for add-on hardware, and accelerate open source upstreaming of support for new SoC features.
Here is the session by Linaro CEO George Grey talking further about the 96Boards hardware at Linaro Connect Hong Kong 2015:
Linaro with members such as Hisilicon are porting and optimizing Chromium Blink with gstreamer running just above EGL, the next steps are to merging fully with the RDK project to replace the webkit core with blink core.
The Linaro team ported the Chromium Embedded Framework to Linux running on ARM, the framework utilizes an EGL backend integrated using Chromium's Ozone abstraction layer.
Enplug, winner of CES's ShowStoppers Startup Competition, is the developer of the first public computing platform. Enplug's software turns any display into a public computer, enabling businesses to seamlessly engage with their audience. Businesses with displays of all sizes use Enplug to show interactive and live social media feeds, news, games, and many other apps developed by third-parties. Enplug wants to partner with display and set-top box makers to have its software pre-loaded for free and revenue-share with the hardware maker. It is looking for other display and set-top box makers to work with you can contact them here by phone: +1-855-536-7584 or email: Hello@enplug.com
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
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.
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.
- Asustek and Lenovo prep $149 Chromebooks - report (kitguru.net)
- Expect Lenovo & ASUS to launch $149 Chromebooks early in 2015 (HEXUS.net)
- Brace yourselves: $149 Chromebooks are coming (techreport.com)
- Asus and Lenovo Set to Release $149 Chromebooks: Report (techpp.com)