Category: Rockchip

Review: N5Zero Tablet, sub-$100 5″ capacitive Android tablet

Posted by – September 28, 2011

This is my world exclusive review of the new N5Zero Tablet. A 5″ capacitive Android tablet to be sold for less than $100 (to resellers). It’s using the Rockchip RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 Single Core processor at 1.2Ghz, the screen resolution is 800×480, it has 512MB RAM, a MicroSD slot, between 2GB and 16GB built-in flash ROM storage (depending on the configuration, mine has 8GB), no Bluetooth, the graphics are powered by the Vivante Gc800 that does up to 57 million triangles per second and full OpenGL ES 2.0 for fully smooth Flash 10.3 (and soon Flash 11) support, it supports smoothly all the latest Android 3D games, video playback support is 1080p with all codecs but there is no HDMI output.

Most importantly, this cool 5″ capacitive tablet is being sold out of China for below $100 USD! Of course, you have to consider that the low sub-$100 price is for resellers contacting and ordering large quantities of the tablet, perhaps 100 pieces minimum, or 500, or 1000, that is to be discussed by interested distributors with the people. The final retail price can be a bit higher. In China this tablet is being sold for 699 renminbi on the market, that is $109. But if this tablet gets imported to Europe and the USA, expect a pricing that can be around $139 or more depending on how much margins the resellers want to take.

Rockchip claims that their RK2918 processor has a better performance than the Samsung Hummingbird in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7″, Samsung Galaxy S1 and that it’s also faster than the Apple A4 in iPad1 and iPhone4. That is to be confirmed. Sure enough, this is by far not as fast as the newest Dual Core processors such as the one Samsung promises for the 5.3″ Samsung Galaxy Note, but consider that this Window N5Zero is to be sold to resellers at below $100 and that with software optimizations, with perhaps Ice Cream Sandwich coming, this could be fast enough for many users looking for cheap tablet value worldwide.

Read about more of the specs here:

Arnova 10 G2 for $129 or $99 with 1 or 2 year Philly Newspaper subscription

Posted by – September 17, 2011

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News are doing a special promotion that can interest people living in Pennsylvania USA and would like to save on getting their daily newspaper and at the same time can be tempted by the combination of a subsidized Arnova 10 G2 Android Tablet for $99 or $129 depending on the length of the digital newspaper subscription that is signed.

video source:

I first reported on the Arnova 10 G2 back in April when it was first announced. It is an awesome value device with a capacitive screen and the new Rockchip RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 processor that can run at up to 1.2Ghz. It’s more powerful than the Apple A4 in the iPad1 and iPhone4, it’s more powerful than the Samsung Hummingbird processor in the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Samsung Galaxy S. Yet, the tablet is now being released named Arnova 10 G2 with a retail MSRP pricing probably between $199 and $229 (to be confirmed in the coming days).

Sure there has been some delays for this capacitive RK2918 tablet, I do not know why. Maybe Archos spent a few months selling the RK2818 tablets before ramping up production capacity and perhaps also having Rockchip try to have Honeycomb working on it. But more likely, Rockchip will try to use Ice Cream Sandwich directly for those, depending on the compatibility and ease of porting of that next version of open source Android with these ARM Cortex-A8 tablets released now.

This makes sense. The idea of the $99 10.1″ capacitive tablet is awesome. Here are some of my suggestions though for Philly to make this work in the most positive way:

– The $10/month subscription needs to include unlimited free access to all the worlds newspapers and not just the 2 newspapers. The economics are that people will not necessarily read more articles if they get access to more content.

You have to think big. I know it may be hard or impossible for the people of the Philly newspaper to reach out to all the other newspapers of the world and agree on some kind of Netflix-pricing to include full access to all the newspapers.

The idea is that you make it more attractive to more people inside and outside of your target market to want to subscribe to this idea. You write content in English. I think it makes no sense to limit yourself to a limited geography. You can write regional news in your current edition, but you can partner with all the other newspapers and let people read those other newspapers if they want.

Make the cake bigger together with others and your slice of the much bigger cake will be much bigger than your small cake.

Logically, the digital access subscription does not have to exclusively be consumed on that tablet. I guess that any other device can login and access that subscription plan. Simply build on your current Android app, and simply let it search and access the real format newspapers from all the other newspapers that you can partner with.

Here is Philly’s calculation and the customers options today:

– $199 or $229 is the unsubsidized Arnova 10 G2 price likely going to be when released within a few days from now.
– $99 with 2-year $10/month subscription = Total $339 for the Arnova 10 G2 with the 2-year digital newspaper access = $229 Tablet and $55/year digital subscription
– $129 with 1-year $13/month subscription = Total $285 for the Arnova 10 G2 with the 1-year digital newspaper access = $229 Tablet and $56/year digital subscription
– No tablet digital subscription price today = $3/week = $156/year
– No tablet normal paper newspaper by mail subscription price today = $7/week = $364/year

This can be a huge success for Archos and for newspapers but they have to continue on this plan and they need to pick up the phone and make some national and international agreements with all the other newspapers, join forces, subsidize Awesome ARM Powered Android Tablets to make people understand the value of technology and of the content.

RFTech $89 Telechips capacitive Android Tablet

Posted by – September 3, 2011

RFTech presents $89 Telechips ARM11 tablet and the $111 Telechips ARM Cortex-A8 tablet. You can find more information at

Toshiba Stor.E TV Pro, Rockchip RK2918 Linux based Connected Set-top-box

Posted by – September 1, 2011

Toshiba is using Rockchip RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 processor in this new low cost Internet set-top-box.

FirstView shows Rockchip RK2918 capacitive tablet design

Posted by – June 3, 2011

FirstView now also makes a nice looking capacitive RK2918 based tablet:

MHL now in several phones at Computex 2011

Posted by – May 31, 2011

Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) is now presented in several of the newest coolest smartphones and Tablets, including the Samsung Galaxy S2, HTC Sensation, HTC Flyer, Samsung Infuse, HTC Evo 3D, HTC Evo View 4G and more are going to be released soon.

Archos dominates tablet sales at Hong Kong Golden Computer Market

Archos surely seems to dominate in terms of nearly every store in Hong Kong that sells tablets have a range of Archos Gen8 tablets for sale right there at prime shelf space, while very few have the iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab for sale. It seems consumers and gadget retailers in Hong Kong Electronics Market regard Archos as great value, even as there might be cheaper “Archos Home Tablet” or “Arnova” grade tablets also being sold there, consumers who want high-end experience for low to mid-range pricing, still overwhelmingly choose the Archos tablets.

ABI Research recently speculated that Archos as being the third largest tablet maker worldwide in 2010. If Apple still has 85% in Q1 2011 and with 4.69 million iPads sold, that means Archos would have had to only sell 110 thousand tablets worldwide between January-March 2011 to remain at that 2% 2010 ABI Research speculative worldwide tablet market share.

My theory, Archos probably has more than 6% global tablet market share today

Archos officially released their Q1 earnings at 39€ Million ($56.7 Million) (up 158% from a year before), if an average Archos tablet is sold at $150 to retailers, that would mean Archos may have sold 378 thousand tablets between January and March 2011, that’s thus probably more than 6% worldwide tablet market share for Archos if Apple has 85%.

One things for certain, while the global market share is one thing, another is regional tablet market share, Archos was shown to have over 22% tablet marketshare in November-December 2010 sales for tablets in France, and may thus also have much higher than 6% tablet marketshare in markets like Germany, England, Hong Kong and even the USA.

Another thing to consider, Archos can only have as much marketshare as it can afford to build for.

If you consider Apple may have about 80% tablet market share in Q1 2011, and Archos let’s say 8% in that same period, here are some of the differences between those two companies:

  • Archos has less than 150 employees mostly based in France, $56.7 Million Q1 2011 revenues, Market Capitalisation at $215,34 Million, probably has less than $20 Million in the bank to use for production enhancements, sales channels increase, marketing, manufacturing capacity increase, and R&D investments.
  • Apple has 49,400 employees (329x more than Archos) mostly based in the USA, $24.6 Billion Q1 2011 revenues (433x more than Archos), Market Capitalisation at $223,77 Billion (1039x more than Archos), probably has over $40 Billion in the bank to use for production enhancements (2000x more than Archos), sales channels increase, marketing, manufacturing capacity increase, and R&D investments.

This is why Archos has started today issuing a capital increase of upwards $43 Million, a call to their investors to invest more money in new Archos stock. If investors answer the call (by May 4th), Archos may triple their bank account size, thus having more money to spend on increasing production capacity, smoothing sales channels, optimizing software/hardware R&D efficiency, and may gear up for trying to reach upwards 24% global tablet marketshare by the end of the year.

Considering the many new entrants to the tablet market, including major ones like Asus, Acer, Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, etc, it might be hard for a small company like Archos to reach 24% marketshare in such a rapidly growing market. But who knows, in my opinion, it’s mostly a matter of cash, investments and being able to provide the best value. While Archos may triple their sales having 3x more cash in the bank for tripling production capacity (considering they can easily sell everything that they make), that does not mean they would triple their marketshare if the tablet market at the same time more than doubles in size. They might go from 8% to 12%, something like that. And if the tablet market triples in size they could remain at 8% in a 3x larger market.

Quality Industrial Technology Co Ltd shows NEC/Renesas Cortex-A9 Dual-Core tablet

Posted by – April 21, 2011

Quality Industrial has a $80 Rockchip Rk2818 resistive (+$15 for capacitive) and they are also showing a 1024×600 7″ capacitive 3G-enabled NEC/Renesas ARM Cortex-A9 533Mhz Dual-Core based tablet for about $200 a piece. shows 8″ capacitive RK2918 tablet

Posted by – April 17, 2011

Rockchip RK2918 8″ capacitive tablet with 3G HSDPA.

Rockchip Rk2918 is the first with Skype/QQ HD video chat hardware decode/encode

Posted by – April 17, 2011

Add a HD capable front-facing camera (1.3Mpix for 720p, 2Mpix for 1080p), and you can have HD video conferencing on a tablet, given also a HD resolution tablet screen, is this awesome? Rockchip says they are the first to hardware accelerate the decoding and encoding of HD video conferencing.

Honeycomb at the Rockchip booth (just keyrings for now..)

Posted by – April 16, 2011

The optimal thing for Rockchip would be that Google provide them with full Honeycomb source code access as soon as possible (if they haven’t already secretly gotten access to that source code), so that they can start working on optimizing the support for Honeycomb on their new RK2918 processor platform.

Rockchip RK2918 powered Laptop

Posted by – April 16, 2011

OK this is cool. Put a Rockchip RK2918 in a laptop, add Honeycomb or Chrome OS on ARM, and you’ve got possibly one of the most affordable ARM Powered laptops right there.

Rockchip Rk2918 in a Set-top-box

Rockchip now provides a Set-top-box reference design based on their new RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 processor. This could power upcoming Google TV on ARM for cheap.

Switek 7″ capacitive Rk2918 tablet

Posted by – April 16, 2011

They are presenting a RK2918 capacitive 7″ tablet.

Ramos V70, Ramos T11Pro, Ramos T11AD, 5″ Android Powered resistive PMPs

Posted by – April 15, 2011

They do both offline and online Android 5″ resistive PMP. The Novatek HD800B are used in the offline Android PMP while the Rockchip RK2818 one in the T11AD does the WiFi connected Android stuff. Prices are $40, $50, $62 depending on the features.

Ramos booth tour, featuring Ramos W18, 9.7″ capacitive ARM Cortex-A9 AmLogic Android Tablet

Posted by – April 15, 2011

A tour of the Ramos booth at the Hong Kong HKTDC electronics fair, based on the AmLogic 800Mhz ARM Cortex-A9 Single Core processor, the price starts around $200 when bought in bulk.

Shenzhen DBX electrical makes Mp3/Mp4 players, Tablets and more

Posted by – April 15, 2011

They make over 200 Mp3 players and PMPs, now they also make tablets.

Arnova 10 capacitive RK2918 to be released in May

Posted by – April 14, 2011

Here’s the Arnova 10 with capacitive touch screen and the RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 processor. At around $229 MSRP it could possibly become one of the best value 10.1″ ARM Cortex-A8 capacitive tablets on the market. It’s thin, uses most of the nice design features of the Archos 101 Internet Tablet released in October 2010, but removes the kick-stand (to lower cost), replaces some of the metallic design features with plastics (to lower cost), removes HDMI output (I need to let them confirm this, perhaps that was just removed on the prototype). This device uses the new 1.2Ghz Rockchip processor, with 1080p video codecs support (possibly all codecs at up to over 30mbitps high profile playback), new better graphics performance, but most importantly, this awesome 10.1″ tablet may be sold around $229/229€ at retail MSRP (with capacitive and rk2918), and there is a good chance Rockchip should be getting access to the Honeycomb source code soon (comon Google, give it to them sooner rather than later! (I have no idea if Rockchip has Honeycomb yet or not, I will try to interview Rockchip again about Honeycomb at China Sourcing Fair tomorrow)).

Archos 7c Home Tablet, RK2918 Capacitive

Posted by – April 13, 2011

Welcome to Archos Shenzhen offices, Sandy Chen is Archos OEM sales director, she introduces the new Archos 7c Home Tablet, an updated Archos Home Tablet with capacitive screen and RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 performance chip inside.

Rockchip RK2918 for Smartphones

Posted by – April 13, 2011

Rockchip is moving strongly into bringing high-end smartphone functionality into the $200-$300 mid-range smartphone pricing, with 3G support and more. They are also providing their RK2818 series for sub-$100 Android smartphones with ARM9 performance.