Category: Archos

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Chromium and Firefox within Android

Posted by Charbax – February 3, 2010

The default Android web browser is really awesome in terms of speed, it even works amazingly fast on the ARM9 Powered web browser of the Hivision PWS700CA that I tested in my video-review a few days ago. Though for Laptop form factors, also known as ARM Powered Netbooks or Smartbooks, and for Android Tablets like the Archos 5 Internet Tablet that has a HDMI output and supports USB and Bluetooth keyboards and mice, the default Android web browser might not be enough.

This is why the support of the full desktop-like experience using Chrome and Firefox web browsers within Android are really going to be nice. Perhaps the June 2009 release of the Native Android SDK can help developers reach this goal.

The Mozilla team is showing this screenshot of Firefox running within Android (check also Mozilla's wiki entry on Android: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Android):

Since Google is now working on releasing the full Chrome OS for ARM Powered devices, perhaps it would make sense to take the source code of that Chrome web browser for ARM, and make it into an Android application. This way on a Pocketable Android tablets or phones the default Android web browser would still be used, but when in HDMI output mode to a HDTV and when using USB or Bluetooth keyboards and mice, the Chrome browser or Firefox would thus be the browser of choice.

I think it would be nice as well if it was possible to provide a full speed browser experience even on cheap ARM Powered Android devices that come with little RAM memory such as only 128MB or RAM, still enable the use of unlimited amounts of opened tabs by somehow perhaps saving the state of each tab into ROM memory and be able to quickly in few milliseconds be able to pull that back into RAM memory when the specific tab is selected.

On the other hand, I also think it would make sense to support all Android applications within Chrome OS, thus this might mean that eventually Android and Chrome OS will merge.

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Pricing and availability on Archos 7 Internet Tablet (8GB) leaked

Posted by Charbax – February 1, 2010

If the leaked pricing rumor of £149 for the Archos 7 Internet Tablet is correct, this may mean that it will be sold for only $199 in the USA. Consider that European retail pricing always includes around 20% VAT taxes which are not included in US retail pricing.

In September 2009, Archos did announce that they would upgrade to 1ghz processors, thus I expect it may be the new Texas Instruments OMAP3640 that is a 45nm process or a 1ghz version of the current OMAP3440 processor.

Archos 7 Internet Tablet (8GB)

The cheaper $199 Archos 7 Internet Tablet, means the Archos 5 Internet Tablet will probably also be available $50 to $100 cheaper. It is currently sold at $249 at Radio Shack. Thus by March, pricing for the Archos 5 Internet Tablet (8GB) may be lowered to around $179 (I am speculating here).

Archos 7 Internet Tablet (8GB) specifications

It'd be really nice to see Archos come during the next few months with more screen sizes from 4.3", 4.8", 7", 8.9" and even 10.1" Android Tablets. I speculate on what the overall pricing of those may be in this post: http://archosfans.com/2010/01/29/my-recommendations-on-archos-cheap-android-tablet-revolution/

Most importantly, if full Google Marketplace can officially be supported on larger screened Android Tablets, and if all bugs are fixed soon for very stable full Android and VOIP usage, I think this positions Archos and the whole Android Tablet segment as a really good value alternative to the $499-$829 Apple iPad.

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Archos 5 Internet Tablet competition from Dell in Dell Mini 5

Posted by Charbax – January 29, 2010

I provided Michael Arrington founder of TechCrunch with the Archos 5 Internet Tablet at the LeWeb conference in Paris last December, when I convinced Paris-based Archos to provide review units to some of the most influential bloggers at that conference.

Yet, so far it doesn't seem Michael Arrington has wanted to post any review or any of his impressions of the product on any of his sites.

He did make a video of Michael Dell using a Dell Mini 5 competitor at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland:

It would be interesting to hear if it uses a capacitative 4.8" touch screen, what the price might be, which version of Android it might use and if Google allows for the full Google Marketplace to be included.

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Google Marketplace on Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android using hack on Firmware 1.7.33 (and all newer ones)

Posted by Charbax – January 21, 2010

Here is a video that shows you how easy it now is to install the full Google Marketplace experience on a Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android with the new firmware 1.7.33 that integrates a whole bunch of the Android 1.6 software features from Google that optimize everything better for Archos's larger screen:

Discuss this video in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=29833&p=195177#p195177

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I uploaded 72 videos from CES 2010

Posted by Charbax – January 21, 2010
LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 08:  Consumer Electronics ...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Wow, I beat my record for the amount of videos that I filmed and have posted from a 4-day consumer electronics conference. I uploaded 72 videos to Youtube from CES 2010 in HD 1280x720 9mbit/s quality. And I am still not done. I still have at least 2 more videos that I can think of that I forgot to upload yet (one because I had to edit it) which I will get to upload during the next couple of days as soon as I find them.

22 of those videos have so far reached audiences of more than 1000 viewers, which I think is lower than I would have hoped for. I did not have any time during my trip in the USA to try to promote my best videos for trying to get them embedded on the big technology news blogs. And also, the big technology news blogs like Engadget and Gizmodo had their own armies of 20+ bloggers each doing all the coverage that they needed. Engadget for example brags about having published 700 posts during CES (I didn't count them), that wouldn't leave much space for them to think about embedding any other small video-bloggers videos even if those might be better than their own ones.

My new site http://ARMdevices.net is also only just launched right now before CES, I need to work on optimizing the features, especially the comments and social networking aspects of it. Please do subscribe to my RSS feed if you do use that kind of technology so you will automatically know when I post new awesome videos.

My plan is now to film my next extensive consumer electronics show video coverage at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from 15-18th February, where Google might be releasing Nexus Two, Three and Four, so definitely check back for that!

Until then, I plan to release some awesome video reviews of amazing new products. I have right here the Android based Hivision Mininote laptop, it is absolutely amazing and I have been preparing to film my extensive video review of it to be published imminently. I should hurry up as I am probably one of the very few very lucky people on this planet with a real ARM Powered Android laptop. I also got a Pocketbook 360 e-ink e-reader which may well be the most pocketable e-ink e-reader on the market, I will soon post a high quality video review of that one. I just got a Huawei e5830 Mifi adaptor, awesome to always stay connected to the Internet, I will test VOIP Android applications on Archos 5 Internet Tablet using its new Donut-based Android firmware 1.7.33 and the hacked Google Marketplace using it to see if that can fully replace a mobile phone.

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4.8″ WVGA should be the sweet spot for more pocketable devices

Posted by Charbax – January 19, 2010

As you would know from checking out my other fansite http://archosfans.com I am a fan of the 4.8" 800x480 resolution screens. I just wonder why we still haven't seen any so called "smart phone" with such screen size and pixel densities. I posted this opinion at crunchgear:

5″ is about the perfect sized screen at WVGA resolution because it fits in mostly all pockets and provides enough resolution with large enough pixels to provide near full PC-like web browsing and movie watching experience. I also think that it can provide near desktop-like applications experiences.

Normally, even with a kick-stand like on the Archos, you will hold the 5″ Tablet at about half arms length from your eyes, while the laptop screen usually is nearly at twice the distance from your eyes down on your lap or on a table further away (also because you have the keyboard and mouse pad).

So basically, the Archos 5 Internet Tablet pretty much provides you 75% the full resolution experience of web browsing on a Laptop and 75% the experience of watching a movie on a laptop. In terms of number of visible and reachable pixels per degree of angle of vision.

While the iphone only provides you with 33% the resolution/experience in both browsing and video watching compared to a laptop. That is why most of the actual use of iphones and other similar sized smart phones are mostly for actually only doing phone calls and playing music and running random low definition apps (with few buttons and little screen size to actually use).

You may count screen size difference between 3.5″ and 4.8″ as “only” 1.3″ difference. Another way to compare screen sizes is the mathematical way, which is to say the truth that Archos 4.8″ screen is 2x the surface area of the iphone screen. Basically it is really a huge difference.

Archos 5 next to the iphone

Archos 5 next to the iphone

And I just don’t think it is right to say that 4.8″ screened devices don’t fit in most people’s pockets. Wallets and Passports are all larger than 4.8″ in diagonal and they are designed to be transported in pockets all over the world. Walking around with business card sized LCD screens is just not good enough in my opinion if you really care to take the Web and Video with you everywhere.

I have arrived in Las Vegas

Posted by Charbax – January 5, 2010

And here is what you can find in all Radio Shack stores in the USA, the Archos 5 Internet Tablet (8GB) selling right there for a very affordable $249 price. If Archos markets this device the right way and provides a perfect Android firmware for it with full Google Marketplace integration, and soon announce 3G and 7" versions and solutions for Camera and Compass, I think Archos has a huge opportunity right there to make a very big influence on the market.

You can follow my extensive HD quality video coverage from CES here on http://armdevices.net during the next few days.

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Nvidia Tegra Powered Android Tablet uses Pixel Qi screen!

Posted by Charbax – December 18, 2009

Here is the worlds first announcement of a Tablet with the revolutionary Pixel Qi screen (that I filmed at Computex 1, 2, 3, 4), on top of that as a 10.1" touch screen tablet, using the NVIDIA Tegra T20 chipset supporting 1080p Full HD video, with WiFi, Bluetooth, HSDPA, in a 1.5cm thickness and 771 grams. Notion Ink will show this cool looking ARM Powered tablet at CES, I will try to film hands on video there. This ARM Powered tablet form factor with Pixel Qi screen, as well as the swivel tablet Laptop form factor, is the form factor that I think will revolutionize the Laptop, Tablet and E-reader industry and I really look forward to seeing these demonstrated for the first time at CES from January 7th to 10th, look forward to my full video coverage here on http://armdevices.net

Nvidia Tegra powered with Pixel Qi Notion Ink Tablet

Source: slashgear.com

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The blogosphere reports my Nexus One pricing speculation as rumor

Posted by Charbax – December 16, 2009

Several blogs have been reporting my speculation on Nexus One pricing as a rumor. Which is okay, but I am only freely thinking what to expect Google will do about the pricing. What I think Google should do. I don't have secret infos from Google insiders, at least not yet. Although I am sure Google insiders are monitoring what the blogosphere is talking about so if they see a lot of people getting excited about disruptive pricing and VOIP features, then it could well encourage them to actually really make the big announcements and make it happen at the launch.

My speculation is based on following:

1. Manufacture and Bill of Material of a 3.7" AMOLED touch screen smartphone has been calculated by isupply and others to cost below $150 all inclusive when mass manufactured. Although an AMOLED WVGA screen is probably a bit more expensive than a 3.5" 480x320 LCD screen. Manufacturers and resellers make very high profit margins when they sell unlocked smartphones at $400-500, and I think, those prices are only a deterrent to unlocked phones and to push consumers into signing $2500 2-year contracts for getting those phones.

2. My speculation is that when Google will be selling its own phone (even manufactured by HTC or other Smartphone manufacturers in Asia), my speculation is that Google does not need to profit on the hardware, but plans to profit over time on mobile ads and services.

3. Google does not own spectrum, yet my basic suggestion is that Google may be able to approach telecom carriers internationally and offer to buy Petabytes of bandwidth on 3G networks, at a given rate per GB, and my speculation is that 3G bandwidth data should definitely cost less than $10 or 5€ per GB. If Google is able to purchase 1 Petabyte of 3G data from a telecom carrier for $10 per GB, guaranteed best effort bandwidth not throttled for VOIP, then what would stop Google from offering 100MB free bandwidth per month to users of unlocked Android phones, to use for basically as much VOIP over 3G using Google Voice, Gmail, basic Gmaps and basic Web browsing as most users would need. Thus get an unlocked Android phone with a Google SIM card and get unlimited free VOIP and 100mb/month data for free on ad-supported Google services or purchase more data for a certain price for example $10 per GB to use whenever you want, not needed to be renewed each month. I am probably far over-estimating the cost of 3G data bandwidth, the price per GB is probably below 1€ per GB, unless telecom carriers just refuse the deal and that they wouldn't accept to sell any 3G cellular bandwidth to Google.

I have been campaigning for free VOIP on WiFi and 3G for years, since I have been very active fanboy of all Archos Internet Tablets since the Archos PMA400 released in 2004 on my other site http://archosfans.com, where my hope has always been to some day have better telecom system that doesn't try to sell you a $2500 2-year contract with a $150 smartphone. But instead move towards improving the smart device, implement better optimized software through Linux (Android enables that for the first time), larger higher resolution screens (4.8" 800x480 like Archos 5 Internet Tablet is my favorite size and resolution), and also some day, make it possible for people to just buy the bandwidth that they need and not charge unreasonable prices anymore for voice and sms services.

Here are some of the sites that have been posting my speculation over the past couple of days:

http://www.androidguys.com/2009/12/14/reuters-nexus-one-available-directly-through-google-website-january-5/

http://www.phonesreview.co.uk/2009/12/15/google-nexus-one-phone-price-details-cdma-version-may-follow/

http://news.softpedia.com/news/More-HTC-Nexus-One-Details-Availability-Pricing-Boot-Animation-129741.shtml

http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/patterson/62660/google-phone-rumor-roundup-fcc-approval-pricing-and-availability/

http://www.product-reviews.net/2009/12/15/google-nexus-one-pricing-details/

http://androidandme.com/2009/12/news/android-rumor-report-nexus-one-to-cost-199/

http://blogs.zdnet.com/Burnette/?p=1517

http://www.i4u.com/article29235.html

http://www.ubergizmo.com/15/archives/2009/12/google_nexus_one_to_cost_199.html

http://www.slashgear.com/peek-ceo-gets-google-nexus-one-hands-on-price-speculation-increases-1666131/

http://www.geardiary.com/2009/12/16/nexus-one-google-phone-pricing-rumors-round-up/

http://www.mobilemag.com/2009/12/15/google-to-sell-nexus-one-unlocked-for-199/

http://pixelatedgeek.com/2009/12/more-google-phone-rumors-grain-of-salt/

http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/aexhb/google_phone_199_without_contract99_for_google/ (1088+ comments!)

http://www.phonesreview.co.uk/2009/12/15/google-nexus-one-phone-price-details-cdma-version-may-follow/

http://www.hackchasers.com/news/nexus-one-le-5-janvier-2010-date-de-lancement/

http://richard.gluga.com/2009/12/googles-nexus-one-with-free-data.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/14/AR2009121403454.html

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The Google Phone, guessing on the price and a possible picture

Posted by Charbax – December 13, 2009

This may be a picture of the Google Phone:

Google Phone Nexus One

From rumors on Techcrunch, this may be a pre-paid only $100 device, for WiFi and pre-paid 3G Voice over IP usage such as on Google Voice. Exactly the revolutionary business model that I have been talking about for a while. My guess on the Google Phone price, or what I think it should cost is following:

$100 for the 3.7" high density WVGA Google Phone Nexus One
$150 for the 4.8" medium density Google Tablet Nexus XL

All should come based on ARM Cortex A8 processors, probably OLED capacitative on Nexus One and LCD resistive on the Nexus XL. My suggestion is basically that the Nexus XL may be similar to my favorite consumer electronics device the Archos 5 Internet Tablet which I talk about in countless videos: http://armdevices.net/?s=archos and on my other site: http://archosfans.com

The most important factor here would be if the rumors are true and if my guessing is right, that the Google Phone and Tablet will be the first pre-paid Android phone and tablet. Affordable, my guessing also may even make it so that Google may not only sell it through all retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Wal Mart, Media Markt, Aldi and such, but that one may even be able to buy it on google's own website and based on how active one has been on Google over the past few years, Google may even subsidize the purchase price of the phone or tablet. That is, cause Google can know it will more likely make more money on mobile ads from users who use Google services a lot. This way, look forward to Google Phone at $50, Google Tablet for $100 and even the Google Laptop/Tablet/E-reader at $150.

Some times, I think that it does take a big giant technology company like Google to really invest not only in the platform, not only in software, but also dedicate teams of hardware engineers into actually releasing own branded hardware on the market and push the boundaries in terms of business models to apply to the distribution of such technology. To push things forward faster, Google needs to make hardware.

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