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Portables Linux

Video Review of Hivision's $100 ARM-Based Android Laptop 220

Charbax writes "The Android laptops are coming. Thanks to cheap ARM-powered laptops made in China, and the latest, most optimized Android software, we can soon buy usable $100 laptops in all the supermarkets. In this video, I test the web browsing speed on the new Rockchip rk2808 ARM9-based PWS700CA laptop by Shenzhen-based Hivision Co Ltd. Web browsing on AJAX-heavy websites is surprisingly snappy, and could only be even faster if ARM11, ARM Cortex A8 or A9 processors were used and if it was configured with slightly more than 128MB RAM. How soon will Google release the $100 Google laptop?"
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Video Review of Hivision's $100 ARM-Based Android Laptop

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  • by tchuladdiass ( 174342 ) on Friday January 29, 2010 @09:55PM (#30958384) Homepage

    Sure. You can download a 720p video, and play it on the device. You don't have to pre-convert it to 800x480 (or 400x240, like I have to for my n810). That's all that spec means, is the source video can be 720p.

  • by deniable ( 76198 ) on Friday January 29, 2010 @10:31PM (#30958606)
    Quick guess, cheaper but bigger and heavier components. Same reason desktops are relatively cheaper than laptops.
  • by sglewis100 ( 916818 ) on Friday January 29, 2010 @10:33PM (#30958624)
    The Rockchip processor is capable of 720p video, it's in a lot of the $120 to $160 Chinese MP4 players that you can get from various importers. It's not that the screen supports 1280x720, but rather than you can play your existing files without converting the video down. I recently picked up a Ramos T11TE with a 5" screen, also 800x480. It had 16g internal memory plus a micro SD slot, because it has a Telechips TCC8901 processor, which can handle 1080p versus the more common Rockchip. For $158, I load my MKVs right onto it. It came FAT-32 but supports NTFS (no ExFat), so I can load files over 4gb and play them back. Compared to my own pre-flight method of converting video to MP4/h.264 Simple profile to support my iPhone, this is a much better answer. It even has a mini HDMI port, so I can actually show 1080p if so inclined.
  • Re:Other distros? (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday January 29, 2010 @10:37PM (#30958642) Journal
    The Smart Q5/Q7 come with Ubuntu installed, and they have a similar speed (ARM) CPU.
  • by langelgjm ( 860756 ) on Friday January 29, 2010 @10:54PM (#30958748) Journal

    The Smart Q5 and Q7 are shipping. The Nokia 770, N800 and N810 all shipped. The iPad is shipping in a couple of months.

    None of those are netbooks. They're all tablet-format devices. As far as I can tell, the Touchbook is the only ARM-based netbook (in the sense of having a dedicated keyboard) that you can actually go and order right now (and it's actually backordered, so you can't in fact receive it anytime soon).

    Fine if you want a tablet - I don't. I want an ARM netbook.

  • Re:Other distros? (Score:3, Informative)

    by gigabites2 ( 1484115 ) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:03PM (#30958822)
    Actually, there's a minimal iso image [ubuntu.com] for a net install and you can install a command-line-only system [ubuntu.com] from the alternate install disk. Both use a modified version of the Debian ncurses installer. I've used it both options a few times and found them to be very useful for building a lightweight system from the ground up.
  • where can i buy it? (Score:3, Informative)

    by farble1670 ( 803356 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @12:34AM (#30959398)

    TFA is only speculating at the price. really, let's see this article when there's a link where this device can be purchased.

  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @12:54AM (#30959496)

    As for the hope that a company like WalMart would pick this up and sell it for $100 or less

    WalMart needs product to fill 2500 stores.

    Hivision's [hvsco.com] site doesn't quote a retail price. It doesn't quote a wholesale price.

    Their English language contacts use Hotmail and Skype. The company has been around for about ten years. Mostly they seem to make digital photo frames and Win CE netbooks.

  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @09:02AM (#30961476) Journal

    Ok, so Android is pretty resource saving. It is pretty impressive that it can display 720p videos.

    No it isn't. Well, it's impressive that something that small can play H.264 (hell, I'm old enough that I still think it's impressive that it can store and play full-motion videos at any resolution), but it has nothing to do with Android. Pretty much all ARM SoCs come with a dedicated coprocessor for video decoding. It's all offloaded here (which has the nice side effect that you can play back videos without stealing CPU cycles from other tasks), so it will work with any OS that has drivers.

  • Re:Other distros? (Score:3, Informative)

    by TeknoHog ( 164938 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @11:51AM (#30962606) Homepage Journal

    True, I have Gentoo running on both of my two ARMs (pun intended). But it's not really a distro issue anyway. The Linux kernel runs on more architectures than any other OS, and getting a distro to work is only a matter of time. And you can always install Linux from scratch.

    Notice the lack of the word "support [iki.fi]" above. I'm not that interested in support, I'm more interested in whether something works. For example, there's some kind of support relationship between my laptop and Windows XP, but I find that Linux works much better.

VMS must die!