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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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  • Obligatory (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 29, 2010 @09:40PM (#30958268)

    Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those! Better yet, imagine a free Beowulf cluster of Google Adsense(tm)-supported laptops :)

  • by ashitaka ( 27544 ) on Friday January 29, 2010 @09:52PM (#30958354) Homepage

    From the article: "800×480 screen, 720p Video playback support"

    Someone care to enlighten me as to how you get a 720 progressive-scan image on a screen that is only 480 pixels high?

  • by Foo2rama ( 755806 ) on Friday January 29, 2010 @10:15PM (#30958498) Homepage Journal
    Ok can someone please explain why a cell phone with less power then this laptop costs around 300 bucks and that apparently still does not cover the mfg costs of the device hence the locked in contracts to recoup phone costs? Yet this laptop with an arm proc and a larger screen and more moving parts can be sold at 100??? The iPhone costs $179 to mfg.. Pre $138... g1 $140
  • by dada21 ( 163177 ) <> on Friday January 29, 2010 @10:36PM (#30958640) Homepage Journal

    I have 3 Android devices and all of them do a fairly good job of rendering websites for "Mobile" display. In fact, I am currently working on porting my Wordpress sites to a mobile friendly auto-switching theme bases on visits from mobile devices.

    Just because it's laptop shaped doesn't mean it will display websites like a full PC would. It'll display mobile versions, which are still perfect for that resolution.

    I just want Cyanogen to make a mod for this sucker.

  • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:03PM (#30958824)

    I thought everyone knew what happened in 2008. At the 2008 CES dozens of ARM "netbooks" running Linux were displayed and a big hit at the show. They were produced on ARM and Linux because Intel didn't have Atom yet so no cheap x86 processor with any horsepower, and Microsoft charged $89 for XP. The Linux netbook was heavily hyped at CES that year and MS took notice. They went to the netbook makers and asked what they needed to do to make sure every netbook came with windows. The Netbook makers said give us windows for $10 and we won't produce the Linux Netbooks. As a result MS priced windows for netbooks at $8 (ask for a windows refund on a netbook, they will offer $8, this has been documented). Intel at the same time produced the atom because they didn't want mass market ARM netbooks hitting the streets and eroding the x86 monopoly. They were able to produce it so quickly because all they did was basically die shrink the original pentium processor (didn't want it to be fast or it could erode regular notebook sales).

    So you ask what killed the Arm Netbook? The answer is the WinTel duopoly got involved and killed it to prevent it from eroding the X86 Windows monopoly. MS and Intel work VERY hard to make sure ARM/Linux Netbooks aren't produced in volume or at prices that will hurt them. Cash incentives, marketing help and all sorts of bad behavior is going on to prevent this market from developing because they KNOW everyone wants a $100 cheap little web tablet/netbook that doesn't weigh much and gets great battery life and that the first one to market will set sales records. Hell the half-assed netbook that has crappy performance set sales records because of price, weight and battery life. The first person to hit good performance, under $200 and with at least 8 hours of battery is going to sell hundreds of millions of them. MS and Intel will do almost anything to make sure that it's not an ARM netbook (MS because the only OS they have that runs on ARM is windowsCE and Mobile, which are both very dated and very crappy compared to Android or Moblin) that's the first one to that goal.

    Mark my words, you won't see mass market ARM netbooks produced unless a large government gets involved in an Anti-Trust action against both MS and Intel at the same time.

  • by ChunderDownunder ( 709234 ) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:26PM (#30959014)
    News for nerds, hardly - it's a toy. With all the hype over the iPad, here are a few pointers for something some of us would actually buy:
    1. Pick a standard LCD size that can display 720p content, e.g. 1366x768 seen in some 11" netbooks.
    2. Use a mainstream distro like Ubuntu on it but allow those in the know to install distro-of-choice. e.g. Ubuntu is hinting at support for android's software stack
    3. Stick a decent amount of RAM in it. 4GB seems to be the limit on 32bit, make it an option.
    4. Mini HDMI so we can plug into our 1080 TVs
    5. Touch screen, xorg has multitouch now. But allow choice, some prefer styluses...
    6. A camera, if only for skypeing relatives
    7. Bluetooth, wifi, 3G, usb, ethernet
    8. keyboard optional, iPad will show there's a market for both

    In short a real competitor to both the iPad and Atom Netbooks. Cut out the Windows tax and Apple DRM and there's your niche. All these things are possible today with a decent dual core SoC like Tegra 2. Wake me up when such a device actually exists but be warned it won't be for $100.

    Yes I know there's a detachable machine with beagleboard specs but let's see the next-gen that doesn't feel as sluggish as a desktop from 1999.

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

    by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:27PM (#30959024) Homepage Journal

    Enlightenment has finger dragging support in its scroll and list widgets. Even desktop installs of enlightenment behave that way.

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:46PM (#30959146)

    I can't wait to slap down $200 to $300 for an ultralight, long-battery life, ARM-based netbook running Linux

    Nintendo DSi once somebody cracks it :)
    DS Linux works on the DS but the low memory and WEP WiFi limits what you can do with it.

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

    by Sark666 ( 756464 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @12:12AM (#30959284)

    And don't forget Ubuntu Netbook Remix []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 30, 2010 @02:19AM (#30959866)

    You're saying that Microsoft is so powerful that they will be able to defeat the price pressure of the entire market indefinitely.

    Not bloody likely. Just look at what's happened to their control of the Web. They fought very hard to keep a monoculture and hold back browser innovation to preserve Windows as the core of the computer, and not the browser, and they still got fended off in the end. It just took over a decade to do so. With hardware it may actually go faster, now that the browser has the central role. The only company that really stands in the way these days is Adobe, and they don't seem exactly eager to dominate the ecosystem; they want to have a presence on all platforms regardless of the specific OS or hardware, and they want to stay ahead of the in-browser technology to remain relevant, but they're doing a horrible job at the first even as they have moderate success at the second.

  • by clarkn0va ( 807617 ) <apt DOT get AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday January 30, 2010 @04:39AM (#30960526) Homepage
    The masses must first have the chance to accept. GP is stating that OEMs have so far humoured Intel and MS to the point that most consumers don't really get the choice. Why is it that (last time I checked), the only laptop sold on without Windows installed was pink? Why can I buy an Acer Revo with an Atom 330 and Windows, or the much slower Atom 270 with Linux? The OEMs have yet to offer, at least in Canada, equivalent hardware configs to the non-MS crowd, and I tend to believe the GP that this is exactly the way the gorilla wants it.
  • Re:Zoom (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Charbax ( 678404 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @10:08AM (#30961858) Homepage
    If you can read the full Slashdot homepage on 480x320 3.5" iphone screen, then surely you could read it too zoomed on a 800x480 7" screen (4x the size and 2.5x the resolution compared to the iphone). Though surely a 8.9" 1024x600 resolution screen would be nicer and would fit in the same form factor and maybe only add $20 to the cost of this device.
  • Re:Not a $100 laptop (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Charbax ( 678404 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @10:34AM (#30962038) Homepage
    Surely if Google designs a perfect one and launches manufacturing of 10 million units, they can make them at $60 a piece and sell them on for less than $100 also subsidized further by Google's online ads. The biggest cost of the laptop is the screen, using Pixel Qi [] the battery life can be upwards more than 20 hours even with a small cheap Laptop battery.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling