Tag Archive | "browsing"

Smartphones Break 10-second Browsing Barrier.

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Maybe I should have posted this article at Carrypad rather than UMPCPortal as it pertains to the progress that ARM-based devices have made in terms of browsing speed. Just two years ago I wouldn’t have given an ARM-based system a second look if I was thinking of doing an web-based work but now they are challenging low-end PC’s and enabling the sort of devices we cover here on Carrypad. So far, Intel haven’t quite reached down into this area of click consumer computing devices yet.

The question does remain though – What advantage would a 5″ or 7″ device bring over something like the Motorola Droid? Personally I want a 5″ device for an even better quality browsing experience, ebook reading, navigation, 1 meter video experience and a huge battery. It WILL be a second device but that’s fine by me be cause it means I don’t have to have a very expensive high-end smartphone as a 24/7 device.

Smartphones Break the 10-second Barrier. | UMPCPortal – Ultra Mobile Personal Computing.

Droid Browsing Speed Video. (And my comparison notes.)

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Seeing as I’ve just declared the Archos Android Tablet as (possibly) the fastest ARM-based browsing device ever, it makes sense to show you someone else’s test on a similar platform. Engadget did a single Engadget page load test on the Motorola Droid which is running Android 2.0 on the Ti OMAP 3430 platform. (@533Mhz I understand.) The single-shot test is obviously not conclusive but it’s actually quite an accurate result in my opinion.

As you can see, the iPhone 3GS beats the Droid. 12s for the iPhone 3GS and 20 seconds for the Droid.

For the record, three cleared-cache attempts here with the Archos Android tablet resulted in a 14s average. Pocketables tested the same site and got 10.9 seconds (with 12.4 for the iPhone 3GS.) Clearly location will make a difference (Bonn to San Jose is a long way!)  but why is the Droid slower than both the iPhone 3GS and Archos Android Tablet?

The Archos Android Tablet uses the Ti OMAP 3440 which can run up to 800Mhz. 50% faster than the iPhone and Droid. That explains why the Archos device is faster. At like-for like CPU speeds though, the  iPhone browser is simply a faster browser; probably as a result of its single-tasking OS.

Intel comparison.

Here are the non-cached figures from Firefox3.5 on XP, on Intel: (Tests done today from Bonn over Wifi)

  • Menlow at 800Mhz (Flash disabled. Using Viliv S5 SSD): 12s, 9s, 10s (10.3 average)
  • Menlow at 1.3Ghz: 10s, 7s, 8s (8.3 average)
  • Netbook at 1.6Ghz (no Flash, SSD): 5s, 6s, 6s (5.6s average)

In this case, the Viliv at 800Mhz is slightly faster than the best test results from the iPhone 3GS and Archos Android Tablet but at the end of the day we’re looking at excellent browsing speeds across the board here that really should keep most people very happy indeed. I’m looking forward to re-visiting this subject with Moorestown and ARM multi-core Cortex A9 in 2010 though.

Source: Engadget.

Archos Android Tablet is possibly the Fastest ARM-based Web Experience ever. (And as fast as an Intel-based MID)

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As I lounged around yesterday #sofasurfing on the Archos 5 Android Internet Tablet (Archos 5IT) I was really enjoying the Twitter, Web and YouTube experience that makes up a large percentage of my sofasurfing time. I have no problems saying that in this scenario, it’s the best device I have and that includes the Nokia N900, Omnia Pro, Viliv S5, X70, my netbooks and a bunch of other devices that I don’t use any more. Having an HQ YouTube experience and a fast browser helps a lot.

IMG_0895 Archos Android Internet Tablet (3)

To confirm my suspicion that the browser is faster than any I’ve experienced at this weight and size I picked up the Intel Atom-based Viliv S5, locked it into 800Mhz mode (Power-saving mode) turned Flash OFF in the Firefox 3.5 browser and spent about an hour racing the Archos 5IT against the Viliv S5. You know what, there’s just no difference at all. I doubt any consumer would see a difference with 99 out of 100 sites they browsed in a regular sofasurfing session. Some sites load faster on the Viliv. Some load faster on the Android device. In fact on the Archos 5IT, most sites seems to be ready-to-read (but not necessarily fully-loaded) before Firefox on the Viliv.

More information on the Archos 5 Internet Tablet here.

We could argue about Flash (which actually slows the Viliv S5 down quite a lot) and we could argue about some errors I see on Web applications with the Archos 5IT but at home, on the sofa, bed, toilet, kitchen there’s nothing to argue about. ARM have reached the consumer-important sub-10-second average web-page loading time. This isn’t the reliable FIE that UMPC and Netbook users are used to but in my opinion, it’s now good enough for even pro-sumers.

I know that many of you use the iPhone and iPod touch in these scenarios and yes, that experience is fast and totally enjoyable too but the difference between the 3.5” screen and the 4.8” screen (about double the space and pixels) makes it far more enjoyable. If an iPod Plus was released with a 4.8” screen tomorrow, that would be the only reason needed to go out and buy it.


I’ve got another reference point for you. Pocketables have just tested four devices that run on the ARM Cortex core, the latest and greatest ARM offering. It turns out the the Archos Android Tablet is as fast as the current ARM-based benchmark, the iPhone 3GS. Compared to tests we did last year, the current generation of ARM-based devices are cutting page load times by at least half.

And here’s another reference point. In theory, the ARM Cortex A8 core can reach 2.0 Dhrystone MIPS / Mhz. (ref) The Intel Atom core can hit about 2.4 Dhrystone MIPS / Mhz. (ref) (ref) With only 20% difference between the two in this relevant benchmark, it’s the software stack that becomes important.

I’m sure Intel will agree that 2009 is not their year for MIDs. It was never really planned to be. With Moorestown, the platform that introduces the all-important ‘power-gating’ feature, coming in the first half of 2010, it won’t be until 2011 that we see ARM and Intel competing with the same power characteristics. At that point, Intel will have lost their Flash and run-time compatibility advantage and they will have to fight just as everyone else will; with marketing, design and developers. For me, that means getting an Apple design win because without that, the momentum in the ARM ecosystem will take them into 2011, 2012 and beyond. The Archos Android Tablet is proving that the momentum is strong and fast, at least in the dedicated Internet/Media device segment.

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