Tag Archive | "pad"

How Fast is Moorestown for Browsing? Faster than an iPad? Does it Matter? Analysis and Simulated Test Video

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ipad_viliv In press events on Tuesday, Intel launched Moorestown and gave journalists their full marketing package on the smartphone and tablet-focused platform.  The key highlight was ‘performance’ and one element I want to focus on is Web browsing.

In tests I’ve been doing with many devices over the last 6 months using the SunSpider javascript benchmark, the Atom CPU, running at 1.3Ghz, whips the A4 CPU into the ground with a >3X speed advantage. Moorestown, with its 1.5Ghz clock looks to improve that to a 4x speed advantage according to the slide below. That’s a huge win for web-based applications implemented in AJAX.

Of course, javascript is only a component of the total time needed to fetch and render the average web page so I decided to do a real world test.

moorestown-web

To simulate how Moorestown would perform under web-browsing conditions I took the Intel Atom-based Viliv X70, a 7 inch tablet with a 1024×600 7 inch touchscreen running Windows XP Home, installed the latest Google Chrome, locked the CPU to 800Mhz and did some random web browsing tests. Remember that the Menlow platform used in the X70 is very close to the architecture used on Moorestown. The CPU are GPU are architecturally almost exactly the same. I side-by-sided it with an iPad which is, according to my tests with the Archos 5, X10 and HTC Desire (all running high-end ARM V7 architecture cores) the fastest ARM-based browser solution out there.

The video below shows that the browsing speed with the Viliv at 800Mhz is almost neck and neck. An 800Mhz Atom on a multi-tasking OS matches a 1Ghz A4 on a single-tasting OS. Ignore the UI and product, this is just a test of web page loading speed.

In the second part of the video I boosted the Atom CPU up to 1.3Ghz, the maximum on this platform, to simulate what would happen when a Moorestown smartphone ran at the highest clock-rate of 1.5Ghz. Remember the CPU and GPU architectures in Menlow and Moorestown are the same although Moorestown has a 200Mhz advantage here, can support faster memory and has a faster GPU clock.

The difference is very noticeable with the X70 rendering pages much more quickly, even with Flash enabled. Move to Firefox and disable flash and the difference is even bigger.

I see real-world advantages here. Faster, full Internet experience and a huge advantage for web-based applications and compressed or encoded content although it has to be said that in this high CPU-load scenario, battery drain on the Moorestown platform is likely to be slightly (although not considerably) more.

Remember, we’re ONLY comparing CPU platforms here and in this simulation, the Moorestown platform is showing great potential. It can deliver web pages, process script, decrypt HTTPS, GZIP and images much faster than the best ARM-based solution out there. It also adds multitasking and large memory support too. As a platform, if it delivers on the battery life claims, Moorestown is going to be a great, high-performance smartphone, tablet and even netbook option.

Recommended reading – Why social netbooks have a ‘lock-in’ opportunity. In this article I talk about key features of a smartbook. Many of these apply to a Moorestown/MeeGo-based product.

Recommended reading – Anandtech on Moorestown. Detailed with good background research and knowledge.

A tale of two Archos 5 Android owners

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Archos 5 Internet Tablet _32_ I love the Archos 5 Internet Tablet. Jenn of Pocketables, on the other hand, doesn’t and we’ve been having a to-and-fro on Twitter that’s worth extending here because  it shows how personal opinions can vary widly. We’ve challenged ourselves to write one paragraph on the A5 to say why we think what we think. Before that though, here are a few tweets that kicked the discussion off.

@Smith922 I’ve never had a 5, 6, 7, 9 or 10″ device that beats this around the house. @pocketables will give you a different view though.

@chippy You’re kidding! What about it beats other at-home devices for you? And do you *only* use it at home?

@pocketables yeah. The Archos 5 rarely leaves my home, just fits me perfectly. Quite stable now too. Might get digital a/v dock soon.

@chippy Stability has been OK on mine. I just can’t stand resistive screen, stock OSK, & “ungoogled” Android. Dell Streak, where are you?

@chippy The Archos 5IT is fantastic as a PMP (like previous gens) but I went in expecting an awesome Android MID, which for me it isn’t.

Remember that this is all personal, subjective opinion!

Here’s my summary:

The Archos 5 fits my consumer internet device requirements both physically, through form-factor and font-sizing through to OS and applications and succeeds in doing it in a way that is better than any other home experience I’ve had before. Battery life is fantastic, it looks good and it’s priced at an a level that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. My use-case is home-based Twitter, email, Google Reader, MP3 player, podcatcher, storage, TV-playback, YouTube, ebooks and of course, the browser that supports all the links you receive through email and social apps. When you get a URL through twitter, you want a fast browser to view it! It CAN be better (smoothness, stability, capacitive screen, 3G) but it doesn’t exist yet and that makes the Archos 5 unbeatable in my book.

For Jenn’s summary paragraph, see her post at Pocketables here

Any Archos 5 owners care to offer another one-paragraph perspective?

Dell Streak Leak Shows Roadmap and Accessories, Expensive Battery.

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More mobile internet device news leaking out from Dell today shows new information about the Dell Streak. [Info: Currently #1 on Carrypad.] As we’ve already heard, the launch timescales could be well into the summer but at least there are plans for accessories.

Before we talk about the accessories though, check out the roadmap for the Dell Mini 5 (at Engadget) which shows a Q3 to Q4 launch window. We suspect that it’s a wide window for carrier launches with 3G but the indication is that there will be a WiFi only version which should launch earlier based on the fact that no 3G certification will be needed. Our guess is that you’ll see that in the Dell shop from day one. Also on the roadmap is an indication that the Dell Mini 5 will get an upgrade to Android 2.1

Secondly, there’s a huge range of colors available indicating a young consumer target audience which should also mean aggressive pricing and high sales targets. Archos need to watch their backs carefully here, especially as the accessory kit looks like the box of bits and pieces I’ve got here with my 605 Wifi and Archos 5.

dell mini 5 accessories

Looking at the accessories I’m quite shocked to see the battery priced at $55. For a 5.5W battery that’s expensive although it does make me wonder if ‘kit’ means ‘extended battery.’ Somehow I’m doubting it.

Moving on we’ve got a set of in-ear plugs, a soft pouch and a few ‘kits’ for the car and the home theatre. This is where Dell steps right on Archos’ turf!

Full specs have been also been confirmed and show support for multiple video and audio codecs and a non user-accessible 2GB storage (user storage appears to be only via Micro SDHC card.)  The rest of the specs are in our database.

I think that about covers it but to be sure, check out all the images at Engadget.

Consumer Device Update from Carrypad

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allsmartdevices

If you’re the type of person that’s more interested in kicking back in a comfy chair with a coffee and your favorite internet sites and apps rather than looking to get productive with UMPCs, you’ll want to take a look at our sister publication, Carrypad. We’re focusing on consumer media and internet devices and building a database of all that’s interesting.

Here are some of the recent news highlights:

ICD Gemini Official Specs Confirmed. Comes in White Too! – Android-based 11.6 inch consumer tablet has awesome specs but it’s a Q4 device and there isn’t even a hint of a price.

JooJoo Review Reveals 2.5hr Battery Life. Move along please! – The JooJoo didn’t get a good review. We weren’t surprised.

Typing on the iPad – Ben has an iPad. Here’s one of his videos. Stay tuned to Carrypad for more iPad news.

iPad: What’s Bubbling To The Top? – Looking at the reviews for common threads. How’s the iPad doing? We’re not seeing too much rising up as ‘killer’ features.

Why The CIDs Will Suffer. – A thought about how the iPad could stall the market for consumer internet devices.

More Smart Delays – Dell Mini 5 and Lenovo Skylight get delayed.

ICD Gemini Official Specs Confirmed. Comes in White Too!

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We’ve acquired an an official PDF which confirms specification details for the ICD Gemini 11.6 inch Android Tablet. Engadget outed the details a few days ago so now we know the specs are real, we’ve added them all to our product database. Many seem to have missed the fact that the Tegra 2 powered device will be vastly more powerful than the iPad. 2-3 times more processing power (it’s a dual-core optimised Cortex CPU as opposed to the single-core version in the iPad) which means super-fast web rendering times and/or problem-free multitasking. Also missed is the fact that Google Marketplace is an ‘option’ on the device. That means ICD haven’t sealed the deal with Google yet and probably need the weight of a carrier agreement behind them before that can be sorted out. It’s a significant issue because without it, the device isn’t half as interesting.

Full specifications are now in our database along with images that we’ve picked up. Those are also shown below.

 

ICDGemini-specs ICDGemini ICD Gemini

ICD Gemini (2) ICD Gemini (1)

The confirmed specifications come just as Stuff, a UK publication, reports on their hands-on session (Via NdevilTV) with the device. They seem very happy…

The Gemini’s built-in stereo speakers sound superb – much better than iPad’s single, tinny tweeter…

Web browsing is even smoother than the Nexus One – blisteringly fast page renders, smooth scrolling, speedy rotation and full Flash support.

It all bodes well for basic specs but time, price and that Google app-suite and marketplace are all as yet, unknown.

ICD Ultra Alternatives: Click for a list of similar devices.

Why The CIDs Will Suffer.

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Written, 29th-31st March.

When the iPhone launched, it entered a pre-existing smartphone market. It was a great event for consumers because manufacturers in that market were forced to play catch-up which meant great options and deals for customers. In the Consumer Internet Device space of the iPad, the landscape is different. This time round Apple have stepped into a relatively new market and set up shop alone. There they sit with their complete product offering (at a great price) and wait for competitors. They’re likely to be waiting a long time because the iPad outshines anything we’ve seen in prototype form from anyone else by a huge margin and it would be safe to assume that every financial director responsible for a consumer handheld product has put the brakes on their own products. It means that instead of manufacturers increasing their efforts to put new devices out there, many of the new products will get held up, or even canned. For the smaller companies like ICD, Fusion Garage and Notion Ink, this could be catastrophic as investors re-asses the opportunity. If they are lucky, some of the prototype products will end up going back to the drawing board where the system integrators will be pondering long and strong over their app-stores and content offerings. The big problem here though is that there isn’t an OS or application ecosystem out there that can compete. I can’t think of any worthy alternative to the iPhone /iPad OS right now.

Forget any unknown (outside geek circles) Linux distributions because they lack a reputable app-store or focused developer community. Forget Maemo, Moblin or MeeGo because they won’t be ready until much later in the year. Forget any new unknown proprietary OS because the customer won’t trust it and the developers won’t be interested. Forget Windows 7 because it’s a big fat heavy blob that can’t keep up with finger-driven social, photo and location-aware applications. Even Android isn’t good enough and it’s worth discussing why.

I use Android on a daily basis and enjoy it a lot. The Archos 5 is a fantastic internet device but it highlights why Android is useless. Android doesn’t have a marketplace. The Android you’re thinking of is ‘Google’  Android and it makes a huge difference to the product.

The Marketplace and other closed-source, approval-required Google apps is what makes Android tick and any Android tablet that tries to enter the marketplace without it is committing suicide. The disappointment experienced by people when they can’t sync their mail or even populate their contacts application, access Google Maps, Buzz and other key apps will kill any momentum a device ever had. The problem is, these manufacturers are finding it difficult to get the marketplace and add it into Android. Google don’t appear to be  ready to expand outside the smartphone arena.  Maybe they’re scared of splintering Android. More splintering of the platform could upset developers and cause more application incompatibility problems and that would be an even bigger problem.

Mobinnova Beam, Archos 7 Home Tablet, Compaq AirLife 100 and other devices that I can’t talk about here are all going to hit a brick wall if they don’t get that app-store sorted out.

Right now, there isn’t an easy solution unless you’re a huge company with influence. Someone like Dell can make an oversize phone called the Dell Mini 5 and invest in the carrier deals, licensing, firmware support and certification processes that make Marketplace possible. That’s one product out of, what, 50 or so tablets, MIDs and smartbooks that we’ve seen at Computex, CES, CeBIT, MWC, CTIA and other shows. Even HP Compaq haven’t been able to achieve it with the AirLife.

If I was building a tablet I’d be praying for Google to free-up that marketplace and app-suite and I would be praying that my investors didn’t pull out during the waiting period. That waiting period is unknown right now and investors really don’t like broken critical paths without a fix date.

The iPad has already conquered this new market and consumers looking for an alternative handheld device will have to wait and pray that Google, Nokia and Intel; with their Marketplace, OVI and AppUp stores, accelerate their work and get a solution to the integrators before time runs out.  Palm’s WebOS could be an option to look at too.

Watch out for Archos in the summer because their PMP, MID and tablet strategy hinges 100% on Android. If it comes with Marketplace, we can all  breath again. If not, we might as well all buy an iPad and have some fun while we wait for 2011.

CID = Consumer Internet Device.

JKK Hands-On with the Archos 7 Home Tablet.

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We’ve had one video from Charbax so far and we have to say we’re quite impressed at the price/performance ratio on the newly-announced Archos 7 Home Tablet [Information.] Here’s a new video from JKKMobile that will give you another feel for how the device is looking, feeling and performing.

Source: JKKMobile.

EviGroup Improves on 10″ Pad to launch Paddle

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You wouldn’t want to be left up the creak without this now would you!

EviGroup launched the Evigroup Pad last October and have been busy since then to try and improve on the design. The result is a multitouch, SSD-capable version called the ‘Paddle.’

paddle

paddle2

Available for 699 Euro (estimated April to June availability) the Paddle will come with a new software layer called ‘Scale’ (see video below) which promises to make organising and viewing your documents and media a lot easier. Certainly a large touchscreen helps to get a good overview like this so we’ll be interested to see exactly how well it is implemented come launch time.

Other improvements include an optional Wifi antenna (great for stealing the Wifi from others in press conferences!!) and discreet positioning of microphone and web cam. Battery capacity is unknown at this stage but we’re suspecting the battery can’t be more than 25-30wh meaning 3-4hrs max battery life on this 1.6Ghz Intel Atom / Windows 7 HP platform.

scale http://hypranet.org/nrnet/seline/blog/images/paddle/photos/IMG_0950416.jpg

Clearly this is going to compete head-to-head with devices like the Archos 9 and the Netbook Navigator Nav 9 but you’ll also have to consider the ASUS T91 MT and slightly heavier ASUS EeePC T101 MT, Lenovo S10-3T and  and Viliv S10 which include a keyboard for much the same price.

Evigroup Blog (French) (Translation)

Nav 9 Multitouch Tablet. Pricing and Full Specifications Updated.

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Image_01-Front When the news about the Nav 9 (then the 8192NN) first hit last month there was a lot of negative feedback about a $1200 asking price. We held back from reporting the story, instead choosing to contact the guys at Netbook Navigator to see what was going on. Since then we’ve had a good back-and-forth about specifications, pricing and target markets and as a result of all the feedback they’ve had, Netbook Navigator have re-positioned their product with a much lower entry point. You still get the multi-touch (resistive) screen, Windows Home Premium and 16GB SSD (which is going to be tight for Win 7) but the entry level pricing is a much more interesting $799.

Details, specs, gallery, links on the Netbook Navigator Nav 9 in our database.

Clearly there are many that will be comparing this to a $499 iPad (funny that the Apple product is lowering the pricing bar!) but remember that this is a productivity-focused tablet with support for everything you’re used to on your desktop. Yes, your USB printer will work, Skype, Bluetooth and USB keyboards and you’ll get full Adobe Flash support for YouTube support up to HQ mode.

Others will be comparing it to the ASUS T91 MT and at $484, no-one can argue with the serious competition that Netbook Navigator have there. [Sidenote: Anyone got the T91 MT? If so, let us know how you’re getting on with it.]

Image_07-CaseOpen

You’ll pay for all this multitasking flexibility with a very poor 2.5hr battery life but there’s a factory option ($50) for a large capacity (x1.5) battery. 3G and large SSD options also exist.

Personally, I’m not a large format tablet fan and would not look forward to multi-touching this 2lb device while holding it in one hand but, as with everything, there’s always a customer out there and if the build quality is good, this lowers the entry point for sub 1KG multi-touch tablets nicely. Battery life needs to be improved to 4hrs minimum on the next round of these devices though.

Source: Netbook Navigator.

8 Minute iPad Marketing Video.

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ipad-side

We shouldn’t be surprised that the Ipad is going to set new standards for user interfaces on a tablet-style device and that it allows you to access media in such a intuitive and fun way but somehow, it’s exciting and new to see it all happen. This video gives you a good overview from the marketing department’s perspective!

Archos 7” Android Tablet appears for iPad-killer Price.

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The Archos 5 Internet Tablet is already a great bit of kit but if you’re looking something a little bit bigger, more sofa friendly and with a few more features a 7 inch version makes sense.

Data-mind.co.uk, a wholesale distributer for Archos products has a new Archos 7 Android listed in their catalogue for an amazing 127.65 UK Pounds. (Trade price, before tax = about 200-250 pounds retail price.) If the Apple tablet appears for around 600-pounds (we’ll find out later – join me at UMPCPortal.com/live for chat), it better have something extremely special on board!

archos7

Obvious enhancements are stereo speakers, web cam and CD-input. An 800×480 resolution isn’t as high as it could be but is still going to work out well for the Android operating system (and means Appslib devs don’t have to make two versions of Android apps) and will make web sites and ebooks a bit more comfortable to read. Thumbing the on screen keyboard will be easier in portrait mode but more difficult in landscape mode.

Size-wise we’re looking at a very light and slim 203x107x12 mm which is going to be maybe 100gm more than the original Archos 5 Internet Tablet. Under 300gm!

We assume that the platform is the same Ti-OMAP 3-series delivering that same good experience as we see on the Archos 5 (full review)

archos7-2

Yes, this could be a fake but it makes so much sense for Archos to push out a 7 inch version that even if it is a fake, I’d expect it to happen soon anyway. That just leaves a 3G version of the A5 (with slider keyboard please!) and then Archos will have one of the most interesting range of ‘smart’ devices yet.

Hat-tip to JKK. Source: ArchosFans.

Archos 7” Android Tablet appears for iPad-killer Price.

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The Archos 5 Internet Tablet is already a great bit of kit but if you’re looking something a little bit bigger, more sofa friendly and with a few more features a 7” version makes sense.

Data-mind.co.uk, a wholesale distributer for Archos products has a new Archos 7 Android listed in their catalogue for an amazing 127.65 UK Pounds. (Trade price, before tax = about 200-250 pounds retail price.) If the Apple tablet appears for around 600-pounds (we’ll find out later – join me at UMPCPortal.com/live for chat), it better have something extremely special on board!

archos7

Obvious enhancements are stereo speakers, web cam and CD-input. An 800×480 resolution isn’t as high as it could be but is still going to work out well for the Android operating system (and means Appslib devs don’t have to make two versions of Android apps) and will make web sites and ebooks a bit more comfortable to read. Thumbing the on screen keyboard will be easier in portrait mode but more difficult in landscape mode.

Size-wise we’re looking at a very light and slim 203x107x12 mm which is going to be maybe 100gm more than the original Archos 5 Internet Tablet. Under 300gm!

We assume that the platform is the same Ti-OMAP 3-series delivering that same good experience as we see on the Archos 5 (full review)

archos7-2

Yes, this could be a fake but it makes so much sense for Archos to push out a 7” version that even if it is a fake, I’d expect it to happen soon anyway. That just leaves a 3G version of the A5 (with slider keyboard please!) and then Archos will have one of the most interesting range of ‘smart’ devices yet.

Hat-tip to JKK. Source: ArchosFans.

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