Freescale’s tablet smartbook with dockable keyboard hands-on

January 9, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Freescale tablet smartbookEarlier in the week, Freescale announced a $200 tablet reference design that it hopes will come to the market via an OEM partner as early as this Summer. The tablet has a 7-inch (1024 x 600) display and is powered by the i.MX515 processor (including the ARM Cortex A8 chip), 512MB RAM and 4-64 GB of flash storage.

A number of publications went hands-on during CES this week with a mixed reception. The UI tended to be a bit laggy but the resistive touchscreen worked well. The build quality also wasn’t great and neither was the keyboard according to some reports.

Interestingly, there is an optional ($50) docking keyboard that the tablet slides right into turning it into a quasi-netbook. However, the dock keeps the display at one angle and can’t be folded over, so it’s only real use will be on a desk. Check out some videos of the device in action after the break. Read more

Qualcomm prepping 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon 8X72 chip

January 8, 2010 at 10:23 am

Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250Qualcomm is planning on launching at least two new Snapdragon chipsets this year. The first is a 45nm version of the current Snapdragon, the 8X50A, which will have a 1.3GHz clock speed. It will be offered to OEMs later this month and products are expected by the end of the year.

Also, just before the year end, Qualcomm will launch the 8X72, a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon chipset to be used in upcoming smartbooks and maybe some high-end smartphones. The chip will be capable of encoding 1080p HD video content.

Via Hexus.

Nvidia Tegra 2 officially announced; 4x the power of its predecessor

January 7, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Nvidia Tegra 2 Nvidia has formally announced the 40nm Tegra 2 chipset. The new chip combines a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor (running up to 1GHz speeds) with Nvidia graphics to create a platform expected to be used in a number of HD tablets, smartbooks and smartphones launching this year.

As you would expect, Tegra 2 can stream 1080p video, has HDMI-out and benefits from Flash Player 10.1 hardware acceleration. It does all this with an all day battery life. According to Nvidia, Tegra can deliver over 16 hours of HD video (140 hours of music) on a single charge – astonishing if true. Read more

HP demos Snapdragon-powered Android smartbook prototype

January 7, 2010 at 12:39 pm

HP demos Snapdragon-powered Android smartbookHP is showing off a new concept smartbook over at CES in Las Vegas. The smartbook is powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon (QSD8250) chipset and is loaded up with the Android operating system. It also has a 10-inch resistive touchscreen display

As with other smartbooks it has 3G and WiFi for always-on connectivity. In terms of exterior, this is no Lenovo Skylight, not a surprise given it’s a prototype. The chassis used looks almost the same as the current HP Mini netbooks. There are no other details for now, but check out some hands-on videos after the break. Read more

Shootout: 1.6GHz Intel Atom vs. 500MHz dual-core Cortex A9 [Video]

January 6, 2010 at 10:38 pm

1.6GHz Intel Atom vs. 500MHz dual-core Cortex A9 For those doubting the threat that ARM poses to Intel in the portable space should watch the following video. It shows a 1.6GHz Intel Atom netbook pitted against a 500MHz dual-core Cortex A9 development board in a browser rendering test.

Both devices are running the same operating system, using the same browser and are running on the same corporate network. Whilst you may expect the ARM chip to severely lag the Atom, it’s amazing to see how close it keeps up to Intel’s CPU (especially as the Atom platform has integrated graphics which is lacking on the Cortex A9). Smartphones with the power of netbooks coming soon? Check out the video after the break. Read more

Marvell flaunts skinny 12.1-inch ODM smartbook capable of 1080p video

January 6, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Marvell SmartbookMarvell, the semiconductor company, is showing off a smartbook reference design that looks like it could turn a few heads if launched. The 12.1-inch device is powered by its Armada 510 processor with a V7 ARM core running up to 1.2-GHz and is one of the skinniest yet for such a screen size.

This smartbook is also solidly built according to reports. It comes with a full-sized keyboard and will have a 4-hour battery life. The talk is of a $200 price point for the device, which has been reached by lowering the rated battery used within. The smartbook being shown off runs Ubuntu and can play 1080p movies. It even has a mini-HDMI port to output video. Check out some hands-on videos after the break. Read more

Lenovo’s Ideapad U1 Hybrid converts from 11.6” CULV to tablet

January 5, 2010 at 9:17 am

Lenovo Ideapad U1 HybridLenovo has announced an interesting new form-factor that bears a similarity to Always Innovating’s TouchBook. The Ideapad U1 Hybrid is effectively an 11.6-inch (1366 x 768) multi-touch tablet device that docks into a traditional laptop design. When paired the U1 runs off the Intel CULV processor and when in tablet mode, it is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset.

The U1 Hybrid comes with 4GB RAM (512MB in tablet mode) and can support a 128GB SSD (16GB is used for the tablet). Other features include two USB ports, eSATA, VGA, HDMI, 4-in-1 card reader, and a 1.3MP webcam. The operating system is catered for by Windows 7 when using as a laptop and Lenovo’s custom Linux OS in tablet mode (probably the same that will be used in the Lenovo Skylight smartbook). Read more

Freescale unveils $200 7-inch smartbook tablet reference design

January 4, 2010 at 11:36 am

Freescale Smartbook TabletWe expect to see a whole raft of smartbook devices at CES this week. Right on cue, Freescale has revealed a 7-inch (1024 x 600) tablet reference design that it is shopping to potential OEMs. The company hopes that its tablet design would be able to hit retail for less than $200 and could appear as soon as Summer 2010.

As with all smartbooks, the tablet is expected to be always-on and have an all-day battery life. In terms of specifics, the smartbook tablet is based on the i.MX515 processor, which incorporates the ARM Cortex A8 chip. It will also come with 512MB RAM and 4-64 GB of flash storage. Read more

Lenovo Skylight smartbook lands in April for $499 with AT&T

January 3, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Lenovo SkylightLenovo is set to announce the Skylight smartbook at CES next week. The tipster who gave us a heads-up on the Ideapad S10-3t has given us the first details of the new smartbook.

The Lenovo Skylight is the company’s first smartbook, powered by the ARM-based Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset. It will launch in the US in April, where one will be able to purchase the Skylight on a standalone basis through for $499 or on a two-year AT&T 3G data contract. The Skylight will then be available in Europe and China later in 2010. Read more

Twenty companies to release smartbooks from Q1 2010

December 28, 2009 at 9:24 pm

SmartbookWe have been waiting for the smartbook revolution to take hold for some time now. Well it looks like it will kick off in earnest from the first quarter of next year. According to President Kim Yung-sup of ARM Korea, “20 companies in the world are preparing for release of smart book. And we will see them from 1Q.”

He went on to say: “Already one company finished development and is considering time of release. Considering local market which is led by window OS, smart book market will be led by overseas.”

We expect to see the first details of the smartbook rollout at CES 2010, which is kicking off in a few weeks time. We are very much looking forward to seeing exactly what’s on offer.

Via etnews.

Google branded Chrome OS netbook on the horizon?

December 17, 2009 at 10:34 am

Google Chrome OS netbookWhilst it is looking ever more likely that Google will be releasing its own branded Android smartphone called the Nexus One, it appears that they may be planning something similar for netbooks with Chrome OS.

According to TechCrunch sources, Google has “been talking to at least one hardware manufacturer about building a netbook for Google directly.” The idea is that these Chrome OS netbooks will be Google branded and would release in time for Christmas 2010. The netbooks (or smartbooks) will be mobile enabled and subsidized via wireless carriers. Read more

Nvidia prepping Tegra 2 announcement for CES 2010

December 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Nvidia TegraNvidia’s Tegra chipset is similar to ION but differs in that it marries an ARM-based processor with an Nvidia GeForce GPU whereas ION pairs an Intel Atom CPU instead. The benefits of the Tegra SoC (system-on-chip) includes the ability to handle 1080p video, HD Flash, GPS, Wi-Fi, 3G and a huge battery life. All of this while being very energy efficient.

However, Tegra hasn’t taken off as well as Nvidia would have hoped. It is used in the Zune HD but not too many other high profile products. In response to this, Nvidia is set to announce the second-generation Tegra chipset at CES in January. Tegra 2 is believed to be twice as powerful as the original and run on a 40nm dual-core ARM processor. A number of new devices sporting the Tegra 2 chipset are expected to appear at CES 2010. Read more

Vendors to push higher margin 12-inch netbooks in 2010

November 28, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Trending upThe definition of a netbook has changed somewhat since the first 7-inch Eee PC appeared just over two years ago. There has been a gradual trend upwards in display sizes, with 10-inch netbooks being the common standard. However, with 11.6-inch and 12.1-inch models released in the second half of this year, this segment is expected to get a big push from manufacturers in 2010 according to Digitimes.

This doesn’t mean 10-inch netbooks will disappear, however manufacturers will position them as entry-level devices to compete against the emergence of ARM-based smartbooks. Models with touchscreen displays will be displayed towards the mid-range market, whilst the 12-inch models are expected to drive profits. Read more

Inventec Tegra-powered smartbook gets video hands-on

November 22, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Inventec TegraInventec has shown off a new smartbook that sports the Nvidia Tegra T600 chipset. It boasts a boot time of around ten seconds and supports 1080p video playback using just 1W of power.

NetbookNews managed to get close-up with the Inventec smartbook and looks at the Windows CE boot time. Inventec is an ODM so if the device hits the market it will most likely come under a different name. Check out the video after the jump. Read more

Quanta Android smartbook unveiled [Video]

November 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Quanta Android smartbookQualcomm held a press event in London today, where it showed off different devices using its Snapdragon chipset. One of these was an Android smartbook from OEM Quanta. The fanless prototype is based on the Snapdragon chip and therefore very slimline.

The keyboard has been reconfigured to allow one-touch access to the homescreen, programs menu, applications and settings (such as 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth). However, it did suffer from flex. Qualcomm confirmed that Lenovo’s smartbook will be even thinner with curvier edges. Check out a hands-on video from Slashgear after the break. Read more

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