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Portables Hardware

First Android/ARM Netbook To Cost $250, Maker Says 92

ericatcw writes "There was a flurry of excitement earlier this week when the first Google Android netbook, the Skytone Alpha 680, was spotted by Slashdotters. Now, Computerworld has scored an exclusive interview with Skytone's co-founder. Among many tidbits, he reveals that the Alpha 680 builds upon the success of last year's $180 Alpha 400, which shipped 100,000 units, mostly in Europe under names such as Elonex OneT; that the new Alpha 680 will weigh 1.5 pounds, 25% less than the first Eee 701 netbook; that its ARM11 chip (basically the same as the one used in the iPhone) can handle YouTube video; and that he hopes to have Chinese manufacturing partners producing the $250 Alpha 680 within 3 months."
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First Android/ARM Netbook To Cost $250, Maker Says

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  • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

    by TeknoHog ( 164938 ) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @05:02PM (#27716021) Homepage Journal

    As far as I understand, purpose of a Netbook is having Windows or Linux with a huge set of software selection/support (thanks to x86) instead of a Smart device.

    This really only applies to Windows. The huge selection of Linux software is open source. Opera is the odd one out, being closed source for Linux.

    I'm running Linux on x86, x86-64, PPC and ARM, and thanks to open source I can run pretty much any software I want on any of these platforms. I'm running the same things on embedded appliances, desktops/laptops and supercomputers. Of course, some things are not practical on the embedded ones. But this just means I can choose the platform on actual technical merits like memory and CPU speed, rather than the availability of closed binaries.

  • by kandresen ( 712861 ) on Saturday April 25, 2009 @06:44PM (#27716761)

    Skype so far does not support anything but 32 bit Intel based linux distributions. This is one of those things again where you want a open source alternative.

    Adobe flash have the same problem - I cannot run neither Skype or Adobe flash on my ppc based mac mini running Ubuntu 9.04. That said, flash work fine for Youtube using Gnash/Gstreamer or Swfdec. But these does not support the full Flash 9/10 functionality... Youtube works apparently flawlessly, but other sites may not work as well. Netbook providers will likely have a hard time to get Skype provide additional binaries for Skype. Flash they can deal with by supporting Gnash, Swfdec, or convince Adobe to provide additional binaries (good luck)...

  • > Skype so far does not support anything but 32 bit Intel based linux distributions.

    Skype already supports the Nokia Maemo platform. Maemo is Linux with a mutant Gtk/GNOME stack. So if there is a major OEM wanting Skype on a Linux/ARM based netbook it will be there.

    > Adobe flash have the same problem - I cannot run neither Skype or Adobe flash on my ppc based mac

    Adobe doesn't care about PPC anymore but they care about ARM. They have a full Flash solution for Linux/ARM, again probably because Nokia needed it for their tablets. Adobe, despite being banned from the iPhone, doesn't plan on being left out of the smartphone marketplace. They just don't make it a free download, they charge money for the ARM port. If lots of netbooks show up and folks start running generic Linux distros on them it will be interesting to see if Adobe adds free ARM binaries to their repositories, especially with Gnash nipping at their heels.

"We Americans, we're a simple people... but piss us off, and we'll bomb your cities." -- Robin Williams, _Good Morning Vietnam_