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Portables Hardware

Foxconn and Hon Hai Both Planning ARM Smartbooks 59

wonkavader writes "Tuesday was a good day for smartbook news. News articles from Sept. 8 tell us that both Foxconn and Hon Hai are developing ARM-based smartbooks. PC World reports that Foxconn's devices 'use a few different Linux operating systems, including one similar to the Intel-backed Moblin OS and one developed by Foxconn. The company is currently looking into Google's Android mobile OS for possible use as well.' Reuters reports that Hon Hai is also developing them. Hon Hai makes the iPhone and the Wii."
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Foxconn and Hon Hai Both Planning ARM Smartbooks

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  • by Melkman ( 82959 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @02:21PM (#29369065)
    Although ARM processors are very popular in mobile devices like phones and embedded devices, I haven't seen them much in general purpose devices after the Acorn machines (Archimedes etc.) If these smartbooks take off it could be a nice push for desktop Linux, as the only systems from Microsoft running on Arm are windows mobile and Win/CE, which both lack desktop applications.
  • by mikevdg ( 579538 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @06:04PM (#29372483)
    If you want an ARM netbook, get yourself a Touchbook [alwaysinnovating.com]. Its based on the BeagleBoard [beagleboard.org], runs Linux, and has a 10-hour battery life.

    Alternatively, there are these devices: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skytone_Alpha-400 [wikipedia.org]. These are MIPS-based (still a nice ISA), can run Linux and are the cheapest netbooks you can get. The best bet for getting one is to try an online auction site such as eBay and try searching for "MIPS", or the names that these cheapo devices go under.

  • by Kagetsuki ( 1620613 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @10:30PM (#29374511)
    I hate to tell you this, but the OMAP is a terrible architecture and the BeagleBoard just doesn't perform well due to how the OMAP works. Access to peripheral memory is atrocious, SVideo just doesn't work, the DVI signals don't conform to proper international standards, the graphics chip claims OpenGL ES 2.0 but the only way to get it to work is to screw around with some proprietary closed source blob and when you do use you all the sudden get flaky video performance, random crashes, and at least in my experience nothing more than 16 bit color. Personally I've been able to write GLES applications on my 930P (which uses a UniPhier and runs an embedded real time Linux) that well outperformed anything I could get going on the OMAP/BeagleBoard. But to be fair, if you want to see just how crummy the OMAP is spec it against the i.MX515, which is a direct competitor. See if you can find a single point where the OMAP comes close to outperforming the i.MX515, and if you can consider if that is a point actually matters in real world performance. Mind you I don't even like FreeScale, but I've seen in numbers and in first hand how terribly TI designed the OMAP and there's no way I'd ever choose it.

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson