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Portables Hardware

Freescale Unveils Design For $199 Tablet 173

theodp writes "Freescale Semiconductor has designs on new smartbook tablet computers, and to prove it, it's rolling out a second-generation reference design at the Consumer Electronics Show. For under $200, Freescale envisions an instant-on device with persistent connectivity and all-day battery life with the following additional features: 7" (1024 x 600) touch screen, Freescale i.MX515 processor (based on ARM Cortex-A8 core), 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, 3G modem (optional), 512 MB DDR2 memory, 4GB to 64GB internal storage, removable micro SD, 3 Mpixel camera (video up to VGA 30fps), 3-axis accelerometer, ambient light sensor, Adobe Flash support, Android or Linux OS."
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Freescale Unveils Design For $199 Tablet

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  • And that's a good thing. Google's "netbook" was going to be too locked-down. Not able to install any software locally, not able to run anything not approved by and signed by google, and any attempt to change it resulting in the welfarebook re-imaging itself.
  • by compass46 ( 259596 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @02:11PM (#30643582)

    I remember reading about this about a year ago. Does anyone actually have one? Similar idea with a bigger screen but a little more expensive. []

  • What about the A9? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by roe-roe ( 930889 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @02:16PM (#30643680) Homepage
    I have been waiting, as patiently as I can, for ARM based netbooks with the A9 chip. The ARM integrators have a window of opportunity to effect the netbook/smartbook market significantly. The current Intel Atom offerings are, IMHO, not very good. The licenced Cortex-A9 chip can compete with the Atom processor on a purely performance basis, and blow the pants off of the atom processor on a performance/power ratio. By delaying, Intel is slowly closing the power and performance gaps with new generation Atom processors. Once Intel gets close enough, the ability for ARM based machines to impact the market will be gone.

    I fully understand that it takes time to bring the A9 to market, and a chip that can't run windows (I'm not including WinCE) has little appeal in the broader market. On the other hand, if integrators are going to put time and money behind new ARM products why use the A8? I long for when I can get my 2ghz dual-core ARM netbook with a 10" screen and all the connectivity I can think of.
  • Two points (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @02:22PM (#30643776)
    1) Reference design != product
    2) Cost of $199 is based on Freescale's projected cost of components, meaning actual cost to consumers would be higher (probably closer to the rumored $300 iSlate price)
    However, if you add a tie-in to a decent eBook/mp3/video vendor, this device could have a decent niche market. In fact, it could adopt the cellphone business model and be given away for "free" with a commitment to a monthly subscription fee. Would you pay $20/month for two years for this if it included content?
  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Monday January 04, 2010 @02:49PM (#30644138) Homepage Journal

    [Chrome OS] apps just need to run through your browser and come in from a remote server.

    Chrome OS will also support installing JavaScript apps to local storage through HTML 5's offline features. But does it run WebGL? And does it allow changing playback rate and volume of audio?

  • by FlyingBishop ( 1293238 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @03:03PM (#30644312)

    There's a good chance it will run full-fledged Java apps running on the Dalvik virtual machines. There's no reason to worry about its flexibility before you can even buy a machine that runs it.

  • by compass46 ( 259596 ) on Monday January 04, 2010 @03:38PM (#30644758)

    Sweet, I've been mostly looking for a glorified PDF reader and toy to hack around with. The Touchbook looks pretty versatile as something to hack around with.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 04, 2010 @04:02PM (#30645092)

    ...The only group of people for whom such a tablet is optimized for input are artists, more specifically people that draw....

    Don't forget students. Using a tablet PC is excellent. I take all my notes on my tablet. My notes are much better when I have 'paper' that expands in all directions, can move segments of notes around, and easily switch between any color. I don't use hand writing recognition software as I can read my own handwriting.

    I store all my notes from each class in its own file. These are easier to manage compared to binders of physical pages.

    With all my notes in the tablet PC, I download and store all the text books too. Carrying a tablet PC around instead of a bunch of folders and books is great. No risk of forgetting a book or assignment at home and the total weight and size is much, much less.

    To all those who will be entering college this year and take hand written notes, I strongly recommend getting some type of table PC for school.

IN MY OPINION anyone interested in improving himself should not rule out becoming pure energy. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.