Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Nov 2010 22:13 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Usually, the only live press events which garner any attention are those by Apple, and sometimes those by Microsoft. This time around, though, Acer's been the center of attention, and it has paid off: the company has unveiled a boatload of interesting hardware - including a dual-screen laptop, a high-resolution Android phone, and several tablets.
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Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

I usually don't use my smartphone for video. I have a heavy immobile entertainment system for that. it will be great for ... Looking at text, websites, spreadsheets, pictures, applications. The bigger resolution holds no draw backs for those.

Reply Score: 3

Where are the ARM netbooks?
by ozonehole on Wed 24th Nov 2010 01:16 UTC
ozonehole
Member since:
2006-01-07

Is it just me, or is anybody else sick of hearing about more tablets? It's a product that should have died with the Newton (remember those?). I've been waiting two years for the promised ARM-based netbooks, and none are in sight. All the manufacturers said we'd have them in late 2009 or early 2010, but then Apple released a tablet computer (why didn't they call it the iNewton?) and now that is suddenly the rage.

I guess that whatever Apple makes, the fanboys will take out a second mortgage to buy it whether they want it or not. Then the Taiwanese clone it and the Herd will follow. I just wonder what the next great new old product will be - perhaps one of those online "smart" refrigerators that were touted during the dotcom bubble:

Forget the Shopping List, Let the Fridge Order the Milk
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/fo...

I can see it now - the iFridge with a 16-core ARM processor, yours for only US$18,000. Then ASUS will release an Android-based eeeFridge and Acer will market the AspireFridge One, both of which boast triple-monitors (you can read an ebook on one, play games on the other, while Net surfing on the third).

Sorry if that sounds like sour grapes, but I'm pissed that absolutely no one delivered the netbooks. Yes, I know I can buy an eeePC. In fact, I've had one since 2008. The idea of going to ARM though was longer battery life, and (far more important to me) fanless operation. I live in a dusty environment and fans have always been the weak spot. Ironically, I used to own an excellent fanless laptop back in the early 1990s (Toshiba T1000), but it only ran MS-DOS and lacked graphics or connectivity.

I guess if I want to own an ARM-based computer, I've got to build it myself. Anybody know where I can buy the motherboard?

Edited 2010-11-24 01:29 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE: Where are the ARM netbooks?
by indieinvader on Wed 24th Nov 2010 01:57 UTC in reply to "Where are the ARM netbooks?"
indieinvader Member since:
2009-08-11
RE: Where are the ARM netbooks?
by lemur2 on Wed 24th Nov 2010 02:26 UTC in reply to "Where are the ARM netbooks?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Is it just me, or is anybody else sick of hearing about more tablets? It's a product that should have died with the Newton (remember those?). I've been waiting two years for the promised ARM-based netbooks, and none are in sight.


http://netbooked.net/blog/pioneer-launches-10.1-via-arm-based-dream...

Slow and cheap, but still an ARM-based netbook.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Where are the ARM netbooks?
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 24th Nov 2010 02:29 UTC in reply to "Where are the ARM netbooks?"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I agree, this "tablet" shit is getting annoying. Hell, every fad Apple introduces gets annoying (often before their product is even released), and so do all the people who just won't shut up about it (and honestly, this includes articles on websites--I don't give a damn about Apple's gadgets, and it's annoying when they're the only "news"...). I also would like an ARM-based netbook. Or even a MIPS one. SOMETHING.

But it's got to have a decent keyboard and screen. By that, I mean something much more than a crappy phone-style 2" screen (netbook-size at least), no stupid slide-out micro-keyboards (or micro keyboards of any kind, for that matter), and no touchscreen crap. Unless the touchscreen is a second and *alternative* way of interacting with with the interface, not the primary--then touchscreen capability is acceptable.

I'm not into using touchscreens as a primary interface, and I'd rather use a typewriter than a miniature cell phone keyboard or touchscreen keyboard any day. All the processing power and memory in the world is pointless if a product's usability is destroyed by bad input methods and configurations--I'll take a keyboard and touchpad/mouse any day. Or hell, even keyboard and touchscreen would even be decent. Or better yet--keyboard, touchpad, and optional touchscreen.

I'm about to give up waiting for ARM though; I figured that might be my chance to get a nice new, power-efficient, small and silent netbook without having to buy Windows yet again in the process. But come on... seriously... broken promises leading to no news. Apparently with the upcoming release of Duke Nukem Forever, ARM-based netbooks will be the new flagship example of vaporware.

I just can't get excited about a two-screen touchscreen-capable laptop with no keyboard. Sorry Acer.

Edit: I just read lemur's post. Bleh... that thing looks like it was designed in Apple's headquarters, except for the black keys. And it's apparently slow as hell. Pass.

Edited 2010-11-24 02:34 UTC

Reply Score: 4

vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

Apparently with the upcoming release of Duke Nukem Forever, ARM-based netbooks will be the new flagship example of vaporware.

Don't so fast in forgetting about GNU HURD!

Reply Score: 5

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

You make a point. I knew I was forgetting something...

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Don't so fast in forgetting about GNU HURD!


Lol. But, Hurd isn't vaporware, since there is actually something existing. I like to call projects like the Hurd promiseware, i.e. they promise and promise that it's going to be soooooo awesome and will make everything better, bring world peace, etc... but nothing *useful* ever comes out of it. It's a bit different than vaporware, since vaporware are products that are talked about but don't actually exist at all.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Don't so fast in forgetting about GNU HURD!
Lol. But, Hurd isn't vaporware, since there is actually something existing. I like to call projects like the Hurd promiseware, i.e. they promise and promise that it's going to be soooooo awesome and will make everything better, bring world peace, etc... but nothing *useful* ever comes out of it. It's a bit different than vaporware, since vaporware are products that are talked about but don't actually exist at all. "

Not only does it exist, but it is shipping!

I'm not exactly sure why anyone would want to, but you definitely can download, install and run it if you do want to:

http://www.debian.org/ports/hurd/
http://www.debian.org/ports/hurd/hurd-install
http://www.debian.org/ports/hurd/hurd-cd

Not vapourware at all.

Reply Score: 2

vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

My bad then. Apologies expressed.

Reply Score: 2

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

"Run" is a little questionable, but I agree. This is the second time I've seen the "GNU HURD VAPORWARE HAH" joke in recent days around here, and it conveniently ignores the fact that, you know, a HURD-based distribution actually exists. Even if it's nor particularly good. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Where are the ARM netbooks?
by dagw on Wed 24th Nov 2010 13:43 UTC in reply to "Where are the ARM netbooks?"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Toshiba AC100. 10.1" screen, 900g and sleek design.

Unfortunately it runs a customized Android 2.1 which is pretty useless according to most reviews. Fortunately there seems to be some steps towards getting a normal Linux distro running on it: http://www.linux-netbook.com/video/ubuntu-1010-demoed-on-a-toshiba-...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Where are the ARM netbooks?
by big_gie on Wed 24th Nov 2010 14:53 UTC in reply to "Where are the ARM netbooks?"
big_gie Member since:
2006-01-04

Forget the Shopping List, Let the Fridge Order the Milk
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/fo...

I can see it now - the iFridge with a 16-core ARM processor, yours for only US$18,000. Then ASUS will release an Android-based eeeFridge and Acer will market the AspireFridge One, both of which boast triple-monitors (you can read an ebook on one, play games on the other, while Net surfing on the third).


Enlightenment... Now Running On Refrigerators
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ODgxOQ
:D

Reply Score: 1

Silverlight on the tablet
by arbour42 on Wed 24th Nov 2010 01:41 UTC
arbour42
Member since:
2005-07-06

Huh, with silverlight supporting multi-touch, can I write Silverlight (or wpf) apps for this WP7 tablet? That would be fantastic.

I've been studying iPhone-iPad development, and so far find the silverlight model more powerful and easier - especially with data binding (and tying the data back to the server via WCF RIA services).

How is Windows 7 customized? I doubt like the Metro style with Windows Phone. This could be very interesting, and probably cheaper than Apple.

Guess the thing to do is to keep studying silverlight and cocoa touch... Thanks for this article.

Edited 2010-11-24 01:44 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Acer
by Neolander on Wed 24th Nov 2010 05:31 UTC
Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Hmmm... I've played with two Acer laptop in the past. They both had a natural tendency to overheat and suddenly shut down due to poor heat flow design and were filled with even more annoying crapware than the norm. Cheap products have a price.

Add up to this that I like touchscreens just as much as the previous posters and... Meh.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Acer
by darknexus on Wed 24th Nov 2010 08:07 UTC in reply to "Acer"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Hmmm... I've played with two Acer laptop in the past. They both had a natural tendency to overheat and suddenly shut down due to poor heat flow design and were filled with even more annoying crapware than the norm. Cheap products have a price.


Indeed. I've had the same experiences with Acer as you, and I'd be hesitant from these experiences to purchase an Acer product again. The overheating annoyed me way more than the crapware, since I had an easy solution to the crapware problem: disk wipe. I've replaced a lot of fans in Acer machines and, while it's never particularly difficult, I've always noted the poor design of their cases. It's not just the cheap Acers either. Plus, Acer probably has the worst repair staff in the industry. I once sent a computer to them to have the motherboard replaced (Acer Aspire 5150 laptop), and it came back not only with the same busted motherboard (they never touched it) but with my os install wiped and Windows XP installed on a fat32 partition. Any tech worth their salt knows that you never install an NT-based os to fat32 except in very special cases. They couldn't be bothered to replace my motherboard, but they could be bothered to go out of their way to install XP in a nonstandard way? And all that just because they refused to sell me the damn motherboard in the first place, since I wasn't an "authorized service center". I don't see why they care, I'd have still bought the board from them and they'd have been paid just the same.
Having said that, I realize that companies can change and their products can improve, but I'd have to hear a whole lot of praise before I consider Acer again... and I mean praise from people who've owned some of their more recent products for more than six months, not from the whiz-bang "ooh this is sooooo awesome" crowd.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Acer
by Hans Otten on Wed 24th Nov 2010 17:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Acer"
Hans Otten Member since:
2009-12-24

Agreed. Acer makes reasonable products for reasonable prices, but part of the lower price comes by delivering horrible service.
I have a Acer Aspire One D250 netbook, and I like it sofar. No repairs!
I also bought for home an Acer 23 inch monitor, it was a DOA. Took them two months to replace a brand new product and I had to used my commercial contacts to force that.

My advice: avoid Acer. Both at home and in the company.

Reply Score: 1

Battery life?
by sb56637 on Wed 24th Nov 2010 11:22 UTC
sb56637
Member since:
2006-05-11

A 4-cell battery with 2 screens??? What is battery life, like 45 minutes?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Battery life?
by sgtarky on Wed 24th Nov 2010 14:22 UTC in reply to "Battery life?"
sgtarky Member since:
2006-01-02

45min....now that is dreaming

Reply Score: 2

Interesting but...
by biffuz on Wed 24th Nov 2010 14:36 UTC
biffuz
Member since:
2006-03-27

That dual screen laptop is interesting, as I'm always short of screen estate; just attach a keyboard and forget about the touch thing. But looking at the specs: "Intel Core i5-480M" is ok, "integrated Intel HD graphics" is not.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Interesting but...
by vodoomoth on Thu 25th Nov 2010 08:19 UTC in reply to "Interesting but..."
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

I've never had an integrated Intel graphics card in the PCs I've owned but according to all accounts I've been aware of, they don't seem to be held in great esteem (if any at all). Each time, I've wondered how Intel can be good at making CPUs and so bad at GCs that their reputation brings the image of a "no way" sign in my mind.
So the obvious question is "why is integrated Intel HD graphics not ok?"

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Interesting but...
by biffuz on Thu 25th Nov 2010 13:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting but..."
biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

So the obvious question is "why is integrated Intel HD graphics not ok?"


Speed, features, and drivers quality. It's ok only for office work, but I don't live only to work ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Interesting but...
by TheGZeus on Fri 26th Nov 2010 15:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interesting but..."
TheGZeus Member since:
2010-05-19

Best drivers available for the OSen I use are for Intel ;þ

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Interesting but...
by 0brad0 on Sat 27th Nov 2010 21:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interesting but..."
0brad0 Member since:
2007-05-05

Best drivers available for the OSen I use are for Intel ;þ


Yay. best drivers for crap hw. fail.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Interesting but...
by steogede2 on Thu 25th Nov 2010 11:50 UTC in reply to "Interesting but..."
steogede2 Member since:
2007-08-17

That dual screen laptop is interesting, as I'm always short of screen estate; just attach a keyboard and forget about the touch thing. But looking at the specs: "Intel Core i5-480M" is ok, "integrated Intel HD graphics" is not.


The annoying thing about a screen keyboard this large is that it is large enough to touch type on easily, but there are no tactile home keys. Funny thing is that the iPad designers thought to draw home key 'bumps' on the display, but decided to go for a totally smooth display.

If I were to buy a dual screen laptop like this, I would probably want to use a separate keyboard most of the time (or perhaps I would make bumps with super glue). I would also want to be able to detached the screens, for a more flexible dual head layout. Perhaps it could have contacts located around the body so that the screens could be connected in any configuration (e.g. landscape above and below, portrait above and below, landscape side by side, portrait to landscape side by side ...)

Reply Score: 1

Perhaps mentioned, perhaps not...
by TheGZeus on Fri 26th Nov 2010 15:49 UTC
TheGZeus
Member since:
2010-05-19

Since the default software would be wiped should I purchase _any_ computer, the only thing that matters is the hardware.

As such, this combined with your favourite keyboard is a fantastic 'luggable' (in the spirit of the Compaq Portable) for graphic designers.
You have a touch screen for basic manipulation of things onscreen(not the greatest for content creation, that's what Wacom is for) so you don't even really need a mouse (but I'd be lugging my WarMouse Meta and my Kinesis keyboard in this hypothetical briefcase).
Double the screen real estate of the usual laptop this size.

At first I thought it would be utterly useless as anything but a consumer device, but then I remembered that the demonstrated software is pointless to me, as it would be going bye-bye.

Reply Score: 2