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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:07 am
Posts: 16
Location: UK, West Midlands
News have broken that Samsung has released an ARM based Chromebook for prices starting at $249 (or £229, unfortunately buying in the UK is always a rip-off!).

I don't know much about the hardware, the only thing I know is it will have 2GB RAM, 16GB on board storage and the processor is a ARM Cortex-A15 (Exynos 5250).

It would be nice to have from R&B an evaluation of how this device will compare to whatever the next Genesi device will be. I expect that Genesi have long anticipated this event and I hope to know if they will compete on the same (technical) ground or we are dealing with different user targets. Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:40 am
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Location: near Pilsen, CZ
I'm willing to swap few hundreds of MHz in CPU power for a classic keyboard :-)


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:04 am 
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Posts: 5
The A15 is A LOT more powerful than A9.
But the 1,2GHz quadcore imx6 should be more than enough for just about any normal use.

I'm also waiting for an ARM-laptop with a proper keyboard. Without the F-keys, I'm pretty lost.
But the Genesi-models will probably have a keyboard like the old SmartBook, without all the keys...


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:20 am
Posts: 242
Quote:
The A15 is A LOT more powerful than A9.
It may be so, but this is only dual core CPU, and judging by this article, it seems to struggle showing 1080p videos properly at real 1080p displays...?

http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/18/3521 ... 249-monday

The "Exynos 5" CPU is probably a given in an upcoming Galaxy S IV phone though.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:02 am
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Quote:
Quote:
The A15 is A LOT more powerful than A9.
It may be so, but this is only dual core CPU, and judging by this article, it seems to struggle showing 1080p videos properly at real 1080p displays...?
The CPU shouldn't matter at all on video-playback.
But the Mali-GPU in Exynos 5 is supposed to do 1080p 60hz-playback with no problems.

Could be bad drivers, poor codec-support or something else.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 9:20 am
Posts: 242
Quote:

The CPU shouldn't matter at all on video-playback.
With "CPU" I didn't *really* mean the "CPU core(s)" but rather the *chip* as a whole, since it's a one-chip solution, and I spoke of what it delivers as such.
Quote:
But the Mali-GPU in Exynos 5 is supposed to do 1080p 60hz-playback with no problems.

Could be bad drivers, poor codec-support or something else.
Could indeed be immature drivers, poor codec support etc, or indeed HW bugs or other bottle necks in the silicon; it could be that they are rushing out a premature version of the CPU? Wouldn't exactly be the first time that happened in this industry. I have no idea, but the article was a little bit troublesome IMHO. Playing a 1080p stream at 1366 x 768 @ 30fps is one thing, playing it at 1920 x 1080 is a whole different matter, and when the article say "if Google's presentation was any indication, however, performance diminishes rapidly [meaning: below 1366 x 768 @ 30fps] when pushed to a projector or external display" I think there is a reason to raise your eyebrow. But it's not released until Monday, so maybe the driver department is working overtime this weekend...? ;-)

I'm sure there will be plenty of reviews of the released end-user product after its release. We should know more in a couple of days.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:34 am 
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Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 6:12 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Denmark
This looks really nice.

So Genesi, how is it going with the new Smartbook? I recall you saying it will be out in 2012. Is this still the plan?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 2:57 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Austin, TX, USA
First of all, Chrome OS gets continuous updates, so things will be polished even more over time.

When it comes to video performance, not all flash players use the codec offload, and will thus be CPU bound on decode. For those who use codec (HTML5 video in particular), 1080p should definitely be smooth.

Finally, about the keyboard: The keys above the numerical keys send F<n> keycodes, they just don't have the F1..F10 labels on them.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:59 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:04 am
Posts: 29
As we don't know anything yet about the new Genesi product it's all just a speculation, but if we are talking about a Quad core iMX6, it has very impressive performance. There is a video on YouTube showing a 3D game running on it, and it looks very cool. So when it comes to performance, it is quite similar to most modern tablets, so it's OK.
The main problem that I see is not the hardware, even with the current model of smartbook, but rather the software. Genesi needs a stable distribution with a wide range of software available. If the software is adapted specifically to iMX6, it will make the whole platform shine, because the platform itself has potential. It just that most of the software do not use it properly.

I personally would be happy to see official release of Debian or Linux Mint for next Efika product. I know that Linux Mint guys were presenting Mint Box not so long ago, so probably they could be interested in having another product associated with their distribution. The Mint Box is not ARM-based though.

Also since Chrome OS is adapted for ARM, maybe we could see it too on next Efika product, but I don't know much about the policy regarding this OS and if it needs to be licensed or something.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 3:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:07 am
Posts: 16
Location: UK, West Midlands
Quote:
Also since Chrome OS is adapted for ARM, maybe we could see it too on next Efika product, but I don't know much about the policy regarding this OS and if it needs to be licensed or something.
Chrome OS is not an open source operating system (although Chromium OS is) and only works on selected devices. In other words Google acts as an OEM to the hardware manufacturers that want to have Chrome OS on their devices:
http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/chr ... romium-OS-

Even if Genesi asked Google to develop their OS for the new Efika, I doubt that Google would want to develop for what essentially is a Freescale device. But this is only a speculation and any input from Genesi will be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:04 am
Posts: 29
ottavio
Thank you!
Well, in that case Chrome OS isn't really interesting. I would prefer a well known and supported linux distribution.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:37 am
Posts: 1
You can run Ubuntu on the new ARM Chromebook.

http://chromeos-cr48.blogspot.com/2012/ ... 1-now.html

Contrary to the initial description, sound actually works OK on this once alsa is configured correctly.

Also this system does have function keys in the standard top row, but they are overloaded with chrome os specific icons, but in Ubuntu they are just function keys, so once you get used to which icon is which function key it works out ok.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:06 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:13 am
Posts: 15
Location: Szczecin, Poland
I have both EfikaMX Smartbook and Samsung Chromebook. It is really hard to compare them cause Chromebook makes Smartbook look like cheap Chinese (sorry guys).

Touchpad just works (recognized 4 fingers at once), keyboard is more comfortable (but lacks some keys). CPU is powerfull enough to play 720p mpeg-4 videos with plain x11 output in MPlayer. Under Chromium I had 1080p YouTube videos playing fine on both internal and external (fullhd) display.

http://marcin.juszkiewicz.com.pl/2012/1 ... -some-cpu/ lists results of 'openssl speed' command started on both devices so you can see cpu difference.

Both devices allow to run any operating system but on EfikaMX it is easier for developers (especially when you have debug dongle).


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:58 am
Posts: 17
Location: Denmark
I have a chromebook and besides the hardware being jawdroppingly fast it is let down massively because of crappy drivers. I use it for work because the battery is going on my smartbook and it needs to able to sustain a full days work.

I'm leeching on the X server from chromeos (Running a chrooted ubuntu) so I have working opengl ES on it. There is no xv support and the opengl es implementation is crappy at best. It lacks almost all extensions, but runs es2gears fine. Yay.

What's all that great hardware worth without proper driver support? - yes, it runs chromeos fine, but that os is pointless for me. Besides being able to use it for work I can't do everything I did with the old smartbook yet.

Oh how I wanted an imx6 smartbook instead :)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 6:12 pm
Posts: 42
Location: Denmark
Quote:
I'm leeching on the X server from chromeos (Running a chrooted ubuntu) so I have working opengl ES on it. There is no xv support and the opengl es implementation is crappy at best. It lacks almost all extensions, but runs es2gears fine. Yay.
Can you point me to a place that explains how to do this? I've tried getting Chrome OS's X driver to work in Ubuntu but it can't because of an X ABI version mismatch.


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