There’s been a few Cherry Trail devices launched recently, but the Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor found in most new devices does not offer that much over the older Intel Atom Z3735F, and only an handful of devices have been released based on the more powerful Atom x7-Z8700 processor such as Microsoft Surface 3 tablet and Magicstick TV stick. I can also often read people complaining 2GB RAM is not enough, but Teclast X16 Power 11.6″ tablet addresses these two issues with an Atom x7-Z8700 quad core processor, 8GB RAM, and 64GB storage for dual booting Windows 10 and Android 5.1.
Teclast X16 Power specifications:
SoC – Intel Atom x7-Z8700 “Cherry Trail” quad core processor @ 1.6 GHz (Bust freq: 2.4 GHz) with Intel Gen8 HD graphics with 16EU @ 600MHz (2W SDP)
System Memory – 8 GB LPDDR3-1600
Storage – 64 GB eMMC + micro SD slot up to 64GB
Display – 11.6″ capacitive touch IPS display with 1920×1080 resolution
The tablet PC ships with a micro USB Cable, a charger, and a user’s manual by default. Please note that the keyboard and stylus shown on the picture above are not included by default.
Teclast X16 Power can be pre-ordered on GeekBuying for $424.59 including shipping, which compares to $499 with a Surface 3 with 2GB RAM, or $327 MagicStick Wave with 8GB RAM, 64GB storage, a Windows 10 license, and shipping fees included on Indiegogo. If you feel 4GB RAM is enough, and that x5-Z8500 processor would fit you need, you could also pre-order Teclast X16 Pro for $299 an up. That Aliexpress link adds $40 for the stylus and keyboard.
Android is great for consuming content, but if you’ve ever tried to use it to create content, it can be an hassle, as copy / paste is hard to use, shortcuts aren’t available, and overall the operating system and apps are not designed to work well with a mouse and keyboard. Remix OS is one of the solutions, and Rockchip has been working on improving Android as a desktop replacement for while, starting with multi-window support, and recently they showcased “Light Work OS“. But yesterday Charbax, of ARMDevices.net, uploaded two new videos showing Rockchip Light Biz OS in action, probably renamed from Light Work OS shown a few months ago.
The first video is the “official” Light Biz OS video released by Rockchip, which shows the main features including:
Based on Android 5.1 with CTS certification
Light Biz OS features can be enabled/disabled in Android settings using the Multi-window option in the Display settings
Startup menu similar to Windows
Windows are re-sizable by double-clicking the top of the apps windows, and can then be moved around as needed
Copy/paste text and pictures between office apps
Physical keyboard optimizations: input switching, and shortcuts.
Mouse optimizations: Selection, copy/paste, long press left click brings up menus…
Comment mode to take hand written notes with finger or pencil
Dynamic screenshot mode (screen recording) allowing to record a video of the screen or part of it.
Charbax also went to Rockchip office to see for himself, where they showed Light Biz OS running on a tablet.
Beside the hands-on demo, we also learn that Light Biz OS works with both Rockchip RK3288 and RK3368 SoCs. At least two Freaktab members also have it running in their mini PCs, namely HPH NT-V6 TV box, and a Rockchip RK3288 board by Inphic. One of the current limitations is that the window’s width is pre-defined, i.e. not adjustable, albeit the height is. Light Biz OS also requires a license from Rockchip.
Google has already announced their latest Nexus 5X & 6P smartphones, as well as ChromeCast 2.0 & Audio, but the most exciting product announcement might be the Pixel C tablet boasting an Nvidia Tegra X1 processor with 3GB RAM, 32 to 64GB storage, and a 10.2″ touchscreen display with a cool 2560×1800 resolution. The tablet can easily be converted into a laptop thanks to an optional magnetically attached Bluetooth keyboard. Google Pixel C preliminary specifications:
SoC – NVIDIA Tegra X1 octa-core processor with 4x Cortex A57 cores, 4x Cortex A53 cores, and a 256-core Maxwell GPU
Nvidia mentions that the Pixel C will be available for the holidays, starting at $499 for a 32GB version and $599 for a 64GB version, while the optional Bluetooth keyboard will cost $149. So it’s not quite affordable as Nvidia Shield Android TV box, one of the other rare products based on Tegra X1, but still much cheaper than the first Chromebook Pixel by Google. Pixel products are designed by Google themselves, and are mainly technology showcases, than products the company intends to sell in large quantities. You can find a new more pictures on Google’s Pixel product page.
Texas Instruments exited the consumer market a couple of years ago, to focus on higher margins industrial, automotive and healthcare markets. While you won’t find any recent consumer tablets with a Texas Instruments processor, Arbor recently launched Htab, a “bedside turn-key solution combining healthcare and patient entertainment service” powered by Texas Instruments OMAP4470 dual core Cortex A9 processor, and featuring a 10″ touchscreen display with 1280x 800 resolution.
Some of Arbor HTab hardware specifications:
RFID Tag Support – ISO15693, ISO14443A/B, Felica, Mifare, Tag-it, ST LRI 1K and ST M24LRXX
Complies with EN60601-1 & EN60601-1-2 medical certifications and IP65 rating (front panel)
Rolling stand with adjustable 270-degree swivel arm
75mm M4 VESA-mount supported
Multimed Tab Software in Android
The Android 4.1.1 tablet can be used as an infotainment system by patients as it provides access to IPTV / VOD, telephone, skype, radio, games and other apps, and integrates self-service functions to order meals, for billing, self-education, and hospital room automation. The tablet also interfaces with a back-office system for easy access to electronics health records, medical prescriptions, and medical images archives. Physician and nurses can access the data using the tablet’s built-in RFID/NFC reader.
I received the news via Arbor newsletter, but the tablet was actually announced on February 2015, and the press release mentions the tablet sells in the US and Canada for $783. More details can be found on Arbor HTab product page, as well as M1012 product page, which is the standalone version of the tablet lacking the stand, TMM software’s Multimed TAB software, and possibly other options.
Gateworks has launched a rugged touchscreen LCD devkit featuring one of their Freescale i.MX6 based Ventana SBC, namely Ventana GW5224, that is similar to Ventana GW5220, but with a quad core Freescale i.MX 6Quad instead of the i.MX 6Dual found in the latter.
GW11036 Embedded Android Development Kit features and specifications:
GW5224 single board computer
SoC- Freescale i.MX6 Quad with 4x Cortex A9 core @ 1GHz and Vivante GPU (automotive grade: -40 to +125C)
System Memory – 1GB DDR3-800 SDRAM
Storage – 2GB Flash, micro SD slot, serial configuration EEPROM
Connectivity – 1x Gigabit Ethernet port (RJ45)
Video Output and Input – HDMI 1.4 out, LVDS output, 3x analog composite video inputs
Audio – HDMI, analog stereo Line In/Out
Expansion – 2x Mini PCIe sockets including one with PCIe signalling
Other I/O ports:
Serial – 2x RS232, CAN Bus 2.0B @ 1 Mbps
Master/slave SPI, GPIO
USB – 1x USB 2.0 OTG port up to 480 Mbps
Misc – RTC with battery, voltage & temperature monitor; 6-axis accelerometer/magnetometer, watchdog timer, etc…
Power Supply – 8 to 60V DC via a power barrel or 36 to 60V DC via 802.3af PoE
Typical power consumption – 2W Watts @ 25 C (0.08A @ 24VDC)
Display Panel – 7″ TFT-LCD LVDS panel (1024×600) with LED backlight and PCAP touchscreen; black anodized bezel
Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 + HS radio (GW17022 module), GPS receiver ( Wi2Wi W2SG0008i)
Dimensions – 184x127x37.5 mm
Weight – 400 grams
Operating Temperature – SBC: -40 to +85 C; LCD Panel: -20 to +70 C; Radio: 0 to 60 C
Beside GW5224 single computer and the touch enabled LCD panel, the kit also comes with GW17022 wireless module, a 8GB class 10 micro SD card pre-loaded with Android 4.4.3, a GPS magnetic mount antenna, a 24V/1A power supply, as well as all required cables and mounting hardware.
You can find some documentation about Android for the kit and Ventana boards in general on Gateworks Wiki.
There are already some flexible Bluetooth keyboards that you can roll into your bag or pocket after being done typing on your smartphone or tablet, but LG is about to launch Rolly Keyboard, a solid Bluetooth keyboard for mobile device that can be rolled into a stick, which should may be sturdier than flexible keyboards, and it can also hold a smartphone or tablet in upright position with a display of up to 10″ in size.
LG’ latest keyboard (model KBB-700) is comprised of 17mm keys – a standard keyboard comes with 18mm keys – arranged into four rows, that can be folded into a stick as shown above. The company also claims the keyboard offers “satisfying tactile feedback not found on flexible silicone keyboards”.
The keyboard is powered by two AAA batteries supposed to last about 3 months during typical use, and pairing over Bluetooth 3.0 occurs automatically to up to two devices as you unfold the keyboard. If the keyboard is paired to two devices, you can switch between them by pressing a key.
The Rolly Keyboard will be unveiled at IFA 2015, and start selling in September in the United States, and soon followed by “key markets” in Europe, Latin America and Asia in Q4 2015. LG did not disclosed pricing nor availability.
Allwinner R-series processor family, such as Allwinner R8, is supposed to target “IoT applications”, but IoT must have recently taken a whole new meaning as the latest Allwinner R58 octa-core processor targets 2-in-1 laptops running Android. Allwinner website however lists R58 as an high-end IoT platform for virtual reality and robotics. Allwinner R58 specifications:
CPU – Octa-Core Cortex-A7 CPU up to 2.0 GHz
GPU – PowerVR SGX544 GPU @ 600 MHz with support for OpenGL ES 2.0/1.1, OpenCL 1.1, DX 9_3
SLC/MLC/TLC/EF NAND with 64-bit ECC
1080p@60fps video playback
multi-format video playback, including H.264, MPEG1/2, MPEG4 SP/ASP GMC, H.263 including Sorenson Spark, WMV9/VC-1, JPEG/MJPEG, etc
H.264 1080p@60fps or 720p@120fps video capture
LVDS up to 1366×768@60fps or RGB LCD up to 2048×1536@60fps
4-lane MIPI DSI up to 1920×1200@60fps
HDMI up to 1080p@60fps, HDCP V1.2 supported
Dual display supported with LCD up to 720p@60fps and HDMI up to 720p@60fps
5MP parallel CMOS sensor
8MP MIPI CSI controller
USB Host, USB Dual-Role (host/device), HSIC
2x SPI, 4x TWI, 6x UART, RSB
Package – FCBGA 345; 14mm x 14mm size
Eva Wu, Allwinner marketing manager, explains that Allwinner R58 is similar to Allwinner A83T, which I tested in a Foxconn tablet, but alledgedly with higher frequencies for the CPU and GPU. However, Allwinner A83T was also clocked at 2.0GHz in the tablet I tested. Go figure… Anyway, you should not expect amazing performance from that processor (Antutu probably around 30,000), but it should still be usable.
The operating system appears to be a customized version of Android called “Double OS”, and optimized for work to make it “perfectly compatible with office” and with some “adaptation of the keyboard and mouse”. Further improvements are also scheduled for Q3 2015 such as multi-window and Google Work support. A 64-bit version of the processor, (Allwinner R88) will be launched on Q4 2015 supporting either Double OS 3.0 or Windows 10.
Charbax is a Computex 2015, and he filmed the Android laptop in action, and got a few more details about the solution.
Intel announced three Atom x3 processors combining x86 cores with ARM Mali GPU a couple of months ago, and Intel Atom x3-C3130, the lower end processor with two x86 cores up to 1.0 GHz, an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU and a 2G/3G modem, can already be found in Teclast X70 7″ Android tablet selling for just $70 on Tinydeals, Tinydeal, and probably others Chinese online retailers.
Teclast X70 specifications:
SoC – Intel Atom x3-C3130 dual x86 core processor @ up to 1GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU @ 533 MHz
System Memory – 512MB LPDDR2
Storage – 4GB eMMC + micro SD slot up to 32GB
Display – 7″ touchscreen (5-point) with 1024×600 resolution
Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS
Cellular Connectivity – Built-in 3G modem (WCDMA 2100MHz l 2G: 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 1900MHz); two standard SIM slots
Camera – 2MP rear camera, 0.3MP front-facing camera
Audio – Stereo speakers, built-in microphone, 3.5mm headphone jack
USB – 1x micro USB OTG port
Sensors – Gravity sensor
Misc- Volume and power buttons, vibrating motor
Battery – 3,000 mAh Li-Ion
Dimensions – 187 x 113 x 9 mm
Weight – 266 grams
The tablet runs Android 4.4, and should come with a micro USB cable, a 5V/2A power adapter, and a user’s manual. Companies also promote it as a phablet, as the 2G/3G modem is not only for data, and you can make phone calls. Memory is tight, and screen resolution very low, but at least it’s very cheap.