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Posts Tagged ‘tablet’

NexDock is Working on a Hybrid Laptop Dock for Intel Compute Cards

January 18th, 2017 5 comments

NexDock first launched a 14″ laptop dock for smartphones, tablets, and development boards via a Indiegogo campaign in 2016, where they successfully raised over $350,000, and delivered rewards to backers last September and October. With the recent introduction of the Intel Compute Card, the company has now decided to work on a new NexDock that will take Intel’s cards.

We don’t have much details right now, but the company said that beside the Intel Compute Card, it will come support interchangeable USB type-C modules, and will still support Windows 10 smartphones with continuum feature, Raspberry Pi and other devices that can be connected through a USB-C port. The second drawing also suggests the keyboard will be detachable, and you’ll be able to use NexDock as a Windows tablet.

It could be nice to have an Intel laptop with Linux or Windows, and an ARM tablet with Android, but this won’t be possible, since Intel Compute Card are unlikely to be fitted with ARM processors.

Nevertheless, it’s an interesting development, as Intel appeared to target smart devices and business applications for their Compute Card when the announced it as CES 2017, but if the NexDock becomes reality, we will also find it in consumer devices, possibly around mid-2017 when the new NexDock is supposed to launch.

GOLE1 Plus Windows 10 mini PC & Tablet Combo Coming Soon for Around $200

January 16th, 2017 3 comments

GOLE1 was product launched last year than combined a tablet and mini PCs functionalities into one product with a 5″ touchscreen, a battery, and all the ports you’d expect from a mini PC with USB, HDMI, etc… I reviewed an early GOLE1 sample running both Windows 10 and Android 5.1, and beside a battery charging problem due to its being one of the first sample, I found it was a product fun to play with, however, I could not really find a practical use case for it. The 5″ display is just to small to run Windows 10 comfortably, and it’s a bit heavy to use like a normal tablet. Maybe if you have an application that require a small display panel to  control a large screen connected via HDMI, it’s different. I’ve been informed the company is about to launch a new version, called GOLE1 Plus, with a new revision of the Cherry Trail x5 processor, a bigger battery, and a large 8″ touchscreen display.

GOLE1 vs GOLE1 Plus vs GOLE1 specifications:

Gole1 Gole1 Plus
SoC Intel Atom x5-Z8300 quad core processor @ 1.44 / 1.84GHz
+ Intel HD Graphics Gen8
Intel Atom x5-Z8350 quad core processor @ 1.44 / 1.92 GHz
+ Intel HD Graphics Gen8
System Memory 4GB DDR3 4GB DDR3
Storage 32 or 64GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot 64 or 128 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
Display 5″ touchscreen display 1280×720 resolution 8″ touchscreen IPS display; 1280×800 resolution
Video Output 1x HDMI 1.4 port 1x HDMI 1.4 port
Audio I/F HDMI output, 3.5mm audio jack, speaker HDMI output, 3.5mm audio jack, speaker
Connectivity 10/100M Ethernet, dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 with external antenna 10/100M Ethernet, dual band WiFi 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 with internal antenna
USB 3x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x micro USB port 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB 3.0 port
Misc Power , volume and back buttons (plastic) placed on top Power, and volume buttons (metal) placed on one side
Battery 2,600 mAh 6,000 mAh
Size (cm) 13.50 x 9.0 x 2.0 cm 19.86 x 13.6 x 2.7 cm

GOLE1 came with a dual boot firmware with Windows 10 Home 32-bit and Android 5.1, but the new GOLE1 Plus will only come with Windows 10 Home 64-bit. If you don’t like this OS, it should be possible to install Linux operating systems with some efforts due to audio and Wifi issues with Cherry Trail processors. The larger display will certainly make it more suitable for Windows 10, and the extra battery capacity will extend the battery life. However, don’t except to see any differences between Intel Atom x5-Z8300 and x5-Z8350 processors as only the burst frequency has been increased a little (1.84 vs 1.92 GHz).

GOLE1 with 4GB RAM / 64GB storage was just under $150 shipped at the time of review last year, but the price seems to have increased since this it’s now around $190 including shipping on eBay and other websites. Considering the updated price for GOLE1, GOLE1 Plus should be better value once it is released as it is expected for sell for around $200.

Via miniPCDB

Self-hosted OpenGL ES Development on Ubuntu Touch

January 15th, 2017 4 comments

Blu wrote BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition review – from a developer’s perspective – last year, and now is back with a new post explaining how to develop and deploy OpenGL ES applications directly on the Ubuntu Touch tablet.

Ever since I started using a BQ M10 for console apps development on the go I’ve been wanting to get something, well, flashier going on that tablet. Since I’m a graphics developer by trade and by heart, GLES was the next step on the Ubuntu Touch for me. This article is about writing, building and deploying GLES code on Ubuntu Touch itself, sans a desktop PC. Keep that in mind if some procedure seems unrefined or straight primitive to you – for one, I’m a primitive person, but some tools available on the desktop are, in my opinion, impractical on the Touch itself. That means no QtCreator today, nor Qt, for that matter.

The display of any contemporary Ubuntu Touch device is powered by Mir – a modern compositor/surface manager taking care of all (rectangular-ish) things eventually appearing on screen. We won’t be delving much into Mir beyond obtaining an EGL context (EGL being the binding layer between GLES and the native windowing system). But enough ado – let’s get to work.

Preparations for doing GLES on a Ubuntu Touch box:

The above, as of the time of this writing, should provide you with gcc/g++-4.9, make and gdb-7.9, among other things. The last package and its dependencies provide you with up-to-date Mir headers. Git comes out of the box, IIRC, but if it’s missing just apt-get it.

We need a primer to step on, so here’s my adaptation of Don Bright’s Mir/GLES adaptation of Joe Groff’s OpenGL tutorials, using Daniel van Vugt’s Mir/EGL examples (yes, that’s a quite a chain-work):

I’ve taken the liberty to expand on the work of those gentlemen by bringing the Mir integration up to date, handling Touch’s novelty Desktop Mode and throwing in my own dusty GLES sample code, for good measure.

To build and install the primer, just do:

That will provide you with an original police-car flashing-lights primer. An alternative primer featuring tangential-space bump-mapping can be built by passing arg ‘guest’ to the build script:

Both versions of the primer use a fundamentally identical interface — a resource-initialization procedure and a frame-drawing procedure, so it’s not much of an effort to use the respective routines from either primers in the framework of the host app hello.cpp, and thus get a running render loop.

A few words about the peculiarities of the GLES development for Ubuntu Touch. It took me some time to show anything on screen, despite the fact I had a valid draw context and a render loop soon after the primer was building successfully. The reason is Unity8 on the Touch will not simply let you run a window-painting app from the terminal – you would get your Mir and EGL contexts alright, but the target surface will never be composited to the screen of the device upon eglSwapBuffers() unless you take certain actions. You have two alternatives here:

  • Produce a valid Click package from your app and subsequently install that to the Apps pane (what our build script does), where you can launch from an icon, or…
  • Use a launcher app to start your window app (info courtesy of Daniel van Vugt):

Unfortunately the second (much quicker and convenient) approach is not currently usable due to a bug, so we’ll stick with the first. Any command-line args we’d want to pass to the app will need to be written to the app’s .desktop file, which can be found at the official app location after installation:

In that file, set the desired args on the ‘Exec’ line, like this:

Another peculiarity was that in Desktop Mode the app window does a classical ‘zoom to full size’ animation at start. Nothing extraordinary in that, if not for the fact that the Mir surface itself resizes along with the window. Now, a default viewport in a GLES context spans the geometry of the target surface at the time of its creation, which, in our case, is the start of the window-zoom animation, with its tiny surface geometry. One needs to wait for the zoom animation to finish, and then set the viewport geometry to the final geometry of the Mir surface, or live with a post-stamp-sized output in the lower left corner of the window, if the viewport is left unchanged.

Once we get past those teething hurdles we actually get quite a nicely behaving full-screen app on our hands – it composites smoothly with all other Ubuntu Touch desktop elements like the Launcher tab at the desktop’s left edge and the pull-down Indicator pane on right (see screenshot). Our app even does live output to the Scopes selector screen (i.e. the task-switching screen) — behold the miracles of modern-day screen compositors! ; )

Click for Original Size (1920×1080)

But hey, don’t just take my word for it – try out GLES coding on a Ubuntu Touch device – you have the basics covered:

  • App’s rendering loop and the entirety of the flashing-screen primer are in hello.cpp
  • Mir context creation and subsequent EGL context binding are in eglapp.cpp
  • Bump-mapping primer is entirely in app_sphere.cpp
  • Various helpers are spread across util_* TUs and hello.cpp
  • All files necessary for the generation of the Click package are in resource folder.

In conclusion, self-sustained development on the Ubuntu Touch is a perfectly viable scenario (take that, iOS!). Moreover, the GPU in the BQ M10 turned out to have a very nice modern GLES3 (3.1) stack – see excerpts from the app logs below. Actually, this is my first portable device with a GLES 3.1 stack, so I haven’t started using it properly yet — the GLES2 primer above doesn’t make use of the new functionality.

If I have to complain about something from the development of this primer, it’d be that I couldn’t use my arm64 code on the primer, since there are only armhf (32-bit) EGL/GLES libraries available for the Touch. So 64-bit code on the Ubuntu Touch remains in console land for now.

Excerpts from the primer logs:

egl version, vendor, extensions:

1.4 Android META-EGL
Android
EGL_KHR_get_all_proc_addresses EGL_ANDROID_presentation_time EGL_KHR_image EGL_KHR_image_base EGL_KHR_gl_texture_2D_image EGL_KHR_gl_texture_cubemap_image EGL_KHR_gl_renderbuffer_image EGL_KHR_fence_sync EGL_KHR_create_context EGL_ANDROID_image_native_buffer EGL_KHR_wait_sync EGL_ANDROID_recordable EGL_HYBRIS_native_buffer2 EGL_HYBRIS_WL_acquire_native_buffer EGL_WL_bind_wayland_display

gl version, vendor, renderer, glsl version, extensions:

OpenGL ES 2.0 (OpenGL ES 3.1)
ARM
Mali-T720
OpenGL ES GLSL ES 3.10
GL_EXT_debug_marker GL_ARM_rgba8 GL_ARM_mali_shader_binary GL_OES_depth24 GL_OES_depth_texture GL_OES_depth_texture_cube_map GL_OES_packed_depth_stencil GL_OES_rgb8_rgba8 GL_EXT_read_format_bgra GL_OES_compressed_paletted_texture GL_OES_compressed_ETC1_RGB8_texture GL_OES_standard_derivatives GL_OES_EGL_image GL_OES_EGL_image_external GL_OES_EGL_sync GL_OES_texture_npot GL_OES_vertex_half_float GL_OES_required_internalformat GL_OES_vertex_array_object GL_OES_mapbuffer GL_EXT_texture_format_BGRA8888 GL_EXT_texture_rg GL_EXT_texture_type_2_10_10_10_REV GL_OES_fbo_render_mipmap GL_OES_element_index_uint GL_EXT_shadow_samplers GL_OES_texture_compression_astc GL_KHR_texture_compression_astc_ldr GL_KHR_texture_compression_astc_hdr GL_KHR_debug GL_EXT_occlusion_query_boolean GL_EXT_disjoint_timer_query GL_EXT_blend_minmax GL_EXT_discard_framebuffer GL_OES_get_program_binary GL_OES_texture_3D GL_EXT_texture_storage GL_EXT_multisampled_render_to_texture GL_OES_surfaceless_context GL_OES_texture_stencil8 GL_EXT_shader_pixel_local_storage GL_ARM_shader_framebuffer_fetch GL_ARM_shader_framebuffer_fetch_depth_stencil GL_ARM_mali_program_binary GL_EXT_sRGB GL_EXT_sRGB_write_control GL_EXT_texture_sRGB_decode GL_KHR_blend_equation_advanced GL_OES_texture_storage_multisample_2d_array GL_OES_shader_image_atomic

GL_MAX_TEXTURE_SIZE: 8192
GL_MAX_CUBE_MAP_TEXTURE_SIZE: 4096
GL_MAX_VIEWPORT_DIMS: 8192, 8192
GL_MAX_RENDERBUFFER_SIZE: 8192
GL_MAX_VERTEX_ATTRIBS: 16
GL_MAX_VERTEX_UNIFORM_VECTORS: 1024
GL_MAX_VARYING_VECTORS: 15
GL_MAX_FRAGMENT_UNIFORM_VECTORS: 1024
GL_MAX_COMBINED_TEXTURE_IMAGE_UNITS: 48
GL_MAX_VERTEX_TEXTURE_IMAGE_UNITS: 16
GL_MAX_TEXTURE_IMAGE_UNITS: 16

Mediatek MT8173 Powered Emdoor 2-in-1 Laptops Run Android or Remix OS

December 23rd, 2016 1 comment

Acer Chromebook R13 is the most powered ARM Chromebook so far thanks to its Mediatek MT8173 quad core processor combining two ARM Cortex A72 cores and Cortex A53 cores, as well as a PowerVR GX6250 GPU, 4GB RAM and a 13.3″ touchscreen display. But unless you live in the US or other markets where Chromebooks are sold, it’s pretty hard to buy, and that model is relatively expensive as it sells for close to $550 on Amazon. Emdoor, a Chinese design house, has made 2-in-1 hybrid laptops based on the processor with a 11.6″ or 13.3″ touchscreen display, 1 to 2GB RAM, and 16 to 64GB storage, which – once launched – should be easier to buy, and cost less.

mediatek-mt8173-laptopBoth EM-T8513 and EM-T8516 models share most of the same specifications, except for the display:

  • SoC – Mediatek MT8173 quad core processor with 2x Cortex A72 cores @ up to 2.0 GHz, 2x Cortex A53 cores, and a PowerVR GX6250 GPU
  • System Memory – 1 or 2 GB DDR3 RAM
  • Storage – 16GB, 32GB, 64, or 128 GB eMMC flash + micro SD slot
  • Display
    • EM-T8516 – 11.6” IPS LCD screen with 1366 x 768 resolution,  10-points capacitive touchscreen
    • EM-T8513 – 13.3” IPS LCD screen with 1920 x 1200 or 1366 x 768 resolution,  10-points capacitive touchscreen
  • Video Output – mini HDMI port
  • Audio – mini HDMI port, 3.5mm combo audio jack,
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS via MT6630 chipset
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 2.0 port
  • Camera – 2MP front-facing camera
  • Sensor – G-sensor
  • User Input – QWERTY keyboard and touchpad
  • Battery – 10,000 mAh; good for a typical 6 to 7 hours on EM-T8516 model
  • Power Supply – 5V/2.5A
  • Dimensions & Weight
    • EM-T8516 – 297.5 x 202 x 17.5mm – 1340 grams
    • EM-T8513 – 330 x 227.7 x 18.9mm – 1480 grams

The laptops run Android 6.0 by default, but Jide’s Remix OS can also be installed instead.


If you are interested in Linux, you could try to adapt the instructions to install ArchLinux ARM on Acer Chromebook R13 to Emdoor laptops. The instructions are relying on Chrome OS, but you’d have to handle it from Android instead, so there will be differences.

Pricing and availability information have not been disclosed yet. You may be able to find more details via Emdoor’s products page (N.B: It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to load a page for me).

Via ARMDevices.net

reMarkable 10.3″ Digital Notepad and e-Reader is Designed to Feel Like Paper

December 1st, 2016 13 comments

If you like to take notes with pen and paper, but would prefer a digital solution to store your note, there are already some solutions like Boogie Board and Rocketbook, but reMarkable offers much more that the other two with a 10.3″ E-Ink touchscreen display and pressure sensitive pen capable of detecting 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, it allows to read books as any e-readers, and also write your own notes on a blank piece of “paper” or existing digital documents, drawing sketches, and save & share the results. The whole user experience is supposed to feel as if you were reading and writing on paper.

remarkable-digital-notepadreMarkable tablet specifications:

  • SoC – ARM Cortex A9 processor @ 1 GHz (Likely NXP i.MX6 series processor since they support EPD interfaces)
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3L
  • Storage – 8GB internal storage good for around 100,000 pages
  • Display – 10.3″ monochrome digital paper “CANVAS” capacitive touch display based on E-Ink Carta technology with 1872×1404 resolution (226 DPI); plastic cover to make it virtually unbreakable; Paper-like surface friction; sunlight readable
  • Connectivity – WiFi
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for charging
  • Battery – 3000 mAh battery good for several days
  • Dimensions –  256 x 177 x 6.7mm
  • Weight – ~350 grams

The included “Marker” pen does not require any battery nor pairing or setup, comes with a high-friction pen tip, with the device able to detect tilt and 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. The tablet runs Codex Linux based operating system optimized for low-latency e-paper displays, and currently supports PDF and ePUB documents, with more formats planned. Notes and documents can be transfered over WiFi to your devices or the cloud through an app currently available for Mac OS, iOS, Windows 8 and 10 and Android.

The video is convincing, but pricing may put many people off, as reMarkable is now available for pre-order for $379 with a folio cover and a Marker pen, and shipping expected for August 2017. Once the pre-order period is over the retail price will go up to $529 for the tablet only with the Marker and the folio cover an extra $79 each. This tablet is only really useful if you buy the pen, unless you limit yourself to the e-Reader function…

Via Liliputing

How to Play Netflix HD on any Android Device with Widevine Level 1 DRM

November 28th, 2016 29 comments

A while ago I wrote an article entitled “Why Doesn’t your Android TV Box Play Full HD or 4K Videos in Netflix?” basically explaining that most TV boxes running Android could only play SD quality, because HD and higher quality requires both Widevine Level 1 DRM, and Netflix certification, and the second part is the most difficult since Netflix need to spend time testing a given product, and may not agree to do so for smaller manufacturers. The end result is that only a small subset of devices can play Netflix HD.

netflix-hd-tabletSamsung Tab S2 is one of the device with Widevine Level 1, but is not certified by Netflix, and by default can only play SD quality. But XDA Forum user chenxiaolong apparently found a workaround and as the photo above shows is now able to reach HD resolutions (e.g. 1920×1080) with Netflix using his tablet. After analyzing packets between the server and his two Samsung tablets, he noticed that he could set “enableWidevineL1” from the JSON response to true, and provided a method showing how to change the app without uploaded a modded apk. But others followed his instructions and released a modified Netflix HD apk.

Although it might or might not breach Netflix TOS, please note that this has nothing to do with piracy at all, nor does it skip DRM, as it still requires both a Netflix HD subscription and a device supporting Widevine Level 1 DRM. Sadly that also means the trick will still not work on most cheap Android TV boxes that are limited to Level 3 security. It’s also quite possible Netflix eventually notices and changes the code to prevent this little hack. You can check Widevine DRM support with DRM Info app.

Thanks to Theguyuk for the tip.

Categories: Android Tags: Android, hack, netflix, tablet, TV box

Voyo VBook A1 Laptop Comes with Intel Celeron N3450 Apollo Lake Processor, 11.6″ Full HD Display

November 22nd, 2016 10 comments

Voyo recently introduced one of an Apollo Lake mini PCs called Voyo VMac, and  powered by either Intel Celeron N3450 or Pentium N4200 processor combined with 4GB RAM and 32GB eMMC flash + 128 GB SSD storage. The company will soon launch an Apollo Lake laptop based on Intel Celeron N3450 quad core processor with the same 4GB RAM + 160 GB storage configuration, and an 11.6″ display with 1920×1080 resolution.

voyo-vbook-a1

Voyo VBook A1 laptop specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Celeron N3450 quad core “Apollo Lake” processor @ 1.1 GHz / 2.2 GHz (Burst frequency) and 12 EU Intel HD graphics 500 @ 200 MHz / 700 MHz (Burst freq.); 6W TDP
  • System Memory – 4GB DDR3L
  • Storage – 32GB eMMC flash + 128GB M.2 SSD (Supports dual SSD extension, up to 512GB) + micro SD slot up to 128 GB
  • Display – 11.6″ IPS capacitive touch screen with 1920 x 1080 (FHD) resolution; rotatable by 360 degrees.
  • Video Output – 1x micro HDMI 1.4 port
  • Audio – HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack, built-in stereo speakers and microphone
  • Connectivity – Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0.
  • Camera – 2.0MP front-facing camera
  • USB – 1 x USB 2.0 host port, 1 x USB 3.0 port
  • Misc – Power and volume keys, 1x micro SIM card slot, lock key, G-sensor
  • Power Supply – 12V DC / 2-3A
  • Battery – 12,000 mAh Li-ion battery
  • Dimensions – 29.0 x 19.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Weight – 1.2 kg

apollo-lake-laptop

The laptop will run Windows 10 Home, and ship with a power supply and a user’s manual. The laptop appears to be inspired from Lenovo Yoga models, with the expression “YOGA 2-in-1 tablet” being used in the marketing documents, and the hybrid laptop also supports tablet, tent, and stand modes. A SIM card slot is mentioned in the specs and GeekBuying blog post, but somehow 3G / 4G LTE connectivity is not discussed at all anywhere, and it is stated that “this machine has a SIM card slot, but it does not support SIM card to surf Internet or make phone call.”

GeekBuying has started to take pre-orders for $299 including shipping, with delivery scheduled in about 40 days.

iFive and Techvision Rockchip RK3399 Hybrid Tablet/Laptop to Run Android 6.0 or Remix OS 3.0

October 16th, 2016 14 comments

We’ve seen Samsung is about to release the first Rockchip RK3399 Chromebook to the market. However it will be selling for $499, possibly a bit more than many people are ready to pay for such device, so Rockchip RK3399 powered iFive and Techvision 2-in-1 hybrid laptop & tablet devices showcased at the Hong Kong Electronics Fair might be worth a look as they should be quite cheaper.

rockchip-rk3399-tablet-laptop

Techvision 11.6″ 2-in-1 hybrid (center) and iFive 9.7″ tablet with keyboard (right)

The solution from Techvision ODM design house is a proper 2-in-1 hybrid laptop with a 11.6″ detachable screen with 1920×1080 resolution, two USB ports, a USB Type-C port and HDMI 2.0 output. The laptop also includes 2GB RAM, and 16GB flash. iFive model is more like a 9.7″ tablet sold with a keyboard acting as a tablet stand, and connecting with the tablet through pogopins. Beside the 4K display, the tablet also features 4 speakers, an audio jack, a USB 3.0 type C port, and a 13MP camera with image and depth of field sensors.


The two devices will run Android 6.0 or Remix OS 3.0, but Rockchip claims RK3399 also support Windows 10 Mobile, Chrome OS, Ubuntu, and Light Biz OS, another Android based OS with desktop improvements.

Pricing and availability are not known at this stage, but we should probably expect Rockchip RK3399 devices to flood the market by the end of the year, or early next year. One RK3399 TV box under the brand FenMi was also showcased at the fair, and it features 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, and one HDMI 2.0 port.

Via Netbook Italia.