Preview of Pegatron Smartbook
The ARM powered smartbook from Pegatron has received quite a lot of attention since its original demonstration this June at Computex. Ian Drew, Vice President, Segment Marketing of ARM Holdings Ltd, was pleased to demonstrate the new smartbook to the lucky people over at ITProPortal, who managed to get some quality time on the machine and take some photos for us to drool over (as long as you like pink that is!).
The smartbook is powered by the Freescale iMX515 processor, which contains an 800Mhz ARM Cortex A8 core along with a 2D/3D graphics processor driving the 1024×600 display. The smartbook comes with the usual array of connectors; USB, Bluetooth, WiFi and VGA output. One thing that stands out instantly from your typical Intel powered netbook, however, is just how light the device is. At a mere 850g, that’s less than half you would expect. It’s only after using the device for a few minutes that you realise its other distinguishing feature – it’s completely silent. The Freescale processor uses so little power it never gets hot, so doesn’t require the need of a noisy fan to keep it cool. And because it uses so little power, you can expect around 8 hours of continual use all from a 2 cell battery.
The smartbook comes with 512MB DDR2 RAM but no fixed storage – all software must be loaded and saved onto SSD cards, including the Operating System. Using good quality SSD cards with fast data transfer rates will result in a much faster machine.
The Pegatron runs the latest version of Ubuntu (9.01), but the drivers for the machine is not yet complete and resulted in sluggish video playback. The lack of complete drivers is perhaps what is stopping the Pegatron from being launched and we can only hope that this situation is rectified soon.
The price range of the machine will be somewhere between £120 and £200 depending on subsidies from the supplier. It should be noted that the cheapest Intel netbooks are around the £200 so will be interesting to find out whether consumers are willing to pay more for an Intel netbook, albeit a heavier and noisier one.
Although we haven’t yet been able to play with the Pegatron smartbook, we are impressed by the machine overall, but do worry about the lack of any storage within the machine itself. Most consumers expect for a device to be able to store a significant amount of data on their machines these days – even netbooks. We hope this doesn’t stop the Pegatron from being the success it deserves.
The full article with photos can be found here.