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Linux Rescues Battery Life On Vista Notebooks From Dell 200

Posted by timothy
from the wizard-behind-the-curtain dept.
nerdyH writes "Dell is preparing to ship two enterprise-oriented Windows Vista notebooks with an interesting feature — a built-in TI OMAP (smartphone) processor that can power instantly into Linux. The 'Latitude ON' feature is said to offer 'multi-day' battery life, while letting users access email, the web, contacts, calendar, and so on, using the notebook's full-size screen and keyboard. I wonder if someday we'll just be able to plug our phones into our laptops, switching to the phone's processor when we need to save battery life? Or, maybe x86 will just get a lot more power-efficient. Speaking at MontaVista's Vision event today, OLPC spokesperson and longtime kernel hacker Deepak Saxena said the project is aiming for 10-20 hours of battery life during active use, on existing hardware (AMD Geode LX800 clocked at 500MHz, with 1GB of Flash and 256MB of RAM)."
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Linux Rescues Battery Life On Vista Notebooks From Dell

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  • eh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gewalt (1200451) on Friday October 03, 2008 @07:36AM (#25244065)

    Well, I hope it's at least damn pretty, cause being the runner up to "the real os" isn't really something to be proud of. But if its flashy enough, then people will like it and will increase their opinion of linux. Then again... is it going to say its Linux?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by I.M.O.G. (811163)
      It doesn't need to be pretty - if I can turn a system on in near-zero boot time and do useful things like access email or open a document... Point me to the cash register, I'm ready to hand over my wallet.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Gewalt (1200451)

        It doesn't need to be pretty - if I can turn a system on in near-zero boot time and do useful things like access email or open a document... Point me to the cash register, I'm ready to hand over my wallet.

        Ok, *points to store.apple.com* My laptop takes about 2 seconds from "open lid" to "network interface is up and browsser is online" and "documents can be opened".

        Now, granted, that's using sleep, not shutdown. But seriously, when sleep actually works as advertised..... Why the fuck would you ever want to shut down?

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          A bit expensive... My Asus EEE 701 4G boots up incredibly fast. 5 seconds to the Xandros password screen.

          That's cold boot because the sleep functionality sucks seriously on the EEE. ("sucks seriously" as in "sucks battery for breakfast")

          • Re:eh (Score:5, Funny)

            by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday October 03, 2008 @08:59AM (#25244641) Homepage Journal

            You guys need to slow down a bit. I don't know what kind of job requires you to access your email within 5 seconds, but I get a stomach ache just thinking about it.

            Seriously, nobody wants to wait two minutes or even one minute. But I have to chuckle when I think of any apple laptop user that "needs" his laptop to boot in 5 seconds. By the time he stirs his soy latte, brings out his iPhone ostentatiously, and makes sure someone's noticed the logo on the lid, that's 15 seconds right there.

            • by SkunkPussy (85271)

              do you enjoy waiting at traffic lights, waiting in queues, travelling on aeroplanes, staring at progress dialogues, etc? no?

            • by d3ac0n (715594)

              By the time he stirs his soy latte, brings out his iPhone ostentatiously, and makes sure someone's noticed the logo on the lid, that's 15 seconds right there.

              Now now, let's be nice here. While I will admit, Apple DOES have a reputation as an Elitist's machine, Apple has been making inroads into other markets for some time.

              When my father quit his old job and started his own company, he asked me what laptop he should buy. I unequivocally told him to buy a Mac. He bought himself a Powerbook Pro, and hasn't

              • by Gewalt (1200451)

                sory for being pedantic, but I just can't help it.

                PowerBooks are relics of apple's legacy hardware, with PowerPC chips in them. They never had a Powerbook Pro. It's a MacBook and MacBook Pro now, ever since the switch to intel architecture (which was when Apple became relevant again)

              • Hmm... my dad set my grandpa up with Ubuntu, but I don't think he uses it much. 'Twas a bad plan to do that when grandpa doesn't have any of the family geeks living nearby... Mac might have been a better (though more expensive) option.
            • Re:eh (Score:4, Funny)

              by not already in use (972294) on Friday October 03, 2008 @09:52AM (#25245177)
              I actually saw a guy in Starbucks time his MacBook on boot. Went something like this:

              "Uno, Dos, Tres, Catorce!"
              • Re:eh (Score:5, Funny)

                by cayenne8 (626475) on Friday October 03, 2008 @10:32AM (#25245833) Homepage Journal
                "I actually saw a guy in Starbucks time his MacBook on boot. Went something like this:

                "Uno, Dos, Tres, Catorce!"

                I don't get it.....1, 2, 3, 14 ??

                So, you're saying people in Starbucks don't know how to count in any language?

                I suppose that explains how they get away with selling coffee at those prices.....

              • Well, you did better than me in terms of seeing the Mac guy in Starbucks.

                I always seem to go into those Starbucks where the token Mac user has precisely positioned himself in such a way so as to reflect the light from his lid-located silver Apple logo straight into the eyes of any customer who walks in...

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by I.M.O.G. (811163)

          Good point, Apple's sleep mode actually works as advertised. Bit I and most others in business aren't in the market for an Apple laptop to do real work on (not counting marketing, etc... I said "real" work).

          On a windows platform, sleep and hibernation have been sketchy, mainly due to questionable drivers. Add to this the fact that even if it does come out of sleep correctly, things feel a bit sluggish still and it altogether just doesn't feel snappy.

          Give me web, email, and documents in a snap, with the oppo

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Gewalt (1200451)

            In only ten seconds more I can launch Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion and have a fuly integrated Windows XP environment that runs at full speed. That's 5 seconds to launch the host and 5 seconds to unsuspend the guest. You can shave the first 5 seconds off by never shutting down the Host application.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by TheRaven64 (641858)
            Out of interest, have you tried using Windows on an Apple laptop? Apple does something quite neat with sleep mode, where they begin suspend-to-disk when the lid is closed but don't turn off the RAM until the battery is low, so you have suspend-to-RAM which changes to suspend-to-disk if the battery goes flat. I've never actually had my battery go flat while in sleep mode, however, so Windows' suspend-to-RAM ought to work. I believe the drivers for Apple hardware are fairly good (although I've not used the
            • Windows Vista also does the suspend-to-RAM that converts automatically to suspend-to-disk. It's simply called 'sleep', and it's the primary option on the shutdown menu (rather than shutdown, sleep or hibernate, which are off, suspend to ram, and suspend to disk, respectively).

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          You know, sleep does a number on your pc. It sounds like a nice power saving feature, but it's not "off". Fans are still on, hard drives are sometimes on (depending on configuration), and other things too. I'm sure you know this.

          For non sleep, why not just use hibernate? Even linux supports that.

          • by Gewalt (1200451)

            Yes, sleep fails miserably on many computers. That's why I specified "when it works as advertised" and pointed to apples store.

            My MBP can sleep for over a week without running out of battery. (that's the longest I have ever been away from it)

          • by jonnythan (79727)

            Uh, what?

            I put my computer to sleep and my Kill-A-Watt says it's using about 4 watts. No fans are on. No hard drives are on. And it wakes up from this 4-watt sleep in about 4 seconds, compared to 15-20 for hibernate.

            There are different sleep states. Sounds like you're only familiar with S1.

            • by poetmatt (793785)

              I am familiar with S3 being more common, but remmeber: there are more users on old hardware than on new hardware. Not many use S2. So what are we left with? S1.

              I prefer S4 aka HIBERNATE, as I mentioned myself. How can I be only familiar with S1 if I mentioned hibernation? (facepalm). I can has critical reading?

        • But seriously, when sleep actually works as advertised..... Why the fuck would you ever want to shut down?

          Hum... increased battery life ?

          Also while hibernating & powering off between usages spares more battery than maintaining the system on sleep, it doesn't solve the problem of battery usage *while* the system is up.

          Whereas the Linux solution, besides being cool because it's Linux, is also really interesting because it runs on a separate low power TI OMAP hardware platform (like the recently featured Pandora gaming console, like the Beagle Board, or more mundane like the iPhone).
          and *that* is something tha

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mevets (322601)

      Maybe dell will fork a design to leave out the x86 and assorted junk. A notebook sized iPhone-like device with huge battery life would be pretty cool....

    • Re:eh (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Lumpy (12016) on Friday October 03, 2008 @08:04AM (#25244209) Homepage

      Actually I have a demo laptop I take with me to convince people. It's my work laptop it dual boots into Ubuntu and Vista.

      I show aunt millie Vista.. she oohs, ahhs, and clicks on a few things, I explain how the pop-ups are making sure that things she does are what she wants and tries t o keep her safe.

      I then boot into ubuntu and she goes, "wow! why does it boost so much faster?" then she oohs nd aahs even louder playing with ubuntu until I show her the "add software" item in the programs menu and say "you cant buy software for Ubuntu. You get it all free right here on this list, and had her install the Gramps family history program that really excited her. aunt millie installed a complex program on Linux. she cant install most anything on windows.

      needless to say, she wants me to install Ubuntu on her brand new computer and blow out the new Vista home install. I have done this to ALL my family that I support, except for my brother that must access a SCADA system for work they all use Ubuntu. And my brother had to downgrade to XP because the SCADA software is incompatable with Vista.

      If users use linux and Vista side by side, linux wins hands down even with the non techie crowd. The problem is that almost NOBODY is doing this.

      • Re:eh (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Gewalt (1200451) on Friday October 03, 2008 @08:21AM (#25244319)

        My own kids' computers are cheap arse dell dimensions that were leftovers from a project many moons ago. Kids are 5 and 8. I set both machines up dual booting Ubuntu and XP. Taught the kids how to switch from one OS to the other. Both choose Ubuntu for most tasks but will use XP happily enough for that rare game some odd family member bought them that only runs on windows.
         
        For the most part, I consider my kids will grow up considerably more OS agnostic than the average user, and I am hoping that will turn out to be a major advantage for them. (Oh, ya, and they also get to use my macbook pro occasionally too, but usually only when we are on the road, they like OSX the most but I'm a cheap bastard and cant afford to get them their own macbooks)

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by R3d Jack (1107235)
        Have your brother run Ubuntu and run XP in a virtual machine. I do that at home with the family Mac and Napster (keeps my kid satisfied and legal).
      • Re:eh (Score:5, Funny)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday October 03, 2008 @09:08AM (#25244707) Homepage Journal

        Which OS does your Aunt Millie use when she wants to play Crysis Warhead?

      • I went through this whole process with my brother. Same reaction when I showed him Ubuntu and told him everything was free. Now, roughly a month later he had me put XP back on it. The "ooh's" and "ahh's" wear off real quick when you realize you are hamstrung by shitty 3rd party support and Linux crappy OSS alternatives to commercial software.
  • by Viol8 (599362) on Friday October 03, 2008 @07:40AM (#25244085)

    ... when IBM PCs had BASIC in ROM which you could start instantly and (in theory) do some sort of work with without booting DOS. No bad thing IMO.

  • by Viol8 (599362) on Friday October 03, 2008 @07:46AM (#25244129)

    A LOT of people by a PC just to access email or the web. If they can do all this with an OS that starts instantly too , why will they want Vista? Time for MS to sweat possibly?

    • Have you seen the OMAP series? A 3530 would be enough for most people and the A9-based ones on the near-future roadmap are even more interesting. I'd be more than happy to give up binary compatibility for the performance per watt that they provide. Something like the OpenPandora system with HDMI out and 256MB or more of RAM would be close to my ideal portable.
    • I'm waiting for an owner of one of these to be shown how to boot into Vista and saying "I don't recognise this?" - after they have had it for a year ....

    • A LOT of people by a PC just to access email or the web. If they can do all this with an OS that starts instantly too , why will they want Vista? Time for MS to sweat possibly?

      Because often 'access email' means Word and Powerpoint forwards. I lost one user from Kubuntu to XP Cracked Edition because she _needed_ to read those forwards that her friends with boring jobs send her. OOo 2.4 just did not display them reliably enough. She _notices_ that the system is slower, and she _knows_ that it probably had malware right from the install. But that doesn't bother her as much as not being able to open Powerpoint forwards properly.

      • by wiz_80 (15261) on Friday October 03, 2008 @08:52AM (#25244571)

        Strange - my home machine runs OpenOffice instead of MS Office, and I can only remember one PPT that did not open right the first time in OOo. DOCs all come up fine, so much that when I need to do a lot of word processing I do it on the desktop with the nice keyboard and then transfer the file to the work lapdog. Never had any trouble, even with big multi-author documents with all sorts of highlighting and versioning.

        • Try that with Dia/Visio. I can't reliably export as Visio from Dia - it always offsets the text horribly.
          • by wiz_80 (15261)

            Oh yeah, Visio is the one MS program that I haven't found a reasonable substitute for. I was only talking about the sort of "funny" attachments users want from their personal e-mail.

      • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Friday October 03, 2008 @10:46AM (#25246115)

        I lost one user from Kubuntu to XP Cracked Edition because she _needed_ to read those forwards that her friends with boring jobs send her.

        But presumably she didn't need it enough to go buy a proper licensed copy of XP?

        I don't intend bleating on about piracy and I really don't want to play the Linux zealot here, but I do wish people would compare "like for like". Far too many people seem to forget that XP and MS Office are commercial products that they *should* be paying for whereas Open Office and Linux are obtainable freely.

        If it was impossible to run cracked copies of Windows, MS Office and other Windows software and everyone had to pay for proper licenses, I'm sure a lot more people would take the trouble to actually try free software, rather than staying in a comfort zone and just assuming it cannot do what they need it to.

        As another poster has already said, I've never seen a PPT that I couldn't import in Open Office. Sure, I don't use all of Powerpoint's features but, in my experience, the compatibility seems quite good.

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Friday October 03, 2008 @07:50AM (#25244145)
    Going out on a limb here, but I suspect the use of a mobile phone processor contributed a teeny bit more to the improved battery life than the Linux. (FWIW, I don't see any statistically significant battery life difference between Xubuntu and Vista Business on my own machine, but that's another story.)
    • by Gewalt (1200451) on Friday October 03, 2008 @07:52AM (#25244153)

      You ever try to get windows vista running on a AMD Geode LX800? You are correct in saying that its the processor saving the power, not the OS, but without the OS, the processor wouldn't be an option.

      • by Sockatume (732728)
        There are plenty of other OSes than Linux which they could've run off that CPU. Linux is arguably the best option these days, but it's an OS choice driven by the hardware, rather than the other way around.
    • by Gollum (35049)

      And which version of Windows would you run on that processor, then? Oh, right!

      • umm (Score:3, Informative)

        by RMH101 (636144)
        ...you are aware that a good proportion of Windows Mobile devices run on OMAP processors, right? Like the venerable HTC Wizard etc?
      • by Sockatume (732728)
        I'd probably opt for something else entirely. You hardly need a general-purpose OS for the functions they suggest, although that would stifle your ability to update the applications.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by akozakie (633875)

          Not only that. Having a general purpose operating system gives you a choice you wouldn't otherwise have - using applications that the designers didn't consider. I know I'd like a laptop with 20+ hours on a normal battery, but it would have to have at least ssh (works on my phone, so obviously not a problem), and something to edit text (LaTeX, docs, sometimes simple programs - vi or something else that doesn't need much processor power). I could do 80% of my everyday work with this. And if after a few hours

        • Let's the options (Score:3, Interesting)

          by DrYak (748999)

          I'd probably opt for something else entirely.

          Which operating system can run a complete desktop solution with web, mail, chat, word-processing and a few other task ? with support for complete support for LAN, Wifi, tons of USB pluggable peripherals and full screen with windowing ? On a low power *NON*-x86 chip ?
          And is already used and deployed as such and will require minimal tuning (some branding at most ?)

          Ok let's build a list :

          1. Linux (tons of OMAP support to pick from already)
          2. *BSD (you can basically copy-paste comment about linux)
          3. Symbian (has been u
          • by Sockatume (732728)
            "In short you *could* use it for the Web/Mail tasks, but nothing else, unless you throw several programmers at the task of writing all the missing apps & drivers."

            Well, that's pretty much all they're offering as it is. You could practically do it all as embedded software (which is what I was getting at with "something else entirely"), although as the reply above you suggests, that would cut you off from installing your own apps.
  • by squoozer (730327) on Friday October 03, 2008 @07:59AM (#25244181)

    ... you just need a very very big battery. Rather than quoting run time on battery we should probably start reporting the average power draw of the system idle and under full load.

    • by ozbird (127571)
      Rather than quoting run time on battery we should probably start reporting the average power draw of the system idle and under full load.

      Why? Apart from electrical engineers, users don't care what the power draw is - they do care about actual run time.
      If you want to put that value into context, factor in the other variables that matter to users e.g. run time per kg, run time per cm^3, run time per $.
      • by cnettel (836611)
        Power draw will affect heat output. Of course, we can have a good design radiating heat out in a way that is no inconvenience to the user, but most systems will turn up their fans or get hot to the touch in inconvenient places.
  • Flamebait headline (Score:3, Insightful)

    by abigsmurf (919188) on Friday October 03, 2008 @08:03AM (#25244203)
    They're talking about using a system on a chip solution that is designed to draw about 2W compared to the 20W or so the laptop usually draws. Of course it's going to last longer.

    Given the Geode is x86, this could quite easily run XP and would likely achieve a similar battery life. It just wouldn't be instant on.

    It's also an incredibly expensive solution that'll add weight and bulk to the laptop. If this kind of thing is important to you, get a PDA or smartphone.

    • by Sockatume (732728)
      It sounds like it gives you access to your machine's own files, though. I suppose a more elegant alternative would be to design a CPU package with an ultra-low-voltage, ultra-low-performance mode and some sort of teeny onboard memory, rather than a whole other CPU for the stripped-back OS.
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Friday October 03, 2008 @08:13AM (#25244267)
    How about putting a solar array on a notebook case/cover that could power your laptop and any other items such as cell phones and music players?

    Seeing that batteries are a very limited resource, how about having the option to use the unlimited power of the sun?

    It also has a dual benefit of forcing you to get out of your parent's basement every so often.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ErroneousBee (611028)

      Because then you have to leave these things out in the sun, where they will get stolen, or suffer from heat stress issues, warping of plastics, water damage, etc.

      Its also hard to charge an 18V battery from the 5V typical that you get from a laptop sized solar panel.

      Power monkeys and similar are the way to go, especially if capacitor based batteries come around, then you can charge devices from the powermonkey in minutes.

      • Okay. How about using a liquid fuel source like lighter fluid?

      • by Agripa (139780)

        Even if the solar panel voltage depended on the surface area instead of the series and parallel topology, the necessary charge controller could easily handle any required voltage step up which is arguably the best configuration anyway.

    • Seeing that batteries are a very limited resource, how about having the option to use the unlimited power of the sun?

      • It's been raining for 3 days, now what do yo do?
      • You live above the Arctic Circle, and it's winter. Now what do you do?
      • Your laptop uses more than the 20 watts or so that such a small solar array would produce (on a good day). Now what do you do?

      Solar power isn't really that unlimited, especially if you have to be mobile.

      • by malkavian (9512)

        Actually, it's a great idea.
        You mentioned lots of boundary conditions and "What if" on the negative side. Look at the wins:

        What if you manage to complete some work you otherwise wouldn't have been able to by using the last of the battery that was charged by solar.
        What about the energy you'll save (across the whole user base of the machines). That's significant!
        What if you're a casual user of the laptop (like my father; he brings it out now and then, and the battery has frequently lost charge from sitting

        • ...what if it's cheaper, more convenient, and more effective to just upgrade your battery to the next size up? Solar probably only makes sense if you'll be mobile (so no car batteries) and far away from mains power (so you can't just plug in at night) for an extended length of time.
        • It's been raining for 3 days, now what do yo do?
        • You live above the Arctic Circle, and it's winter. Now what do you do?
        • Your laptop uses more than the 20 watts or so that such a small solar array would produce (on a good day). Now what do you do?

        I'm sure that vendors are dying to satisfy the weird needs of those 20 people. :D

    • by ja (14684)
      How about instead putting a second battery in its own case with solar power. That way you can leave the charger out in the sun, while you yourself stay cool - poolside with a pina collada? - in the shade ...
  • silly... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Timothy Brownawell (627747) <tbrownaw@prjek.net> on Friday October 03, 2008 @08:13AM (#25244269) Homepage Journal

    I wonder if someday we'll just be able to plug our phones into our laptops, switching to the phone's processor when we need to save battery life?

    That would be silly. Why not plug your foldable self-powered screen/keyboard thing into your "phone" when you need more pixels or want to type something long?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by argent (18001)

      Why not plug your foldable self-powered screen/keyboard thing into your "phone" when you need more pixels or want to type something long?

      I'd rather plug my phone module into my PDA when I want a smart phone, or leave it in the dumb phone jacket to save power the rest of the time.

      The phone module for the Visor was going to be a step in that direction, but Handspring had corporate ADD.

      • I use a combination similar to this. A Nokia 770, an old, cheap 3G phone, and a bluetooth keyboard. When I want to type, I can connect the keyboard to the 770, and it runs vim nicely (great for getting an article finished while waiting for people to arrive at the pub). When I want to access the Internet, and there's no hostspot, I can use the phone in the dial-up profile. When I want to make calls, the phone is a phone. Add a bit more RAM, a faster CPU (OMAP 3530 or similar) and HDMI out, and I probabl
      • I'd rather plug my phone module into my PDA when I want a smart phone, or leave it in the dumb phone jacket to save power the rest of the time.

        Been doing that for year between my PalmOS PDA and an antique GPRS phone.
        Except they don't plug physically into each other but use bluetooth instead.

        Why not plug your foldable self-powered {...}keyboard thing into your "phone"

        Keybaords made by Stowaway/iGo/ThinkOutside. Except for the screen part, it's exactly has you suggest.

        The phone module for the Visor was going to be a step in that direction, but Handspring had corporate ADD.

        The saddest thing is that currently in most smart phones, the Phone portion is handled by a separate chip with its own RISC processor - a magic box which takes care of everything and speaks with "ATxx" style commands to the rest.

        So technically ALL current smart

        • by argent (18001)

          The original stowaway keyboard was decent, good feel, almost enough keys. The current one is nasty.

    • Re:silly... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by soupforare (542403) on Friday October 03, 2008 @09:34AM (#25244975)
      I really wish IBM's metapad [ibm.com] got out of the prototype stage.
    • by akozakie (633875)

      Good solution, just throw in an external laptop-sized battery, giving the phone/keyboard/screen combo uptime measured in weeks. I'd buy it - light, functional, charge when you remember... perfect for most tasks.

  • Freedom from x86 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rbanffy (584143) on Friday October 03, 2008 @08:32AM (#25244433) Homepage Journal

    The interesting part, from my point of view, is that a free OS like Linux may foster the development of non-x86 binary architectures with different strengths.

    I said this before: I would love to see a notebook chip with multiple ARM (or OMAP, or MIPS or whatever) cores that could be powered up and down depending on demand and desired power consumption.

    The fact such machine would be completely Windows-proof would be a nice plus.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)

      ARM (or OMAP

      OMAP is an implementation of ARM. The current generation is based on the Cortex A8 series, and comes with a nice DSP core as well (some also come with an OpenGL ES 2.0-capable PowerVR GPU) in a package that can have a 128MB RAM chip clipped on top, so you don't need any motherboard traces for RAM unless you want more than 64MB. If you want one to play with, there's quite a cheap development board [beagleboard.org].

      The next generation is to be based on the Cortex A9 MPcore architecture, which supports 1-4 cores on the sa

  • If Dell wanted to save battery life on their Vista notebooks, why didn't they just integrate sideshow in their laptops? It comes with the OS and has a lot of plugins [microsoft.com] to choose from.

    I know it's not a full blown OS, but outside of web surfing it does most of the functions of this system with even less power usage because of it's smaller screen.

    • by argent (18001)

      Wait, you think they should add a second screen for this? Did I understand you correctly?

  • I'd like one without the x86 and without Vista, please.

  • This appears to be exactly the same concept as that BeautyBox from yesterday - with a gamepad molded into it - called Pandora, only much, much more expensive.

    According to the TI manual, it will do 40bit fixpoint mul as well, apparently for the sole reason that this is what is needed for implementing a quality vocoder? .. Hey, that is what I would like to call /sound/ engineering! :-D

  • x86 power efficiency (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tjrw (22407) on Friday October 03, 2008 @11:01AM (#25246337) Homepage

    "Or, maybe x86 will just get a lot more power-efficient."

    Umm, have you heard of the Intel Atom? The biggest mill wheel around the neck of that processor is that there is no power-efficient chipset for the laptop/desktop-class processors (the 945 chipset is an absolute dog in terms of power consumption). The processors targetted at the netbook/mobile market have a very good support chipset by contrast.

    For reference, the N270 has a TDP of 2W which is pretty power-efficient in my book :-)

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