Marvell had their booth as usual MWC this year at beautiful Barcelona, Spain. What they had with them seemed pretty ordinary till you realized what was really going on. They had a two-screen set up, one small and another a large HDTV. The small screen had a 3D game on it and the HDTV was displaying and HD Movie. And both of them were being fed by just one little box that was powered by the Armada chipset.
Armada from Marvell has the potential to completely change the way we look at Smartphones and netbooks it the future. This puppy has the power to drive up to four 2K by 2K displays all at the same time. If you think that is more than 1080p, you’re almost there — that is way more than 1080p. But there already are chips like this, right? Wrong. Because this one barely sips at the battery while doing all this. Armada can power a home theatre rig and a gaming rig all at the same time and still stay cool and satisfied with very little power.
At the heart of the Armada 618 SoC is an ARM A7 design chip, explaining its power efficiency. It is capable of working with Linux, Android and Windows Mobile but that is only because they are focussing on phones. Just imagine what this can do to a netbook!
Intel Atom is nowhere near this kind of power efficiency and it still can’t provide the kind of performance that the Armada 618 can do at less than that amount of power. It can finally bring HD video and gaming to your netbook and not in a 720p, 2D way. Its 3D rendering engine can render 45 million triangles per second, which is means killer game performance. If this replaces Atom, we will be living in a world of bliss (and addictive gaming on the go).
Asus Japan has announced recently that they are going to release a new Eee PC model called the Eee PC 1005 PE. The release is set to happen on January 30th as per the announcement. According to the company, this netbook is capable of delivering a really impressive battery life performance at nearly 12 hours! They claim that it should last 11.7 hours, to be absolutely precise.
Of course, as we all know, industrial testing standards rarely reflect the reality. So this will probably come down to between 10 and 11 hours. But even then it is pretty impressive. Especially because this new Eee PC model has nothing new component wise to distinguish it from your average Eee PC. Okay, so may be everything except the battery.
The Eee PC 1005PE is pwoered by an Intel Atom N450 (Pine Trail) processor, clocked at 1.66GHz. Tt has the usual paltry amount of memory at 1GB, 250GB of HDD storage, Intel NM10 onboard graphics and 10.1inch LCD screen for display with a 1024×600 resolution. As for I/O you will get 3 USB 2.0 ports, WiFi (b/g), Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, an SD card slot and a webcam. As you can see, it is basically your standard fare as far as components go.
There’s already an Eee PC 1005 model available in the market and this one is not different from that one at all. So what we can expect is basically the same thing with an increased battery life. Moves like this one has become a staying trend in the netbook market – if you cannot change the whole package, just make sure that you give people enough reason to upgrade to a newer device.
In reality, people do want more battery life out of their netbooks. But this just old wine in a slightly bigger bottle. The Japanese price of ¥44,800 is equivalent to €345. It will come down to well under $400 if it makes it to the US.