Parade of Small Cheap Computers

Moore’s law works for everyone except Wintel these days. While users of ARMed CPUs get ever-lowering prices, Wintel is competing in a token manner at the low end while pushing ever more expensive “ultra” models… M$ keeps trying to “get value” by charging high per-unit licensing fees to OEMs. They’ve just barely begun to compete on price.

“Datawind’s three new UbiSlate tablets are based on the Aakash 2 educational tablet that shipped in India in early 2012, as well as an upcoming Aakash 3 model. The Aakash 2 was hailed as the world’s cheapest tablet, at about $40, and was available to schoolchildren at lower prices thanks to subsidization by the Indian school system. In India, sales of the Aakash 2 overtook the iPad according to U.K.-based Datawind.”

Those small cheap tablets designed for the Indian market are now selling in USA… At the same time that Google and Android/Linux are winning the hearts and minds of computer-users, RedHat and GNU/Linux are moving to support ARMed CPUs by shipping Fedora with support for ARM. What could RedHat be thinking? 😉

See $38 Android tablet the new king of cheap.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
This entry was posted in technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Parade of Small Cheap Computers

  1. oiaohm says:

    ssorbom Arm chips are many time cheaper than x86 chips. Even arm chips from intel are cheaper. Problem is the performance difference between arm and x86 is reducing with each new form.

    ssorbom most android phones can host a complier and IDE. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.aide.ui

    Of course android tablet is more preferable to operate AIDE than a phone due to screen size. ssorbom basically I can show you thousands of phones and tablets that can host a compiler. They just have 1 OS in common they are all Android.

    So yes that 40 dollar tablet can host a complier to build more android applications.

  2. ssorbom wrote, “From what I have seen, intel’s chips look to be vastly more powerful. I am skeptical of “low power” devices, they seem to be mostly targeted at providing a content pipeline. You aren’t comparing apples to apples when measuring these things against PC’s. Show me a single tablet/smarthone on the market today (including surface) that can host a compiler. Tablets just aren’t there yet.”

    Intel never said, “No!”, to the the huge profits Wintel gave them with other platforms excluded. Folks locked into Windows were locked in to Intel. Intel was caught paying OEMs to avoid AMD so that competition was stifled. They have unclean hands.

    Intel did do software a decade ago or longer but were pushed out by M$ which demanded Intel not support competing technologies. That started to fade around 2005 when M$ was held to a higher standard. Intel is a definite asset to IT but its chip/architecture is bloated and that bloat was supported by lack of competition and the lockin of Wintel. They definitely use more energy per unit of work than ARM. ARM, AMD and Intel all use pipelining which allows multiple operations per clock cycle. They all have on-chip caches. Depending on the workload one or the other might be optimal but as Android/Linux has shown ARM certainly is good enough.

    It’s plainly silly to require a tablet to run a compiler. That’s best done on a server with lots of resources. I can build for ARM on Beast, for instance. No need for a client device to do that kind of heavy lifting. No GUI is required for building binaries. You don’t think less of a Cadillac because it can’t carry 10T of gravel. Neither should you feel a SoC that can do 1080P while playing video games or surfing is inadequate. Hundreds of millions of ordinary folks are satisfied. The fact that Google chose the less efficient Android than GNU to do their thing shows there is power to spare. Intel came late to the game. They could have developed great mobile processors but Atom is the best they could do. It’s barely competitive today except that it can run that other OS.

  3. ssorbom says:

    Surface uses an intel chip. From what I have seen, intel’s chips look to be vastly more powerful. I am skeptical of “low power” devices, they seem to be mostly targeted at providing a content pipeline. You aren’t comparing apples to apples when measuring these things against PC’s. Show me a single tablet/smarthone on the market today (including surface) that can host a compiler. Tablets just aren’t there yet.

    Mr Pogson, I think you are being unfair lumping intel in with Microsoft.

    Intel has shown they are pretty commited to OSS:
    http://lxer.com/module/newswire/ext_link.php?rid=189896

  4. dougman says:

    Who in their right mind would spend $1500 for an Ultrabook, when you can get a Chromebook for $300.

    OEMs are smart and know that people will spend “just enough” to get what they want.

    The latest tablets are a view of things to come, Surface tablets will never surpass the current market as M$ is NOT a innovator but a copy-cat and with M$ accounting for only .7 percent of tablets shipped worldwide, Surface is going no where.

Leave a Reply