Bob Morris is Director of Mobile Computing for chip-maker ARM. And this week he’s begun testing a Pegatron netbook prototype using an ARM Cortex-A8 based processor that clocks in at 800MHz. Pegatron has been showing off a version of this device since January, but it looks like it’s getting close to being production-ready.
Morris says the little laptop has a 10.1 inch display and 2 cell battery and runs Ubuntu 9.04 Linux. Power management features aren’t working yet, but he’s already able to get about 4.5 hours of battery life out of it with the screen brightness all the way up and WiFi on. That number could double once the netbook has power management in place.
The netbook also apparently does a reasonable job with video, but can’t handle Flash video very well yet. But drivers that add hardware acceleration for Flash video are expected soon, which could give these ARM-based netbooks a leg up on some Intel Atom-based systems.
For more details, check out Morris’s blog post on the netbook.