tegra netbook

NVIDIA is showing off another Tegra-powered mini-laptop in Taiwan. The company showcased a number of laptops built around the platform, which bundles a low power ARM-based processor with NVIDIA graphics at Computex in June. At the time, the model that was getting the most attention was the Mobinnova élan. But the Inventec Rainbow that NVIDIA is demoing now looks pretty slick as well.

The laptop has a 600MHz low power CPU, 256MB of RAM and 256MB of flash memory, and a 10.1 inch, 1024 x 576 pixel display. It packs 802.11b/g WiFi, an EV-DO or HSPA 3G module, and GPS and/or a digital TV tuner. While the Rainbow has just a 2200mAh battery, it can stream 720p video for about 4 hours on a charge. It can also operate in standby for up to 10 days.

The Inventec Rainbow runs Windows CE 6.0 with a custom user interface and application suite that includes Firefox and an HD video player.

via Netbook News.de

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10 replies on “Inventec Rainbow: NVIDIA Tegra-powered laptop”

    1. Perhaps because Nvidia chose to use obsolete ARM core – ARM11, while any such product worth talking about uses Cortex A8 core now.

      To get a grip on the difference: ARM11 is used in iPhone 3G, while Cortex A8 in 3GS – which is, supposedly, finally “fast enough”…but with much smaller screen than this netbook (and with much more snappy browser engine also). So not only those netbooks have to work harder, they have ~2 times slower CPUs than current iPhone or Palm Pre! (and with Cortex A9 on the horizon…)

      Windows CE might somewhat help the first impression, simply because it’s hard to call it a full featured OS.

      Really, I have an impression it’s almost a scam; HD video acceleration on a netbook, woohoo!…

    2. Probably to pull in customers who see it runs Windows. Sounds like a ticket to a high return rate, though, when they figure out that it won’t run the apps they’re used to.

      Other than the digital TV tuner, the specs look like they just grabbed the guts of a smartphone and stuck them in a netbook case.

      My guess is that it shouldn’t be too hard to get an ARM Linux distro up and running on it, though. Some of the ARM distros are designed to run on really, really old and slow hardware, so even if it’s a lousy chip, it will probably work at very usable speeds with the right application load, i.e. no Gnome, KDE, OpenOffice, etc.

      1. erm got nout to do with cortex vs arm 11… CE is light, stable, and is built with good power management and instant on/off..

        It may be arm 11 but the cortex cores so far can’t handle 1080p this can.

        The also have a GPU accelerated version of firefox 3.5 running very nicely indeed.

        Nothing wrong with the OS as long as they get enough usefull software running. Nvidia did say they were working on more software with gpu acceleration.

        This is faster than any smartphone until tegra smartphones hit the market. However it will still be likely faster as it will be able to display the webpages in full (a lot of smartphones are made slow as they have to make the pages fit the screen)…

        Why go to the pain of ARM linux? It is nowhere near as light (unless you use a very cut down distro) and it had nowhere near the power management facilities of CE (so you wouldn’t get 10 day standby and would be harder to set up so Data connection can work while in standby).

        Yes there is andriod which a lot have mentioned but CE allows acceleration of the desktop with the GPU. Android doesn’t which would make desktop considerably more sluggish.

        IMHO this thing will feel faster then atom netbooks with XP (based on the speed of my 200mhz strongarm CE machine).

        There is a lot to recomend it I think it would be wise to see one in use along side an atom netbook before people automatically dismiss it.

        I am willing to bet open office will run fine on this if a port was made for CE… And being nvidia have a firefox gpu accelerated port I would not be surprised if they have other apps like this available soon.



        1. Thanks for the insights on the advantages of Windows CE.

          I’m not fundamentally biased against it — I run a WinMo phone that I quite like.

          My impression has been that the software support is pretty shaky. The version of IE on my WinMo phone is really bad for a phone, and it would be intolerable on a computer. There’s some interesting open source apps that have been ported, but many of them seem to be abandonware.

          Obviously you’ve had a better experience with CE apps. Can you talk about what you use?

          1. Well IE on CE seems better than smartphone ones. On CE 4.2 there are very few sites that do not display 100% perfectly. However tegra is bringing desktop firefox to the party with full flash support so don’t see how IE in CE will even be an issue.

            For office the best out there at moment is made by softmaker wich comes in at €69 so just about £50 or under depending on exchange rate. This is not just basic office but full desktop quality apps that are fully MS office compatible (word processor, spreadsheet and powerpoints – belive they are working on database at moment). Yes it is chargeable but is a superb package and being some ARM devices have come with it as part of the package I think their license for OEM’s must be reasonable.

            Messenger comes built in and works nicely.

            TCPMP is what I usually use for media player duties as it will handle Divx, xvid, ac3, mp3 etc.. etc..

            I use Qmail3 for email (as it will handle secure mail and html mail nicely).

            Using a GPS reciver I am able to use most GPS software. At the moment Route 66 for WM is my app of choice.

            I have zirc for IRC duties

            EZ GFX for basic photo resize (I say basic but 200Mhz arm is limiting this).

            Also use palringo for WL messenger, Yahoo messenger etc. etc.

            I have pdf readers…

            There is a lot of software surprisingly, though not as much as there used to be (as CE hasn’t really been a consumer OS since HPC2000 jornada 720 and nec 900). However CE has been used in engineering control devices, satnavs, set top boxes etc. to good effect and also as the underpinnings for WM.

            So my 1st thought is nvidia have got flash and firefox 3.5 working already (with gpu acceleration), they have HD video and have said they are actively working on more software for the tegra platform. If they can add a good office suite (like open office) and a good photo app I think we have the makings of a usefull platform. If these sell there will be plenty of software (all the WM stuff is just a re-compile away) and if there are customers there will be plenty of software made available.

            Maybe a better question would be what software do you use and need in a device like this and I can tell you what apps there are (as I say bearing in mind consumer devices have not been available for a number of years).

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