The folks at Rikomagic UK sell a mini PC called the MK802 which can run Google Android, Ubuntu Linux, or a range of other operating systems. It features an Allwinner A10 ARM Cortex-A8 processor and HDMI and USB ports for connecting a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Soon the company plans to offer a netbook with the same low power processor. Like the MK802, the Rikomagic ARM netbook will be able to run Android or Ubuntu. But you won’t need an external keyboard or display to use the computer.

Rikomagic ARM netbook

Rikomagic is still working out the kinks with the manufacturer to make sure everything is up to snuff. But in a nutshell what you’re looking at is a netbook with a 10 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, 1GB of RAM, and 4GB to 8GB of built-in storage.

It has a 1 GHz Allwinner A10 processor and comes with Android 4.0 loaded on the internal storage. You can also boot Ubuntu 12.04 or another operating system from an SD card — much the way you can with an MK802.

Thet netbook has a full-sized SD card slot, 3 USB ports, Ethernet, and audio jacks, and a 1MP camera. Rikomagic UK says the netbook gets about 6 hours of battery life (even if it’s in standby, which is a bit of a problem).

If the mini-laptop looks familiar, that’s because it’s almost certainly based on the same design as the H6 notebook we spotted recently. You can order one now from Pandawill for $141, or wait to see what Rikomagic UK charges for the netbook.

As netbooks go, the little laptop has a very tiny touchpad and a large bezel around the screen.

Ubuntu seems to run reasonably well on the netbook, although hardware graphics acceleration isn’t working yet, which means that video playback is choppy, at best. Rikomagic expects the device to appeal to developers and folks interested in tweaking the laptop — not necessarily people looking for an Ubuntu notebook that runs perfectly out of the box.

The notebook should be able to handle YouTube, Netflix, and local video playback when using Android.

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6 replies on “Rikomagic ARM netbook will run Android, Ubuntu Linux”

  1. Shitty binary blob drivers are the most annoying thing for Linux on ARM in my experience. If this had a decent battery I would put up with the poor support for the A10 platform… Poor battery makes it a total no-go unfortunately.

  2. Weren’t we promised something like this — with much fanfare — a couple of years go? Remember “smartbooks”? I’ll believe it when I see it…

  3. Meh. Cortex A8 @ 1 Ghz is terribly anemic even for the price listed. With dual core Cortex A9 SoCs becoming commonplace I don’t see why this is a big deal. Hell in bulk the Tegra 3 (T33) is $25 per unit which is a quad core. So a nice dual core like an OMAP 44xx, Exynos 4212 or Tegra 2 would probably be less than half that.

  4. This looks fairly speedy with Ubuntu.

    In fact it runs most apps with acceptable speed.

    If these ~100 netbooks get widely available with Android and Ubuntu we may actually get to the “year of the Linux desktop” thing.

    Canonical should actively pursue these kinds of laptops with Ubuntu support.

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