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Nokia May Have an ARM-based Netbook

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 19 comments

Sources say that in addition to Nokia's Atom-based 3G Booklet, the company will also offer an ARM-powered netbook/mini notebook.

Earlier this year Nokia announced a partnership with Intel and it seemed any chance of an ARM-powered netbook from the company had just slipped away. However, today Digitimes cites Taiwan-based handset makes who say in addition to the recently announced 3G Booklet, Nokia will offer an ARM smartbook and soon settle ODM orders.

The rumors is in line with previous reports that said Nokia had ordered netbook shipments from both Quanta Computers Inc. and Compal Electronics Inc. At the time, the Quanta netbooks were said to be based on Intel’s Atom chip but the Compal netbooks were said to be ARM-powered.

Indeed, Digitimes sources specified that Nokia is likely to outsource the production to either Compal Electronics or Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry).

What kind of Nokia netbook would you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • -1 Hide
    burnley14 , August 26, 2009 4:39 PM
    If their netbooks are anything like their phones, I'll avoid both. I've never been impressed by Nokia's product quality, but maybe that's just me.
  • -3 Hide
    Kaiser_25 , August 26, 2009 4:46 PM
    i agree with burnley nokia does put out low grade crap...typically
  • -6 Hide
    bustapr , August 26, 2009 5:05 PM
    What's ARM?
  • 0 Hide
    megamanx00 , August 26, 2009 5:11 PM
    Well, they have used ARM in a number of their phones so it's not surprising. I'll reserve judgment till they actually hit the streets though.
  • -2 Hide
    jhansonxi , August 26, 2009 5:20 PM
    ARM is a
  • 6 Hide
    jhansonxi , August 26, 2009 5:22 PM
    ARM is a non-x86 compatible CPU known for it's low power. The ARM is just a CPU core design that is licensed to other companies that make various chips based on it.

    (Note - don't try to log in while in the middle of posting a message. TH doesn't handle that well.)
  • 0 Hide
    Niva , August 26, 2009 5:41 PM
    I'll voice a dissenting opinion, I've loved my Nokia phones over the years. Yeah arm is not a phenom or nahalem CPU but neither is the Atom. I'd love to have an arm based netbook with linux on it if the craftsmanship of the device is up to Nokia's standards (which are very high imo.) Cheers!
  • 0 Hide
    lifelesspoet , August 26, 2009 5:54 PM
    I have waited long for an arm based mini notebook, and if the specs are similiar to the atom based one mentioned a few days prior I imagine having a hard time fighting the impulse to get one.
  • 0 Hide
    malphas , August 26, 2009 6:01 PM
    "What kind of Nokia netbook would you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!"

    ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor, 10" 1920x1080 OLED touchscreen, integrated IEEE 802.11n wifi/Bluetooth/mobile broadband module, USB 3.0, SSD, 9 cell battery, Chrome OS.

    Not going to happen, but that's basically my ideal netbook.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 26, 2009 6:54 PM
    Negative Nokia comments come often from the States where they don't even have most of Nokia models. I've been totally happy with my E71.

    If Booklet's Windows 7 runs under Maemo virtual machine.. now that would be something.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 26, 2009 8:14 PM
    malphas10" 1920x1080 OLED touchscreen, integrated IEEE 802.11n wifi/Bluetooth/mobile broadband module, USB 3.0, SSD, 9 cell battery, Chrome OS.Not going to happen, but that's basically my ideal netbook.

    That's just ridiculous!
    You can't even see a the difference between a 720 and a 1080p on a 10" screen! Besides, USB3 and everything and then a 9cell battery?
    I bet you want it for under $200 too huh?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 26, 2009 8:18 PM
    If I'd say, I'd go for ARM probably, only if the ARM has similar or better performance than the Atom (which probably will not be the case).
    ARM generally is slower, but uses way less battery, and is not Windows compatible.

    I'd not buy a 10" device, and only an ARM that is dualcore and around 1,6Ghz with the speed(which I don't think exists yet).

    I'd only buy ARM with a PixelQi screen,not an OLED.
  • 0 Hide
    szymek , August 26, 2009 9:58 PM
    I'd like it with win7, which is impossible, but this might be a good reason to retire my old fujitsu siemens pentium m 1.6, which is perfect btw!
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 26, 2009 11:15 PM
    ARM and Linux are a far better choice than Intel Atom and XP or Win7 for netbooks. If they pull it off well, it could perform just as well, cost less, and use less electricity.
  • 0 Hide
    pluto_15 , August 27, 2009 12:51 AM
    I will also buy an ARM netbook only if it is noticeable faster than an Atom N270 (when opening complex web pages). A battery life of 6-7 hours (for browsing) with a 10 or 11 inch screen, Bluetooth, wifi and 3G broadband. A built-in TV tuner is a plus. A familiar OS is obviously welcome but not very important. Probably whatever OS that support skype / video chat with a secure web browser and software for flawless flash, H264 decode will do.
  • 2 Hide
    mitch074 , August 27, 2009 7:39 AM
    @pluto_15: well, you'll just have to ask Skype to compile an ARM version of their Linux port - it's the only thing really missing from your requirement list.

    At others, complaining that ARM is not x86: well, GOOD. The x86-32 design is CRAP and OUTDATED: ask any serious programmer, it is not possible to do efficient coding in x86 assembly. AMD's 64-bit extension (doubling available registers, etc.) mitigated the problem somewhat, but you still end up running a chip that has hardware backward compatibility with the Intel 8088 (a 16-bit chip with 20-bit memory addressing capabilities), the Intel 286 (a 16-bit chip with 24-bit memory addressing capabilities) and the Intel 386 (a 32-bit chip that was based on CISC theories).

    Thank you AMD for making 64-bit programming on an x86 platform less of a pain.

    Still, this means that a bunch of transistors that sit unused (but powered) for the chip's whole life (not power efficient), that it needs to decompile complex legacy instructions into simpler instructions and THEN compute them... No matter how fast the decompile units work, they are in essence useless outside of backward compatibility - and power drain.

    The ARM is a 'dumb' design: it's small, it does one thing well, and it relies upon dedicated units for heavier computing (like, a GPU with programmable shaders capabilities) instead of relying upon an integrated floating point unit (FPU), or a dedicated complex floating point processing unit (SSE, 3Dnow!) that, even when unneeded, use up power.

    For a netbook, which is a 'dumb' unit that is not expected to do stuff like molecules folding while browsing a web page (like you'd do on a desktop or powerful laptop) and running a 15-years old application, x86 is an aberration. There, I said it.
  • 0 Hide
    anamaniac , August 27, 2009 11:49 AM
    The one produced by Foxconn...

    (Though bloodrage bios is a bitch.)
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 27, 2009 4:46 PM
    I have a Nokia N800 Internet Tablet. It is ARM-L based running Linux. I carry it everywhere I go. It has Skype, great browsing and a large number of available applications. I have put it through the ringer and it is in great shape after almost 2 years of hard use. I suspect they will use Maemo on it if it is an ARM based netbook. The N810 is almost as functional as a standard netbook and it is two years old. I don't find this news a shock. Sigh... barely news worthy much less comment.
  • 0 Hide
    malphas , August 30, 2009 4:10 AM
    ProDigit80That's just ridiculous!You can't even see a the difference between a 720 and a 1080p on a 10" screen! Besides, USB3 and everything and then a 9cell battery?I bet you want it for under $200 too huh?

    Nah, I'd rather pay for a premium Netbook, which is probably a niche market, which is why they're all very underpowered and lacking so far. I also want a battery life in days, not hours, this a 9 cell battery, even if it does weigh more. 1920x1080 is important to eliminate CPU cycles spent on resizing during playback, even if the end result is marginally noticable. In addition I'd also like multitouch and HDMI out.