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Acorn Arcade forums: News and features: RComp officially releases ARM Book RISC OS laptop at London Show
 

RComp officially releases ARM Book RISC OS laptop at London Show

Posted by Mark Stephens on 17:35, 23/10/2019 |
 
As if you need another reason to go to the 2109 RISC OS London Show on saturday, it will also see the official launch of the ARMBook (or ARMBok as it has been effectively christened due to a typo in a previous email from Andrew Rawnsley).
 
The ARM book is a version of the PineBook which is stylish, lighweight and powerful. It has been customised to dual boot to RISC OS or Linux. It weighs 1 Kg and has a claimed battery life of 14 hours under RISC OS. It has a nice IPS screen which can handle 1080 IPS.

The machine packs a 1.2 gig ARM chip, 2 gigs or memory and 32-256 Gig of storage. The machine looks to be pretty complete apart from RISC OS support for WIFI - which will be a chargeable update.
 
You meet the team behind the project and have a play with the new laptops (we have been waiting since the 1990s for one!) at the London Show. There will also be a stock off models to buy on a first-come, first-served basis (or you can call RComp and they will put one aside for you).
 
If you are looking for a RISC OS laptop (or indeed just a new RISC OS machine or a versatile portable for general usage), it should definitely be on your shopping list. We will have more details of our impressions after the show...
 
RComp have updated their website with full details.
 
There are already some RISC OS users with a laptop out there. Would you like to share your experiences???
 
  RComp officially releases ARM Book RISC OS laptop at London Show
  adrianl (11:15 24/10/2019)
  markee174 (13:35 24/10/2019)
    adrianl (16:26 24/10/2019)
      SparkY (20:01 24/10/2019)
        arawnsley (10:24 25/10/2019)
        adrianl (23:21 28/10/2019)
          arawnsley (11:52 29/10/2019)
            markee174 (10:36 2/11/2019)
            adrianl (12:05 29/12/2019)
              cmj (08:28 21/1/2020)
 
Adrian Lees Message #124618, posted by adrianl at 11:15, 24/10/2019
Member
Posts: 1605
I've had a pre-release ARMbook for nearly six months, originally to get Aemulor working on it of course, but now used for software development and - in a massive dose of irony, given that it's the first RISC OS laptop I've ever had - it's been sitting on my network, operating as as server for the code that I'm writing, so I'm afraid I'm not the person to comment upon its function as a laptop. wink

It's been out into the world just once, and its first real use as a laptop will be for the show this weekend. Otherwise it has just sat there doing its thing without issue. I can confirm the impressive battery life and good display quality (1080p model). The only times I've had to restart during those months have been when I've broken it with my in-development code big grin

[Edited by adrianl at 12:16, 24/10/2019]
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Mark Stephens Message #124619, posted by markee174 at 13:35, 24/10/2019, in reply to message #124618
Member
Posts: 56
What was your impression of it as a server/desktop compared to Titanium/Pi/etc?
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Adrian Lees Message #124620, posted by adrianl at 16:26, 24/10/2019, in reply to message #124619
Member
Posts: 1605
Well, it's not intended to be used as either a server or a desktop, of course, and for the most part I haven't been driving it directly but rather using it over the network connection. As I said, it's got roped in as a test device as will become clear soon.

Once HDMI support has been implemented, setting up the laptop with external peripherals (in the manner in which laptops are often used 'back at base'), it'll be more comparable in performance terms to a Pi3B than the faster CPU of the Titanium, but the chipset is capable of UltraHD @ 30fps and the memory interface is faster than that of any Pi prior to Pi4 so it'll be a capable desktop in due course, somewhere on a par with the i.MX6 WandBoard that is my main machine.

As a laptop, its weight is negligible and it's very compact. It's a bit of a shame that the screen bezel isn't narrower, and I personally would carry a small mouse because I don't get on with trackpads, although R-Comp has clearly put quite a bit of thought into providing proper support for the 3-button mouse that is essential on RISC OS, so I'm definitely not saying it's essential. Keyboard is okay, although some people like me may have a slightly harder time for having to adjust to US layout (smaller Enter key trips me up personally).
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Gavin Message #124622, posted by SparkY at 20:01, 24/10/2019, in reply to message #124620
Danger! Danger! High Voltage!
Posts: 684
Everything I've heard about this little laptop has been positive so far, it sounds like RComp have done a great job with the RISC OS integration. I know it's been a big job but I personally can't justify until WiFi is done and dusted. Then you can count me in with bells on!

I wish I could get to the show on Saturday as I'd like to try out "Big Mode" on it.
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Andrew Rawnsley Message #124625, posted by arawnsley at 10:24, 25/10/2019, in reply to message #124622
R-Comp chap
Posts: 521
Remember that you have working wifi under linux for browsers ;like firefox.

Under riscos, there are many sub-30ukp wifi solutions available from ourselves and riscosbits. If you need wifi, there's a solution right there already.

OK, so it could be slightly neater, but I think (say) 18 pounds on one of riscosbits small addons is cheap, easy, and difficult to argue against. And I didn't even mention pifi once. Oops!
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Adrian Lees Message #124636, posted by adrianl at 23:21, 28/10/2019, in reply to message #124622
Member
Posts: 1605
Everything I've heard about this little laptop has been positive so far, it sounds like RComp have done a great job with the RISC OS integration.
As noted previously my ARMbook has been mains-powered and used for code testing for most of its life thus far. I used it on the train back from the show, however, just typing up some design notes in StrongED, and the battery drop over that 30 minutes - if linearly projected - would indicate 10.5-11 hours until empty.
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Andrew Rawnsley Message #124638, posted by arawnsley at 11:52, 29/10/2019, in reply to message #124636
R-Comp chap
Posts: 521
My experience is that it is somewhat skewed towards the lower end - ie. it takes about 40 mins to drop from 1% to 0% to actually powering off. Of course, this varies depending on what you are doing, and whether you are powering any USB devices from the battery.

I changed the warning levels in the software accordingly, as there's no point in the laptop complaining at you when you still have an hour or two of battery left!
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Mark Stephens Message #124641, posted by markee174 at 10:36, 2/11/2019, in reply to message #124638
Member
Posts: 56
Something I think would really look nice on the laptop is a proper ARMBook label and make a powered by RISC OS sticker. If you are going to badge it as an ARMBook, it needs an ARMbook badge (IMHO).
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Adrian Lees Message #124670, posted by adrianl at 12:05, 29/12/2019, in reply to message #124638
Member
Posts: 1605
Over the holiday period I've been using the ARMbook away from base as a development machine, and feel I should note that with the supplied mains charger the battery will drain down continuously to empty if you have a number of USB-powered devices attached (in my case two USB sticks, a wireless mouse dongle and a wired keyboard, all connected via an hub to the laptop).

Whether an alternative charger would sidestep this, and which of those devices is responsible for drawing the most power, I'm afraid I know not. Either way, a powered hub/'proper' docking station is the way to go.

[Edited by adrianl at 12:06, 29/12/2019]
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Chris Johns Message #124710, posted by cmj at 08:28, 21/1/2020, in reply to message #124670
Member
Posts: 8
I've been uging an ARMbook for a while as my RISC OS machine (before that it was RPCEmu on a big Linux laptop).

While it might not be the outright fastest system, it's light, small and the battery life is good. It's easy to just shove in a bag. That means I can get more done, because I will be more likely to have it with me. I've had to make a number of long (7hr+) train journeys recently so it's been great to have with me both for the journey and at the other end.

The lack of native wifi is the obvious missing thing, and the HDMI port would be useful to use it with a keyboard mouse and monitor 'at base' as Adrian says above.

I don't know what current the charger runs at, but it does take a while to charge up and if you're using it at the same time then even longer. I tended to just charge it overnight, and run it mainly on the battery in the day.
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Acorn Arcade forums: News and features: RComp officially releases ARM Book RISC OS laptop at London Show