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The Icon Bar: News and features: RiscStation Portable - new details released
 

RiscStation Portable - new details released

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 12:29, 8/2/2002 | , , ,
 
Photo2RiscStation have just sent through the lastest info on their portable machine, with updated specs and some new photos. The specs give a lot of details, including the huge number of ports available - including USB, VGA and SVHS, IRDA, 100bT network, Midi, Serial and PCMCIA. We've also heard that they're working hard to update the look of the OS, although they won't be supporting Select as yet.

We've created a page with the entire email so that you don't miss anything, including the timing comparisons with other machines.

Information on the RiscStation Portable
 
  RiscStation Portable - new details released
  (12:56 8/2/2002)
  Guest (12:57 8/2/2002)
    Paul Vigay (13:00 8/2/2002)
      John Hoare (13:03 8/2/2002)
        Mr Jake Monkeyson (13:07 8/2/2002)
          Guest (13:10 8/2/2002)
            Andrew P Harmsworth (13:38 8/2/2002)
              Richard Walker (13:40 8/2/2002)
                Richard Goodwin (13:42 8/2/2002)
                  Guest (14:01 8/2/2002)
                    Mr Jake Monkeyson (15:12 8/2/2002)
                      John Duffell (15:36 8/2/2002)
                        mark quint (15:38 8/2/2002)
                          Guest (16:32 8/2/2002)
                            Lee Johnston (16:44 8/2/2002)
                              Lee Johnston (16:46 8/2/2002)
                                Guest (16:47 8/2/2002)
                                  Richard Goodwin (17:40 8/2/2002)
                                    Iain Williamson (18:08 8/2/2002)
                                      Guest (13:13 9/2/2002)
                                        Marco Frissen (17:44 9/2/2002)
                                          Marco Frissen (17:46 9/2/2002)
                                            Guest (23:34 9/2/2002)
                                              Guest (06:08 10/2/2002)
 
Peter Naulls Message #90012, posted at 12:56, 8/2/2002
Unregistered user 10 Gigabit Hard Drive - nice.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90013, posted at 12:57, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90012
Unregistered user Lots of ports, but probably not much use without appropriate drivers -- about which, they've said naught.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Paul Vigay Message #90014, posted at 13:00, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90013
Unregistered user Mmmm. Looking nicer and nicer each time I see it. At this rate, I might even be tempted to upgrade my Apple Titanium laptop and buy one myself. :-)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Hoare Message #90015, posted at 13:03, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90014
Unregistered user *sobs* I want one! :-)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Mr Jake Monkeyson Message #90016, posted at 13:07, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90015
Unregistered user I want to eat one!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90017, posted at 13:10, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90016
Unregistered user Is it just me or does battery life stink? I really can't understand this, I thought the CPU was supposed to be extremely efficient - couple that with no CD-ROM etc and I can't see why battery life is only 2 hours! Even the longer life one is 4 hours. I know this is fine on PC laptops, but coming from a Mac background, this ain't so good.

And no Select :( That concerns me because, whatever you think of it, it's the "future" of the OS for the time being.

But enough whining - it's so gorgeous and almost near perfection!

Gavin
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew P Harmsworth Message #90018, posted at 13:38, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90017
Unregistered user Thanks for putting the pictures up, Rich. Didn't have the facility to get them onto riscos.org. Still, got the news up before midday! :-p

NOT having a working version of SELECT ready for its release is hardly RiscStation's fault, and nor should it be a priority. At the moment, RISCOS Ltd are sorting out SELECT's problems with Kinetic. This is nearly done. They have then said they will work on getting it operational on RiscStations and Microdigitals. Naturally, if it doesn't currently work on a RiscStation desktop machine, it's hardly likely to work on the laptop.

TIME and patience will see SELECT running on the laptop, I'm sure of it. I'm looking forward to starting the Summer Term with one on my desk, anyway!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Walker Message #90019, posted at 13:40, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90018
Unregistered user The battery life does indeed *appear* poor. Acorn fanatics are usually quick to point out the low power consumption of the ARM processor... so why doesn't it last for 5/6 hours?

I put a similar question to a chap from Acorn (Ray Pinchard, I think) at Wakefield in 1996, whilst he was showing me a Stork prototype. He pointed out that the processor power consumption is irrelevant, as it's the screen/discs etc. that batter the battery to death!

Yet again, I see references to 'ARM 7500FPE'. It is the 'ARM 7500FE' (no 'P').

Oh, and I'm pleased that RiscStation have AT LAST mentioned the speed of their machines relative to their rivals! If only they'd included some figures. :-)

Apart from the 7500FE (we know why...) it looks *REALLY*, *REALLY*, *REALLY* good.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #90020, posted at 13:42, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90019
Unregistered user Frankly, as long as there's an OS on the machine does it really matter about Select? It's a portable, not a desktop machine, so as long as it runs compatible software that's fine by me whatever the actual OS revision. Then again, I don't have Select on my RiscPC either :)

As for getting it up before midday, well, yes, if you're going for speed over doing a thorough job... ;p (besides, I'm sure your clock's wrong ;)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90021, posted at 14:01, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90020
Unregistered user I don't own a RISC OS machine and was considering getting an ancient RiscPC and building it up or making do with it until Omega or something similar arrived - but now I'm thinking of getting this as my first machine, especially as I'm on the move all the time. By the time I would have upgraded the ancient RiscPC to OS4, Kinetic,Viewfinder etc, I could nearly have bought a portable - and portability is more important to me than speed.

The only thing holding me back now is the fear that this gorgeous little machine might not make it on the net. I know they are working on a PCMCIA modem which is fine but what if it doesn't appear :(

For checking email on the move, I used to use my Handspring Visor and Nokia 8210 - what are the chances that IRDA will actually be usable at some point on this machine (rather than just "there").

It's quite scary considering throwing well over a grand at an OS that I don't actually use...hmm!

Finally, what about playing Mp3s? Possible at 128? Possible at 192?

Thanks for any comments guys.

Gavin (must get registered...)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Mr Jake Monkeyson Message #90022, posted at 15:12, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90021
Unregistered user With only 2-4 hours battery life, you'd be better listening to a Walkman than MP3s.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Duffell Message #90023, posted at 15:36, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90022
Unregistered user On my riscstation you can play mp3s up to 22050 and anything above it cheats but still plays them. Of course while playing a 44.1 it's not really possible to do much else, :)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
mark quint Message #90024, posted at 15:38, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90023
Unregistered user i'd have thought that any power saved by using an ARM processor would have been killed off by the current battery - a 4? Cell Lithium Ion battery, compared to a 9 Cell Lithium Ion battery which you'd get on a PC
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90025, posted at 16:32, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90024
Unregistered user Gavin,

It has got a serial port, so all you need is a special cable and a desktop modem, to start with.

Simon Willcocks

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Lee Johnston Message #90026, posted at 16:44, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90025
Unregistered user Woah many comments - let's try and make sense of a few things

Firstly I'm not sure how they would create a laptop with 64,000 colours as the VIDC20 doesn't support 64,000 colour modes. I guess they might supply a TFT capable of displaying 64,000 colours and put the VIDC20 into a 16million colour mode but this seems a little odd.

Ports, well the 10/100baseT must be a given otherwise it'd be useless as a laptop (IMHO), Midi is in the RS7500 and Simtec are known to have a USB podule. Interestingly I was under the impression that the USB podule implementation wasn't suitable for ARM7500 processors. Obviously I'm willing to be corrected. Of course it could be a completely different implementation.

I'm a little surprised that external floppy and CD drives are more important than the modem although I guess you could use the LAN connection to share an Internet connection off another machine. Also I'd be surprised if it wasn't easier to get an external USB modem working rather than the PCMCIA port, although this would be less "practical" for those on the move.

IrDA would be interesting although I guess it's a case of writing the software. I reckon it'd be cool if RiscStation could supply an interface for other applications to use. Authors of organiser / email software could then exploit this to allow address books and the like to be synchronized with your phone etc. IMHO this would be better than having a separate app do it unless it could communicate with the other apps via some message protocol.

However what I really want to know is whether they'll swap the 56Mhz ARM7500FE in my RS for a 64Mhz one ;)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Lee Johnston Message #90027, posted at 16:46, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90026
Unregistered user Oh yeah - forgot.

I can't imagine Select appearing before it appears on the RS7500 series. Whatever the problems with porting Select are they're likely to be the same (or very similar) for both machines.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90028, posted at 16:47, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90027
Unregistered user Gavin,

I'm an ex-pc user who chucked a lot of money at an OS I'd never used and bought a RiscPC, that was about 18 months ago. If you want to get in touch and ask me some questions feel free - I've found mine was a good decision, but it all depends upon what you want to do. My email addy is robert79@richards44.freeserve.co.uk

As for the ports etc. I'd expect that they will be writing drivers for them, as a lot of them have been included due to popular demand. It would be a bit silly to include them due to requests and then not release drivers.
In any case, RiscStation have a good record with regard to writing drivers for their hardware - look at all the midi stuff on their desktop machines.

As for Select. The portable and it's associated drivers are going to provide far more functionality than Select is looking likely to. I wouldn't make that a major part of my decision (speaking as a Select subscriber). In any case, one would expect a suitable version of Select to be available shortly.

Generally, this looks like a *FABULOUS* machine and I really, really, really want one. With all those ports it's going to be more expandable and more useful than anything else we have at the moment. RiscStaton look like they are on to a winner here.

I'll have to start saving...

Robert
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #90029, posted at 17:40, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90028
Unregistered user WRT modems, serial and/or IRDA would take care of that so long as you have a decent mobile phone...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Iain Williamson Message #90030, posted at 18:08, 8/2/2002, in reply to message #90029
Unregistered user The 10 gigabit hard disc is one thing, but I'd be a bit concerned if it'd only read 1.6 megabit floppy discs. That's only 200k!

I'd assume they've made the same mistake with the hard disc as with the floppy disc capacity.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90031, posted at 13:13, 9/2/2002, in reply to message #90030
Unregistered user Iain: I'm afraid the hard drive really is 10 gigabit, the floppy a couple of k and the processor 64Khz. But as the ARM is so efficient, it won't matter!

Personally, I might buy it just for its looks...

Mike :)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Marco Frissen Message #90032, posted at 17:44, 9/2/2002, in reply to message #90031
Unregistered user *drooool* I want one.
The SELECT issue is not a big deal imo, since the current select doesn't offer anything really useful in my opinion (one of the reasons I did not yet subscribe to the select)
The speed of 64MHz is not bad, slow compared to the SA, I guess, but for surfing the inet, doing email, etc, not a real issue.
I guess delivering a unit with all those ports, and no drivers for it, seems a bit awkward, so they probably have drivers already (or are working on it).
One big issue is the pricing.. UKP1200 incl VAT .. about 1700EURO .. quite steep if you ask me..
Does anyone know what the touchscreen will actually *do*? will it get HWR? or is it just a clickclick gadget?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Marco Frissen Message #90033, posted at 17:46, 9/2/2002, in reply to message #90032
Unregistered user oh, never mind the touchscreen comment.. I was too soon, didn't read the mail well enough, etc.. daft!
Looks schweet .. definately something that would impress other non-ROS users.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90034, posted at 23:34, 9/2/2002, in reply to message #90033
Unregistered user I don't know where the battery life is going in that one... My Tosh Portege (Celeron, 1024x768, 128MB, 20GB) lasts about 3.5 hours on the standard battery. The laptop's also a lot sexier, lighter, and cheaper :)

(You can plug another batterey on the bottom, making the laptop another 2cm thicker than the 1.9cm normal size and get 9 hours...)

Perhaps this is just Simtec not quite having the grasp of good laptop design yet, and are just trying to shoehorn a RiskStation into the case?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #90035, posted at 06:08, 10/2/2002, in reply to message #90034
Unregistered user Nice to see that a lot of new features have been added due to popular demand, without increasing the price :-) This machine is sounding better and better. Keep up the good work!

I hope RS are getting plenty of orders.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 

The Icon Bar: News and features: RiscStation Portable - new details released