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The Icon Bar: News and features: RiscStation portable - details released
 

RiscStation portable - details released

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 12:49, 10/12/2001 | , , ,
 
RiscStation portableThe latest specs for the RiscStation Portable Computer System have been released, along with some rather snazzy pictures.

The machine will be roughly 242x190x30mm (~= 9.5 x 7.5 x 1.2"), 1.3Kg in weight, with a 8.4" TFT 800x600 touchscreen screen, 64MB memory, 10GB hard drive and a glidepoint touchpad. It also boasts PCMCIA, USB and 10bT Ethernet onboard. You can also buy a docking station to add floppy drive, serial, parallel, VGA and PS2 ports. Prices start from £999 ex VAT, and you can put down a £100 deposit to secure one of the first on the release date of late February 2002.

Although at first glance this may not look like a "proper" laptop - the small size and screen res being somewhat smaller than full-blown PC laptops - the cute sub-notebook look might fit nicely into education and other niche markets, with a price comparable to the NetBook when it first came out but with slightly better spec.

To save duplicting all the details, click here for the flyer and here for the order form.
 

  RiscStation portable - details released
  This is a long thread. Click here to view the threaded list.
 
Guest Message #89558, posted at 12:53, 10/12/2001
Unregistered user Is this going to be using the ARM7500? It would be nice to know, espeically as Santa is coming soon!
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Guest Message #89559, posted at 12:58, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89558
Unregistered user Of course it's an ARM 7500FE! RiscStation are obsessed with 56 MHz computers. Remember, fellow RISC OS user, it's all the power you will ever need!
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Andrew Weston Message #89560, posted at 13:32, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89559
Unregistered user Quite right - ample for most routine uses I'd think.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #89561, posted at 13:37, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89560
Unregistered user Considering I was using a 30Mhz RPC for web browsing last night (my backup backup machine, as my backup machine is still in pieces) I'd have no problem using a machine of nearly twice the speed ;)

I'm sorely tempted to put my money down (they want deposits now to see how many they should make in the first batch), but would like to see a few more technical details first - how many colours does that 800x600 screen run in, do the PCMCIA and USB ports actually do anything, that sort of thing. I would also have liked IR to use my mobile as a modem, same as my Palm (which I could then get rid of! :). However, as someone who likes to carry things like a digital camera with me at all times just in case, the smaller size of this portable might be more convenient than a "proper" laptop. It looks like it'd make a decent note taker - and a nice touchscreen web pad, so long as I add just a little more Cat5 cable to my flat :)
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Andrew Weston Message #89562, posted at 13:55, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89561
Unregistered user Can I borrow it when you get one Rich? ;-)
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John Hoare Message #89563, posted at 13:57, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89562
Unregistered user Ooooh, I'd love one of these! But I've spent all my money... *sobs*
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #89564, posted at 13:58, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89563
Unregistered user Which reminds me of another question which would be useful - are they doing any financing deals? :)
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Andrew Weston Message #89565, posted at 14:04, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89564
Unregistered user 3 year deferral of payment?!
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Guest Message #89566, posted at 14:09, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89565
Unregistered user I think it is not a bad idea that it is a bit smaller than other notebooks. But they really should use a StrongARM processor. Does somebody know whether or not they use the Neuron from Castle as mainboard? If they do I guess there could be a StrongARM version if Caslte produce their SA Neuron.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #89567, posted at 14:12, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89566
Unregistered user I think the problem with a StrongARM is that there isn't a 26bit one that has everything on board - the 56Mhz ARM7500 can have the memory controller, LCD controller etc. built in, which makes the hardware designer's job that much easier.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89568, posted at 16:18, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89567
Unregistered user I hope they market this as a /sub-notebook/, a kind of scaled-down laptop but packed with features - i think it would be unwise to call it a proper 'laptop' as we know these to be generally bigger with much larger screens.

I think it has a bit of a niche market, as Richard said i think it looks good for education and if the USB and PCMCIA are fully supported then all the better!

I look forward to seeing one in the flesh, i mean plastic!!
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Graham Message #89569, posted at 16:34, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89568
Unregistered user I wonder why they downsized the screen so much?
That could be a bit of a bummer for some people.

Still, apart from that, it seems pretty good.
The specs are better than originally published and it's gone down in price by about £250!

I hope it sells well.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #89570, posted at 16:48, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89569
Unregistered user I don't think you could get a bigger screen in such a small box - it's more to do with the fact that they've made the whole thing almost PDA sized (the touch screen seems to reinforce the fact that it's not a regular laptop).

Given that the old "demo model" was a full PC laptop, I think someone's done some canny maths and realised that the project's more economically viable with this slightly odd niche format rather than going head-to-head in a market they can't compete in. Good luck to them for taking such a bold move if this is the case. Even if we die-hard RISC OS nuts would like a proper laptop, that probably won't pay the bills like even a single bulk education order.

If it goes well however it could be that much of the same technology could be fitted into a proper laptop case, with a bigger screen. Depends on demand I guess.
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Guest Message #89571, posted at 18:13, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89570
Unregistered user I agree with you both, here's to hoping the RiscStation portable (proper name anyone), is a great success!
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Richard Goodwin Message #89572, posted at 18:16, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89571
Unregistered user I did suggest "lap dancer" as a name a few months back, can't think why they didn't take me up on it... ;)
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John Hoare Message #89573, posted at 18:19, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89572
Unregistered user That's just the thing for long train journey's...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
mark quint Message #89574, posted at 20:50, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89573
Unregistered user something that would be interesting would be to see the battery life on it, as the Battery on the specs looks pretty low powered compared to an average 9 cell Li-Ion PC Battery, but then again considering the Solo uses aprrox. 10 watts im sure the laptop will last for ages :)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89575, posted at 23:17, 10/12/2001, in reply to message #89574
Unregistered user Well done Riscstation. We were all expecting ARM7500, but I don't think many people were expecting PCMCIA and USB :-). On top of all that, the price is lower than expected too.

I like it!
-10GB HDD holds more MP3's than my iPAQ...
-I'd rather use EasiWriter than Pocket Word
-It won't catch anything from my PC (viruses)
-It looks good

I hope they sell very well!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89576, posted at 08:40, 11/12/2001, in reply to message #89575
Unregistered user Sounds very good, but I'd like to see some more specs (colours, res, sound etc) before thinking about ordering one. Was looking to buy a new computer but was unsure of what to purchase - this has given me a new idea.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Lee Johnston Message #89577, posted at 10:25, 11/12/2001, in reply to message #89576
Unregistered user While I don't know what the specs are it's pretty easy to guess

ARM7500FE based. As has been pointed out the lack of a SA with integrated VIDC20 and IOMD rule out it's use...unless you hi-jack Castles VIDC and IOMD supply lorries or something. I suspect the motherboard is fairly closely related to that in the RS7500 series machines.

USB and PCMCIA ports were something I expected as Roy talked about them as far back as RISC OS 2000. He hinted at the time that the ports work under RISC OS but, as always, drivers are just as important and it'll be interesting to see what developments have been made there. It's also known that Simtec have USB hardware for RISC OS. Dunno if it's suitable for use with this machine though.

Thankfully it has Ethernet built in (although that's not suprising if the motherboard is similar to the RS7500). A PCMCIA modem is necessary and hopefully they have plans for it. To make something like this really work in a roaming manner though we really need DHCP so you can walk about and plug it in anywhere. My personal feeling is that unless RiscStation have done some work in this area it could be the thing that lets this machine down a little. Hopefully it will have appeared in a form that can be used on this machine by the time it's released.

Well done RiscStation - I just hope they deliver on time now.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89578, posted at 12:08, 11/12/2001, in reply to message #89577
Unregistered user A few vital specs are still needed on this one, including the colours. FULLY WORKING ports are needed, not just a bit of wiring. Drivers?

DHCP is up and running on Cumana's Slym (I've tested it on our network) and so I would hope that RiscStation have this by now. With DHCP I'll buy it now. Without, it will have to wait as I can't afford a docking station.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89579, posted at 14:30, 11/12/2001, in reply to message #89578
Unregistered user very, very, very disappointed; instead of a full spec portable they've made a multi-component toy and at what price! You can buy a top of the range laptop (windows or mac) with all possible options for less.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Lee Johnston Message #89580, posted at 15:11, 11/12/2001, in reply to message #89579
Unregistered user Is it expensive? Of course it is. However assuming that the serial number on my RiscStation (purchased in June) gives some idea of the numbers sold then RiscStation probably won't sell very many of these let alone compared to the 10's of thousands of PC / Mac laptops sold.

As usual it's more a question of how badly someone wants RISC OS in a machine like this, or how badly they don't want Windows or Linux. If said person wants it badly enough they'll have to stump up the premium price it commands.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89581, posted at 15:25, 11/12/2001, in reply to message #89580
Unregistered user As a business-user I want RISCOS very badly on a portable, but what use is TechWriter or Eureka when no decent screensize is available? Multitasking and Drag-and-drop don't mean a thing without overview. It should at least display 1024x768 if not 1248x1024. It has to add value and productivity, and this certainly doesn't. It might do nice as an organiser, but my little psion does that too.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89582, posted at 15:32, 11/12/2001, in reply to message #89581
Unregistered user forgot to mention: would gladly pay the price for a laptop that could fullfill my needs as a business user and so many other business users would for the reliability and stability of RISCOS, i would expect
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89583, posted at 15:41, 11/12/2001, in reply to message #89582
Unregistered user I think 800x600 is perfectly adequate. I use it every day on my RiscPC, and on the PC's at uni. The only time I need a higher resolution is for CAD. The portable looks perfectly adequate for working on the train etc - in fact it's smaller size probably makes it more suitable thana larger machine.

Want one.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89584, posted at 19:55, 11/12/2001, in reply to message #89583
Unregistered user Is the RISC OS community full of spin doctors like this?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89585, posted at 19:55, 11/12/2001, in reply to message #89584
Unregistered user For me it's too little,too late. I went just 2 months ago for an Apple I-book (G3 powerprocessor at 400MHz).
The screen size seems too small, at least for me.
Still I hope this ROS portable sells well. Maybe I can have a go / look at it in the future.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
mark quint Message #89586, posted at 21:24, 11/12/2001, in reply to message #89585
Unregistered user hrm
could the guests please make the effort to stick their names in,
otherwise the comments just get abused, & people feel they can say what they like :/
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Duffell Message #89587, posted at 22:31, 11/12/2001, in reply to message #89586
Unregistered user Well based on my serial number, they must have sold 9,912,202,976 riscstations before mine, and I preordered at Wakefield 1999, so they've been doing pretty well! Mine also claims to be from batch 16.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
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The Icon Bar: News and features: RiscStation portable - details released