Archive for January, 2013

My Final Take on the Actions ATM7029 & Boxchip Allwinner A31 ARM SOC Chips

January 28, 2013

While we were happy that the cost of these items weren’t any more expensive than the dual-cores that are out now.  The ATM7029 does suffer from an inferior GPU as I expected, and the Allwinner needs some Kernel work before it is ready for the US market.

Both chips Antutu benchmark in the low 12000s.  But Nickos-V, a well respected poster and China tablet entusiast/advocate, says that the Antutu benchmarks are skewed for the Action tablets.  That thread is here

The bottom line is this.  If you place these tablets side-by-side to any Amlogic AML8726-MX tablet you will not notice any difference.  The A31 plays 3D games slightly better than the AML8726-MX, but the A31 won’t play a lot of games on the market right now in it’s current state.  And yes I know how to change the telephony files for the license check from companies like Glu & Gameloft so that’s not the problem.  Christian Troy says that the error from the logcat has something to do with the GPU.  And since we don’t have the source codes we aren’t going to be able to fix.  So hopfully Boxchip will hand down their fixes in stream soon for those people buying A31 tablets.  Keyword “Hopefully”.

<Rockchip Rant>

We still are very anti-rockchip.  Like I said, we tried to get their attention at the CES and they just looked too busy to talk to anyone.  Great for them, but there was no contact information or cards anywhere in their booth.  Epic fail in my opinion.

So if anyone at Rockchip wants to offer me an olive branch and share some source code & communicate with me, we will sell Rockchip tablets & develop custom ROMs for your products.  People love custom ROMs.  That’s what makes Samsung such a huge company right now.  They leak their source codes and leave their bootladers unlocked.


CES Convention Las Vegas Nevada 2013

January 11, 2013

So we are at the CES.  We have seen too much to even process the information right away.  Our main focus was to check out any tablet manufacturers, find accessories (especially cases and companies that can make them), and unwittingly resuscitate our relationship with Eken.

We did meet with Amlogic but they had a lot of secret stuff I don’t think I can talk about.  They will be releasing multiple chips in the upcoming months.  Hopefully I can say that.  We will also be carrying Android TVs with their chips.  One of which had one of the best multimedia launchers we have ever seen.  I would say it is better than Apple TV’s launcher which is one of the only things of which Apple has impressed me with ever.  From what they have told me someone has hacked the multimedia app they demonstrated for me yesterday to even work with Apple TV.  As soon as we get this product we will be doing a review right away.  They are also going to hook us up with Onda’s information so hopefully we can start carrying their brand in the US.  We have always liked Onda’s quality but I have never been able to get a direct line to them.

Eken sold us a sample quad-core Allwinner A31 GT10V and I have to say so far I’m impressed.  I still need to check the market function and see if it will play 3D games like Modern Combat, Batman, Max Payne, Grand Theft Auto, etc. If it passes those tests we will definitely at least grab an initial amount to see how good the public likes them.  We have historically carried Eken products, but since Ainol lowered their prices on a lot of their higher end products, the disparity in costs between Ainol and Eken was low.  About $20 to be exact.  So since Ainol had a little more namesake and their cases were a little more stylish, we decided to go with more of their products and none of Eken’s.  But right now Ainol is putting out a product we are more than likely not going to buy.  Even though the Act chip turns out to be Cortex A9, I still think it has a GC1000 GPU.  And since everyone is mum on the specs I would just assume so.  And since we consider everyone will game with their tablet, we believe it should come with a proper GPU.  Which should be one that the majority of games on the market support.  We know about these GPUs because we purchased a batch of C94s for testing that are quad-core with Vivante GC GPU and they are horrible.  Great for using office or basic games I guess.  But the speed differential between any of the Freescale/Act quad-cores and the Amlogic/Rockchip dual cores isn’t signifigant.  Antutu benchmarks put the Act/Freescale only a couple thousand points better than their dual-core counerparts.  I think that if you have a quad-core tablet out right now that you should be at or near the 20K mark on an Antutu benchmark.  That’s just my opinion, and we will put that opinion to use when we are purchasing tablets this quarter.

I was also told that the newer Amlogic chips will come with advanced versions of the Mali GPU.  He wouldn’t say which one, but I would think they would at least come with Mali-450.  I’m hoping they go straight to the Mali-604.  We will see.  Amlogic expressed to me that they are concerned with making sure their tablets are great 3D gaming machines.  Something that I not only have expressed in this post, but everywhere I have ever posted about chips and the future GPUs they will use.

I tried to get Rockchip’s attention at the CES, but they looked busy (We sat there for a good 7 minutes).  I tried to find a card or catalogue with someone’s contact information on it, but there were none in sight.  So Rockchip failed in my opinion again.

Look for more updates here to unfold when we get back to Florida.