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Soon It Might Be Possible To Finally Have A Nice ARM-Powered Linux Laptop

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  • Soon It Might Be Possible To Finally Have A Nice ARM-Powered Linux Laptop

    Phoronix: Soon It Might Be Possible To Finally Have A Nice ARM-Powered Linux Laptop

    While it's now becoming possible to run real Linux apps on Chrome OS, for those that have been dreaming of a real and pleasant GNU/Linux desktop experience on an ARM-powered laptop without much hackery, that soon may finally be a reality...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...top-2018-Hopes

  • #2
    Thank god for this. Finally ARM laptops will be modern!

    Why has it taken so long? Am I to believe from all the ARM hardware manufacturers out there, not a single one of them believes that an open ARM laptop will be successful? Did they not learn anything from when IBM released the "open" IBM-PC back in 1981? IBM dominated the market!

    Since with FOSS operating systems, whether you use Intel, Mips, POWER, ARM, etc, there is almost no difference to the user (some don't even notice), I think it is madness that anyone is hesitant. This is why I think it is more about control that companies have over us, rather than money at this point.

    Lets hope it wont be some "register interest" or "build to order booking" crud like the Pinebook.
    Last edited by kpedersen; 06-14-2018, 08:13 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by kpedersen View Post
      Why has it taken so long?
      Windows had no ARM support, that is why.

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      • #4
        I'm skeptical to be honest. If it will happen for real, that would be a pretty good news, not going to lie. However we have to see if it gets momentum and it keeps going with future SoC and if it extends to other companies beside Qualcomm. If with the next SoC it's again a proprietary drivers fest.... oh well. If it is not clear enough I basically don't trust ARM a whole lot, especially considering then even with mainstream Android devices you don't get updated kernels. Quite the opposite: you usually get a very outdated one because the vendors are usually dropping support very quickly in favor of a newer model.

        Anyway if this will increase choice over the laptop market and actually be free software friendly, very welcome to the party!

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        • #5
          I too have had a strong interest in the NovaGo for a while. I even contacted Asus about it and asked them if there was anything preventing me from replacing Windows (I made it clear that I knew Asus had no support for Linux and I wasn't so much asking for their help on how to install it). They contacted me back and pointed out that it is in fact possible to install another OS, but they didn't mention the specifics of how to go about it or any caveats. I've been burned before by ARM devices that had the potential to install Linux but not without major struggles along the way that prevented it from being a reality. I've also had a lot of problem with Asus laptops in the past when it came to anything that wasn't Windows. The NovaGo is not cheap, so I'm not really willing to spend so much money on a device that isn't promising.
          Last edited by schmidtbag; 06-14-2018, 08:46 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
            I've also had a lot of problem with Asus laptops in the past when it came to anything that wasn't Windows.
            I believe things are better these days. My current Asus laptop has full hardware support on Linux.

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            • #7
              Still don't think it's going to fly much. These things basically 100% rely on the Windows store not sucking balls. Is it there yet or does it still suck?

              I think it might perhaps have some chances for netbook-like usecases (which is already a whole lot of consumer space), but that's the hardest market to get in due to low change acceptance, even a small change from normal PCs would not be accepted easily.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by starshipeleven View Post
                Still don't think it's going to fly much. These things basically 100% rely on the Windows store not sucking balls. Is it there yet or does it still suck?
                To my knowledge, there are a handful of common open-source applications (not sure if they're in the store or not) that are ported or in the process of being ported. As of right now, I'd still say Windows on ARM still sucks, but I don't think it will for long.
                I think it might perhaps have some chances for netbook-like usecases (which is already a whole lot of consumer space), but that's the hardest market to get in due to low change acceptance, even a small change from normal PCs would not be accepted easily.
                I don't think you're wrong, but I don't think MS, Asus, HP, or Qualcomm see it that way. MS seems to be a lot more devoted to ARM this time around; I'm pretty sure Qualcomm must have convinced them that spending all the time and money developing Windows for ARM was worth it. Meanwhile, MS must have convinced Asus and HP that Windows on ARM will be a success, because I don't see why either brand would make such nice and expensive models - neither the NovaGo or Envy X2 are cheap, especially for their performance level. Asus and HP have had a hard enough time trying to sell budget AMD laptops (in the pre-Ryzen days), so expecting them to sell a laptop with phone parts is a pretty steep request IMO.
                Last edited by schmidtbag; 06-14-2018, 09:53 AM.

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                • #9
                  Qualcomm will be releasing 1000 series SoC's in the future, presumably they will be using the newly announced cortex a76 cpu cores which are larger and run on 7nm, the IPC improvement and clock speed improvement due to 7nm will result in 2x the performance of cortex a73 using 10nm. In other words the upcoming 1000 series SoCs from Qualcomm will be able to compete with some of intel's chips in terms of performance. I read that ARM claims that cortex a76 can compete with a laptop core i5 chip, if that is true that would be awesome. We need a cheaper SoC vendor like Mediatek to make some chips using Cortex A76 as i read that the qualcomm 850 costs more than some/all celeron laptop chips even though it is slower.
                  ...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by schmidtbag View Post
                    I don't think you're wrong, but I don't think MS, Asus, HP, or Qualcomm see it that way. MS seems to be a lot more devoted to ARM this time around; I'm pretty sure Qualcomm must have convinced them that spending all the time and money developing Windows for ARM was worth it. Meanwhile, MS must have convinced Asus and HP that Windows on ARM will be a success, because I don't see why either brand would make such nice and expensive models - neither the NovaGo or Envy X2 are cheap, especially for their performance level. Asus and HP have had a hard enough time trying to sell budget AMD laptops (in the pre-Ryzen days), so expecting them to sell a laptop with phone parts is a pretty steep request IMO.
                    I'm not interested in who is convinced that it will work and what they told each other in their conferences. They made netbooks too (which "sold" because they were cheap but sucked balls on any metric and got a ton of flak and were eventually discontinued over that).

                    The issue is and has always been applications (and the Windows store). If enough third party software developers actually care about providing software for ARM then it's going to fly, if not it's going to fail the same as Windows RT (and phone) did.

                    And no OEM nor Microsoft have power over zillions of application developers. If Microsoft started pushing UWP applications seriously (aka MS-style, aka coercing) and the store took off somewhat I could see that, but I don't.

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