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Atom-based tablet runs Linux

Aug 5, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 10 views

Arbor Technology has announced a seven-inch tablet PC that uses Intel Atom processors and runs Linux. The ruggedized Gladius G0710 has a touchscreen display, gigabit Ethernet and 802.11b/g networking, a two megapixel camera, and survives multiple four-foot drops, according to the company.

(Click here for a larger view of Arbor's Gladius G0710)

The Gladius G0710 is built around Intel's 13mm x 13mm Atom Z500-series processors. The device is offered with the 1.1GHz Z510 or 1.8GHz Z540 processors, with 400MHz or 533MHz frontside buses, respectively. Unlike netbooks, which use the larger 22mm x 22mm N270 Atom, the tablet also employs Intel's comparatively large SCH (system controller hub) US15W companion chip. A single 200-pin SO-DIMM socket on the Gladius accepts up to 1GB of DDR2 memory.

The Gladius is a keyboardless tablet design that weighs just over three pounds. It is operable via its seven-inch touchscreen display, which has a standard resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. An enhanced 1024 x 600 version of the stylus-driven screen is optionally available, as is a sunlight-readable version, according to Arbor.

The Gladius also includes eight programmable function keys on its front panel. If that's not enough, the device would be compatible with an external keyboard connected via USB or Bluetooth, since it sports both types of interface. The device additionally has a two megapixel camera, a gigabit Ethernet port, a serial port, a microphone input, and audio output.

Measuring 8.3 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches, the tablet does not include a VGA output for an external screen, but does offer what Arbor's data sheet calls an “expansion slot for a 10.4-inch LCD panel.” Though unconfirmed, this slot may be a general-purpose PCI Express interface, since the company's publicity materials also state that the tablet can accept a PCIe-based modem.

As for storage, the Gladius includes an IDE interface and accepts standard 1.8-inch hard disk drives. Alternatively, USB-interfaced DOMs (disk on modules) are said to be available, in capacities ranging from 1GB to 4GB.

Not as overtly ruggedized as some designs, the Gladius does feature a rubber bumper around its edge. In fact, the design is sealed to the IP54 standard against liquids and dust, and Arbor also says it can withstand up to 26 drops onto wood from up to four feet.

Finally, the tablet also includes a 3800mAh battery pack. This provides the device with a battery life of up to 4.5 hours, claims Arbor.

Features and specifications listed by Arbor for the Gladius G7010 include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom Z510 clocked at 1.1GHz, or Atom Z540 clocked at 1.8GHz
  • Memory — Up to 1GB of DDR2 RAM via single SO-DIMM slot
  • Display — Seven-inch touchscreen display with 800 x 480 or 1024 x 600 resolution; sunlight-readable option
  • Camera — Two megapixel camera
  • Keys — Eight programmable function keys
  • Storage — 1.8-inch hard disk drive, or solid-state DOMs (disk on modules) with capacities from 1GB to 4GB
  • Networking:
    • LAN — gigabit Ethernet
    • WLAN — 802.11b/g
    • PAN — Bluetooth 2.0

  • Other I/O:
    • Serial port
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • audio — line out, mic in

  • Expansion — PCI Express interface (unconfirmed)
  • Battery type/life — 3800mAh battery pack, with life up to 4.5 hours
  • Dimensions — 8.3 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches (211 x 63 x 30mm)
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 50 deg. C

Arbor did not release pricing or availability information for the Gladius G0710, but the device appears to be on sale now. More information may be available from the company's website, here.

According to Arbor, the Gladius G0710 is capable of running Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows XP Embedded, in addition to Linux.

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