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Andromium Superbook

August 03, 2016 — BarryK
I am a sucker for an innovative new project!

I have pledged US$99 (actually US$134 including postage to Australia) for the Andromium Superbook. Kickstarter project here:

I reported on Andromium back in May 2015:

Very interesting, perhaps the Superbook can be used for other projects, such as Maruos and Ubuntu Touch. Well, quite likely it can.

Of course one does have to contrast this with the cost of a basic laptop, that I can buy locally for AU$250 - AU$300, onto which I could install Linux.


The Kickstarter project has hit the $1.5M stretch goal:

That means a free sleeve for the laptop. That's good, makes it more value for the money.

The $2M stretch goal is even colour throughout the plastic body, rather than painted-on.

I'm wondering whether I should go for the 1080p screen, at an extra US$30.
I don't need it, and it is an extra battery drain, apparently will reduce running time by 1 hour, plus probably a performance hit.
My current phone is 720p, but my next phone, at some unknown point in the future, is likely to be at least 1080p, so perhaps it would be nice if the laptop screen matches. And I guess videos would be nice to watch up close at 1080p.

I own a pi1, pi2, and a pi3, and I am pleased that the Superbook is going to work with the Pis.

The Superbook will be posting details soon, for now, just a photo:

Anyway, the Andromium developers found something else, DisplayLink:

They are claiming that many phones from the major manufacturers, with micro-USB OTG sockets, will support simultaneous charging -- but not all phones, so many people who buy a Superbook might not be happy, as the battery will be discharging while the Superbook is connected.

Apparently, all phones with USB-C OTG sockets will support simultaneous charging.

What I am mostly interested in is the latency. The DisplayLink developers claim very low latency, even over USB-2 speeds, such that you won't notice any difference compared with the primary screen (on the phone).

However, I did come across this in the FAQ:

Is DisplayLink's video technology suitable for gaming?

While DisplayLink technology is targeted primarily to productivity and video applications, it is suitable for the casual gamer. If you're a "power gamer", looking for every edge possible over your opponents, you might want to go another route.

The FAQ is here:

50 hours and pledges now at US$2,392,215
...will it reach $2.5 and the next stretch goal?

That is backlit keys. Not that I want it, don't think I want the 1080p screen either.

A 768p screen works fine, 1080p means more battery drain and more traffic over the USB bus.

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