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New reference design had some minor bugs, but overall ran silky smooth

At Computex 2012 in Taiwan, Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM), the largest chipmaker of licensed ARM Holdings plc (LON:ARM) designs, unveiled its Windows-On-ARM (WOA) push: the long rumored and leaked Snapdragon 4 development tablet.

Both The Verge and Engadget placed their paws on the Liquid Development Tablet and took the dual-core 1.5 GHz APQ8060A Snapdragon 4 processor and Release Preview build of Windows 8 RT through the paces.

The Verge reports:

Qualcomm was adamant that the system hadn't been fully optimized yet, and that statement rang true given the difficulty we had doing some bezel gestures, not to mention some memory management (open apps kept vanishing) and rendering issues here and there, but it's plenty neat to see this stuff running even at this early stage.

Engadget appears to have encountered less frustrations, writing:

The verdict? It's smooth as silk on a 1.5GHz dual-core APQ8060A with 2GB of RAM, which means it's likely to be even more impressive on the company's quad-core offering... Most interesting, however, was a demo of Vendetta Online which ran without hiccups even when multitasking along with other apps.

Based on the mixed reviews it appears the development platform is coming along nicely, but Qualcomm is still ironing out some firmware issues.  Rumor has it that WOA devices may largely take a rain check on the 2012 holiday season, shipping in mass in Q1 2013.

Qualcomm Liquid Development Tablet [Snapdragon 4] [Image Source: Engadget]

Snapdragon 4 is a much ballyhooed design and is expected to pop up in much of the WOA tablet and hybrid stock, as well as in high-end smartphones.  The chip is build on a 28 nm process from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Comp., Ltd. (TPE:2330).  Notably, it lacks an on-die LTE modem, but it is expected to add one in a slightly upgraded variant which will drop early next year.

Top x86 chipmaker Intel Corp. (INTC) has already started to talk trash about the WOA experience, saying it will be inferior to x86 Windows 8.  It has some computer makers like Acer Inc. firmly on its side, but many of the larger computer makers like Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) and Dell, Inc. (DELL) have reportedly expressed interest in WOA notebooks, hybrids, and tablets.

Sources: The Verge, Engadget

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RE: Meh
By tayb on 6/5/2012 5:45:29 PM , Rating: -1
Sigh. What would you call it if I have mail, safari, notes, and iMessage open all at the same time and I seamlessly switch between the apps via the "open apps" bar along the bottom of the screen?

Oh noes Netflix is reloading the movie I was watching and I have to wait 5 seconds! My Droid X does the exact same thing. What's the difference? Seriously.

RE: Meh
By Reclaimer77 on 6/5/2012 6:37:19 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah you need to actually learn about what you are using. That is NOT a list of "open apps". But rather a list of "recently used apps". There is no way to manage background tasks in iOS, even when you want to. There is NO multitasking.

RE: Meh
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/5/2012 7:50:55 PM , Rating: 3
Come on! Facts aren't allowed around these parts when it comes to Apple! It's APPLE FFS! It's magical!

RE: Meh
By rs2 on 6/5/2012 9:04:48 PM , Rating: 3
I'd call it an illusion. Multitasking requires that two or more apps be resident in memory and executing on the CPU at the same point in time. iOS *does not* allow this in the general sense (there are some minor allowances made for things like streaming-audio apps, and other apps may request up to 10 minutes of background execution time). Instead an app "running" in the background does not run at all. Its processing is completely suspended until it becomes the foreground app again.

So, misleading UI that gives a naive/non-technical user the illusion of multitasking? Yes. Actual multitasking in the technical sense of the word? No, with minor exceptions.

RE: Meh
By tayb on 6/5/12, Rating: 0
RE: Meh
By tayb on 6/5/2012 9:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
And I'll expand on that by saying that the "frozen" apps typically launch much faster than standard apps. They are still consuming memory resources and will only be purged from memory if the system runs low and needs to free resources.

You can't even be bothered to read your own links which would have explained all this in even greater detail.

RE: Meh
By messele on 6/6/2012 2:07:23 AM , Rating: 1
Tayb is correct of course and simple consideration of the phone app alone would make you realise how ignorant you all are. Does iTunes run as a multitasking process if desired? Yes it does.

Since nearly all iOS apps are basically full screen in their operation isn't it desirable that Angry Birds is automatically paused when switching to Netflix and vice versa? Absolutley and there would be no point doing it any other way.

RE: Meh
By Smilin on 6/6/2012 1:11:43 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed iOS can multitask. It doesn't do true preemptive multitasking in all situations because it doesn't make sense. On a smartphone it will continue to not make sense.

On a tablet though it is necessary. The only reason it doesn't seem necessary is because iPads still use a UI about as sophisticated as Windows 3.1.

I *expect* my tablet to be able to put a web page and a word doc side by side and allow me to interract with both...all while playing some music in a 'background' app (like iOS can do)...and while updating all my live tiles...and...whatever else I want (say RDP session maintained in app not being displayed)

"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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