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back to article Intel and Asus put the dual boot in, offer 2-in-1 lapslab WinDroid

Intel is attempting to knock rivals' SoCs off with a dual-boot platform that lets you flip between Windows 8.1 and Google’s mobile operating system on the same device. The chip giant announced delivery of dual-OS at CES 2014 with PC partner Asus, with the PC maker delivering the laptop/tablet hybrid to run it on: the 2-in-1 …

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Bronze badge
Meh

At different times...?

I'd rather be able to use both at the same time on one device. A bit like having a dual sim phone to avoid taking both work and personal phones everywhere... the BlueStacks stuff sounds more promising. As long as it isn't all emulator and thus power hungry, that is.

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Re: At different times...?

quote: "the BlueStacks stuff sounds more promising. As long as it isn't all emulator and thus power hungry, that is."

Sounds like it is an emulator. The part I was slightly more wary about though was the part in the article where it said "and Android apps can access files stored inside the Windows file system, AMD said".

Convenience or security, pick one. Not sure I like the sound of apps being able to harvest info from the Windows install, and it probably all falls under the same "access to memory card" permission that the vast majority of ad-supported apps all ask for anyway. I'm assuming it will be a limited to a curated mount point rather than the whole filesystem by default (i.e. you select a windows folder to be a fake memory card), but I suspect even if it is, the first thing people are going to be trying to do is break out of that sandbox to get access to the whole filesystem.

Maybe I'm just too paranoid... :/

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Silver badge

Re: At different times...?

Umm, I'd have to ask how is this new (at least the AMD bit of it)? Or is it just the version of Bluestacks and/or the hardware are optimised for one another, or a special hardware button to run the thing?

Bluestacks has been around for a while now, I have had it running on my Win7 laptop at home for a fair while. Works quite well (allowing for the lack of touch and gyroscopes etc on the laptop, but that's not bluestacks fault), although does seem to be somewhat resource-hungry.

A quick search from it via your engine of choice will turn up download links (http://bluestacks.com/‎ if I remember correctly, can't check as at work) and I think there are versions for Windows and OSX.

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Re: At different times...?

BlueStacks has been around for a long time already. It's just Android x86 running in a virtual machine. It runs quite well (much faster than the emulator in the Android SDK) and you can download it for yourself to try it out, though it will probably try to install some annoying game or another every day.

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Could be useful - no more mucking about with that dog-slow Android emulator for testing...

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g e
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So, is what's really being said here

That Android is more desirable than Win8 for people on those kinds of machines but the Manufacturers still can't afford to piss of the Hand of Redmond just yet so they're keeping Win8 on it cos of the subsidies or something?

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The mighty have fallen half way

A few years ago, Microsoft would not have tolerated dual boot from a major manufacturer. Perhaps a few years from now, customers will be able to choose what OS is pre-installed.

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Re: The mighty have fallen half way

A few years ago, Microsoft would not have tolerated dual boot from a major manufacturer…

Now they'll take what they can get?

Intel using Windows compatibility as an argument to sell these devices and get itself established on Android. Personally, I can't really see the point and as soon as Android effectively supports the notebook form factor (keyboard and mouse) I suspect I'll buy one. And a licence for Windows on it, if I need it and the architecture is supported.

In the meantime I suspect I'll stick to the hodgepodge of machines for the job I have.

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@Charlie Clark Re: The mighty have fallen half way

" as soon as Android effectively supports the notebook form factor (keyboard and mouse) .."

That would be the Asus Transformer, with integrated keyboard, released about 2 years ago. I have one, I plug a USB mouse in the side and I have run it with USB mouse, full size USB keyboard and memory stick plugged into a passive USB hub, just to see if it could be done.

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@Charlie Clark Re: The mighty have fallen half way

Android has, as far as I know, always supported mouse and keyboards, USB or Bluetooth.

Got a Nexus 5 phone here (and have done the same on multiple devices since my old HTC Hero), plug my HID wireless receiver in for my Logitech keyboard and mouse, and magically a little black mouse pointer appears on screen and just works.

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bep

Re: @Charlie Clark The mighty have fallen half way

I've got a Transformer as well and it works pretty well, but there are still some applications for which I'll power up the PC and some websites which work poorly on all the Android browsers but work OK on their Windows versions. So for those reasons I'd be tempted by one of these, although price is of course the critical factor. It looks like it will be well over a grand in Australian money, which is probably a bit rich for me.

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Re: The mighty have fallen half way

"as soon as Android effectively supports the notebook form factor (keyboard and mouse) I suspect I'll buy one." Good news then: the ASUS TF300T Transformer has a docking station with keyboard, touch-pad and USB port, that you can plug a mouse into. Or you can detach it and use as a tablet.

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Anonymous Coward

Groan

Why not just have android embedded a la Express Gate ? Oh yeah right, that's because 99% of the time you'll find yourself not needing windows.

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft or Google?

Which is the lesser of two evils these days?

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Devil

Re: Microsoft or Google?

Google of course is the lesser evil, they even had the slogan "Do no evil"......

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft or Google?

"Google of course is the lesser evil, they even had the slogan "Do no evil"......"

Along with their mission statement "Do no tax returns." Still, hardly alone in that goal I'm sure.

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Anonymous Coward

Decent Android Laptop

Is there a decent Android laptop available? Something with >=1Gb RAM, >=16Gb flash or takes SD cards, >=Tegra 3 chipset, lots of battery life, trackpad, keyboard, 10 to 13 inch screen.

If not, there should be.

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Re: Decent Android Laptop

Closest is probably the Asus Transformer

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Decent Android Laptop

I still have my Toshiba AC100, but it was always more like what 'might have been'. Ended up sticking Lubuntu on it, because frankly the Android build supplied sucked and the such ROMs as I could find were little better. Would be nice to see someone do a modern take on it that doesn't suck.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Decent Android Laptop

How about this from 2012 ?

http://www.talkandroid.com/115432-thd-n2-a-shows-off-macbook-esque-ics-powered-n2-a-notebook/

I'd love something like that with Kit-Kat, updated specs and a touch screen.

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Anonymous Coward

What they don't tell you...

We all know Windows 8 sucks badly, But the x86 Android will suck badly too, as x86 applications that run native code on Android need specific x86 versions.

I certainly wouldn't buy a product running Android that's not ARM based.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What they don't tell you...

"x86 applications that run native code on Android need specific x86 versions."

I'm not 100% sure I can parse that. An x86 application for a specific OS is an x86 application. A pure Android application running in the Android world shouldn't care whether it is in an ARM world or an x86 world; it's not "native" as such (for some definitions of "native") on either of them.

"I certainly wouldn't buy a product running Android that's not ARM based."

Much clearer, and indeed entirely sensible.

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Bronze badge

Re: What they don't tell you...

Android apps can have native libraries... e.g. (most if not all?) media players do that for performance reasons.

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Re: What they don't tell you...

Android x86 does not suck. Since most Android apps are just Java they run out of the box. We have a Motorola RAZRi (Intel x86 phone) in the household and almost every app you would want is available (including numerous NDK-based apps which have simply been recompiled for x86).

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Re: What they don't tell you...

No, We DON'T "all know Windows 8 sucks badly" - that is an article of faith in the anti-microsoft world, not an actual fact. Win 8 supports touch-screens, but works fine without it. I like the interface once I got used to it, and was disappointed when 8.1 put the start button back in; a retrograde step, but even 8.1 doesn't suck. it runs twice as fast on the same hardware as Win 7 did, for one thing: That is the first Windows upgade I can say that about.

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Not sure of the point here

This is a 13.3" laptop with a screen that folds back into a tablet form factor. When it's in laptop mode you're going to want to use Windows. When it's in tablet mode it is a pretty big tablet I'm not sure what you're going to use it for that you can't do in Windows. Media players and web browsing are pretty well catered for in Windows 8. That basically leaves games and to me the screen size is too big to be useful on most games. Couple that with the fact that because this is an intel chip running Android, native code has to be emulated.

It's not like you're going to have access to your windows files from Android.

For me my tablet has become redundant, my phone has grown and my laptop has shrunk and that seems to cover everything I used my tablet for.

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Silver badge

I am tempted

to strip out the win 8 and install a full-blown Linux on such a hybrid. My experiences to date with my transformer pad have been great, but a full LaTeX install and C(++) compiler would be nice on the road. My experiences to date with the Win 8 laptop have been less than stellar.

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Silver badge

Bluestacks is not really an emulator, if I remember correctly. It is more like WINE: It implements the Android architecture in Windows.

I've used it before, and it is very good. Pretty quick, although it is resource hungry.

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Bronze badge

Seems Asus is a bit different

Looking at it again, the Asus one, Asus have simply removed their cut down quick start web browsing Linux and replaced it with Android.Quite obviously its cheaper Celeron ones that people will end up buying.

It looks quite out of place on an I7.

Asus have always been disruptivly innovative.

Sadly they also get tamed far too quickly by Microsoft and Intel. Lets see how this one pans out.

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i'd do the contrary

There are way more useful Apps on Android than Windows 8.

What we want is an Android Laptop which can run Windows 8 apps rather than the contrary.

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Re: i'd do the contrary

Just need someone to port Wine to Android then,. although would probably still need x86 rather than ARM to run at a reasonable pace.

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I confidently predict they will sell...

... dozens. If they sell more than 100,000, ever, I'll eat one deep fired in batter

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Re: I confidently predict they will sell...

Come to Scotland, here we offer most things deep fried :)

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Missed the point

The point of android is to run adequately on ARM. Running it on an i7 misses the point. Doing this with an arm chip which taps into the laptop's screen & battery is what is really wanted. Then you get massive battery life and enough CPU for most things and an x64 when you need more.

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