You make a good point if the price difference is significantly less than an RK3066 unit ($50 - $70 less imho)The ATM7029 isn't that awful. ATM7029 tablets I've seen actually seem to be cheaper than RK3066 ones. While I wouldn't buy an ATM7029-based tablet for gaming, it's been pretty decent for web browsing, reading, etc and battery life seems to be quite good. I remember getting around 8+ hours battery life with it while reading. Unfortunately, I broke the screen on my Venus so now I have to wait until after the Chinese New Year celebration to buy a replacement. The device has been on standby since Saturday (2/9) and the battery level doesn't seem to have budged since then. It was at 68% when I broke the screen, will see how long until the device runs out of battery.
However, the GPU on the ATM7029 is pretty bad. I guess that's the reason Ainol went with the Allwinner A31 for the retina display Novo9 Spark rather than stick to the ATM7029. *sigh* Can't wait for these RK3188 tablets to be released.
I am not saying the chipset can't do anything at all, but at the prices they are currently trying to compete with I just think it "adds noise" rather than adds something of value for those that are in the market for a tablet. Very much so my opinion but let me further explain...
What kind of development is going to be done for this chipset and devices based off of it? Especially vs. a bigger name like Rockchip. I am not saying we should never embrace a new player or a new chip, but I don't think we should embrace just for the sake of embracing it. They need to bring something innovative to the table to attract enough users to overcome some of the more seated brands like Rockchip. Time might prove me wrong here, but I just don't see this chip making much of an impact on such a crowded market due to its positioning with price and performance.
Now, if you end up with 20+ hours of "screen on" battery life/usage it might be a different story
The A31 has somewhat compelling GPU stats (and it uses a well-known PowerVR chipset rather than a Vivante...) which help make up for the underwhelming performance which CAN BE forgiven if it turns out to sip power, cost less than the RK3066, and be a stable platform. It obviously has the manufacturer backing so I don't think the user base (and resulting community support) is going to be an issue. I think their choice of the Cortex-A7 was actually fairly wise. The reason being that while YES they are less power than A9 core, they are much more energy efficient, cost less, and technologically have some advancements under the hood that put them closer to the A15 spec than the A9. I AM NOT SAYING THEY PERFORM LIKE THE A15, I am saying they have some similar engineering enhancements under hood that make them compelling enough vs the A9 to make up for their lack of performance.
Anyhow, I still do standby my initial thought that the ATM7029 just doesn't make sense as it stands at present. I mean no offense to those that own them, but I wouldn't advise anyone else to buy a device based off them.
Personally, I think Action is trying to "play to the consumer" who wants to see "Quad-Core" on their device without looking any deeper. I think they went with "A5's" to keep costs very very low and as a result are currently enjoying a considerable margin on every chip sold.
Considering the RK3188's underwhelming performance enhancements I think it might be fair to say that Rockchip is playing a similar game, although the die-shrink to 28nm is a big deal and I think the power usage will prove to be (boy I hope...) much better than the RK3066 even if the performance numbers are not.