Latest Flash 10.1 beta supports more netbooks


— 6:00 AM on February 25, 2010

Adobe is still improving its Flash 10.1 player via public betas. After the initial release last November and the second beta the following month, Flash 10.1 beta 3 has now become available for download from the Adobe Labs website.

According to the folks at Engadget, the beta 3 release adds support for two mobile graphics products: Intel's GMA 500, which typically resides alongside Atom Z500-series processors in netbooks and handhelds, and Broadcom's Crystal HD video decoder, which complements some new Pine Trail netbooks.

Engadget attempted high-definition YouTube playback on two Crystal HD-powered netbooks, the HP Mini 210 and Dell Mini 10. The HP system reportedly managed 720p playback fine but choked on 1080p video. The Dell system fared better: Engadget has posted a video of it playing some 1080p Flash content. While the blogger talking in the video claims 1080p playback is smooth, we can definitely see some choppiness. Perhaps the recording device is to blame.

A different story by Netbooked provides an account of Flash 10.1 beta 3 running on a GMA 500-powered netbook, Asus' Eee PC T91MT. That post states, "720p works nicely - not smooth but it's not a slideshow like you get without the Flash 10.1 drivers." Adobe still has a ways to go, then, but the prospect of smoother high-definition playback down the road may still please netbook users.

   
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