Smartbooks on Their Way: ARM-Based Mini-Notebooks

Jun 02, 2009

When the Computex show opens in Taipei on June 2, among the announcements will be a series of Linux notebooks with ARM processors.

A day earlier Qualcomm officially announced the new smartbooks device class and the 45-nanometer Snapdragon chipset platform. The hellosmartbook.com site already has some info and a promotional video.

The smartbooks device class is somewhere between a smartphone and a notebook. All devices should work over WLAN, 3G, Bluetooth and GPS. Battery life should range from six hours to a few days. The CPU includes ARM processors, limiting usage to Linux and Windows CE, prompting most manufacturers to call them Linux devices.

Next to Qualcomm, Freescale ARM-based devices should also appear under the Smartbook brand, as LinuxDevices.com announced. Freescale may not be using Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform, but its own i.MX515 system-on-a-chip (SoC) solution instead, as we reported. The first devices are targeted for Autumn of 2009. The smartbooks should cost around $200 and weigh less than a kilo, with most of them possibly implementing a touchscreen.

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