Smartbooks aren't entirely new; we've heard of them
before, and we've
seen prototypes before. Basically, they're the machine that is supposed
to be cheaper than a netbook
, yet more capable than a smartphone. They
way we see it, they only have a few short years to thrive, as the
converged smartphone is becoming all the more powerful by the minute.
These so-called smartbooks won't typically run on a conventional OS
(like Windows 7), but instead on various kinds of Linux builds that are
designed for easy access to the most commonly used applications:
Firefox, Office tools, etc.
A new report from the Wall Street Journal suggests that CES 2010 will
be the smartbook's coming out party
, where a bunch of new ultra-small
notebooks (that perform more like advanced smartphones) will first make
public contact. These machines will be engineered to be "always-on"
with regard to Internet connectivity--be it Wi-Fi or integrated 3G, a
feature that'll really get the attention of the web-obsessed world
that we find ourselves in. What's interesting is just how thin this
line is that smartbooks straddle; netbooks are often found at around
$200 on sale, yet they run full-featured operating systems.
Smartphones, like Apple's iPhone 3GS, cost just $200 on contract and
can surf the web, edit documents and even make phone calls.
So, what's the market for the smartbook? That's the $64,000 question,
we guess. Most smartbooks are expected to sell for between $200 and
$450, yet they'll require a learning curve when it comes to the OS.
Also, they won't feature typical Intel CPUs; most will use ARM-based
platforms which will enable the battery life to be excellent. Reports
found that many early netbook buyers returned their machines quickly
when they realized that Linux was onboard--people just don't have a
desire to learn an all new OS when they know they can get a version
with Windows on it.
So, does the idea of a smartbook intrigue you? Would you opt for this
over a netbook? Does your smartphone handle the most of this already?