Will Smartbooks Thrive In A Netbook-Crazed World?

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News Posted: Thu, Dec 31 2009 10:05 AM
Smartbooks aren't entirely new; we've heard of them before, and we'veseen prototypes before. Basically, they're the machine that is supposedto be cheaper than a netbook, yet more capable than a smartphone. Theyway we see it, they only have a few short years to thrive, as theconverged 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 aredesigned 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 willbe the smartbook's coming out party, where a bunch of new ultra-smallnotebooks (that perform more like advanced smartphones) will first makepublic contact. These machines will be engineered to be "always-on"with regard to Internet connectivity--be it Wi-Fi or integrated 3G, afeature that'll really get the attention of the web-obsessed worldthat we find ourselves in. What's interesting is just how thin thisline 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 andcan 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-basedplatforms which will enable the battery life to be excellent. Reportsfound that many early netbook buyers returned their machines quicklywhen they realized that Linux was onboard--people just don't have adesire to learn an all new OS when they know they can get a versionwith Windows on it.

So, does the idea of a smartbook intrigue you? Would you opt for thisover a netbook? Does your smartphone handle the most of this already?
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Basically, they're the machine that is supposedto be cheaper than a netbook, yet more capable than a smartphone.

If a smartbook is cheaper than a netbook, does that make it SMART? And if a smartbook can't make phone calls then how can it be more capable than a smartphone? Why do marketers use the term SMART to describe dumbed-down products? Smartbook reminds me of the Smart Car, and after watching THIS video one might be inclined to ponder the meaning of SMART!

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