Since the launch of the first lines of netbooks, I’ve had some concerns that they weren’t truly beneficial for mobile workers. The low battery life, lack of optical drives on some models, limited resources for programs, and their small form factor are not really conducive to mobile productivity.
Smartbooks just may change that perception. The target market seems to be those who need a small form factor device that can allow the user to do more than read e-mail and browse the Internet. These will be the newest twist on the netbook, mini-notebook, sub-compact design but will feature the ARM chip as opposed to Intel’s Atom chip.
What does that mean for mobile workers? The ARM chip will provide for longer battery life (eight hours is a number being tossed around). The Smartbooks will also run on Linux instead of Windows, and is that really a bad thing?
While it is stated that the ARM chips results in lower computing power compared to the Intel Atom, software companies and developers appear to be ready to start creating applications that will take advantage of the ARM chip and still provide mobile workers with the ability to use multimedia programs.
The Smartbook name follows on the path of Smartphones which evolved from basic cell phones to mobile devices that offer the user more and hopefully better ways to be productive. We may even see Smartbooks that have removable displays to be used as a variation of an e-reader. These variations would use the Tegra chip which is another ARM product.
So no matter the name you choose to call this new mobile device you can be sure that it will change the way you can work and how well you work while traveling. It will be interesting to follow the developments and see which companies chose to get involved with making these a more robust machine.
Source: The New York Times – Bits
Image courtesy of Qualcomm