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If you are not technology freak and found it difficult to digest the storm called "netbook", then please be ready for another storm. In fact, a tornado is coming your way and it is called "smartbook." Wondering what is a smartbook and how it is different from a netbook? Read on this report published in InfoWorld...
First mentioned last November in a speech by a marketing executive from hard drive maker Western Digital, a smartbook will be a computing device similar in size or slightly smaller than today's netbook with smartphone-like features.
Its features may include all-day battery life, instant-on capability and "persistent connectivity," ARM-based chip core, a Linux OS version like Google's Android, and, most importantly to consumers, a price point significantly lower than today's netbooks. One can expect a smartbook costing in the range of $199 with 8.9-inch screens, Wi-Fi, full-sized keyboard, 8-hour battery life, 512MB of RAM and 4 to 8GB of [solid-state] storage. All this by the end of this year!!
The cheapest netbooks are based on Intel's Atom CPU, such as Hewlett-Packard's Mini 110 (under $300) and Lenovo's version at around $249. Intel pioneered in pushing the industry to accept the term "netbook" last year, which described the emerging class of mini-notebook computers. And for the first time, they were offered at discount, rather than premium, prices. Intel's Atom CPU and its closely associated graphics chipset now dominate more than 90% of the netbook market.
According to Intel spokesman Bill Calder, "Today we have iPhones, smartphones, mobile internet devices, netbooks, notebooks, and more. We're not sure how adding another new term helps, and, in fact, it may only confuse consumers." Interestingly, ARM Holdings PLC, the U.K. designer of the ARM chips (that it licenses to hundreds of manufacturers), has apparently not yet embraced the smartbook term, at least publicly. However, at the Computex trade show in Taipei, ARM CEO predicted that 20% of netbooks next year will ship with ARM chips inside!