Smartphone+NetBook=SmartBook?By Partho, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Six years ago, when Psion announced their netBook, it was an irreplaceable breakthrough for mobile enterprise market. Excuse the geeks for they must have hallucinated of the next big thing, probably a cloned descendant of Mactini. So what could be the future of post-netbook world? The notebooks had paved the way for netbooks and now they would be conceding the legacy to their generic offspring nomenclatured as smartbook. Well, genesis of the term seems to be an extraction from the amalgamation of smartphone and netbook. This obviously is a breaking news for those conformist with the broadest opinion accusing netbook to be an unfeasible piece of vendor-speak.
There was a conscious exposition of the new thing last November in a speech by a marketing executive from hard-drive maker Western Digital. What could be deciphered from the speech was that the smartbook would be a computing device similar in size or slightly smaller version of netbook equipped with smartphone like features.
Glen Burchers, consumer marketing director at Freescale Semiconductor Inc. said the features in smartbook would include all-day battery life, instant-on capability and persistent connectivity.
About the specs he mentioned that the smartbook would feature an ARM-based chip core, a Linux OS version like Google’s Android. Above all, the piece would have a price point significantly lower than today’s netbooks. According to Burchers prediction the new device would come with
- 8.9-inch screens
- Wi-Fi, full-sized keyboard
- 8-hour battery life
- 512MB of RAM
- 4-8 Gigabytes of [solid-state]
The smartbook would be priced at something around $199.
Comparison with Netbooks
It would be far cheaper than the the cheapest netbook with Intel Atom CPU, like the just announced HP Mini 110 priced at $300. The real world battery life these netbooks like Mini and such others is close to 4 hours. Their boot time descends according to their reliance on Windows.
Last year, Intel had successfully persuaded the notebook producers to accept the term netbook for the new line of mini notebooks. Intel’s Atom CPU and its closely-associated graphics chipset covers more than 90% of the netbook market.
Moreover, Intel has resolved the last issue for the term netbook with the announcement that the company has settled the trademark lawsuit brought by the first netBook makers Psion.
Statements: For and Against
Glen Burchers makes it clear that
While ‘netbook’ is not a bad term, it has really come to mean a mini-notebook that uses an x86 chip and runs Windows,
He added that
There’s a need for a product category that fits between a smartphone and a netbook.
Reacting on the new term Intel spokesman Bill Calder said
Today we have iPhones, smartphones, mobile internet devices, netbooks, notebooks, and more,” Calder said. “We’re not sure how adding another new term helps, and, in fact, it may only confuse consumers.
Richard Shim, PC market analyst in IDC Corp is not impressed with the term smartbook either. For him it sounds like an intuitive term. He feels the product would require heavy marketing to make the people accept it.
Well, going by the records people have accepted the netbook, the smartphone and what not, so it won’t take long before the consumers get used to the term smartbooks. The only downside could be Intel wrapping up its netbook market.
Now if you have some opinions on the post- netbook world share it with us.