The Intel Atom processor may be powering the vast majority of netbooks from major computer makers today. But ARM based ultraportables are getting ready to explode onto the market. And by explode, I mean sometime in the next year or two we’re going to see a bunch of manufacturers, wireless carriers and others start to offer netbook-sized devices running Linux or Windows CE and trying to figure out if anyone actually wants to buy them.
One of the first ARM-powered devices to make the rounds is a prototype from Wistron which has been showing up at trade shows left and right. The folks at Laptop Magazine got a closer look at the Wistron PBook (or Firstbook, or whatever it’s called) at CTIA this week. The netbook is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform, which uses an ARM-based low power 1GHz processor. The netbook is designed to run for 8 hours or more on a single battery charge and it also features an ATI 3D graphics accelerator.
The PBook supports WiFi, Bluetooth, and 3G modems.
Laptop magazine reports that the prototype is running a custom Linux distribution, but that similar devices could also run Windows Mobile or Google Android.