A few years ago Qualcomm tried to convince the world that the future wasn’t netbooks or tablets… it was “smartbooks,” which combined some of the best features of netbooks and smartphones. You’d get a large display and touch-typable keyboard, but also a low power, always-on system with all-day battery life. That never really panned out, but I don’t think it bugs Qualcomm too much, because plenty of tablet makers are using the company’s chips anyway. But Motorola may have just introduced a device that would be best described as a smartbook if Motorola didn’t already have another name for it: Webtop.

Here’s the deal. Motorola just introduces a new smartphone called the Atrix 4G which has a dual core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, Google Android 2.2, and support for 4G mobile broadband. It has 1GB of memory and 16GB of storage space, and a 1930mAh battery.

But the phone is only part of the story, because Motorola also unveiled something it calls a Webtop, which is basically a dock that turns the Atrix 4G into a notebook, complete with a larger display, full sized keyboard, and a high capacity battery. Since the phone is the brains of the Webtop, you always have your data with you, but you can use the Webtop to use it like a laptop with an 11.6 inch display and a 36Whr battery which should provide up to 8 hours of battery life.

Anandtech reports that the Atrix 4G Webtop will even be able to run the full desktop version of the Firefox web browser (not the mobile version developed for Android and Maemo/MeeGo devices).

There’s no word on pricing or availability yet, but the Atrix 4G is designed for AT&T’s HSPA+ network.



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One reply on “Motorola reinvents the smartbook with the Atrix 4G webtop”

  1. Ooh, that’s gotta hurt over at Freescale. (For those who don’t know, Freescale used to be Motorola’s semiconductor division until it was spun off in ’04.)

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