The netbook market exploded this year, and it was arguably the brightest economic light in the computing sector. Part of the reason for netbook success? Price, of course. In a down economy, it only makes sense that lower priced computers are selling like hotcakes.
ARM COO Graham Budd warns, however, that “netbooks can’t be just cheap notebooks.” In an interview with The Economic Times, Budd recently talked about what ARM brings to the table that will help differentiate the segment.
Just how will ARM netbooks be different? “The boot time will be faster, the battery life will be substantially higher, and the cost will be lower. ARM-based netbooks will also be smaller because we don’t have to put in a fan to cool the processor , as its energy consumption is very low. All this will help to create a category between a smartphone and a laptop,” Budd stated.
It sounds like he’s talking about smartbooks, though the jury is still out on what we’re going to call those. What’s important, however, is that ARM is serious about making a splash in portable computing. Their processors are used extensively in other devices – cellular phones and printers, for example. By teaming up with OEMs and providing compelling devices like Chrome OS netbooks, ARM could very well carve out a niche for itself.
Right now, however, ARM netbooks are really only able to run Linux distros tailored to their non-x86 processors. On top of that, there aren’t many to choose from at the moment.
After attending the Ubuntu Developer Summit, Shane Fagan lamented “Where’s my ARM netbook?” noting that only three models were available (four if you count a board-only unit). With Intel’s Atom able to run Windows and just about every interesting Linux distro under the sun like Moblin and Jolicloud, ARM has their work cut out.
via Netbook Boards
One feature I think mobile internet devices need to have is the ability to be used while you’re standing up. If you have to put the device down on a table or your lap to use it, you may as well use a lightweight laptop of some sort.
I agree with the ARM bloke. I don’t see the point in netbook sized arm devices. More devices like the Netwalker would be great.
A clam style device with say a 6.5 inch screen around the same size as the good old HP Jornada 720/728 but thinner (they could do that easily). The issue for me with the 5 inch screen devices is that they are just a bit too small. Having a device that has a slightly larger screen and a broader keyboard would be perfect – That PSION company knew a thing or two about hardware design……
OS choice is wider now too as long as ARM can play nicely with others. Can you imagine a slim iphone like clam shell device with Android or someting similar!.
Having owned a UMID M1 and a Viliv X70 I have come to the conclusion that I prefer a clam shell device but one that fits in the pocket and has a larger screen than the current offerings. That Netwalker has space for a wider screen….
Won’t Google Chrome OS mean all computers could boot faster? I mean it not the ARM processor, it is the OS. And if ARM is serious about making a splash in portable computing shouldn’t these guys have started selling computers a year ago? It seems very late to be tooting the “We boot faster & we’re cheaper” horn.
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