Asus smartbook prototype (Summer, 2009)

Last week word broke that Asus was planning on launching a so-called “smartbook” in the first quarter of 2010. Now it looks like the company is either pushing back the release date or hedging its bets. Either way, Register Hardware reports that the machine won’t be available until Q2, 2010.

Although the term “smartbook” isn’t as common as “netbook,” it’s generally understood that smartbooks are small, low power, internet-connected laptops that typically have ARM-based processors. An Asus spokesperson told Register Hardware that they also usually have 5 to 7 inch screens, which means it’s probably a safe bet the Asus smartbook will fall somewhere in that range.

If the machine does have an ARM processor, it also won’t be able to run Windows XP or Windows 7, although it’s not clear if it will run Google Android, Google Chrome or a Linux distribution such as Xandros, Ubuntu, or Moblin.

It’s worth noting that Register Hardware is a UK site, and Asus does have a habit of launching products at different times in different countries. But while the UK typically gets Asus notebooks a little while after they show up in Taiwan, they usually hit the UK before before the US.

via Netbook Choice

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5 replies on “Asus pushes back Smartbook launch”

  1. Better to have it running properly that show it with the risk of crashing. It does not look all that differently from a netbook.

  2. Better to push back the launch date than put out something half baked. I just hope they use the extra time wisely.

  3. I used to think I wanted a smartbook (or a MID with a keyboard) because I still think the Psion Revo was the greatest portable device EVA, but as I get used to thumbing away on my blackberry, things with screens on the inside rather than the outside look less attractive because they’re less convenient to use as a phone, and I’d rather carry fewer devices.

    But, if they can keep the price down (and I mean WAY down, like $150), I might snag a device like this with a 4-5 inch screen. 7-inch devices aren’t pocketable, and I don’t think a device like this would be useful enough to justify carrying a murse.

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