HP is expected to launch the Compaq Airlife 100 smartbook soon. An early version of the Google Android-powered smartbook showed up at CES in January. And HP has already filed documents related to the Airlife 100 with the FCC. Now the company has created a web page for the Compaq Airlife 100 with specs and software information.

So here’s what we know. The smartbook will have a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 processor, 512MB of RAm and 512MB of Flash memory, plus 16GB of solid state storage. It will have a 10.1 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display. What’s interesting is that it will feature 16-bit color rather than 24-bit. If that doesn’t sound like a huge difference, 16-bit color basically means the display can handle 65 thousand colors, while 24-bit color depth supports 16 million colors.

The display is a backlit TFT display with a resistive touchscreen. That means you’ll be able to use a stylus or the back of your fingernail, but probably not your fingertip. And while the spec sheet doesn’t say anything about multitouch, most resistive displays can only handle single touch input.

The Compaq Airlife 100 will have a 28Whr battery. Since the smartbook uses a low power ARM-based processor, that should be enough to provide decent run time, but I’m not even going to hazard a guess as to exactly how much battery life you’ll get.

As for software, the smartbook will ship with Google Android. HP is also highlighting support for POP3 and IMAP email, calendar and contacts, alarm clock, calculator, and camcorder app. Those all pretty much come with Android. But it looks like there will be some interesting additions, including QuickOffice for working with Microsoft Office documents, RoadSync Exchange for synchronizing your calendar, contact, and email data, and Adobe Flash Lite for the web browser — which seems strange, since Adobe is expected to release Flash Player 10.1 for Android soon, but I’ve heard nothing about Flash Lite for Android. I think this might be a mistake.

There’s still no word on a price or launch date, but since the Airlife 100 will support both WiFi and 3G wireless connectivity, I suspect we may see the smartbook offered at subsidized prices in partnership with a wireless carrier such as AT&T soon. You may also be able to pick up an unsubsidized version directly from HP, but we won’t know for sure until someone slaps a price tag and launch date on this product.

via My HP Mini

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18 replies on “HP reveals the specs for its first smartbook”

  1. That’s not entirely correct on the resistive touchscreen. There are a number of resistive screens that now do dual-touch, most of the newer ones work just fine with the fingertip, and the Stantum/JazzMutant technology is resistive, not capacitive.

    Of course, I expect this *particular* model has some crap resistive screen, so I’m not sure why I’m arguing. But just, generally you may want to avoid the generalization. 😉

    1. That’s why I said “probably.”

      In my experience, cheap resistive screens = single touch. And I’d be shocked if this thing wasn’t at least in the ballpark of cheap. 🙂

      1. Yeah, I’ve been to that ballpark. Soggy peanuts, watered-down beer. And agreed.

        I mention it only partly because at least one reader on my site dismissed the Stantum stuff by virtue of it being resistive. It’s of course the other variables that matter. But in this context, yep, think you’re right. I’m all for cheap, actually, but it is just astonishing watching how dumb some of the compromising here can be – stick stalwartly to one thing that doesn’t matter, sacrifice something else that does.

  2. 1366×768 resolution would be much better.

    I do not like 1024×600 as it is too small to use for business uses (as many “projector screens” use 1024×768, so to edit presentations with the x600 it is a real pain.

    It is too bad that netbooks even came out with the 1024×600 screen size at all.

  3. Nothing about new Lenovo product they demoed yesterday in China ? I seen on Chinese TV new a large cinemascopic tablet and they spoken about ARM CPU and Android in those few new devices…

  4. TFT, not LED => high energy consumption, lower run time
    16 bit, not 24 bit => most wallpaper will be ugly, and can’t be used in imagery.
    resistive not capacitive => good for pen, less for multitouch 🙁

    a virtual keyboard is more compact than a plastic keyboard, but it should be lighter than any netbook.

    Hope next netbook shapped smartbook, will be more in today technologies, because smartbook, should then have far better run time than netbook

  5. The online specifications don’t make it very clear exactly what the “16-bit” refers to. As the AC pointed out, the majority of small, cheap LCD panels only have a color depth of 18 bits. However, in most cases, the rest of the graphics hardware runs in 24-bit then dithers in hardware or software before throwing the framebuffer at the display.

    Whether “16-bit” refers to the whole system or just the capability of the panel isn’t really made clear.

  6. How many netbooks have 24-bit colour depth? I thought most were 18-bit.

  7. No matter what you guys say. I am kinda happy 🙂

    Finally one of my sites get some life out of this. I have been working on Smartbooktalk.com for more than a year now and am happy that some releases are available finally.

  8. I have to agree with Mike here. A bit disappointing that the graphics capabilities are subpar. I’m really excited about these smartbooks, especially the Lenovo Skylight, and it’s great to see more manufacturers coming out with devices like this, but they need to be a bit more compelling than what HP is offering here. Hopefully the Lenovo Skylight doesn’t disappoint either, especially since its release has been pushed back until summer.

  9. Hmm, I very much have mixed feelings about this device. I’d like to see smart books, but this thing looks pretty bad. I haven’t had to think about the color depth of a display in literally decades, and yet… 16 bit video display? Seriously? In 2010 HP is releasing a device that can’t support what has been the de facto industry standard for 15+ years? My mind boggles. This means that colors will be dithered, and the display will inevitably look muddy. Add that to stats that are literally no better than most cell phones, and I’m not sure that HP has a compelling device here, which makes me sad. I was hoping for this to be better than the Lenovo smartbook offering.

    Oh well.

    Any news on whether Google will even let this connect to the Android marketplace? If it doesn’t even have that I can’t see why I’d buy this over a smart phone. The addition of a large physical keyboard just doesn’t do it for me. Especially since I have a portable battery powered bluetooth keyboard that pairs with a number of devices seemlessly and is quite portable.

    I love new devices like this, but this seems like a huge miss, which is sad, it looked like it had potential back in CES. I wish HP had taken the time to work out the kinks than come to market half baked.

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