The Mobinnova Beam is an 8.9 inch smartbook that uses NVIDIA’s Tegra platform to deliver HD graphics without using much power. NVIDIA and Mobinnova have been showing off the Beam for months, but it hasn’t yet hit the streets.

Earlier this year, I heard that it would eventually be available with either Windows CE or Google Android, but up up until now we’ve only seen prototypes running Windows CE. Now Laptop Magazine’s Mark Spoonauer has spent some hands-on time with a model sporting Google Android.

Out of the box, the Android version of the Mobinnova Beam won’t be able to download applications from the Android Market. But Mobinnova does plan to load it up with some video games that will take advantage of Tegra’s 3D graphics capabilities. The device will also be able to support 1080p HD video, and CinemaNow reportedly plans to offer a video download service.

There’s still no word on the pricing or availability, but there’s a good chance we’ll eventually see the Mobinnova Beam offered at subsidized prices by mobile broadband providers including AT&T.

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6 replies on “Mobinnova Beam smartbook gets a Google Android update”

  1. Agree, these smartbooks are supposed to be cheap!!!! So don’t offer us cellphone tie-ins. Sell them to us retail for a good price.

    Also the whole reason for using CE over android was CE could use acceleration on the desktop. They have Desktop Firefox running on it and other software was in the works. I don’t want a cellphone OS that has a GUI that can’t be accelerated. If I could have a dual boot machine with CE and Linux then that would be great. But I want it designed so CE has standby (ie instant on/off functionality) and full shutdown (required if you want to re-boot in Linux). It would also be good if the device was designed so that CE could sync over USB to desktop machine ie appointments, contacts, emails etc etc. Ce has the functionality so why not use it.

    Besides when is some idiot gonna realise copying a netbook is all well and good but not inovative enough to sell be the truckload. Give us something diffrent. Look at the sigmarion 3 (ok so it has a 5″ screen but the bezel means a device that size could take a 6 or 7″ widescreen). It fits in a coat pocket and is quite nice to type on.

    So drop the touchpad and reduce it’s size in that dimension. replace touchpad with touchscreen (prefferablly). make it fit in an inside coat pocket. I do like netbooks but still carry my Sigmarion as I don’t need a charger and it fits in my coat pocket. And as I always say the best device for any task is the one you have with you 🙂 Something this size could go with you most places without need for an extra bag. I think this is where smartbooks will find their unique selling point. Though they will still sell in larger devices due to battery etc. but feel they nees a unique device to attract attention (after all there are some atom devices coming out like this now but they suffer from crap battery life).


    1. I think one fundamental challenge that smartbooks have right now is that they seem to be at risk of being “lost” in all the iPad/tablet launches. Also, won’t Chrome-based netbooks launch later in the year?

      I just wonder what the window of opportunity is for these smartbooks.

  2. this is ridiculous… i (and i assume others) dont want a subsidized netbook. its stupid. i hate my cell phone company for locking me in, why do they assume i’d like this too. 3g is good if you need it and if its cheap, but in that case it should be up to you to stick the sim card in and problem solved. sell the damn netbooks, not a 3 year screw-you plan

    1. I’m also wondering if these “smartbooks” also “locked in” on the Operating System too. What if I want to run an ARM port of Ubuntu and/or dual-boot with Android?

      Maybe I’m not the intended audience for these smartbooks, but I guess that’s b/c I’m one of those few who wants whatever flavor of Linux plus SSD storage which is why I currently have the EeePC 901 still.

      I really like the form factor and lightweight concept of these smartbooks, I just hope that I don’t have to settle for “out of the box” operating system.

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