Remember Smartbook? No, not the class of mini-laptops with ARM-based processors and 3G mobile broadband connectivity. I’m talking about the German company called Smartbook that was using the name before chip-maker Qualcomm decided to differentiate its platform fro netbooks by creating a new name implying a cross between a smartphone and a notebook or netbook.
While the German Smartbook has been fighting to protect its trademark in that country, the rest of the world has pretty much gotten on board with calling devices such as the upcoming Lenovo Skylight and Compaq Airlife 100 smartbooks thanks to their low power processors, always-on internet access, and mobile operating systems including Google Android and the custom Skylight Linux distribution.
Now things are about to get a lot more complicated, because Smartbook plans to launch its version of a Smartbook at CeBit in March. The company’s Smartbook Logo features a 3G UMTS modem, like the other smartbooks. And it’s got a screen, keyboard, and pretty good battery life. But that’s where the similarities end.
The Smartbook Logo will feature an 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display, an intel CULV processor, an HDMI output, and Windows 7 Home Premium. It will have 1GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive and a battery that Smartbook says will be good for up to 8 hours of run time.
The laptop will weigh 1.3kg (about 2.86 pounds) and sell in Europe for about 699 Euros ($943 US).
If this thing catches on, it’s going to muddy the waters of exactly what constitutes a smartbook. But since we’re basically just looking at yet-another-thin-and-light laptop with an Intel CULV processor, albeit with a 3G modem, I’m not really sure Qualcomm and other smartbook makers have that much to worry about yet.
Like it is difficult to know what is really a netbook or isn’t. It would be nice if there were guidelines to determine what can and can not be called a netbook, smartbook, etc. Perhaps it could clarfity and ‘un-muddy’ the waters?
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