While many eyes are on E3, Taiwan's Computex conference is more quietly generating some interesting news on the future of Netbooks and laptops that will eventually make their way stateside. For a peek into the crystal ball of mobile computing, let's take a look at what's been announced in Taipei, Taiwan, this week.
Mobile-phone-based Netbooks are growing: "Smartbooks," as they're being called by companies like Qualcomm, seem to be this year's Netbook. It's mostly a naming convention shift: ARM processors based on smartphone chips, like Qualcomm's Snapdragon, were demoed on Asus Eee PC Netbooks--running Android, no less. While Snapdragon competitor Freescale Semiconductor, who makes an ARM-based iMX515 processor, predicts hybrid Smartbooks that will look like tablets, others see them being even more portable Netbooks.
Regardless of the processor, companies are finally announcing the release of honest-to-goodness Android Netbooks, running a laptop-based version of the Google-created smartphone OS, later this year. Acer took the leap by confirming their release of Android Netbooks by the third quarter of this year, suddenly accelerating the "Android on Netbooks" argument we've been having on CNET. Is Android really a better OS solution? The point may be moot for laptop manufacturers such as Acer who are also entering the smartphone space, and are mostly likely interested in targeting Google for an across-the-board mobile OS option on their future devices. According to Acer, "a majority" of their Netbooks will run Android as an alternative to Windows.… Read more