Smartbooks at MWC 2010

Netbooks, Tablets and Smartbooks (which combine the hardware and software usually found smartphones), are getting display space at MWC 2010 in Barcelona. When they’ll reach consumers is anyone’s guess. Carriers may subsidize some of these products in order to goose data networking revenue.

  • OpenProject OpenTablet 7. Launched at MWC by OpenProject, this system is based on the third generation of the Atom platform (“Moorsetown”) and features USB ports, two cameras, a 7-inch multitouch TFT LED-backlit LCD screen, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 and Adobe Flash support. OpenTablet combines home security and energy monitoring in a communications hub that converges voice, video and data services into one portable device.
  • Acer’s Aspire One 532G. It is the first netbook to run Nvidia’s Ion 2 chip set and sports a 10.1-inch LED-backlit screen, 720p resolution, Wi-Fi connectivity with optional 3G and 7.1-channel audio output, with 10 hours of battery life. NVIDIA’s current ION technology uses an Intel Atom processor and replaces Intel’s integrated graphics with an NVIDIA solution. That’s not possible on computers with Intel Atom Pine Trail chips like the Aspire One 532G, because the graphics and processor are on the same piece of silicone. Instead, ION 2 will pair the Atom N450 chip with a switchable graphics card that will let you watch 1080p HD video on the netbook.
  • Asus T101MT Netbook Tablet. A touch-screen tablet with a 10.1-inch display and Windows 7, three USB ports, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It is powered by an Atom N540 CPU. Storage options include a 160GB or 320GB hard drive, with 2GB of RAM.
  • Notion Ink Adam Tablet PC. A potential competitor to the iPad, it offers a 10.1-inch TFT LCD module with LED backlight, built-in microphone and 3.2-megapixel swivel camera, as well as a virtual keyboard and a multitouch.
  • Panasonic Toughbook H1 Field Tablet is a handheld tablet featuring a 10.4-inch touch screen, an Intel Atom processor and Qualcomm Gobi2000 technology for flexible (EVDO/HSPA) connectivity. It runs Microsoft’s Windows 7 and includes a 1.86GHz Atom Z540 chip, with 2GB of RAM memory.
  • Samsung N150. An LTE-equipped netbook features a non-glare 10.1″ screen, memory card slot and 3 USB 2.0 ports. The processor is a Intel Atom Processor N450, and graphics are handled by an integrated Intel GMA3150 chip. You’ll have to wait for LTE service, though.
  • The Compaq AirLife 100 (below) is an Android smartbook powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU. It has a 10.1-inch touch screen and comes with Wi-Fi b/g or optional 3G wireless broadband and includes 16GB of internal storage, 512MB of RAM and 512MB of flash storage. It also includes an SD card slot for external storage. While HP has not yet announced a release date, it is expected that operator Telefonica will offer the device with a subsidized price.

Perhaps the biggest announcement in the Smartbook/Tablet space was the joint Intel/Nokia announcement of MeeGo, the new operating system for Mobile Internet Devices, to be hosted by The Linux Foundation.

As MeeGo fully rolls out, Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin will cease to exist. MeeGo is an attempt to blend the best parts of both operating systems into a single open platform, that can work on any device. It will work on phones, netbooks, digital televisions or cars.

Intel would like to sell their Moorsetown (Atom) shrink, while Nokia would like to make Smartphones smarter. But MeeGo will have stiff competition from Smartbooks and tablets running (non-Intel) ARM processors and the open Android/Chromium OS. Chromium is Linux without a desktop – just the Google Chrome Browser. All apps are web apps.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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