Friday, October 30, 2009

ASUS Smartbook Confirmed for 2010 — Around $180

James Kendrick:
The smartbook has been a category of devices that has been slow to appear since Qualcomm started pushing it earlier this year. The smartbook is basically the result of putting smartphone capability into a highly mobile notebook form. The idea is to have a highly mobile device with ubiquitous connectivity, at a price even cheaper than that of netbooks. The smartbook will have a smartphone processor, like the Snapdragon, and an OS optimized for light computing. Kevin recently wondered when the smartbooks would appear, and it turns out he might not have much longer to wait.

ASUS, creator of the EEE PC and thus the netbook craze, had embraced producing a smartbook at one time, only to back off from the possibility in subsequent statements. CEO Jerry Shen has ended the speculation, saying that the Taiwanese company will produce a smartbook for release in the first quarter of 2010, for a price equivalent to about $180.

The statement came during an investor conference in Taiwan, and Shen claimed that the ASUS smartbook device could be the “secret weapon” that helps ASUS recreate the peak reached with the original EEE PC release. ASUS had demonstrated a branded smartbook earlier this year at CompuTex (pictured right), but the device quickly disappeared from view and hasn’t been seen again.

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