Qualcomm Demos Android Smartbook By ASUS


Although the battle for the Netbook trademark has officially come to an end, Qualcomm is straying from the term. In the (first) video shown below the Qualcomm representative refers to the device as an ASUS Android Netbook, but when and if this device reaches market it will likely be called a Smartbook – a combination of the words “Smartphone” and “Netbook”. Last week Qualcomm unveiled a new website – – and it appears this “Smartbook” brand name will eventually be plastered on all “Netbooks” running Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset.

The chip is incredibly small and efficient, creating low enough current consumption that a cooling fan isn’t necessary. That contributes to the overall thin and lightweight form, and should also account for extended battery life. The device demonstrated is indeed an Android Netbook/Smartbook and for those questioning the purpose of such a creation, perhaps this will change some of your minds.

Displaying a video clip from the movie “Transformers”, you can see the playback is amazingly clear. The Snapdragon chipset can encode and decode HD video at 720p and future generations will be 1080p capable. Again these chips are branded “Snapdragon ” and the version displayed is a 3-chip solution with some of the following features:

  • 1 GHz embedded apps processor
  • 600 MHz embedded DSP for application work
  • Worldwide modem (can take it to Europe, USA, Japan, etc… depending on RF configuration)
  • Hardware acceleration
  • Embedded GPS
  • Chip is the size of a few fingernails

I can understand the concerns of some of the Android Netbook haters out there who say it is pointless, but if you can give me an incredibly efficient, compact and lightweight device that is stocked with Google Apps, Android Market and has this type of multimedia capabilities while giving me continued and unrestricted web connectivity, I’m not sure I would need or want much else in many scenarios. Especially if the price is right.

In another video we learn about “active standby” – even when the Smartbook is closed and/or off. It is still connected to the Internet, presumably downloading updates, notifications, syncing and running apps in the background just as your mobile phone would. And the battery life on this thing is supposed to be phenomenal.

These are just prototyped demos but supposedly we’ll see these bad boys hit the market later in the year. Will you be standing in line to get one? I won’t be standing in line but I can tell you now that come the 2009 holiday shopping season these things will be FLYING off the shelves, and I’ll be aiding their take off.

So the battle begins… Netbooks vs. Smartbooks!

[Tweaktown via jkOnTheRun, EngadgetChina]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Well I was starting to sink into the “makes no sense” category. But I must say it looks nice. Now what they need to do is put the necessary phone antennas in and some buttons on the outside for phone functions and you would have a whole new market.

    They do need to figure out the background thing. They should have shown one that actually spans the screen.

    Either way I’m gonna this to the Windows 7 fanboys I run across that swear Win 7 is going to kill Linux on netbooks.

  2. Interesting, but they will have to do something with the UI if they want it to be taken seriously. Right now what works on a small phone screen doesnt quite translate well to a larger screen. Like Phil said above, changing the background at least would have been a good start. Mainly the spacing of icons on the home screen and the slide out panel just dont seem to fit a netbook size screen, if they could scale those better I think it would be a great start.

  3. It’s silly to call people who question the use of android on netbook ‘haters’.

    Most would presumably welcome runtimes for android for netbooks. It would be very cool to be able to buy neat little apps for your phone and your netbook. It would be very cool if this happened on Linux and Win 7.

    But – how will android work and compare with the a Linux or Win 7 netbook? Will you be able to easily run Gimp and Open Office? What about all the things you can run on a netbook tht runs Win 7 or Linux? The millions of applications out there? Why not start by getting a large chunk of that and then getting android?

    But hey, if it’s very cheap an Android netbook may fill a niche. Good to see them trying anyway.

  4. Gah. Missed the obvious comment. Win 7 won’t run on ARM will it? So it will be some form of Linux, Ubuntu or Android or something else.

  5. I have three grandkids, 6,9 and 12 it is the perfect present for Christmas, and because they don’t care which OS they run, they only want to use them, I don’t care if is Android, Ubuntu or any other Linux, I like the price.

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