Has Toshiba Resurrected The Smartbook?
A 21mm thick instant-on laptop with a 10 inch screen, weighing 870g, running Android on an Nvidia ARM-based processor, costing around £250 with a stand-by time of a week, is exactly what the computer market was expecting – about a year ago.
‘Smartbooks’ is what some people called these ARM-based netbooks. Qualcomm, Freescale, TI and Nvidia were supposed to be making processors for these creations which were forecast, by some analysts, to be likely to take some 70 per cent of the netbook market.
It never happened. Lots of prototypes got aired but hardly any hit the floor running. Some speculated that the power of Intel MDF had put the fear of God into potential manufacturers of these smartbooks. Others said the absence of a port to ARM by Microsoft made them unviable.
But, this month, mighty Toshiba is selling in the UK an ARM-based 10 inch, instant-on smartbook which runs Android on a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra with a standby time of a week, costing around £250.
Maybe the ARM-based netbook isn’t a dead duck