Smartbook

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Wistron Pursebook, with 1 GHz Snapdragon ARM CPU (April 2009).

A smartbook was a class of mobile device that combined certain features of both a smartphone and netbook computer, promoted in 2009 and 2010.[1] Smartbooks were advertised with features such as always on, all-day battery life, 3G, or Wi-Fi connectivity and GPS (all typically found in smartphones) in a laptop or tablet-style body with a screen size of 5 to 10 inches and a physical or soft touchscreen keyboard.[2]

A German company sold laptops under the brand Smartbook and held a trademark for the word in many countries (not including some big markets like United States, China, Japan, or India). It acted to preempt others from using the term smartbook to describe their products.[3][4]

Smartbooks tended to be designed more for entertainment purposes than for productivity and typically targeted to work with online applications.[5] They were projected to be sold subsidized through mobile network operators, like mobile phones, along with a wireless data plan.[6]

The advent of much more popular tablets such as the iPad have largely displaced the smartbook.[7]

History[edit]

The smartbook concept was mentioned by Qualcomm in May 2009 during marketing for its Snapdragon technology, with products expected later that year.[8] Difficulties in adapting key software (in particular, Adobe's proprietary Flash Player) to the ARM architecture[9] delayed releases until the first quarter of 2010.[10][11]

Smartbooks would have been powered by processors which were more energy-efficient than traditional ones typically found in desktop and laptop computers.[1] The first smartbooks were expected to use variants of the Linux operating system, such as Google's Android or Chrome OS. The ARM processor would have allowed them to achieve longer battery life than many larger devices using x86 processors.[8][9] In February 2010, ABI Research projected that 163 million smartbooks would ship in 2015.[12]

In many countries the word Smartbook was a trademark registered by Smartbook AG.[13][14] In August 2009 a German court ruled Qualcomm must block access from Germany to all its webpages containing the word Smartbook unless Smartbook AG is mentioned.[15] Smartbook AG defended its trademark.[4][16] A February 2010 ruling prevented Lenovo from using the term.[17]

By the end of 2010, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs admitted that tablet computers such as the iPad already occupied the niche of the smartbook, so the name was dropped.[7] In February 2011 Qualcomm won its legal battle when the German patent office ruled the words "smart" and "book" could be used.[18] However, several trademarks have been registered. [19] [20] [21] [22]

Designs[edit]

Always Innovating Touch Book[edit]

In March 2009 the Always Innovating company announced the Touch Book.[23] It was based on the Texas Instruments OMAP 3530 which implemented the ARM Cortex-A8 architecture. It was originally developed from the Texas Instruments Beagle Board. It had a touchscreen and a detachable keyboard which contained a second battery. The device came with a Linux operating system and the company offered to license their hardware designs.[23][24][25]

Sharp Netwalker[edit]

The Sharp PC-Z1 as seen on IFA 2009

Sharp Electronics, introduced their PC-Z1 "Netwalker" device in August 2009 with a promised ship date of October 2009. It featured a 5.5" touchscreen, runs Ubuntu on an ARM Cortex-A8 based Freescale i.MX515 and was packaged in a small clamshell design. Sharp reported the device weighs less than 500 grams and will run 10 hours on one battery charge. The device is said to run 720p video, and have both 2D and 3D graphics acceleration. It comes with Adobe Flash Lite 3.1 installed.[26][27]

Pegatron prototype[edit]

Pegatron, an Asus company, showed a working prototype of a smartbook in August 2009. It consisted of an ARM Cortex-A8 based Freescale i.MX515 supports 2D/3D graphics as well as 720p HD video, 512 MB DDR2 RAM, 1024x600 8.9" LCD screen, Bluetooth 2.0, 802.11g and run off a SD card. It also featured one USB and one micro USB port, a VGA port as well as a card reader. The smartbook ran Ubuntu Netbook 9.04 and contained a version of Adobe Flash Player which was out of date. The bill of materials for the Pegatron smartbook prototype was $120.[28]

In November 2009 Pegatron said it had received a large number of orders for smartbooks that would launch in early 2010. The devices were rumored to sell for about $200 when subsidized.[29] Asus announced plans to release their own smartbook in the first quarter of 2010.[30][31] Asus later postponed the smartbook launch to the second quarter of 2010.[32]

Lenovo Skylight[edit]

Qualcomm was expected to announce a smartbook on November 12, 2009 at an analyst meeting.[33] A Lenovo device concept was shown, and announced in January 2010. In May 2010 the Skylight was cancelled.[34]

Compaq Airlife 100[edit]

In late January 2010 a U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) listing featured a device from HP that was referred as smartbook, while a prototype of the same device was already shown earlier.[35] In beginning February on Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, HP announced it will bring this device to market. The specifications will most likely be following:[36][37][38][39][40][41]

In the end of March 2010 the smartbook made an appearance at FCC again, this time listing its 3G capabilities. According to FCC, the device will support GSM 850 and 1900, as well as WCDMA II and V bands. These WCDMA bands may indicate the usage in AT&T network in the United States.[42][43][44] Details of the product is now available on the HP website.[45][46]

Toshiba AC100[edit]

In June 2010, a smartbook device from Toshiba was announced. It features Nvidia Tegra processor and is able to remain in stand-by mode for up to 7 days.[47][48] The device was officially available at the Toshiba United Kingdom site.[49] Originally delivered with Android v2.1 (upgradable to v2.2 since 2011 [50]) it can also be modified to run a customized GNU/Linux distribution.

In Japan, it is sold as "Dynabook AZ".

Genesi Efika MX[edit]

The Genesi company announced an MX Smartbook as part of their Efika line in August 2010.[51] It was originally priced at US$349, and some reviewers questioned if it was small enough to fit this definition.[52][53] The price has since been reduced to $199. It is ostensibly a derivative of the above mentioned Pegatron design.

Chromebook (Samsung, XE303)[edit]

In October 2012, an ARM based Chromebook was released by Google and Samsung. This model (XE303) features an Exynos5 processor (dual-core A15), 2GB of RAM and 16GB SSD storage. This smartbook is capable of running Ubuntu and other Linux based operating systems just like earlier x86 Chromebooks.

Others[edit]

In September 2009, Foxconn announced it is working on smartbook development.[54] In November 2009, a Quanta Computers pre-production Snapdragon powered sample smartbook device that ran Android OS was unveiled.[55][56] In December 2009 Acer announced it wanted to be the first to launch a Google Chrome OS netbook,[57] sometimes called a Chromebook. In April 2010, Dell was rumored to be working on its own smartbook.[58]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Scott Stein (January 10, 2010). "CES: What, exactly, is a smartbook? Highlights from the show floor". CNET Networks. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  2. ^ A related smartbook definition is given by Freescale. http://smartmobiledevices.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/smartbook-vs-netbook/
  3. ^ David Adams (December 16, 2009). "Publishers Caught in Smartbook Dispute". OSnews blog. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Smartbook AG". web site. Archived from the original on February 11, 2009. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  5. ^ Schofield, Jack (2009-07-29). "The smartbook has been waiting 28 years to be the next best thing". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  6. ^ Priya Ganapat (December 15, 2008). "The Next Netbook Trend: Cellphone-Like Contract Deals". Wired Gaget Lab blog. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Chris Davies (September 8, 2010). "Tablets killed Smartbooks says Qualcomm CEO". Slashgear blog. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b John Walke (May 29, 2009). "Qualcomm touts the smartbook to rival netbooks, smartphones". EE Times. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Don Clark (2009-12-29). "'Smartbooks' Latest to Join Crowded Computer Market". The Wall Street Journal. 
  10. ^ Brad Linder (December 28, 2009). "Ready or not, 2010 could be the year of the smartbooks". Liliputing blog. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  11. ^ Smart book Roll out in the 1Q of Next Year
  12. ^ "163 Million Smartbooks Expected to Ship in 2015". News release (ABI Research). February 22, 2010. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  13. ^ International Mark - (1015854) smartbook
  14. ^ YuccaTree Post + » Schreiben vom Anwalt: Ich darf das Wort “Smartbook” nicht mehr benutzen
  15. ^ "Marken-Ärger ums Smartbook". Heise mobil. August 31, 2009. Retrieved June 5, 2011.  (German)
  16. ^ Elizabeth Woyke (November 17, 2009). "Qualcomm's Smartbook Dispute". Forbes. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  17. ^ Agam Shah (February 11, 2010). "German Court Orders Lenovo to Stop Using 'smartbook'". PC World. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  18. ^ Tim Stevens (February 18, 2011). "Qualcomm fends off Smartbook AG, can legally write 'smartbook' on the platform's tombstone". Engadget.com blog. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  19. ^ http://register.dpma.de/DPMAregister/marke/register/304119768/DE
  20. ^ http://register.dpma.de/DPMAregister/marke/register/305055151/DE
  21. ^ http://register.dpma.de/DPMAregister/marke/register/305064177/DE
  22. ^ http://register.dpma.de/DPMAregister/marke/register/306573237/DE
  23. ^ a b "Always Innovating". official web site. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  24. ^ Jane McEntegart (March 2, 2009). "Net Tablet: Always Innovating Touch Book". Tom's Hardware web site. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  25. ^ Chris Davies (August 20, 2009). "Always Innovating Touch Book gets unboxed; first impressions mixed". Slashgear blog. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  26. ^ Sharp NetWalker PC-Z1: What you get when you shrink a netbook
  27. ^ Sharp to Launch Ultramobile Device With Arm Chip - PCWorld Business Center
  28. ^ UK Exclusive Preview : Pink Pegatron Smartbook - ITProPortal.com
  29. ^ The Smartbooks are coming in 2010
  30. ^ Asus to launch a $180 smartbook in early 2010
  31. ^ Asus CEO signals Q1 2010 smartbook launch • Register Hardware
  32. ^ Asus pushes back Smartbook launch
  33. ^ Elizabeth Woyke (November 10, 2009). "Qualcomm To Announce First Smartbook". Forbes. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  34. ^ "Lenovo - Skylight - Light up your web". official web site. Lenovo Group. May 28, 2010. Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  35. ^ HP Smartbook hits the FCC
  36. ^ HP Spain unveils the Compaq Airlife 1000 Smartbook
  37. ^ Compaq Airlife 100 puts Android OS, Snapdragon CPU, and an SSD behind 10.1-inch touchscreen - Engadget
  38. ^ Compaq Airlife 100 se adelanta al MWC - Netbook táctil con SSD y Android
  39. ^ YouTube - HP Compaq Airlife 100 Android Laptop at Mobile World Congress 2010
  40. ^ "HP reveals the specs for its first smartbook". Liliputing. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  41. ^ [1][dead link]
  42. ^ "Compaq Airlife 100 passes through the FCC with AT&T 3G bands |". Wirelessgoodness.com. 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  43. ^ FCC Office of Engineering and Technology. "OET List Exhibits Report". Fjallfoss.fcc.gov. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  44. ^ "Compaq Airlife 100 smartbook to run on AT&T’s network?". Liliputing. 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  45. ^ "Compaq Airlife 100 Smartbook Specs and Review : Smartbook News & Reviews - Smartbook User Community Forum". Smartbooktalk.com. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  46. ^ http://smartbookblog.com/2010/04/hp-releases-smartbook-specs-still-no-release-date/
  47. ^ "Toshiba Europe GmbH - Content Press". Eu.press.toshiba.eu. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  48. ^ http://eu.computers.toshiba-europe.com/innovation/generic/b2c-toshiba-ac100
  49. ^ "Buy Toshiba AC100 smartbooks @ 293 pounds : Smartbook News & Reviews - Smartbook User Community Forum". Smartbooktalk.com. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  50. ^ Toshiba AC100 Gets Froyo. The Smartbook Lives!
  51. ^ "Efika MX Smartbook On Sale". News release. Genesi. August 27, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  52. ^ Darren Murph (September 5, 2010). "Efika MX Smartbook now on sale for an exceedingly unattractive price". Engadget.com blog. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  53. ^ "Efika MX Smartbook". official web site. Genesi USA. Retrieved June 6, 2011. 
  54. ^ Foxconn Developing Inexpensive, Arm-based Smartbooks - PCWorld Business Center
  55. ^ "Quanta Unveils Android Smartbook running Snapdragon | Netbooknews - Netbooks, Netbook Reviews, Smartbooks and more". Netbooknews. 2009-11-24. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  56. ^ "Photos: The Android smartbook fired up by Qualcomm's Snapdragon | Mobile". silicon.com. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 
  57. ^ Erica Ogg (December 2, 2009). "Acer: We'll have the first Chrome OS Netbook". Circuit Breaker blog (CNET News). Retrieved June 5, 2011. 
  58. ^ "Dell may be working on convertible netbook tablet, ARM-based netbook". Liliputing. 2010-04-25. Retrieved 2011-09-19. 

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