Netbooks vs. Smartbooks
Intel's Atom processor currently powers the vast majority of new netbooks as well as many handheld PCs (such as Yukyung's new Windows 7-loaded Viliv S5), but some challengers hope to change that. A handful of companies including Compal and Inventec unveiled "Mobile Internet Devices" based on nVidia's rival Tegra platform. With carrier subsidies, Tegra-based netbooks or handheld PCs may start as low as $99 when they debut later this year. Both Intel and nVidia will face further competition from similar "smartbooks" that incorporate Qualcomm's new Snapdragon platform, which, like Tegra, is ARM processor-based. Snapdragon was built into a number of portables at the Computex, including models from Asus, Compal, Foxconn, HTC, Inventec (pictured here running the Millos Linux OS), and Toshiba.
Tegra and Snapdragon tout improved battery life, potentially smaller size, and better integration with 3G networks. However, their use of ARM-processor cores prevents them from running Windows. Instead, they run Android, Windows Mobile, or other Linux-based alternatives. --Danny Allen
Speaking of Android…
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