Asus shows ARM-based, Android-running skinny Eee
Decent competition for Atom at last?
Computex Statement of intent or proof concept? Either way Asus' Eee PC Seashell equipped not with Intel's Atom but Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor will fuel the hopes of many that the ARM architecture is about to muscle in on the netbook market in a big way.
Spied at the Computex show being held this week in Taipei, the machine was seen running Google's Android operating system. It was one of an array of Snapdragon-based netbooks shown off by Qualcomm.
If you've seen the Asus Eee PC 1008HA and Google's Android, you know exactly what it looks like.
Its pitch is that Snapdragon-based mini-laptops will fill the gap between smartphones and notebooks. That sounds good - especially the always on 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth; 720p HD screens; and 8-10 hours of battery that Qualcomm likes to talk about.
However, it could also mean disappointing performance as smartphone chippery tries to run apps it was never meant to do.
The proof is in the eating, of course, and that'll only happen if Qualcomm and others persuade the likes of Asus and Acer to sell machines based on ARM technology. ®
What's the point?
“disappointing performance as smartphone chippery tries to run apps it was never meant to do”
Well that’s the squillion pfennig problem… putting ARM into a small notebook (postitbook anyone? I’ll patent that phrase) is all well and good but people will be expecting it to run applications like any Atom machine if it goes in at the same form factor. It’s the same problem as when the Atom machines get up into the proper notebook sizes – the public will expect them to run like the more powerful machines they emulate and will not understand when the performance isn’t there, no matter that the cost is lower, though that gap seems to be closing as well!
To my simplistic mind, why not recreate the sub-10 inch market with ARM machines? This will put a physical differentiator in for the public to recognise that this is a small, less capable machine and so they have their expectations managed in terms of performance and the capabilities of the kit. Atom is seemingly heading for the small notebook niche of 12-13 inch form factor, rather than sub-notebook 10 inch one, and even though this is still a “premium” size that costs above the odds compared to the 14-15 inch range, I get the feeling that Core 2 models of these machines will soon drop in price once they start putting i7 chips into the flagship lines.