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Asus delays 'smartbook' release

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Asus has push back scheduled plans to launch its first "smartbook" early next year.

Asus confirmed in October 2009 that it would launch such a machine during Q1 2010.

However, Judy Wu, a market specialist at Asus, today told Register Hardware that the company will now not unveil the netbook until Q2 2010.

She didn't give any reason for the delay.

It’s currently unclear if the machine will land in the UK, though, because Wu added that, in Asus’ opinion, the emerging markets and Asia-Pacific region represent the biggest opportunities for smartbook sales.

What technical characteristics define the smartbook? According to Wu, such machines should have screens measuring between 5in and 7in. She wouldn’t be drawn into defining the optimum smartbook processor, though the term is generally used for netbooks running ARM rather than Intel Atom CPUs.

Exactly which OS will feature on Asus’ first smartbook is also still undecided. Wu admitted that “Android is an option”, but stressed that – for unspecified reasons – choosing the Google OS may slow down the machine’s development. ®

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