Just when consumers were starting to understand the concept of the netbook — those smaller-than-laptops PCs — the electronics industry is lobbing another category of computer at them.
Now a group of electronics companies that use the ARM processor have banded together to turn netbooks into smartbooks.
At the Computex trade show next week in Taipei, a whole crop of new mobile computers will go on display, and the devices will share one major thing in common. They’ll use a variant of the ARM chip architecture rather than Intel’s Atom chip as their main engine. It’s a trend that Matt Richtel and I wrote about in April.
The companies making the ARM chips, like Qualcomm and Freescale, have teamed up to try to wrestle the netbook moniker away from Intel. They want PC makers to describe the ARM-based devices as smartbooks.