Asus has announced that it is to launch an Andoid-based netbook early in 2010, despite the fact that the company seemed to have cooled on Android in recent months.
For now, details are relatively thin on the ground, but Asus’ upcoming Android offering is to run a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a fact that’s led to the device being called a “smartbook” rather than a netbook (according to the folks at Engadget, the only qualifier for being a smartbook is to be a netbook running an ARM processor). Unfortunately we don’t know very much else about it; Asus has been tight lipped on the internal drive,
It makes sense to run the whole affair on an ARM processor, as opposed to Intel’s Atom line, given the fact that Android was essentially designed to run on ARM devices. Of course, the whole thing does raise some interesting questions beyond the choice of processor… including the one I’m sure everyone has thought of by now, which is, “Why Android?”
Google is set to launch its Chrome OS at some point in 2010, that much it’s been fairly adamant about, but we still have no indication of just when in 2010 we can expect to see Chrome OS start to make its first appearances. With that in mind, Android is a solid OS that’s proven itself to be capable (if not too popular) in the netbook arena.
Asus could simply be jumping the gun a little and hoping that Chrome OS doesn’t come out shortly after its new smartbook offering, but it seems far more likely that they probably know a little more about Chrome OS than we do and have made an educated gamble on it not coming out soon after the device and spoiling their party.