We already knew that Intel was working to port Android OS to work on their Atom processors. Now we’re hearing that Intel are readying an Android 2.2 (Froyo) port into the mix for tablets and netbooks. Best of all, we may see these devices starting to surface in as little as two months, according to a new report.
There’s been talk of Android netbooks for some time now. Acer came out with an Android netbook, but there was very little to say about the Android side of it. Thankfully it was dual-booted with Windows 7. But, in the near future, Android may be a little more suited for such smaller in-between laptop-like devices, tablets and smartbooks in particular. Instead of netbooks, we may be seeing smartbooks materialize, as promised. Smartbooks will be smaller than netbooks and some tablets, but bigger than any smartphone, so it remains to be seen if there’s a big enough market to support a smartphone niche. The question is – do the masses really need yet another device to bridge the cap between computers and smartphones? I say yes.
I won’t lie, I want a tablet of some sort. Want is the keyword. In no way do I see tablets being functional as netbooks ever. You’re certainly not going to just throw away your laptop for an iPad. The iPad is a great product, but it’s more of an entertainment device than anything, and you’d be sacrificing some functionality if you were to use it for anything more than the most casual of work-related tasks.
That’s where smartbooks may come in. But, it’s still way too early to tell if they will be any more functional. In either case, it looks like it will be happening, and soon!
With the help of Intel making a native x86-compatible version of Android OS, netbooks, tablets, and smartbooks can run on the company’s power-sipping Atom processor. Moreover, we may start to see Atom-based smartphones begin to pop up everywhere. We’re expecting these types of devices to hit market in a couple months’ time.
So what are your thoughts? Do you see tablets and smartbooks eventually becoming a necessity, and escape the(practically) entertainment-only arena?