What do we have here? Looks like some of the first pics I’ve seen of a netbook based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset have appeared at Silicon.com. While the eight portraits likely represent more concept design rather than actual product, I like what I see. For starters, Snapdragon is an ARM-based processor which lends hope towards near-instant-on, low power consumption and supports both Linux and Windows Mobile.
It’s a safe bet that WinMo would likely be paired with Snapdragon for a more pocketable MID device; Linux makes more sense for the netbook type devices. In fact, based on the pics of the netbook user interface design, it sure looks like RedFlag’s Midinux to me.
The real question is: when we will see these devices and will they use the newer 45nm Snapdragon chipset that Qualcomm introduced last month? The new QSD8672 offer a dual core CPU with clock speeds up to 1.5GHz. They also offer the following features that are competitive to Intel’s Atom, which is currently the netbook CPU of choice:
- Wireless 3G /HSPA+ support for 28Mbps down and 11Mbps up
- Integrated GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi
- 1080p video recording & playback
- MediaFLO, DVB-H, and IDSB-T mobile television
- Display resolutions up to WSXGA or 1440×900
These features would trump the currently existing Snapdragon platform which clocks in at 1GHz and offers less display resolution. Still, that chipset could round out a smaller MID feature-set nicely.
Taking a closer look at the netbook, you can see that it has a full keyboard and doesn’t look as deep as other netbooks on the market. This design appears to forgo the space of a trackpad but does have a touchscreen. Even better: it swivels like a convertible tablet. Given that handwriting recognition apps in Linux fall behind those in Windows XP Tablet Edition and Vista, this may be more of a touchscreen solution over a full inking solution.
Qualcomm says that Snapdragon devices like this should run between four and six hours on a single charge and my gut says that’s with a standard sized battery. If correct, that means you can get extended battery run-time performance in a standard, lighter package. Here’s hoping we see some more details in a few weeks at CES. Thanks for the tip, Allan!