Current Tablets Are Nothing But Keyboard-less Netbooks

vega-large-1-425If you are looking for a tablet, look no further than the netbook that is sitting on your desk. There has been a wave of new tablet devices from various manufacturers recently and it seems like the market for these devices is heating up despite the dearth of specialized components for them.

They are mostly in their prototype stages and are not available for purchase by the masses. This sudden upsurge in their numbers can be attributed to variety of factors.

One of those factors is Apple and their rumored tablet device that is almost certain for early next year. Apple has already shown what it can do to an established market – like the mobile handset market. So companies are afraid that they might get buried under the device if they do not make their own devices public.

Another main reason is the rise of the ebook readers. These handheld, unifocal devices are suddenly creating a lot of buzz in the industry. So much so that everyone seems to be making one. Computers manufacturers thus see a golden opportunity in this and hence are trying capitalize on the handheld device craze by offering something as convenient as the ebook reader with the capacity to do more than just display e-text.

But even then, there are constraints regarding battery life and processing power. So tablet makers have chosen the path often followed and have made their tablets follow the way of the netbook. Hence, we are witnessing devices built around Atom, Snapdragon and some other ARM-based chips with build similar to smartbooks and other ultraportables.

Their battery life is also s problem. With comparatively large displays to feed, these devices cannot expect to have more than 4-5 hours of continuous usage. Their form factor also stops them from carrying bulky batteries. Thus over all, only their form and UI differentiates them from netbooks and everything else remains more or less similar.

Menq EasyPC E790 $80 Android Netbook

menq_easypc_e790_1-540x359Looks like the sub-$100 laptop has become a reality after all. The folks at Menq are offering a netbook that is going to sell for $80. But that will only happen if the company succeeds in keeping a promise that so many others have broken before it.

It is not easy making a sub-$100 laptop. The costs of development, components and of distribution usually ensure that you have nightmare of a time if you are trying to sell a laptop for under $200 even. But that was in the past.

In past, there was a dearth of low power processors, good embeddable OS’ that do not cost a pretty penny and cheap materials. Now, we have the latest ARM chip designs fuelling the growth of a new breed of mobile devices. We have something like the Android that is finally replacing the tired old Windows CE. Android is also giving the devices a much needed speed boost when compared to the Windows CE.

Incidentally, this new netbook form Menq is currently using Windows CE but plans to replace it with the Android OS before long. And since Android is an open platform, they can easily customize it for a better user experience.

The current model is called Menq EasyPC E790. It sports a 7inch display with an 800×480 resolution and is powered by a Samsung ARM processor based on the ARM9 design. That processor makes it clear enough that this netbook is not going to be anywhere near as fast as its Atom brethren and is probably going to be slightly sluggish for users. Hands on reviews of the device have suggested that the Windows CE interface is indeed lacking in speed.

Looking at the future, Menq is planning to use the ARM Cortex A8 chip. That will make the whole package cost go up by some $10-20 but the performance gain for that kind of a price is likely to be extremely worth it for users.

Acer Aspire One D250 Android-Windows Dual Boot Is On Sale

acer-d250Acer has been working on a Windows-Android dual booting Aspire One netbook and it is now time to taste the fruits of their labor. Initially it was available as a dual booting machine that had Windows XP and Android. This time round Acer has gone ahead and upgraded it to Windows 7.

The main idea is that the Android OS will be used in place of the usual lightweight Linux distro that graces the fast booting alternative OS slot. Android is definitely a far more stable and mature option when it comes to a Linux OS that is small, fast and light.

Acer has used its Aspire One D250 model to bring this dual-booting system to life. The new D250 netbooks have the Android OS in place for the instant booting feature and it works really well. The main purpose of the OS being enabling Internet usage and some media consumption the Android does the job pretty well. It boots in just a few seconds to a usable state but you have to reboot in to Windows when you want to get serious work done.

Google shouldn’t want Android to get to netbooks simply because that is what the Chrome OS is meant for. But netbook manufacturers have already seen the Android as a strong and stable platform that has been through two upgrades already.

The trend has hit smaller netbooks especially. There are little known or unknown companies all over the world who are turning to the Android to deliver better user experience at a cheaper price. Google’s intention from the very beginning was to hand device manufacturers a strong software platform so that they can concentrate on the hardware. This approach is slowly but surely paying off for Google and these fringe products are an indication of that success.