CNET reports Qualcomm and Freescale are working on a new class of devices that will be known as smartbooks. These ARM-based systems will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor or the Freescale i.MX51 chip, they will be cheaper, lighter, and more connected than Intel-based netbooks.
ARM chips offer better power efficiency than Atom processors and ARM-based devices come with virtually no cost overhead for the operating system. "The primary distinction between them (smartbooks) and the existing crop of Netbooks will be longer battery life--eight-hour battery life--slimmer form factor, and lower price point," said Burchers.
Other distinguishing features are "instant-on" and "persistent connectivity," according to Burchers. "The idea is that the device is intelligent enough to go fetch your emails and your messages automatically. And this is what you'd expect from a smartphone," he said, trying to emphasize that the device would operate in some ways more like a smartphone than a Netbook.