It’s becoming clear that the PC hardware market is about to become full of a lot of different types of small and lightweight machines. With CES coming up we can probably expect to see new and intriguing models that don’t fit into a particular genre. One thing that’s certain is that there are two totally different markets that are being targeted when contrasting netbooks from smartbooks. There is also hardware inside each that differentiates the two.
While netbooks are typically laptops that are smaller and geared mostly towards using the internet, smartbooks are really larger iteration of a smartphone. In fact, most smartbooks are expected to be produced by smartphone manufacturers and backed by wireless carriers. This is because unlike netbooks, which use Intel or AMD architecture, smartbooks utilize ARM processors that are found in just about every cell phone on the market today. Because these units are using the ARM technology, smartbooks are cheaper than netbooks. At the same time, a netbook will have more capabilites than a smartbook.
Smartbooks will be priced aroound the $200 range while netbooks can go from $300-$500 depending on hardware configuration and operating system.
Bottom line?Although netbooks have been a hit for the past two years, the market could change based on new technology that is shown at CES. Google’s going to have a big part of this market as users begin to adopt computing devices that are different from the traditional PC of the past.
I would expect to see Android on smartbooks and Chrome OS on netbooks.