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Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon-based Netbooks Today

Qualcomm's "Snapdragon" processor is on display in a number of netbooks at the Computex Taipei 2009 show, the company said Sunday night. ASUS, Compal, Foxconn, High Tech Computer (HTC), Inventec, Toshiba, and Wistron are among the ODMs showing Snapdragon-based designs.

Not clear is why the world needs another netbook processor, especially one that doesn't run Microsoft Windows.

Nevertheless, the company says 15 companies are building more than 30 Snapdragon-based devices for release beginning late this year.

Lacking Windows support, devices based on the chip must use a Linux operating system, which has not proven popular with netbook customers so far. Qualcomm appears to be positioning Snapdragon as a processor for next-generation, smartphones delivered in larger form factors.

Called "smartbooks" by Qualcomm, the machines have a claimed "all day" battery life, and include Wi-Fi, GPS, and 3G connectivity.

"Consumers are looking for devices that offer more instantaneous connectivity, greater mobile performance and intuitive usability than ever before," said Luis Pineda, senior vice president of marketing and product management at Qualcomm CDMA Technologies in a written statement.

"Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform is addressing those needs by enabling smartphones that break new ground in mobile capability, and establishing this new category of smartbooks - devices which deliver a unique mobile user experience different from anything else on the market today."

According to Qualcomm, smartbooks are a new class of devices running mobile operating systems "that bridge the functional divide between smartphones and laptops, delivering the best aspects of a smartphone experience on a larger-display form factor."

"Constantly connected via 3G, Wi-Fi and GPS , smartbooks are ultra-portable, personalizable, easy-to-use and last all day on a single battery charge. Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform has a unique combination of capabilities that makes it exceptionally competitive in the smartbook category, which is redefining mobility for consumers at productivity and play," the company said in a written statement.

David Coursey tweets as dcoursey and can be e-mailed using the form at www.coursey.com/contact.

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