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CES 2010: Freescale Unveils Smartbook Tablet

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The Apple tablet may be all consumers are talking (and arguing about right now), but it certainly won't be the only device to cause a stir with this form factor in 2010.

Creating early buzz is semiconductor manufacturer and ex-Motorola arm Freescale which has announced plans to show off its own exciting and jaw droppingly affordable (if unnamed) tablet at CES. Base specs are a 7in 1024 x 600 touchscreen, a small SSD (4GB - 64GB options), 802.11n WiFi, a 3MP camera, integrated 3G, Bluetooth 2.1, an accelerometer, optional keyboard dock and SD card expansion slot.

Software will either be Android or based on another Linux build (Chrome OS?), but the real taking points are the battery life and price. Given Freescales use of an ARM Cortex A8 processor (the same chip that is found in the iPhone 3GS and Palm Pre), it claims the tablet will last up to 12 hours on a single charge. Furthermore with the company claiming the device will have just "one-third the size and volume of today's typical netbooks" (200mm x 128mm x 14.9mm, 376 grams) it could prove a major hit.

What might just seal that is Freescale discussing a sub $200 RRP for the tablet (£124) which, if true, would almost have me signed up sight unseen. That said, with a CES debut confirmed we'll give it some serious groping time over the next few days.

Stay tuned.

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