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CES 2010: Freescale Unveils Smartbook Tablet

Gordon Kelly


CES 2010: Freescale Unveils Smartbook Tablet

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.


Press Release


January 4, 2010, 11:43 pm

If it doesn't end up being vapourware, this could be the perfect ebook reader - I can live with 12 hour battery life if the price is accurate...


January 5, 2010, 5:52 am

Finally! What the Eee 701 was trying to be!


January 5, 2010, 3:25 pm

Looks great! Any information on what kind of screen the Tablet has (i.e. resistive touchscreen or capacative?) I would assume resistive but thought id check!

One of these with the XBMC development that supports ARM processors would be excellent, perhaps you should suggest that Freescale contact the XBMC developer (all on his lonesome) and offer to assist, wins all round :-)


Don Kanonjii

January 5, 2010, 4:09 pm



January 5, 2010, 7:43 pm

From the pictures it seems this truly awesome looking tablet is using some version of KDE, or at least the oxygen icon set. Could Freescale intend to use the up and coming KDE Netbook Remix???

That's supposed to come out alongside KDE SC 4.4, so somewhere around February 9th....


January 6, 2010, 5:58 pm

Ok, so the price is great, but that's not enough. It has to work well, which is something (hate to say it) Apple are good at.

The screen resolution is too low (I loved my Samsung NC10 but the res was a pain). With a 7" screen this would be even more pronounced.

Also, Android? Sorry it's just not ready for this (and I have an Android phone - and it ain't ready either). Linux? Ok so there's a touch distro but it's hardly mainstream.

This is something for geeks, it's not going to be a mainstream device.

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