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MWC 2010: HP Launches Snapdragon Android Smartbook

Gordon Kelly


MWC 2010: HP Launches Snapdragon Android Smartbook

While our CES 2010 roundup concluded that the show wasn't as exciting as previous years, one notable - and surprising - highlight we could all agree on was the potential of smartbooks. While not cheap enough in their first generation, the Lenovo Skylight led the way and Mobile World Congress further suggests they won't be a flash in the pan.

While briefly teased at CES, Hewlett Packard has now used MWC to announce its first entry into the smartbook space: the 'Compaq AirLife 100'. Like the Skylight, it preaches the smartbook vision of a slim, lightweight device with all day battery life and always connected Internet experience. This means a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, 10.1in LED backlit display, 16GB SSD coupled with SD card slot, WiFi and integrated 3G.

Furthermore, HP has thrown in a curve ball revealing the AirLife 100 has both a touchscreen panel and GPS. On the other hand, HP has also picked Android rather than a custom Linux build or Windows CE as we've seen previously. As a result HP is preaching excellent battery life (12 hours) and up to 10 days on standby with near instant resumption. On the downside, by installing Android you really are getting an oversized smartphone rather than the smartphone/netbook halfway house smartbooks are seen by many to be.

Further underlining its smartphone roots, HP will also be selling the AirLife 100 exclusively through Telefonica (O2 in the UK) meaning handsome subsidies, though no option for those either unimpressed by the network's recent performance or unhappy with long term deals.

Personally speaking, the Lenovo Skylight still appeals more - but then again, that is the beauty of the smartbook sector: it continues the vision of the original Eee PC 701 and over time there should be options to suit everyone over time. Just get that price under £200...




February 15, 2010, 5:21 pm

Hmm, too big to fit in my jacket pocket, not powerful enough to be a real laptop... and it can't make phone calls (or have I missed something?). I think I'll make do with my Nokia N900 for mobile access when I don't have a laptop with me.


February 15, 2010, 7:30 pm

the products to compete with ipad need to be a tablet size phone with qwerty slide out keyboard. Enlarged ipod touch VS enlarged N900 (droid might be a better example)


February 15, 2010, 9:22 pm


I'm not sure that I agree with the size, although I definitely agree with you about having the option of a qwerty slide out keyboard. Apart from phone calls, I practically never use the virtual keyboard on my N900 as I don't like losing so much of the screen to it - same with my Toshiba tablet. Even if I'm replying to a text, I want to see what I'm responding to.

Technology changes, and so sho

February 16, 2010, 8:37 pm

People consistently miss the point of these products.

If you have a single computer and it does everything you want then this product is not for you. If you're happy with your smartphone's web-browser then this product is not for you.

If, however, you're a nerd like me with at least one other computer that you use plugged in to a device like a TV (or maybe your computer is on your desk, or your laptop is too heavy to be conveniently lugged around) then a moderately small form with a processor powerful enough to run a web-browser and play media as an extra device is very interesting so long as:

- It has an active battery life of over 6 hours

- It is light and small enough for the lap

- It boots up instantly

- It can run the _full_ internet experience with Flash and everything (see link)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... (particularly 2m15s onwards)

(contains strong language, for those of a delicate disposition)

Best quote, '...Lookit, you literally can't search for text within a page in our browser...'

The only devices that get close are netbooks running Windows 7 or some Linux distro (and Windows takes far too long to start up and shut down, and Linux is only marginally quicker and is a pain in the arse).

If your laptop is good enough for you then move along. If your phone is good enough for you then move along.

However, if you're dissatisfied with either then a properly designed tablet _could_ be the way forwards.

I shall certainly be watching this segment with interest, athough my money will be firmly planted in my pocket until the designers take the trouble to get the device right.

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