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'Android' Eee PC: The un-Intel Netbook

An Eee PC Netbook running Google's Android operating system looks promising.

An Eee PC Netbook based on a Qualcomm processor that runs Google's Android operating system looks promising as an alternative to the millions of Netbooks out there tethered to Intel Atom processors and Microsoft Windows.

An Asus Qualcomm-based smart-book is a promising alternative to Windows-Intel Netbooks
An Asus Qualcomm-based smart-book is a promising alternative to Windows-Intel Netbooks Asus

Asus was showing a Netbook at the Computex conference in Taipei running the Android OS on top of Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor, according to this TweakTown video.

When Asus plans to ship a Netbook based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor isn't clear and Asus is not disclosing its plans (later this year?), but it becomes even less clear when you add Google's Android operating system to the mix. Michael Rayfield, an Nvidia executive, doesn't expect Android Netbooks to appear commercially until next year.

What is clear, however, is that these Netbooks are different from the Windows-Intel variety. Qualcomm is calling them "smartbooks" rather than Netbooks to draw attention to the fact that they will operate more like smartphones: standard 3G connectivity, always-on, and all-day battery life.

And what makes this Asus demonstration at Computex interesting is that all Asus Netbooks to date have run on Intel processors. Obviously, Asus thinks the Snapdragon technology is different enough to warrant a separate design.

Other specification for the Netbook include a 10-inch screen, a built-in Webcam, and a universal 3G radio that supports UMTS and CDMA networks on all frequencies used globally, according to an IDG News report.