updated 05:00 pm EST, Thu January 14, 2010
ASUS considering Android or Chrome smartbooks
Taiwanese PC maker ASUS is currently testing smartbooks running on both the Android and Chrome OS software, and is considering adding an ARM-based PC to complement its Intel-powered Eee PC netbooks, according to a Thursday ZDNet report. ASUS chairman Jonney Shih revealed this information in a recent interview, adding that the company is trying to determine the size of the market willing to sacrifice application compatibility offered by an Intel netbook with Windows in favor of a lower cost device running on an ARM CPU and a Linux-based OS. Shih also revealed the company is developing a tablet or slate device.
Shih and others at the company that pioneered the netbook category with its Eee PC in 2007 believe a simple, low-cost PC is what a netbook should be. As for Android or Chrome, the former is older, but the latter is more suitable for netbooks and can multi-task better. Shih also believes it is "maybe more suitable."
As for a slate PC in the vein of Apple's rumored slate, Shih is wondering whether something between a netbook and a smartphone is needed and the market needs more consideration. In order for such a product to be successful, he says, it needs a large amount of content, including e-books, videos on demand, gaming and music. ASUS does have such a product in development, Shih adds.