Chip giant Qualcomm is talking up a new class of mobile devices called ‘smartbooks,’ built on the company’s Snapdragon chipset, that aim to bridge the gap between smartphones and netbooks by offering popular smartphone features in a larger form. Screen sizes will reportedly range from 5 inches to 12 inches and provide an ‘always-on’ Web connection via mobile networks. GPS services will be available, and power efficiency will be boosted to around 8-10 hours on a single battery charge. A Forbes report notes that, as the largest supplier of mobile chips, Qualcomm naturally favours new devices that are aligned with smartphones, as opposed to netbooks, a category dominated by rival chipmaker Intel.
Qualcomm’s move is backed up by plans to launch an upgraded version of its Snapdragon chipset which uses 45 nanometer technology. The QSD8650A chipset is suited to both smartbooks and smartphones and is scheduled for sampling before the end of this year. Qualcomm claims that more than 15 manufacturers are developing over 30 Snapdragon-based products, the first of which is the Toshiba TG01 smartphone, introduced last February.