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In a bid to increase its market share, Asustek Computer plans to release its first smartbook next year. The chief executive of Asus believes that smartbooks will enable further growth for Eee PC line. The question is whether ultra-small smartbooks will be anything new for the market, considering the fact that Asus used to offer netbooks with 7” screens.

The first netbook from Asus will be released in the first quarter of 2010 and will cost around NT$6000 ($185 or €125), said Jerry Shen, chief executive officer of Asustek Computer, during a press conference in Taiwan, reports China Times.

Actual details about the machine are unclear, but it is likely that it will be based on an ARM microprocessor and will feature a relatively small screen. In order to boost multimedia functionality, Asus may even power its first smartbook with Nvidia’s Tegra chip, however, the firm may decide to use dual-core Cortex A8 processors in a bid to offer more computing power.

It is not completely clear why Asustek wants to address the market of smartbooks. Back in 2007 and 2008 the company offered Asus Eee PC netbooks with small screens, limited functionality and relatively short battery life. With netbooks, Asus will be able to offer longer battery life, but ARM microprocessors will not allow to offer proper performance, run Windows operating system or serious applications.

Tags: ASUS, Eee, Cortex

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