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Slideshow: ARM smartbooks, Android netbooks, ULV laptops, Moblin and more from Computex 2009

The biggest story at Computex 2009 this week was netbooks, and in particular netbooks that use alternatives to Intel's Atom and Windows. This Lenovo IdeaPad S10, for example, is running a version of Linux with Intel's new Moblin V2 operating system.
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By John Morris, Contributor on
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1 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

Linpus is one of several Linux distributions that developers are reworking to run on top of Intel's Moblin V2. Here is Linpus Linux Lite with the Moblin interface running on a Lenovo IdeaPad S10 netbook. Linpus also showed a Moblin version with a different Linpus user interface.

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2 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

Asus's new U series laptops are based on Intel's ULV (ultra low-voltage) chips. The U20A is a 12.1-inch ultraportable with a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo SU9400 and an internal DVD drive.

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3 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

Of the many new laptops at Computex, the Asus UX30 had one of the best designs. Based on Intel's new line of ultra low-voltage processors, the UX30 has a 13.3-inch LED display. Though it will be available with the higher-end Core 2 Solo SU3500 and Core 2 Duo SU9400, I'll be interested to see the starting price with the 1.3GHz Pentium SU2700, which Intel announced at Computex.

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4 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

The ULV-based Asus UX50V is also very thin, but it has the features of a desktop replacement, most notably a 15.6-inch LED display. The UX50V has a discrete GPU, the Nvidia GeForce G 105M with 512MB, and supports hybrid graphics, which means you can use the integrated graphics only to conserve battery life.

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5 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

Asus didn’t announce any new Eee PCs at Computex (not counting the Snapdragon design that Qualcomm showed at its press conference), but it did demonstrate a new application, called Eee @Vibe, for accessing and playing music, video, e-books and other content.

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6 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

Asus introduced a new series of all Eee Top all-in-one PCs. Despite the Eee name, this ET2203T isn't really a nettop since it has features such as Core 2 Duo processors, AMD's ATI Radeon HD4570 graphics and Blu-ray drives.

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7 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

Acer's F1 is a concept smartphone that uses a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chip. Toshiba was the first to ship a Snapdragon-based smartphone, its TG01 for the Japan market, in February.

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8 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

At Computex, Acer announced that it would be the first to ship an Android-based netbook sometime in the third quarter of this year. Bu it looks like the company still has a lot of work to do. It kept this Acer Aspire One netbook, which appears to be running a straight port of the smartphone version of the operating system (it clearly does not match the netbook's screen resolution), under glass so I couldn’t try it out.

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9 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

Acer's Timeline series looks like one of the best of the new Intel ULV-based ultra-thin notebooks. It includes three models: the 13.3-inch Aspire 3810T (pictured), 14-inch 4810T and 15.6-inch 5810T. All three are about an inch thick and get up to eight hours of battery life, according to Acer.

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10 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

The Gateway LT31 is a bit of a mystery. It’s part of Gateway LT series of netbooks and it has an 11.6-inch display, but Gateway says it will use an AMD mobile processor--perhaps the upcoming refresh of the Athlon Neo chip--rather than Intel's Atom.

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11 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

There's no doubt that the Gateway LT20 is a netbook with its 10.1-inch display and Atom processor. This may be the replacement for the 9-inch LT1005u, which is no longer available.

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12 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

One of several new Gateway laptops at Computex, the Gateway EC38 is a nicely-designed 13.3-inch model that the company claims will get more than eight hours of battery life with Gateway's PowerSave Solution. We'll need to test this out to see whether it really works and how PowerSave affects performance.

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13 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

In addition to the 13.3-inch X-Slim X340, MSI introduced two new members of its ULV-based X-Slim series: the 14.1-inch X400 and 15.6-inch X600 (pictured). All three models are very thin with a design reminiscent of the Apple MacBook Air.

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14 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

One of the surprises at Computex was the number of new all-in-one designs. Intel showed all-in-ones from the likes of BenQ, eMachines (Acer), MSI, Shuttle and others. More interesting, many of these were running Intel's Moblin V2 Linux-based operating system.

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15 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

From Intel's booth, here are some examples of laptops running Moblin V2 versions of Linux distributions such as Linpus and Ubuntu. The idea behind Moblin is to give all Linux-based netbooks and notebooks a similar interface and user experience so that it can be a better alternative to Windows.

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16 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

This Acer Aspire notebook in Novell's booth is running yet another version of Moblin V2 based on the SuSe Linux distribution.

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17 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

Though Intel hasn’t announced it yet, several sites have reported that the company is working with Broadcom on an add-on chip to support HD playback on Intel Atom-based netbooks. Here's an Asus Eee PC using a Broadcom 70010 video decoder. Expect to see this option on netbooks very soon.

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18 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

This Samsung application processor, which is based on a 32-bit ARM Cortex A8 application processor for smartphones and PNDs, demonstrates the HD video playback capabilities on Android.

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19 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

This 10.1-inch Pegatron netbook uses the ARM-based Freescale iMX515 application processor and an AMD 2D/3D graphics processor. The OS looks like Windows, but it's actually Xandros Linux with a Windows XP "lookalike" user interface.

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20 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

With its 11.1-inch 1280x545 display, this Wistron Pbook looks an awful lot like Sony's P series subnotebook, but ARM says it is using Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform (though oddly the specs state that it is using one of Qualcomm's MSM chipsets for cell phone, not Snapdragon). Qualcomm was showing a similar Pbook in meetings and promised it will get about eight hours of battery life.

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21 of 21 John Morris/ZDNet

Though smartbooks get all the attention, it's also possible to use the cool ARM-based processors to build extremely small nettops such as this Pegatron design, which has the footprint of a CD jewel case. It uses the Freescale iMX515 and Ubuntu Linux.

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