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HP tips its ARM netbook hand

Apr 20, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

HP's ARM-powered Android netbook has surfaced on the company's U.S. website, suggesting it may be headed for a North American release. Branded as the “Compaq AirLife 100,” the netbook includes a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 512MB of RAM and 16MB of flash storage, a 10.1-inch display, and GPS capabilities, the company says.

Information on HP's Compaq AirLife 100 — like Lenovo's Skylight, one of the only 1GHz ARM-based netbooks to have been announced by a major vendor — was leaked in February by Engadget Espanol and The Inquirer. The former website claimed the device is headed for the U.K. on the O2 Network (Telefonica Europe), and the latter said it's headed for Telefonia in Spain.

Apparently, the AirLife is coming to America too, or so its appearance on HP's U.S. website suggests. Providing official confirmation of the product's existence, the listing implies that the ARM-based netbook will be offered by at least one U.S. carrier. Reportedly offering from ten to twelve hours of battery life, the AirLife could be an interesting alternative to Apple's iPad tablet, which is said to offer about the same running time.

HP's Compaq Airlife 100

According to HP, the Compaq AirLife 100 features a 10.1-inch display with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, just like most x86 netbooks, but, unlike most, also offers a touchscreen. Equipped with 512MB of RAM and 16GB of flash storage, the netbook employs a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250, HP says.

While HP's terse listing doesn't say so, Qualcomm's QSD8250 offers WiFi, Bluetooth, and a "universal modem" that supports WCDMA, GSM/GRPS/EDGE, and HSPA (high speed packet access) data rates of up to 7.2Mbps. Therefor, the AirLife 100 is ready to operate on the network of any U.S. carrier that chooses to subsidize the device.

HP provides no other hardware details, but does say the AirLife includes "NDrive navigation software with GPS," obviously tapping into the GPS receiver that the QSD8250 provides. Previous reports suggest the device will also include an SD card reader.


The Airlife 100 appears to be the same prototype "smartbook" that HP demonstrated running Android on Qualcomm's ARM-based Snapdragon at CES in early January. Shown at right in an Engadget shot, the netbook was said to feature a 10-inch resistive touch display and resemble a last generation HP Mini.

In a separate eWEEK report on the CES demo, it was said that HP executive Todd Bradley described HP's unnamed touchscreen smartbook as a "thin, 3G device with an all-day battery." Bradley was further quoted as saying that, "It'll be an always-on device. Shut the lid and it stays connected to receive email. When you power it up later, your email is there waiting for you."

At CES, Bradley was said to have further described the smartbook as having an "improved UI," with enhanced launch strip, a camera file manager, browser, messaging, and tabs for multiple pages like Firefox. "It'll have a preinstalled Exchange connection, so you can open an email attachment in Office," he was quoted as saying. "We'll also have new photo and music apps."


Information on the Compaq Airlife 100 netbook may be found at HP's site, here.

A translated page from the Engadget en Espanol story on the Airlife 100 may be found here, and The Inquirer's coverage should be here.

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