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What is a Smartbook?

By Tiffany Manley
Updated May 16, 2024
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A smartbook is a technological gadget that is a cross between a smartphone and a netbook. It boasts the portability of a smartphone with the convenience of a netbook. Other features include a long battery life, always-on capability and third-generation (3G) wireless connectivity. Different companies manufacture smartbooks that focus on a wide range of uses, from e-readers to media player devices.

Inventors of smartbooks have hoped that consumers will enjoy the portability and convenience they offers. Smartphones might be too small for extended web surfing and many computer-based applications, and netbooks require booting times and offer minimal battery life. With a smartbook, a person can simply power on and get right to work.

The long battery life of a smartbook is because of the processors used. Smartbooks use processors that are relatively powerful and energy efficient. The power of the processors enables the smartbook to run applications that a smartphone generally would not be able to.

Always-on capability of a smartbook is achieved by the processors as well. Unlike traditional processors that commonly are used in full-fledged computers, a smartbook’s processor allows it to be turned on and used immediately. This allows the user to carry the smartbook anywhere he or she may go, turn it on and get right to work.

Smartbooks are designed to use a mobile service provider’s 3G network. This is the same technology that allows smartphones to connect to the Internet at broadband-like speeds. In addition to the speed at which a smartbook can browse the Internet that a 3G network affords, it also allows the user to use the Internet wherever he or she can get a signal. Many mobile service providers have entertained the thought of offering smartbooks in addition to smart phones and other devices, charging the user for data plans in order to connect to the 3G network.

Manufacturers of smartbooks have produced them for a wide range of uses. Added features might include global positioning system (GPS) technology, e-book reading capabilities, a customizable interface or dedicated media player options. Manufacturers have hoped to target a diverse market, ranging from doctors and nurses who will carry the smartbook around in order to enter patient data, to traveling businessmen who would like to stay updated on stocks and other business news, to college students who would like to have at their fingertips a machine that allows them to send and receive instant messages and to play various forms of media, such as music and movies.

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