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Freescale’s Concept Designs Push Netbooks Further

Earlier this week, Freescale demonstrated a smartbook mash-up that’s bound for shop shelves later this year. But Freescale isn’t stopping there: The company has crafted several concepts for how these netbook-like devices might look in the future.

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Earlier this week, Freescale demonstrated a smartbook mash-up that’s bound for shop shelves later this year. But Freescale isn’t stopping there: The company has crafted several concepts for how these netbook-like devices might look in the future.

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The chunky OQO-like device Freescale showed at Computex is unsurprising in its format–it’s a much larger smartphone with slider QWERTY keypad. But its concepts for the future of smartbooks are much more free form. They were developed with the Savannah College of Art and Design, and particular attention was paid to ergonomics and the kind of user-interaction that might take place. Apart from the interesting modular PC concept, the key trend among the designs is towards medium-sized touchscreen devices that lack a physical keyboard.

To me, that part is what makes the future of the smartbook more assured. With the impending arrival of the kneetop-internet surfing Crunchpad, the Samsung Q1EX-71G tablet PC, T-mobile’s Android-powered tablet, and of course the long-rumored Apple version, this sort of form-factor PC will become a more familiar sight. 

[Freescale via Engadget

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I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise. I've also got a PhD, and worked in such roles as professional scientist and theater technician...thankfully avoiding jobs like bodyguard and chicken shed-cleaner (bonus points if you get that reference!)

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