Chip-maker Freescale will demonstrate its take on the tablet PC, priced at less than $200 (£123), at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas
Chip-maker Freescale has unveiled a series of designs for tablet computers, which it says will be capable of powering-up immediately and lasting for an entire day on battery power.
Set to be demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) event in Las Vegas this week, the prototypes will serve as a template for future tablet or “smart-book” development according to Freescale. The tablet design will be demonstrated running the Google Android operating system and Linux, according to Freescale, and the company claims that products based on the design could be available by the summer.
“We believe the tablet will emerge as a popular form factor for the next generation of smart-books. By introducing this prototype reference design, Freescale intends to play a vital role in propelling the mainstream adoption of smart-books,” said Freescale senior vice president of sales and marketing Henri Richard.
Freescale said it foresees a range of tablet PC devices based on its “reference design” priced at less than $200 (£123), which will be constantly connected to the Internet and have highly efficient batteries. The company added that the tablet design uses Freescale’s i.MX515 processor and will also feature a seven-inch screen, and weigh around 376 grams with no need for a fan or heat sink for cooling. Storage will range from 4 to 64 GB and the device will also feature a removable SD card.
The company appears to be pitching its design to be larger than a smartphone but smaller than a netbook. Freescale said the device will have a screen that is four times the size of a smartphone but the whole tablet will be a third of the size of a netbook.
Jeff Orr, senior mobile devices analyst at ABI Research, said Freescale was responding to a demand for tablet and e-reader type devices. “There is clearly strong end-user demand for tablet form factors, and new reference designs look to play a major role in helping OEMs speed tablet smart-book products to market,” he said.
Speculation around Apple’s entry into the netbook/tablet market has been accelerating after it emerged in December that the computer maker reportedly booked a venue for a major product launch on 26 January.