Do We Need The Smartbook?

Sharp Netwalker Smartbook It’s being reported in today’s TF that a new catgory of computer is set to attack the PC market in 2010 – the Smartbook.

The Smartbook is smaller than a netbook, but bigger than a smartphone and contains it’s own SIM. The only example a Smartbook that we could find for sale today is the Sharp NetWalker PC-Z1 a 5 inch screened mini-laptop that runs Ubuntu.

The argument for the existence of these devices is that they are aimed at teens who want to browse the web – even where there’s no WiFi – and they want something that’s portable, cheap and cool looking.

I’d argue that either a netbook with mobile broadband dongle or a smartphone like the HTC Hero fit this bill admirably. Maplins have been pushing devices like the Pockt Surfer and the UBISurfer for years with little success.

The netbook market seems to be leveling out with an average screen size of 10.1 inches. If anything nebook screen are growing with more 11.6 inch widescreen netbooks coming onto the market. I don’t know why anyone would want to carry around yet another device with an unusable screen that no website will display correctly on.

Prove me wrong.

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