April 26, 2009 at 11:39 am
Skytone announced the first Android-powered netbook earlier this week, when the Alpha 680 quietly appeared on the company’s website. Whilst this 7-inch netbook with 800 x 480 resolution screen won’t get too many people excited, especially with its anaemic specifications, its appearance is more symbolic than anything. It is the first known Android netbook and also one of the first ARM-powered netbooks we’ve seen.
More details on this ARM-powered convertible tablet have emerged. The Alpha 680 will cost around the $250 mark when it is released within the next three months. Whilst the Alpha 680 is going through final testing at the moment, final prototypes are expected in June. ARM executives hope that its chips will usher in an era of sub-$200 netbooks. The Alpha 680’s price-point is somewhat higher than that, but Skytone expects pricing to come down as it ramps up production.
The current prototypes measure 8.5 inches long, 6 inches wide and 1.2 inches thick, which is small enough to inside a small bag. The unit will also be very lightweight at just 700g (1.5lbs). Given that ARM-chips are meant to be much more power efficient, it is perhaps surprising to see only between 2 to 4 hours of battery life out of the Alpha 680’s 2-cell battery.
The Alpha 680 is powered by an ARM 11 533MHz processor. It comes with only 128MB RAM and 1GB of flash storage as standard. An optional upgrade to 256MB RAM and 4GB flash storage is possible. For those that want more, a SDHC slot is also supported.