MSI is reportedly getting ready to unveil a netbook running Google’s Android. This would make it one of several companies prepping very low cost laptops based on this operating system.
Android was originally created to run on smartphones, but many have seen its potential as the operating system for netbooks.
MSI (Micro-Star International) is apparently this list. This company makes a highly-acclaimed netbook — the MSI Wind U100 — and the Economic Daily News is reporting that it will announce an Android-based netbook early next month.
Details on this model are not yet available.
Just One of Many
Other netbook makers are also working on very inexpensive notebooks running Google’s operating system.
A high-level Asus executive said early this year that engineers are now at work on a netbook that will use Google’s OS. More recently however, the company said its testing has shown that Android currently isn’t up to the job. Jim Wong, an Acer senior vice president , said, “For a netbook, you really need to be able to view a full web for the total Internet experience — and Android is not that yet.”
HP is also looking into making a laptop running this operating system, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Smaller companies are already unveiling their products. Skytone has announced the Alpha-680, a convertible netbook with a 7-inch, 800-by-480-pixel ( WVGA) monitor, an 80-key keyboard, and a capacitive touchpad.
This model will run Android on a 533 MHz processor and include 128 MB or 256 MB of RAM. It will also sport 1 GB – 4 GB of internal Storage and an SD card slot.
Other features will include Wi-Fi, Ethernet, three USB ports, AV port, and VGA-Out (see a device diagram). Mobile broadband will also be an option.
Many netbook makers offer Linux as a less expensive option than Microsoft Windows, but this has never been very popular. Ones running Android might be more successful thanks to Google’s and Android’s name recognition.
They would also have access to the rapidly growing collection of third-party software written for this operating system.
In addition, Google gives this operating system away for free, so there would be no licensing fees. At the same time, it’s putting a great deal of effort into improving Android, which the netbook makers would benefit from.