Just a couple of weeks ago HP was showing off an Android smartbook that they would only call a “technology demo”. The device looked close to final hardware and a rep from HP told us they were looking for a carrier partner to launch the device. We loved the design and ended up picking it as our Best Android netbook of CES.
Engadget just found that HP has submitted a smartbook to the FCC for approval. The device is called the HP Compaq AirLife 100 and supports AT&T’s 3G bands. They speculate this AirLife 100 is the same smartbook from CES and we tend to agree with them. According to the FCC documents, the hardware was tested on January 5 which was the day before we got our hands on it at the Digital Experience party. We also know that AT&T is ready to commit to the Android platform with at least five smartphones already planned.
Google has yet to certify any netbooks or smartbooks for Android so this device could ship without the official Google Android apps. The demo unit we played with featured an alternative app store since HP was not allowed to include the official Android Market.
If this rumor turns out to be true, it will be interesting to see what price point AT&T would launch the smartbook. The tech demo we saw featured a Snapdragon processor and 10 inch resistive touch display, but a lot of the other specs remain unknown. Smartbooks are normally cheaper than top of the line smartphones, so it is possible we could see the AirLife 100 at a sub $99 price with 2 year contract.
Is anyone down for an Android smartbook with AT&T? Would you still be willing to purchase the device even if it’s not certified by Google and lacks their native Android apps? What is the top price you would be willing to pay for a gadget like this?