Look out for more ARM netbooks from familiar vendors

With Android gaining momentum and Windows 8 set to embrace ARM platforms next year, it's no wonder that some PC makers feel compelled to explore alternatives to the old Intel status quo. That exploration ranges wider than you might think, though. The guys at DigiTimes have learned from their industry sources that several big-name PC vendors are cooking up ARM-based netbooks: Acer, Asus, Samsung, and Toshiba.

Those netbooks may show up "as early as the end of 2011." Word is that Asus "has already made plans" to roll out one such machine with a 13" display, an Nvidia system-on-a-chip, and Android software. I'm guessing most ARM netboosk will be compact and feature small displays.

ARM-based Android "smartbooks" aren't a new concept. DigiTimes notes that Toshiba and Lenovo introduced such systems a couple of years back but discontinued them because of weak demand. Times are a-changing, though. ARM chips are now faster and pack more cores, software support is ripening, and the combination of low prices and long battery run times is sure to attract users. Intel has its work cut out, clearly.

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