Taiwanese netbook runs both Android and Windows

The netbook's detachable touchscreen contains the chip used to run Android

A Taiwanese organization has developed a netbook based on Google's Android platform that can also switch into Microsoft's Windows operating system to run certain programs.

The netbook has a detachable touchscreen that contains the microprocessor used to run Android and can operate independently for its eight to ten hours of battery life.

A reference design of the device was displayed at the Computex exhibition in Taipei by the government-funded Institute for Information Industry. The institute is looking for a Taiwanese company to manufacture and market the product, a representative said.

The netbook runs on Android, but automatically pushes it to the two sides of the screen and opens Windows XP when a user launches a program like Microsoft Word that runs on x86 chip architecture.

The machine's x86 chip, a 1.6 GHz Via C7, is located beneath the keyboard and can be accessed remotely by Wi-Fi or mobile broadband if the detached tablet needs to run an x86 program.

It has a 7.6-inch screen and uses a 533 MHz Samsung chip with an Arm core to run Android. WiMax has also been tested on the netbook and could be included, said the representative.

It would cost a manufacturer around an extra US$50 to make the device compared to a standard netbook, he said.

The double OS model makes sense for users who want the power-saving and mobility of a netbook, but also want higher performance for video watching and other multimedia tasks, he said.

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Owen Fletcher

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