An affordable $199 tablet for everyone

Freescale Semiconductor is getting into the tablet PC business with a $199 model to be released later this year

Just as the rumours of a pricey Apple tablet computer have reached a high-water mark Freescale Semiconductor on Monday showcased reference designs of an affordable, lightweight tablet computer, which is set to hit the market later this year.

Freescale, which supplies the guts for this new breed of computers called smartbooks (about one third the size and volume of a typical netbook), is putting its weight behind this category with a concept of what could become everybody's tablet.

The Freescale tablet reference design (pictured above) has specifications close to what we have been hearing about the mythical Apple tablet: a 7-inch touch screen, 3-megapixel camera and various sensors such as a 3-axis accelerometer and an ambient light sensor.

Next to the 512MB of RAM, up to 64GB of internal storage (microSD expansion) and a 1GHz processor, Freescale's smartbook tablet features a potentially killer spec: a US$200 price-tag. Next to an Android or Linux operating system, it also includes WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and options for a 3G modem.

The smartbook reference design is intended to run everyday-use applications such as a Web browser (with Adobe Flash support), an email client, an RSS reader, social networking tools and an office suite among others.

So far, no one has had a chance to have a deeper look at Freescale's holy grail smartbook, but the chipmaker is planning to demonstrate the design at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) later on this week.

If manufacturers pick up on Freescale's concept, such smartbooks should show up in a store near you perhaps later on this summer, with a price point below the $200 ceiling, the chipmaker says. However, no potential vendors for this tablet design have been named.

Here are the full specs of the Freescale smartbook:

• Size: 200mm x 128mm x 14.9cm and weighing 376 grams; no need for fan or heat sink

• Processor: Freescale i.MX515 applications processor provides high performance and low power

- ARM Cortex-A8 1GHz

- OpenVG & OpenGL/ES graphics cores

- HD video decoder hardware

• Memory: 512 MB DDR2

• Display: 7-inch (1024 x 600) touch screen

• Storage: 4-64 GB internal storage; removable micro SD

• Connectivity: 3G modem (option) 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, RF4CE (option)

• Ports: USB 2.0 and USB mini (also for charging), audio in/audio out, SIM card

• Audio: speaker, microphone

• Camera: 3 Mpixel (video recording up to VGA @ 30fps)

• Battery: 1900mAh, USB charging

• Sensors: the MMA8450Q 3-axis accelerometer and an ambient light sensor

• Power management IC

And while we are in tablet land, January should see another tablet design unveiled, as Apple is reportedly preparing to introduce its tablet on January 26th.

Follow Daniel on Twitter @danielionescu

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags TabletFreescale Semiconductorces 2010

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?