AirLife is a hybrid laptop that combines the hardware and software usually found in a smartphone with the design of a netbook. It is as portable as a netbook but offers longer battery life of up to 12 hours. Apple will soon start shipping the iPad tablet, a handheld device designed to let users browse the Internet, play games, read e-books and view video content.
Though some features differ, the iPad and AirLife share several characteristics, including simplified software interfaces, similarly sized touch-screen displays, and an emphasis on making it quick and easy to access online content. Both devices also have Arm processors, while most netbooks use Intel processors.
The AirLife includes a 10.1-inch touch screen and comes with Wi-Fi b/g or optional 3G wireless broadband connectivity. The device weighs around 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor running at 1GHz. It includes 16GB of internal storage, 512MB of RAM and 512MB of flash storage. It also includes an SD card slot for external storage.
By comparison, the iPad is powered by an Apple A4 chip (based on an Arm design) running at 1GHz. It comes with storage capacities of 16GB, 32GB or 64GB. It is about half-an-inch thick, weighs 1.5 pounds and has a 9.7-inch touch-screen display. The device comes with a software-based, on-screen keyboard. Wireless features include 802.11n Wi-Fi, optional 3G mobile broadband and Bluetooth.
Hewlett-Packard plans to initially distribute the AirLife through Telefonica, which is in Europe and Latin America, said Mike Hockey, an HP spokesman. Hockey said there were no plans to distribute the product in the U.S. and declined comment on distribution in other regions including Asia-Pacific and Japan. HP did not provide a specific date for when the AirLife will become available, saying only that it will be out in the spring.