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Acer and Asus to Launch Android Netbooks

The Taiwanese PC makers are among the first to offer netbooks using the free operating system backed by Google

Taiwan hardware manufacturers Asus and Acer are preparing to launch Android-powered netbooks in 2009.

Netbook pioneer Asus has spurned Intel's Atom chip in favor of Qualcomm's Snapdragon for its new Android-based Eee PC, which it demoed at the Computex computer fair in Taiwan this week.

The device will likely feature a 10-inch screen, according to the National Business Review. The Snapdragon chip includes a universal 3G radio, as well as support for 720p video, GPS and Wi-Fi. The netbook is expected ship later this year.

Asus said it would also offer a version of the netbook running Linux. The company is expected to launch an Android-based handset this or next year.

Acer, meanwhile, said it would launch an Android-powered notebook in Q3. But its offering will run on both XP and Android, and allow users to switch between the two, the Financial Times reported.

The new offering will be cheaper than its current Aspire One models, Acer said.

Google does not charge manufacturers for installing the Android OS, while Microsoft charges around $20 per computer for the use of XP.

Fellow laptop manufacturer Dell is believed to also be planning its own Android notebook, while HP is testing Android, but has yet to commit to the OS.

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