Qualcomm has announced its "vision" for a new category of mobile devices that it calls "smartbooks", that are said to "bring a new level of always-on connectivity, ultra-portability and powerful performance to mobile users".

Differentiating smartbooks from netbooks, the former being 3G-connected devices running Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform while the latter are low-cost mini-notebooks generally offering Intel's Atom processor, Qualcomm offers the following definition:

"Smartbooks are a new class of devices running mobile operating systems that bridge the functional divide between smartphones and laptops, delivering the best aspects of a smartphone experience on a larger-display form factor".

"Constantly connected via 3G, Wi-Fi and GPS, smartbooks are ultra-portable, personalizable, easy-to-use and last all day on a single battery charge".

Qualcomm has also announced that it has expanded its Snapdragon platform with a new, next-gen 45nm chipset that boasts 30% lower dynamic power than the first Snapdragon chipset, aimed at use with such smartbooks, as well as for smartphones.

Also claiming faster processing and "significant" battery-life improvements, the new Snapdragon QSD8650A chipset gets a 1.3 GHz processor (over the original's 1GHz) for a claimed 30% higher performance as well as enhanced multimedia and 2D/3D graphics.

Qulacomm says more than 15 manufacturers are now developing more than 30 Snapdragon-based products. We will bring you more product-based news from this week's Computex event.