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Intel's CES 2010 stand littered with new-generation Atom netbooks

by Tarinder Sandhu on 9 January 2010, 16:06

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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Intel's stand at CES 2010 was littered with the two main consumer-orientated chips launched in the last two weeks. We saw numerous machines with 32nm Core i3, i5, and i7 chips, both in desktop and mobile form, as well as an abundance of new Atom-powered netbooks.

The new Atom platform, known as Pine Trail, integrates the graphics and memory-controller on to the same piece of silicon as the CPU. Minor other improvements allow manufacturers to have similar performance to first-generation Atom - N450 and N280 both run at 1.67GHz - but, crucially, with lower power-draw.

That's why we're seeing a greater number of 'Atom 2' netbooks marketed with better battery life, usually to the tune of 25 per cent over first generation models. For example, Samsung's N220, pictured above, is now reckoned to have two hours extra juice, although such claims can be misleading as manufacturers tend to slip in high-density batteries when it suits their marketing purposes.

The lower power-draw and simpler PCB design also enables manufacturers to use sleeker, lighter form factors than were available with the older Atom chip. MSI's U160, pictured above, is a case in point.

Trouble is, better mobile longevity comes at a price. We spoke to a number of netbook manufacturers and most indicated that Pine Trail-based netbooks will carry a $30-$50 surcharge over incumbent netbooks, with Atom N2x0-based models falling by around $20. Samsung's N220 is an otherwise standard netbook that costs £335.

Manufacturers will further differentiate their product stack by optionally equipping their models with dedicated logic for HD support - be that from Broadcom or, later, from NVIDIA's ION 2.

Interestingly, practically all the new Atom netbooks we saw were running Windows 7 Starter...and that may have something to do with the fact that Microsoft's stand was adjacent to Intel's.

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HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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Meh, I've gone right off Netbooks recently and the prices are getting silly. I predict this will be the year of CULV. :)
I predict this will be the year of CULV. :)
I doubt that - even though I agree it's a good idea.

I'm only guessing but surely CULV processors are significantly pricier than Atom - so your concern over the increase in prices over netbooks would only be confounded (if I'm right).
I like my little atom powered Aspire One, but the newer ones are just too expensive for what they are compared to spending a little more and getting a more fully featured laptop.

Then again my AAO is my secondary laptop for use when I go away and in the bedroom etc. My iBook G4 is still my primary laptop, though I don't tend to use it as a laptop much anymore, but will likely replace it with a cheapish laptop or second hand earlier generation Macbook.
the prices are ridiculous unless u really need a notebook for the portability i dont know why u would get one u can get a far better laptop better specs and a bigger screen for the same price