More cheap Intel laptops coming in the third quarter

We reported back last November on rumors that Intel was developing a platform for low-cost, power efficient desktops. The platform, Shelton’08, was said to incorporate new 45nm “Diamondville” processors and either Intel 945GC or SiS 671 chipsets. Word was that the platform would be used in desktops with price tags as low as $100, but that its power characteristics would first see it adopted in notebooks.

Indeed, DigiTimes now reports that we can expect the first Shelton’08-based notebooks on store shelves in the third quarter of this year. Citing insiders at PC manufacturers, DigiTimes says Shelton’08 notebooks will have 1.6GHz single-core Diamondville processors rated for just 3.5W of power consumption, 945GSE chipsets with built-in DirectX 9 graphics, 802.11g Wi-Fi, USB or ATA solid-state drives, and 7″ or 8″ displays. The entire systems are expected to draw around 8W of power, and battery life will supposedly run between three and four hours.

Currently, DigiTimes says MSI and Gigabyte have both started development of Shelton’08-based notebooks, while PC makers Dell, HP, and Acer will hop on the bandwagon at a later date. When the first systems come out in Q3, prices will reportedly range from $300 to $500—roughly the same price bracket in which Asustek’s Eee PC sits today.

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