news report dual core atom netbooks may have larger displays

Report: Dual-core Atom netbooks may have larger displays

Yesterday, we reported on a rumor that Intel will suggest pricing of $349-399 for netbooks based on an upcoming dual-core Atom. Today, DigiTimes reports that those same netbooks may also have larger displays than today’s offerings with single-core CPUs.

Quoting "sources from notebook players," DigiTimes explains that Intel will lift restrictions on panel sizes, so netbooks featuring the dual-core Atom N550 will get to sport 11.6" and 12.1" displays. The site adds that current Atoms "carry restrictions" that allow for panels only up to 10.2"—the de facto standard for $300 netbooks.

Echoing yesterday’s story, this report says Atom N550-powered machines will come with 1GB of DDR3 RAM and either 32GB of solid-state storage or a 250GB mechanical hard drive. The Atom N550 is reported to clock its two cores at 1.5GHz and to have an 8.5W thermal envelope. That’d be up from a 5.5W TDP for the single-core, 1.6GHz Atom N450.

0 responses to “Report: Dual-core Atom netbooks may have larger displays

  1. For intensive loads, perhaps, but nobody sane uses Atom-based systems for that. On the other hand, there are always operations that can impact perceived responsiveness, whether it’s background tasks like AV and various network apps or just servicing hardware and critical sections in drivers. A faster processor may be able to do those more quickly but it can still result in some choppiness in foreground tasks for the user. This is the source of the “Creamy Smoothness” that TR used to go on about when discussing multi-core machines — especially back in the day when mainstream desktop processors were about as powerful as Atom.

    Moreover, in a mobile situation there’s another factor: power. Power used (and cooling required) tends to go up with the square of the frequency, so cranking up the frequency isn’t particularly power-efficient, and when dropping frequency to save power there’s generally a minimum frequency required — but if there’s a second core that can run at that rate, you can make the first completely dormant.

  2. I’m not sure the summary is actually correct and there really were any intel restrictions wrt display size. There were, however, restrictions in the OEM licenses of win xp / win 7 starter both regarding cpus (slow single cores only) and display sizes.
    However, the N450 was limited to 1366 × 768 on its LVDS output, so even if larger displays might have been possible more resolution than that was not. I don’t know though if that increases with the N550.

  3. Wouldn’t a single core C2 or A64 generally be a better idea than dual Atoms? I think that dual cores only make sense once the single core can’t get a whole lot faster.

  4. Using one right now….have been for 18 months.

    It browses the web fine. I can shoot off a quick email. I can use excel to do some quick budget numbers. I can watch youtube fine as long as I skip the HD version of the videos.

    The machine is small and runs 6-8 hours. I can easily throw it in bag with my stuff to travel. And open it on the plane if the guy in front reclines his seat. The whole point is small and portable. And if I were to drop and break it, I’m only out $300.

    For my purposes a netbook works GREAT. No they aren’t for everyone; I’d never suggest it as someone’s only machine. I am fortunate enough to have several computer options in my household and the netbook is specialized tool for me. I’ll go get the wife’s monster 17″ laptop when I need that.

    Obviously a certain percentage of Tech Report readers don’t want/need/care about netbooks. Just as I am sure not everyone cares about $500 gaming video cards bought 2 to 4 at a time. I appreciate the coverage of a wide variety of topics here and have enough sense to realize that just because I don’t need a certain tool doesn’t mean that someone else doesn’t

  5. People buy them, companies make money off them, why should they disappear just because some people consider them to be useless? If that is the case then i nominate the iPad for instant removal.
    if you want something genuinely portable that is bigger than a phone and can run normal desktop programs, netbooks provide the cheapest and more portable option. If you want to a desktop replacement or want to encode HD video on the go, get a more beefy laptop, or just wait until you get home and fire up your main PC.

    -This comment was brought to you by Fartingbob using an EeePC to surf the internet and have an episode of Firefly running in the background at the same time.

  6. If Apple was price sensitive, maybe. Actually, if your “everybody is suckered into buying Atoms” future comes true, won’t most people conclude it’s actually Microsoft’s fault and make their next notebook be a Mac?

    I have to say I don’t have major problems with existing netbooks /[

  7. Let me guess, you’ve never used an Atom netbook? (messing around on one in a store hardly counts.)

  8. Wishful thinking. Netbooks aren’t going to disappear. But they are apparently going to get better. Your opposition to that is puzzling!

  9. No Scott, it has nothing to do with that. I would like netbooks to simply disappear. Your regular consumer has no idea what he’s buying. Right now, he’s more likely to get a 17″ HP 10 pound brick for 600$ than a netbook simply because the 17″ > 10″ netbook. If you put at 17″ LCD on the same netbook components, the consumer won’t know any better and will go for it instead. The only reason netbooks have been so popular is because of their PRICE. If Intel lifts off the size restriction, then we will really see a canibalisation of regular laptops.

    Also, following your logic, this would be good for me (the Apple buying consumer) as Apple would probably have to drop their prices in order to attract consumers to their product line. 🙂


  10. So you’re saying you’d like netbooks–despite the widely acknowledged fact that they are a consumer success and the first new PC product category in years–to stick with smaller screens and single cores? I guess that would be convenient for Apple, but…. 😉

  11. Except that a dualcore version would make for instant Creamy Smoothness(tm). And it could even help with the damn flash performance.

  12. *sigh*

    I don’t understand why you’re encouraging this type of laptop comodisation. It’s just a netbook in a bigger size. It has the same pokey CPU which means it has the same issues that regular netbooks do : bad flash video performance, bad performance on anything slightly CPU intensive and an all around feeling of 1999.


  13. Netbook haters gotta hate, but a 11.6/12.1″ laptop with a dual-core Atom could be small and light, run for 9-10 hours on a single charge, and work really well for an awful lot of things. The big fly in the ointment will be if they really try to limit these things to 1GB with no expansion options. If you can easily slap in a larger SO-DIMM, I expect we’ll see some really compelling products based on this hardware.

  14. Yay, now consumer will have a harder time choosing a decent laptop instead of a POS.


  15. Yup. Intel only competes when they have to compete.

    It’s a bummer, but that’s business, eh?

  16. Is it impossible to stick a core i3 in a 10″ notebook? that’d be great.

    All I use my netbook for is VPN for work now since it’s a good size and VPN cuts off internet on the machine to outside websites and I like having access to the rest of the net…

    Might install eeebuntu as well.

  17. Yeah, between Intel chip shortages and the new AMD chips, I’ll bet Intel is “relaxing” some of the artificial restrictions.