We already know Intel's next-generation Atom processor, code-named Bay Trail, will be substantially faster than its predecessor. But that's not all. As CNet News reports, Intel says the new silicon will enable much more affordable touch-enabled systems, as well.
"If you look at touch-enabled Intel-based notebooks that are ultrathin using [Bay Trail] processors. Those prices are going to be down to as low as $200," said Intel CEO Paul Otellini.
Note that Otellini is talking about touch-enabled notebooks there, not tablets.
I find that a little surprising. There's been a lot of talk lately about the demise of netbooks, and it's looking like the next version of Windows will be ripe for 7- and 8-inch slates. Considering how well 7" Android tablets like the $199 Nexus 7 are selling, I'd assume Intel and Microsoft are both hungry for a piece of the action. Rumor has it Microsoft may even blaze the trail by unleashing a 7" device of its own—and it's entirely possible that system could be Intel-powered.
So, yeah. Unless Intel plans to bring back netbooks as ultra-affordable, touch-enabled devices, I'm not sure why Otellini is bringing up notebooks. Even is a netbook renaissance is in the works, it's not a huge leap from touch-enabled laptop to convertible tablet—and the latter is far more appealing right now.