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Intel Atom Netbooks & Nettops

This launch was not so much about announcing the Intel Atom itself. Rather it was to reveal the products that have been developed around the Intel Atom. Even though NVIDIA claimed that their Tegra was far superior to the Atom, it was only impressive in specifications and the few demos shown during the launch. NVIDIA has not announced any product that uses the Tegra, only that a Tegra-based Smartphone will be out by the end of the year.

In contrast, Intel ended their press conference with a flourish. They opened the back of the press conference area to reveal a separate section filled with Intel Atom products. There were tables of finished netbooks and nettops from Intel partners that are either available for sale or will be within a week or two.

Let's take a look at some of these Atom-based netbooks and nettops that will be hitting the shelves near you very, very soon.


MSI Wind U100 & U90

The Wind U100 is MSI's first entry into the netbook market. It is an ASUS Eee PC 1000H lookalike with a 10" display, an 80 GB hard drive, and an Intel Atom processor, of course. It also runs on Windows XP Home. However, it lacks the Dolby Sound Room support and the larger 6-cell battery of the ASUS Eee PC 1000H. On the other hand, it is significantly lighter at just 1.0 kg.

The MSI Wind U100

The MSI Wind U90

The MSI Wind U90 is a smaller version of the U100, with a 8.9" display. All its other specifications are, at this moment, the same as the U100. It is expected to be available by the end of June or early July, 2008.


Gigabyte M912 & M724

Gigabyte is taking a different approach with their netbooks. These two are designed as ultra-portable tablet PCs with touch screens that can be rotated. The M912 has a 8.9" display like the MSI Wind U90 above but it has a higher resolution of 1280x768, instead of 1024x600. Like the MSI Wind netbooks, the Gigabyte M912 also uses hard drives, albeit with much larger capacities of 120 GB, 160 GB or 250 GB.

The Gigabyte M912

The Gigabyte M724

The Gigabyte M724 is similar to the M912, only with a smaller 7" display. Both the M912 and the M724 appear to have 4-cell batteries.


ECS G10IL & Amtek Elego

The Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) G10IL is an 11" sub-notebook with a choice of either a 10.2" display or a 8.2" display. Its final specifications have not been revealed but it can support either a standard hard drive or a solid state drive (SSD). It comes with a standard 4-cell with the option for a 6-cell battery. ECS will offer a choice of either Linux or Windows XP Home operating systems. The key feature that differentiates the ECS G10IL from the other netbooks is the built-in support for tri-band HSDPA and HSUPA, also known as the Super-3G technology.


Amtek Elego

The netbook that stood out the most was probably the Amtek Elego with its yellow-black wasp motif. However, it is not known how Amtek is differentiating the Elego from the other Atom-based netbooks, other than through its colour scheme.


Acer Aspire One

Acer has also gone into the netbook business with the Aspire One. It is one of the lightest netbooks, weighing less than 1 kg. It runs on Linpus Linux Lite and has a 8.9" display with a resolution of 1024 x 600.


Intel Classmate PC

Intel also revealed the Atom-powered version of their Classmate PC reference design. Externally, it looks like the original Classmate PC but other than the new Atom processor and chipset, the new Classmate PC also has the option for a larger 9" display and a 6-cell battery as well as the choice of a 30 GB hard drive or a 1/2/4 GB solid state drive.

Intel also doubled the system memory to 512 MB of DDR2 memory and added a webcam to the Classmate PC. To allow for mesh networking, the new Classmate PC also supports 802.11s in addition to 802.11b/g. The new Classmate PC will run on either Windows XP Professional or Linux.




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