Intel Classmate Notebook Gets Touch, Tablet Upgrades

The Intel Classmate PC notebook is undergoing a makeover that will add touch-screen and tablet capabilities to the low-cost laptop for students, and these versions of the Classmate will also include the Intel Atom processor. At the Intel Developer Forum here, Intel representatives were showing off the new Classmate design that is expected to hit retail shelves and the education IT market by the end of 2008. While some of the original Classmate designs used the older Intel Celeron processor, these updated laptops will come standard with single-core Atom processors.

Intel also announced a dual-core Atom processor at IDF, but that chip is not expected to make its way into the Classmate design anytime soon, said Jeffery Galinovsky, a regional manager for Intel's Classmate PC Ecosystem. The Classmate PC is Intel's own version of the low-cost laptop and it competes, at some level, with the One Laptop Per Child XO. Unlike the OLPC nonprofit project, the Intel Classmate notebook is more of a design than an actual product, and it provides a way to supply low-cost PCs and to give local manufacturers, as well as Intel, a way to make a profit.

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